I want to talk a little bit out my "terrible secret". If you've read here for awhile then you probably already know a few things about me such as: I don't use artificial birth control (though you may not know we've made the decision to stop NFP, as well), I hated my cesarean, I adore the experience of giving birth. What you may not know, however, is that I'm absolutely, whole-heartedly, terrifyingly afraid of my next pregnancy. So scared, in fact, that last night I dreamed that I finally got my period back and woke up in a cold sweat, shaking, at the thought that now I was sure my fertility had returned.
So there it is. My secret. It's not that I don't like pregnancy. I do! I've never been a skinny girl, so when I get pregnant I sort of get it into my head that, "I'm not fat, I'm just pregnant!" I think pregnant bodies are amazingly beautiful and I love feeling beautiful. I love watching my belly grow. Feeling my babies move in my womb is one of the most treasured memories of my life. I feel so special and blessed when I'm pregnant. What an high honor to be chosen to help bring life into the world!
For me, though, there's a putridly dark side of pregnancy. My body hates pregnancy and babies and does everything it can to starve and kill my babies and me. I suffer from a traumatic pregnancy illness called hyperemesis gravidarum. I've had it will all of my pregnancies except the baby I miscarried, so that's three times I've survived.
It's a horrifying, soul-crushing illness. For me, having HG is exacerbated by hypersensitive senses; specifically taste, smell and touch. In my pregnant state, the world--everything--smells as if it's coated in a thick layer of vomit. My sense of smell is very sensitive when I'm not pregnant so when I become pregnant my husband calls me the "human bloodhound". When I move from one smell to another, I vomit. Leaving my bedroom and going into the hallway-I vomit. Going out the front door, I vomit. Getting into the truck, vomit. From the truck to outside the truck, vomit. It's really that bad.
Everything tastes horrible. The thought of eating food repulses me. I can't even stand to kiss my husband or children. I can't stand to put anything in my mouth. My HG world is also filthy. I feel like everything around me is covered in grime, dirt, sewage, etc. I can't touch anything.
Do you see how awful this is for me? HG is bad. So bad that sometimes women die from it. So bad that women will abort...abort!...wanted, prayed for, dreamed of babies because they feel like they're dying and no one will/can help them.
So the idea of going through this a fourth time gives me hives but... what if? What if I'm supposed to be learning and growing from these pregnancies? What if all the knowledge and strength gained from a mother-led, unmedicated birth is also available to me if I quit "numbing" my pregnancy with fear, doubt, lack of faith, hopelessness?
What can I learn about my Lord, my body, my husband, my children, my baby, myself... from an un-numbed HG pregnancy?