As I read through these stories, there was one medical term I was rather surprised not to hear. Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
For anyone not knowing what that is, it’s an extreme form of morning sickness, debilitating, retching, malnutrition causing, misery-inducing sickness. Mine was never officially diagnosed, but I lost 20 pounds within weeks with both of my children. I met every definition of the condition but my doctor never really got it. Maybe I didn’t say enough. But with people around me saying “you’re just pregnant, not disabled” I felt like I was just being whiney and stoically disappeared for 4 months, lost as a person. I was nothing but a poor excuse for an incubator for a fetus. I wanted those children and that’s the only reason I managed to push through it. My youngest is now 10 months old and we are financially stretched to the max. We knew we would be and we were prepared for that, but my husband and I were NOT prepared for me to get pregnant again. Just one night, we had been using condoms, and I knew my cycle well. So when the last condom was damaged, I shrugged it off. I had just finished my period and knew that was a very unlikely time for pregnancy. I should have known better, we never had any trouble with me conceiving. In fact, I got pregnant with an IUD in place at one point, though that was ectopic and promptly had to be ended as my life was at risk and there was no chance of carrying to term anyways. Anyways, within a week of finding out I was pregnant again, the sickness started. In two weeks, ten pounds disappeared. I was angry all the time. I snapped at my children, whom I could barely care for. My new dream job was non existent. I knew I had no choice. So yesterday I had a surgical abortion at 7 weeks. The pain was awful, but brief. My nausea was gone by the end of the day. I cleaned for the first time in 2 weeks. I played with my children again. That is how I know I made the right choice. For any woman who goes through severe nausea, they know better than most that your body is not your own during a pregnancy. That is why adoption cannot often be the answer. I do feel grief. I do feel guilt in being sexually irresponsible. But when I see that my choice will enable me to honor my lost potential child by giving the children I do have a better life. A life without waiting for food at a charity pantry with me, or not having basic needs met because we don’t have the money. I will be better for this choice. The emotional tolls are still not totally evident, but all I know is right now, the good outweighs the bad.