I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) in all three of my pregnancies. This disease causes excessive vomiting and nausea, causing extreme dehydration and weight loss. It affects 1-2% of pregnant women. As of March 2018, there has been a breakthrough in research on HG, discovering 2 specific genes contributing to the disease.
I can’t exclude my experience having HG from my grief over Tinsley dying. I fought so hard for her. I prepared (pre-natal OB visits, 20-pound weight gain, calls to home health agencies, a medication plan, etc) the best I could and received the best treatment possible (early medical intervention, scheduled IVs, a PICC line, weekly visits from a home nurse) and yet, I lost her.
My HG absolutely affects our family planning. Like many other loss moms, pregnancy (either conceiving or carrying to term) is not an easy, healthy road for me.
About 3 months after Tinsley died, I went to a naturologist to check on nutritional deficiencies and get tested for H. Pylori bacteria. It’s unlikely that I have it, but if I do, it could be a major contributory factor to HG, if we decided TTC again.
I wrote this poem in late July 2017, about 13 weeks pregnant and in the worst of the HG.
“Fighting for you”
i will love you when
my teeth chatter and chip and break
when my eyes cannot hold themselves up
as soft spots of hope harden into fate
and leave me cold
i will love you through
the parts of my life i cannot understand
as the whys never get their answers
and the hows give up too soon
i will love you with
my fists open and my fingernails falling off and arms out-turned
begging for relief in any form
with my hair matted against my face
and my head too heavy for my neck
i will love you
as my body melts and my throat burns
as pieces of me disappear
and sink into the cracks on the hardwood floor
i will love you more
tomorrow than today
as the battlefield spreads across state lines
And more bullets bury themselves
In the stomachs of fighters that now call them prisoners
and when i hold your tiny body
Against my chest in the months to come
this will not have even happened
i will not remember this place or this pain
the time will transform into a paperback book
i shove under the bed and forget
and i will simply love you
Like mothers love their daughters
With no memory of the past
And all the rhyme and reason
Of the ocean floor from a million years ago
and that will be the start of our story.