My daughter will be 5 in January, so it has been quite a while since I was pregnant. Still, even with this much time removed from the experience, reflecting on it is admittedly difficult. I might be missing a fact here or there, but I am trying my best to recall hard moments from the past that I mostly blocked out. I wouldn’t even be attempting to share them, except that I feel passionate about being a voice for the chronically ill community, especially chronically ill mothers. My pregnancy story is an essential first part of my chronically ill parenting journey.
Pregnancy was a very hard time for me physically. I was not yet diagnosed with Generalized Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder, Postural Tachycardia, or a number of my other conditions, and was unaware of my childhood Chiari malformation diagnosis. So I thought I would have a normal, healthy pregnancy. My mom LOVED being pregnant, with both me and my younger sister.
I decided to take a pregnancy test because I was so sick. I vomited for an entire week straight, which was super fun when you’re trying to move into your first apartment with your brand new husband. After moving in, we went to the store for some groceries. After bee-lining for the bathroom to vomit once again (I am way too familiar with toilets in too many different bathrooms), I decided to buy a pregnancy test, just to be safe. Both my husband and I were sure it would be negative.
I took one. It immediately turned positive. I took the other one. Same result. My eggo was preggo (Juno reference).
We took it in stride, and were excited to be new parents, despite it being a surprise. We announced to our families, who were super excited too (first grandbaby/niece or nephew!). We decided on a girl name that we had actually decided on when we were just dating, and after much deliberation a boy name, which was much harder. We started buying tiny, gender neutral clothes. I even had a very part-time job at a children’s consignment store during that time between grad school classes, so it was all very tempting!
But despite all that joy, I continued to be so, so sick my entire pregnancy.