I hadn’t been feeling well, I thought I had a kidney infection so after putting it off and eventually leaving work because I was sick I finally made myself a doctors appointment. I had to give him a urine sample, as you do for kidney infections, and about 30 seconds later he turned around to me and said “you don’t have a kidney infection, but you are pregnant” well I honestly thought my heart was going to fall out of my arse, I had to get him to repeat himself because I genuinely couldn’t believe the words that came out of his mouth.
I told Adam over the phone between sobs and sniffling, looking back now I don’t know why I was upset, I think it’s because I was afraid of something bad happening to a baby I never even knew I was having!
Being pregnant was awful from the start, before we even got a chance to be excited about the prospect of having a baby we were told to go straight to the emergency room because I was having pains, there I was put on antibiotics, and they scheduled a scan in the early pregnancy unit but the doctor didn’t seem optimistic about the baby’s chances.
We went home and didn’t know how we should be feeling, we thought maybe it was all going to be over before it even began. Do we get excited? Do we tell our parents? What the fuck are you supposed to do when you’re pretty sure everything is going to go to shit?
Adam was an absolute rock, he was online ordering a changing bag as soon as we got home and he even got me the SpiderWoman comic where she’s pregnant on the cover, he promised everything would be alright but I could see by his face he was just as scared as I was.
We decided to tell our mams, that’s what people do when they’re scared, right? They go to their mothers? Our mams were so supportive and reassuring but they hadn’t seen the look on the doctors face.
Just a little blob
The next morning we had an appointment in the early pregnancy unit, the waiting room was full of couples older than us,we must have been a distraction from their own issues because we got a lot of stares, but the room was tense and silent.
After what felt like an eternity my name was finally called, I was brought into a room by myself and asked the usual questions, then we were brought to the ultrasound room, I was so nervous, I think I held my breath the entire time, it might also have been because internal ultrasounds are no fun!
Finally, there on the screen, barely visible was this tiny little bean shaped shadow. A bit small, the tech said, but definitely there! They booked another scan for 3 weeks later, and anyone who’s been pregnant or who has waited for a baby would tell you that each week feels like a month.
It’s a Boy!
In Ireland, not all hospitals offer anomaly scans, so we booked a private scan to check everything was going okay and to find out the babys gender. At 20 weeks pregnant I dragged myself to the ultrasound clinic, we were convinced we were having a baby girl, everyone had been telling me “oh all that morning sickness means its a girl”, all the old wives tales (absolute bullshit) were wrong because before the technician even asked us if we wanted to know what we were having Oscars bits were the first thing on the screen. absolutely no denying that he was a boy! The scan was amazing and spurred me through the toughest days of my pregnancy, we got to see him moving around, rubbing his face and we even saw that he had my chin!
Shove your ginger and your crackers up your arse
Before we even got to the 12 week scan the fun began, I had hyperemesis gravidarum, which is like ten times worse than the average “morning sickness”. It was the hardest thing I had ever gone through and there were days where I wished I wasn’t pregnant, that kills me now that I’ve had Oscar. I was sure the baby wasn’t getting what it needed because I couldn’t even keep down water, but he was like a little leech, taking whatever reserves I had and thriving! I was admitted to hospital a couple of times because my keytones were high and I was at risk of liver damage – hyperemesis is no joke. I was given doses on anti-emetics (an injection into the arse, so sore!) and a prescription for anti-vertigo medication to try curb the nausea but they didn’t work. I puked on average 5/6 times a day, even now I can’t eat certain foods without feeling like I’m going to throw up. Although well meaning the advice most people gave me was accepted through gritted teeth.
“You should try ginger!”
“Dry crackers will do the trick!”
“Oh I had morning sickness too, puked for like 2 weeks”
“It will go away once you’re 12 (16/20?) weeks pregnant”
I ate crackers til my mouth was as dry as Ghandi’s flip flop, I put ginger in everything, I didn’t have morning sickness, I was still puking in labour.
Towards the end of my pregnancy, just as I was past puking all the time, things got tough again. My tiny 5 foot nothing frame was buckling under the weight of my bump, my stomach muscles split down the middle and I had to go to physiotherapy to try ease the pain. I walked around like the tin man, held together with back braces and hip supports. I was waking up 5/6 times a night to pee, which meant Adam had to wake up too to lift me off the bed. After missing 6 months of work due to the hyperemesis I returned to work to try earn some much needed money only to have to start maternity leave a month early because I couldn’t walk and spent most of my time in the bathroom.
Looking back on being pregnant I miss seeing Oscar move about, I miss always having him close and I wish I had enjoyed my pregnancy more but to be honest, knowing that hyperemesis gravidarium is likely to reoccur I am very hesitant to ever get pregnant again despite how much I love being a mother and always wanted more than one child I don’t think I want to miss out on 9 months of Oscars life because I’m too sick to care for him.