My path to parenthood was one I never saw coming. I always knew motherhood was an adventure I wanted to go on. I envisioned this happy, glowing pregnancy that ended in me snapping back to my pre-pregnancy body. I got the rudest awakening that sent me tumbling down into a rabbit hole of reality checks.
November of 2019 gifted me positive pregnancy tests after extremely sore breasts and waves of nausea flagged my attention down. At my first OB appointment, I wasn't far enough along to detect a heartbeat to even know if the pregnancy was viable: 3 to 4 weeks gestation is what they estimated. I'd have to wait and see if there was a heartbeat in 3 or 4 more weeks. In the time leading up to seeing my baby's heartbeat on the monitor for the first time, I was thrown into the school of pregnancy hard knocks. Nausea. Vomiting. Around the clock. Nothing I ate or drank stayed down. Everyone kept telling me that it was a normal part of pregnancy.
Week 10 landed me in the hospital with severe dehydration. I had 2 IV bags pushing fluids into me as fast as they could. That ended up being a 4 day puke-a-thon in the hospital. I couldn't eat. I couldn't drink. The IV is what kept me hydrated. I had to quit work. There were more hospital stays before my pregnancy yielded my first, sweet baby girl. So much medication. Countless IV needles. Blown veins. Infiltrated IVs. I swapped the glucose test for a glucose meter to check my blood sugar 4 times a day for 2 weeks at 28 weeks. Borderline gestational diabetes. I would have to continue checking my sugar 4 times a day until birth to make sure I didn't become diabetic.
I spent countless hours researching my diagnosis. Hyperemesis Gravidarum. 3% of women experience it. 34% of those women will miscarry. Not many people know about it or the fact that this is a genetic condition. 81% of women who have subsequent pregnancies will experience hyperemesis gravidarum again. I did. My second baby girl was a huge surprise. We fought the same fight again. It was less severe, but came with iron deficient anemia and gestational diabetes. Finger pricks, medication, and a careful diet. I couldn't completely cut out carbs, but eating too much was a definite no can do. We had to find a balance between the hyperemesis gravidarum and diabetes. I had to eat to maintain my sugar levels and gain the necessary weight, but eating was followed by vomiting. It was a hellacious cycle and precarious balancing act.
But we made it. All 3 of us. Happy, healthy, and thriving. My Wildflower and my Lady Bug were well worth it. Every second of my journey to parenthood pales in comparison to the laughter, joy, and happiness my children bring me. They are my happy place. Every moment with them is my happy place. Even when there are hard moments. Parenthood is my jam. Forever and always. Please note that Hyperemesis.org is my resource for the facts I cited about hyperemesis gravidarum.