Archive for September, 2012

Cover of "Bad Hair Day (All Aboard Readin...

Cover of Bad Hair Day (All Aboard Reading)

I have a confession: this is the second day in a row that I haven’t brushed my hair. Am I embarrassed? Maybe a little. But my life as an equation = newborn, + full-time job + housework. Added up, and I find a deficit of time to take care of things.

As I thought about my hair, pulled together atop my head in what my wishful thinking brain hopes is a sophisticated, bohemian-type bun, I recalled this time last year, when I was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. I had just started experiencing vaso-vagal episodes (fainting), carpal and tarsal tunnel, and the never-ending excess saliva induced vomiting sessions. My life was miserable.

Sure, I had hope. I understood that the hyperemesis gravidarum would eventually go away. I could feel my child’s little kicks and smile at the thought of holding him in my arms. But when you’re a dehydrated, medicated, vomiting mess, it’s hard to be happy. I had no choice but to stop caring about my hair, clothes, and housework. What was important was to find a way to get through each day so that I could deliver a healthy child.

If you’re at this point, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Many women understand how you feel. How do you deal? Grit your teeth, dig your feet in, and hold on. Push away the worry over your hair, the yoga pants you’ve been wearing since last week, and the spit bucket near your bed. It’s not easy to let go but you’re struggling with a serious medical condition. Think about what’s truly important, dear hg mama, and focus on that. You’ll have plenty of time to worry about your hair after the baby is born. Maybe.

Just Do It | Nike x Lau

Just Do It | Nike x Lau (Photo credit: achimh)

This morning, I saw a t-shirt that inspired the heck out of me. It was a Nike shirt that said, “Just do it: Every Damn Day.” I don’t often swear, but as someone who has survived the living hell of hyperemesis gravidarum, I could connect with the sentiment behind this slogan.

Unfortunately, when you have hyperemesis gravidarum, you have no choice but to just do it. Every day. However, we do have a choice about how we respond to this condition. There is no way to sugar-coat it: hyperemesis gravidarum stinks. It’s debilitating, painful, worrying, and just plain depressing. Yes, it goes away. Yes, you will have a wonderful child. But while you’re in the midst of it, it’s really hard to think of the positive outcome.

When I was at my worst while pregnant, I felt that my standard of living dropped significantly. The house was a mess, I struggled to get out of bed, and I had no relationships with my friends anymore. The isolation was rough. I found my mindset changed from thriving to surviving. Forcing myself to eat- when I knew it would probably come back up later. Forcing myself to take medicine- even though I was scared it would affect my child. Forcing myself to keep going- the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life. And for me, surviving was just doing it—trying my best to take care of myself and my unborn child. Every damn day.