I'm currently pregnant with our fourth child.
Even looking at this screen right now is significantly increasing my nausea because...you guessed it...I have hyperemesis gravidarum again. It's quite possibly my worst HG yet, and I'm most bedridden, even while on two strong anti-nausea medications.
This should be cause for so much joy. But unfortunately, a week ago, I went to the doctor for my six week ultrasound...and all they could find was a yolk sac. If you know alot about embryonic development, you know that a six week ultrasound with only a yolk sac is not necessarily a death sentence. But you also know that many babies are seen on ultrasounds at six weeks, hearts beating strong.
I'm going for another ultrasound in the morning. I ended up needing to switch doctors because the first ultrasound for this baby was held in the same room as the room where I found out that we had lost Gabriel...and I just felt like I was re-living that trauma. I'm not naive, and I know that doing an ultrasound someplace else does not mean my baby will be fine. But even if the worst happens, it will not happen in that room that forever stole my innocence.
With Gabriel, I had mild hyperemesis gravidarum. With medication, I actually didn't lose weight (in fact, I gained weight), I could only eat particular foods but eating was doable, and I could spend my days on the couch. Despite that fact, it was still harder than your average pregnancy, and it made losing him that much harder. Moms with HG cling to the hope that their suffering equals a healthy baby, and when that hope is robbed from you, it's hard to go on.
With this little love, I have moderate hyperemesis gravidarum. Even on two strong anti-nausea medicines, I spend my days in bed, in a dark room. Thank goodness for technology, because I'm able to cover all of our school work electronically and Therese hasn't fallen behind at all. And double thank goodness that we live in a relatively small house, because I can lay in bed all day and know exactly where people are and what they're doing at all times.
But despite that fact, at seven weeks, this pregnancy has already been incredibly hard. We had to return our sweet puppy (the pregnancy wasn't the deciding factor, but I think it tipped us over the edge) because there is no way I could give her the care she needs right now. Andrew has to do everything for me - bring me food and drink, help me get dressed, help me with my medicine, turn the shower on for me and make sure that I have fresh clothes laid out. I can't be upright for long without feeling incredibly nauseous and often dry heaving, and talking for longer than a few words makes me dry heave. My tolerance for food and drink has been low, but so far I've been able to manage without an IV. I basically live in bed, and sleep when I can, since it's my only escape from the nausea.
But despite all of that, I would gladly go on this way for another 33 weeks. Because the first time I went through HG I ended up with this...
And after the second time I ended up with this...
And they have both brought me more joy than they can ever know. As I lay in bed every day and watch them play, and hear their little feet pounding up and down the hallway, I know...the suffering was worth it. Every moment of it was completely worth it.
The great consolation for a mom with HG is holding her living, breathing, healthy child at the end of her pregnancy. HG pregnancies are notoriously traumatic, and holding that child is the best balm for weary souls...which is why losing a child while suffering HG is so traumatic.
But even Gabriel taught me something...it's all worth it. I haven't yet healed fully from losing Gabriel, nor from his pregnancy. But despite that fact, despite not getting to experience the joy of holding him in my arms (a joy I should have been experiencing any day now) I still believe the suffering that I endured for him was worth it. He made us a family of five, and helped point our family to heaven.
And this little bean has made us a family of six. Nothing can ever change that. Not even if we lose this one can we ever change the fact that we are a family of six.
But that being said, I hope with all of my heart that this will be the child who lives. Were I to lose this one, I would lose this one when I should have had Gabriel and I can't bear the thought of that double grief. This little one would also be due right around my birthday, and I hope very much to hold a living baby of mine by my 31st birthday. I hope with all of my heart that God will let us raise this little one.
I know a lot of women who have lost children to miscarriage or stillbirth, but I also know many who haven't. And I can't help but feel jealous of them, and of their innocence. I wish their innocence was still mine. I wish I could rest in the certainty of holding a newborn in my arms, come June. It would be worth 8 months of nausea.
But the reality is - none of us has that certainty, ever. All we can do is trust in God.
That being said...I hope so very much for good news tomorrow morning. I hope to see a healthy baby, with a strong heartbeat, measuring right on target. Very early on in this pregnancy, I was driving and I suddenly wondered, "Who is this baby's patron saint?" In an instant, St. Rita came to mind. It was crystal clear and definitive. So, I've been asking people over on Facebook to join me in a novena to her, for baby's survival. Since Mother Angelica's name was Rita, I've been asking for her prayers, too.
So, please...join me in praying for a miracle. Please join me in praying that this baby will live.
St. Rita, pray for us.