Try tropic for your balm,
Try storm,
And after storm, calm.
Try snow of heaven, heavy, soft and slow,
Brilliant and warm.
Nothing will help, and nothing do much harm.
“Of the Properties of Nature for Healing an Illness” by Genevieve Taggard


I spend my days with clenched teeth.  Breathe in and out, slowly.  Try to figure out minutes left – to figure out whether I can make it to naptime, whether I can make it through naptime, whether I can play another episode of Sesame Street, whether it’s worse to have to change a diaper or to keep smelling an unchanged one.  Mr. E calls and says he missed his bus and I want to cry, I haven’t prepared to make it to 6:15, only 5:35, and I think of the scene in Terms from Endearment and I want to stand in my kitchen and scream “GIVE MY DAUGHTER HER SHOT!” but I simply recalculate, 45 more minutes to make it through.

And I clench my teeth and I calculate how many days and minutes and seconds might be left until I don’t feel like sick hot dragged from the bottom of the trash can mess.

It’s a tricky business, complaining about a blessing, but I can only warp my true nature into so many optimistic frames before things break.  I am not an optimist when it comes to my body, because I spent fifteen years blacking out and throwing up every month and nothing not nothing could fix it, and because in the 1st grade I was the shortest and in the 8th grade I was the shortest and now I am almost always the shortest, and because I can’t eat real bread and because I cried on the boat trip to Alcatraz because I felt so sick in those fifteen minutes I truly wanted to throw myself overboard and I knew I’d have to get back on the boat to come home.  Or live at Alcatraz forever, which I did in fact consider.

I don’t know if it’s possible to explain how much I hate being pregnant.  I am a prisoner in my own body.  I walk into my kitchen and turn around and walk out.  Nothing can fix this, if I want to keep upright I can force down some rice and some green apple slices but NOTHING can fix this never ending nausea.  I am always cold and sick and things feel down right fizzy.  I can’t breathe, I stagger from the shower, gasping.  My belly button hurts.  I hate the clothes. I grow larger every day.  I have to pee all night long, and I hurt and my skin itches and every plan for the future has to be put off for another year and I have to think “next year I’ll get to do that, if I’m lucky I can run a half marathon NEXT YEAR” and through it all I am FURIOUS that this is how it works, that I will have to go through this  however many times I want to have children and I am reminded again why it took me over three years to want to do this again, and best of all you aren’t really supposed to complain about this because some people can’t even have children you ungrateful wench.

And you try to tell anyone, everyone, how being sick every waking of every minute feels and you ALWAYS know they are thinking “Well, that’s a little bit rich, isn’t it?  She’s taking things a little far this time.”

And still.  Clench clench clench.

I hate this, so very muchly.



17 Responses

  1. I send you hugs! I simpathize. Especially since I deposited my breakfast of orange juice and wee powdered doughnuts into the school bathroom mid-conversation with a co-worker. I haven’t had it quite as bad, but I’m almost 5 months along and oh do I feel for you!

    And you wouldn’t be short standing next to me!:)

  2. Ugh, yuck. When I’m sick, I really am astounded that I ever have felt healthy and will I ever actually feel good again? I can’t imagine that for nine months.

  3. Oh god- I’m a few days into the tww and as much as I cant wait I so don’t know if I can do it again.
    I understand so well, I wish there was something I could say to help but there isn’t. Fuck the first trimester. Hang in there cause what else can you do?

  4. I’m sorry you feel gross, friend. Let me know how I can help…I’d happily kidnap, erm, take Pants for an afternoon…so you can vomit in peace.

  5. Oh dude. Me too. I mean, not now, back back when. This is how I felt, like DAILY. Total misery. Hang in. xo

  6. Oh, I totally don’t know how you feel, but I feel like I do because you describe it so well! I have to thank you for being so very realistic and truthful- I’ve never been pregnant before, but I don’t want some b.s. about how rosy it all is because at the end of the day? THERE IS AN ALIEN GROWING INSIDE YOU SUCKING YOUR LIFEFORCE. If I ever get knocked up, I’ll rely on pioneers like you who tell it like it EFFING is. Hang in there, E!

  7. That’s exactly how I felt until my angel of a doctor put that first prescription of Zofran into my hand. Until then, it was exactly as how you describe it.

  8. I never ever ever ever think “a bit rich”. EVER.

    Love you, Sickie.

  9. I’m so sorry, Elizabeth. So so very sorry. What a crappy place to be. I’m not going to say that crappy thing about how it will all be worth it! Because BAH.

    Will this have any bearing on your trip?? Are you still going?

  10. Oh, awful awful. Hang in there. And go ahead and complain ALL YOU WANT. What you are going through is horrible, horrible, horrible, no matter how badly you want the baby at the end. The baby at the end is a separate thing from this misery. I’ll be thinking of you. (Oh, I’ve been lurking for awhile now, incidentally.)

  11. I’m so sorry! I know how you feel. I was that miserable with my first pregnancy. Hang in there and know that it is fine to complain. No one here is judging you for it.

  12. I think women who DON’T complain about the indignity, frustration and pain of pregnancy are the real weirdos.

    Honestly, making a whole new person? IT’S A LOT OF WORK. Business cannot proceed as usual. Dr. Maureen is exactly right, the baby at the end and the sickie-yucky are two separate deals.

    I’m one of those people who thought she might not ever be able to have children and I swore up and down that if ever given the opportunity I’d cherish! every! pregnant! moment! Ha. OH, HA.

    Elizabeth, pregnancy just sucks and if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, please smack her.

  13. dude, complain all you want. It’s hard. And people who think you should count your blessings — well, screw them. Walk a mile in your shoes and all that.

  14. THere is NOTHING worse than being nauseous. NOTHING worse. Take care and don’t be afraid to call your doctor and be honest about how bad you really feel. You won’t be complaining. Some women really do have it way worse than others. You are the bomb–hang in there!

  15. It’s not JUST the sick feeling though, E. Your brain just plum works different when pregnant and it makes you totally wonky. Combined with all the physical stuff it can be a real mind fuck body fart. I don’t blame you for complaining. You need SOME outlet from the body/mind craziness. I hope it gets better soon. And though I know you have probably tried them….the wrist things…they worked (a tad) for me (sometimes) (kinda) (a little) (maybe).

  16. I so, so, so understand what you are saying. You feel like a total tool for complaining about the miracle of life, and yet… it just sucks for some of us I guess. I have about 5 weeks left and at this point I am crying every day because I am SO FRUSTRATED and SO SICK of feeling this way. The baby’s movements have gone to “wow, the baby is moving!” to “oh my god, I think this thing is trying to break out of my bellybutton!” It’s awful, it sucks and I hate it so much. Not to mention my temper is short with my 20 month old, which makes me feel like even a bigger a-hole than I did to begin with. I literally just drove through a snow storm to take him to daycare because I could not face the whole day with him. Yes, I am pretty much a terrible mom.

    I was seriously sitting at my desk a couple of minutes ago, crying for no reason and thinking “do I need to go back on anti-depressants? Because right now I feel like I did the last time I was clinically depressed and it is NOT GOOD.”

    Which is a long winded way of saying: I know how you feel.

  17. The things I think about when pregnant:

    1. The upsides of miscarriage.

    2. The reasons why people who are persistently but not terminally ill commit suicide.

    3. The reasons why anyone commits suicide.

    4. If there is a way I could be put into a medically-induced coma until this was over.

    5. If I believed in god, I wouldn’t anymore after seeing how pregnancy and birth were set up.

    6. This sucks, and if one more person tells me I shouldn’t complain about feeling terminally ill and wanting to kill myself, I will put them into a non-medically-induced coma.

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