Before becoming pregnant, I had these romantic ideas of what it would be like to have a little life growing inside, of the wonder and joy, of the deep bond that would form with this person who was part of you….my experience, however, was far removed from those ideas!
The first week and a half after we found out was great. We were excited and elated as would anyone in our situation be who had just been handed such a blessing from God after being given no human medical hope of conceiving naturally. But like a tornado ripping through a town, my life changed in an instant. I was ridiculously sick. I couldn’t keep any food or drink down without the help of medication and even then the amount that stayed down was minimal. I needed help to get out of bed and help to get washed etc. I had read about “morning” sickness but this was beyond the textbook case of morning sickness even at its worst! I tried all the remedies, sea bands, ginger, sniffing lemons, flat coke, you name it I tried it on top of the pills that were already supposed to be stopping me from being sick all day long! I was never without a bucket. The only thing that gave me any relief was my reflexology treatment every other week. It helped rebalance all the hormones and I’d get about 3 good days before it all kicked off again. I kept getting told “oh it’ll pass by 12 weeks” then 16 weeks, then 18 weeks. Eventually they admitted that I had hyperemesis gravidarum or EXTREME morning sickness. It lasted right up til the end of my 40 weeks and 2 days. Good intentioned advice such as “you’ll have a healthy baby because being sick is a good sign your hormone levels are really high” did nothing to make me feel any better. I often found myself thinking “well, I’ll trade places with you and then we’ll see if you still think it’s good being this sick!”
I ended up being referred to a consultant obstetrician for the sickness and due to the fact that I had contracted malaria 5 times in the past. About a week before we were due to fly to South Africa we had to come to the painful decision that because the safari park was in a malaria hotspot, and, if I got it again I could end up with a stillborn child, and also because I was too sick to travel, that we would have to cancel that long awaited trip. I was so heartbroken as we had wanted to do such a trip since getting married and we had booked it and thought we’d get one last big holiday just the two of us before any children came along if God did bless us with any. I know there is a reason why God brought our baby into being at the moment He did and I know there’s a reason he made me so sick as to not be able to go on the trip at that time, but I must admit I did feel quite angry and upset, especially a the time rolled round when we should be boarding our flight and instead of jetting off across the world(I LOVE to travel)we were heading to Yorkshire to stay with family……the dreary winter weather is no competition for warmth and sunshine!
If the sickness was all that happened to me, it’d be enough, but I developed symphysis pubis disorder and ended up on crutches. It bothered me to walk from my front door to the car, which is a very short distance indeed! I also had placenta praevia, which thankfully around 36 weeks righted itself enough that it was no longer a real danger. And on top of that I ended up with a heart condition which started around 25 weeks called supraventricular tachycardia. My heart would race I’d feel dizzy and then faint. It was the scariest thing ever. We ended up in hospital quite a few times with it and I almost had an emergency c-section at 31 weeks as my baby’s heart rate dropped during one of my episodes, and my consultant wanted to end the pregnancy at 38 weeks. I wasn’t allowed any medication for it as it would have slowed the baby’s heart rate down too much so near the end.
Through all this I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster. Often I felt no love for thing being growing inside of me that was causing such trouble, then I’d feel guilty for not feeling love. I went through fits of being angry with God wanting to know why He’d allowed me to go through such a horrible ordeal when all I wanted to do was enjoy being pregnant like my other friends who were all due 4 weeks either side of me. God gave me the grace to get through to the end, He helped me to start to bond with my child before birth and to look forward to that first cuddle with great excitement despite all the troubles and ill health. He has also blessed me with a wonderful husband who encouraged me, cared for me, cared for the house and everything else so I could rest. He’s given me a wonderful family who helped out practically as well. So in the midst of one of the greatest trials of my life, He opened my eyes to the blessings around me, and He used the time and the troubles to teach me lessons I otherwise would’ve been too busy to learn. I never wish to go through another 9 months like it, but it has shaped me and taught me so much and for that I am thankful. As a selfish human being I would have loved to have had an easy path, and, yes, often I was jealous of my friends who were able to carry on as normal throughout their pregnancies and go out for a meal, go out walking etc etc, but God met me in the valley and it was in that valley that He chose to bless me and teach me, so for that I must be forever grateful. My road through pregnancy reminds me of the lyrics of a Third Day song called Mountain of God which sums me and my experience up perfectly:
Thought that I was all alone Broken and afraid But You were there with me Yes, You were there with me
And I didn’t even know That I had lost my way But You were there with me Yes, You were there with me
‘Til You opened up my eyes I never knew That I couldn’t ever make it Without You
Even though the journey’s long And I know the road is hard Well, the One who’s gone before me He will help me carry on After all that I’ve been through Now I realize the truth That I must go through the valley To stand upon the mountain of God
As I travel on the road That You have lead me down You are here with me Yes, You are here with me I have need for nothing more Oh, now that I have found That You are here with me Yes, You are here with me
I confess from time to time I lose my way But You are always there To bring me back again
Sometimes I think of where it is I’ve come from And the things I’ve left behind But of all I’ve had, what I possessed Nothing can quite compare With what’s in front of me With what’s in front of me
Is there anypne else out there who’s gone through a similar pregnancy? Or is there anyone going through such an ordeal currently and needs some encouragement? Please let me know.