I went to yoga last week for the first time in three months. For a long time, yoga was one of my favorite ways to de-stress, to recharge, and to feel generally happier about life. I quit doing yoga in November after I was diagnosed with hyperemesisgravidarum, a rare complication in pregnancy that causes constant nausea and uncontrollable vomiting all day, every day, that usually lasts well beyond the first trimester and sometimes through the entire pregnancy.
I didn’t quit yoga because I wanted to. I quit yoga because I could barely make it out of bed. I could hardly keep any food down, I frequently vomited blood, I had to go to the hospital for IV rehydration. I was put on medication typically prescribed to chemo patients to prevent some of the vomiting. The medication meant that on most days, I vomited 3-5 times instead of 8-10 times. I lost weight. I became a shell of the person I used to be. I also closed down my Etsy shop, missed a lot of work, and generally felt miserable and unhappy about not being able to live my life normally. I worried about harming the baby inside of me. I felt frustrated and out of control of my life. I was often so weak and depleted that I couldn’t even stand up in the shower or walk up and down the half flight of stairs in my house.
In spite of my initial problems and some additional complications that I won't detail here, this baby has managed to keep on fighting. After many tears, and sick days, and hospital visits, I’ve made it through the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. It feels like a miracle to have made it halfway through. The nausea and vomiting have begun to subside a little, and I am slowly but surely beginning to get my life back. I am still sick much of the time, but I have a little more energy now that there are good days mixed in with the bad ones.
This experience has made me painfully aware of how little control we actually have over our lives sometimes. It’s reminded me of how much I dislike having to depend on anyone else. But it’s also taught me that it’s perfectly OK to depend on others when I simply cannot do things for myself. It’s caused me to see my husband in a new way. He is so selfless, and kind, and helpful. He is going to make a wonderful father.
For some weird reason, I thought that going to yoga last week would help me feel magically better. To the contrary, it initially made me feel frustrated by how weak my body has become. I feel like I’ve lost three months of my life. I left feeling defeated instead of recharged. I went for a second time today and tried hard to channel some positive energy that I so desperately need. I spent the first half of the class feeling frustrated and the second half feeling grateful. I am grateful that I am finally well enough to exercise. I feel extremely grateful that my condition is a temporary one. I am so grateful for the little fighter inside of me, for his kicks that I'm now feeling on a daily basis. I’m infinitely grateful for my husband and for the family that we will have. The last several months have been truly challenging. I know it will all be worth it once we finally get to meet this tiny human.
**Sorry for the very personal nature of this post. It's something in my life that I wanted to document. It will be nice to look back on it someday as only a memory, rather than my everyday reality. I've also found a lot of comfort in reading other people's blogs about pregnancy complications and how they were able to push through.
Click here for more information about the condition.