Morning sickness is a wholly inaccurate term, occurring all day, every day, 24/7. Only sleep provides some relief, and then only until the moment you wake up. (Don’t even think about trying to fall back asleep, you’ll be running to the bathroom in five minutes. And again when you get to work, and again when you get home.)
I was so happily wrapped up in the process of getting pregnant that I did not spend much time thinking about what it would be like when it actually happened. I charted my cycle for months, taking my temperature every single morning before getting out of bed. My partner Mandi and I read through hundreds of anonymous donor profiles. We saved enough cash. And then all of a sudden I didn’t need that thermometer anymore.
For the first week after we found out about our little embryo (aka The Wink), I was really tired - I mean, so completely exhausted that I was napping on my office floor during lunch and going to sleep at 8 pm. Boring, but manageable. The next week, I met with the midwife for the first time, threw up and did not stop throwing up for a month.
I did not expect to have this problem. I have watched several colleagues breeze through their pregnancies with glowing skin, skinny legs and cute little bumps. That was sure to be me, happily anticipating my growing belly and future family filled with adorable children.
So this upchucking thing completely caught me off guard. I asked for advice from everyone I knew. Most people told me stories about how wonderful they felt during pregnancy and how sorry they were that they could not help me. Bitches.
I know what you’re thinking. Ginger ale, hot or iced ginger tea, candied ginger, vitamin B, red raspberry leaf, crackers, watermelon, jell-o, jell-o water, wrist bands with pressure points, eating before you lift your head off the pillow – all of these are great suggestions. None of them worked for me.
But then along came this wonderful thing called western medicine. Drugs. The anti-nausea medicine that would save my life. THANK YOU. The midwife said she would take it herself in a heartbeat. As someone who usually tries everything possible before taking medication, I am so grateful for this wonder drug which has allowed me to work, return phone calls, drink water, and keep those huge prenatal vitamins in my stomach. I still can’t eat most vegetables and cannot imagine ever consuming lettuce or potatoes again, but I can once again give hugs, drive all the way home without having to pull over, and laugh when something is funny.
After the midwife prescribed those amazing pills, we listened to the heartbeat. It took my breath away and I want to hear it again right now.
Because I have a family history of twins, some of my friends had been making comments about The Winks, plural. To put that taunting to rest, I asked the midwife, “There is just one heartbeat, right?”
So she moved the Doppler instrument and the heartbeat went away. She moved it to another spot. The heartbeat came back. Say what? Two heartbeats?
I scheduled an ultrasound and it was confirmed: Twins! “HOLY SHIT!” was the response of choice from family and friends. Well at least that explains the extreme morning sickness. Wow.
As the news sinks in, there are so many new questions, the most important of which is how the hell are two babies going to fit in there?! But like other questions about money and space and time, I’m sure that we’ll figure it out and everything will be fine.
In the meantime, Mandi has been unbelievable. She makes me endless amounts of mac and cheese. She goes to the grocery store every other day for fresh apricots and my favorite soy ice cream. She never complains about how I can’t cook anything or stay up past 9 pm. She says she owes me for life and sends me flowers at work. She was among the “Holy shit!” reactors when we first saw The Winks on the ultrasound monitor.
Now at the dawn of the second trimester, I am hopeful that I will soon be drug-free and eating vegetables again. After all, that farm box keeps on coming and I have a feeling The Winks could benefit from some organic veggies.