(Read Part 1 Here)
“Wash—blaaaaaa-cough cough-CLOTH.” I manage to get out between heaves.
Was it 2 yet? Had I kept my meds down long enough for them to be effective?
Shivering, sweating, shaking, voiding everything from my body, it was just another day. It could have as easily been 2pm as 2am. The only way I knew what time it was depended on Sam’s location. If he was home it was the evening. If he was gone it was the day.
Slap! The cold washcloth hits my back as I grasp the trash can in front of me.
“Can I get you anything?”, says a discouraged and sleepy Sam.
Shit, I woke him up again. I need anything to make me stop vomiting, shaking, dry heaving.
“Can you load something and start the bath?” I ask in between gags, gasps, gurgles.
An hour later, body warmed and calmed, the dry heaving over, the shaking subsiding, it is time for meds round two.
“You should really try to eat something. You haven’t kept food down in at least 12 hours or so.”
Fine. I attempt some saltines and ginger ale. It’s a crap shoot. Sam’s attempt to make sure he doesn’t find me passed out on the floor when he gets home for lunch.
I had gone in a family medical leave of absence a few days before. There was no point. I could barely get out of bed by myself and had long ago run through my time off.
Was it Lyme? Babesia? Bartonella? Morning sickness? Who the hell knew.
I began an epic few months of seeking distraction from my body and a connection to my baby. I would lay motionless for hours, trying hypnosis, meditation, acupressure, massage, yoga, meds. Name it and I tried it, desperate to carry this pregnancy to term.
Early on, I read that morning sickness had been linked (in one study) to women who had disease or toxicity in their body that could harm their fetus. The researches surmised that the morning sickness was the body’s way of ridding itself of anything harmful to the baby. As unconfirmed as it was, I held onto this idea in my moments of deepest despair and frustration, praying that this was the thing protecting her from this insidious disease. (I was watching my sister begin PICC line antibiotic treatment for her own disease).
Each day was a battle to get down at least 1/2 of my necessary medicine and as many calories as possible. After I threw up the one thing I could eat from each restaurant in our incredibly small town, this became even more difficult.
Now, there were some good days; almost 3 weeks worth of days I was able to make it out of the house, to sit outside, or see a friend or sibling. Those days were magic. There were even 4 days were I attempted to start the school year before suffering an epic crash that started the kidney stone gauntlet!!!!
All in all, over my 9th month of pregnancy I passed almost 20 kidney stones (7 in one week). For the stone the size of a pinky nail, I had to go to the hospital to get IVs. I hadn’t kept fluids down in more than 24 hours from the pain.
As my due date drew closer, I got more and more excited. I expected her every day! The Braxton hicks started regularly at week 36 and continued every day until I delivered. My stamina was quickly wearing out.
I was so thankful for this pregnancy but had never been more exhausted and sick in my life.
Let the labor dance began! Dance I did. Every day I danced. I danced to The Roots (favorite); I danced to The Avett Brothers; I danced to old school hip hop! Come on baby!!! Famished, I would only make it for a minute or two at a time, collapsing happy for a stronger a contraction and literally willing her here with every fiber of my being, hoping desperately I would not be sick once she was born.
I stayed on antibiotics throughout the course of the pregnancy in hopes of keeping the Lyme from passing to Arden. I was so sick I wasn’t thinking clearly. But we made it we made it to due date and then we made it pass the due date.
I was beyond ready (as any 41 week pregnant woman can attest to).