With my first child, I was working retail and wretchedly sick the first trimester, much to the regret of my unsympathetic employers—so much so that there words were exchanged that could have constituted classic lawsuit material. Instead I called them up on my birthday and told them I wouldn’t be coming in.
‘You mean,’ the assistant manager asked, ‘you’re putting in your two weeks?’
‘No,’ I replied. ‘I mean I won’t be coming in again—ever.’
Happy Birthday to me.
So, this pregnancy, I expected to be ill. I expected to feel a little green and do a little barfing here and there. It comes with the territory, right? I stocked up on ginger beer and bland, high-protein pasta.
My hormones laughed at my preparations and brought me retching and gasping to my knees.
I had 24-hour, writhing, bed-ridden illness. I could not move without feeling sick and couldn’t smell anything without having to dash wildly for the nearest dark bathroom. I love dark bathrooms with loud fans—keeps the grisliness to a minimum and the sounds of my gasping muffled enough for those in the general vicinity.
I was sick with the last one, but this was unreal. I finally called my doctor, whimpering and begging for relief. They put me on the same anti-nausea medication given to people undergoing chemotherapy—they brought in the big guns.
By week six, personal hygiene has flown the coop, I’m sleeping 10 hours at night and at least one during the day. I’m already rubber-banding my jeans, because I can’t bear to have anything remotely constricting around my squirming abdomen. For the most part, I change out of my sweats just long enough to take my daughter to and from preschool. I call the doctor, hoping they’ve got some other heavy artillery to get me through the morning sickness, because I don’t think I can take another six to eight weeks of this. They have me come in a week early for my first appointment.
In the examining room, the doctor takes that nifty probing wand, outfitted rather obscenely with latex and lube and gives me a sonogram.
‘Oh,’ she says, with a sharp inhalation of breath. ‘That’s what I thought, but I didn’t want to scare you.’
She turns the monitor towards me and maneuvers her wand around inside me to give me a clearer picture of what’s going on.
‘That’s why you’re so sick,’ she says. ‘You’ve got twins.’
I exhale an expletive and promptly burst into tears.
For further reading on how I got to this point:
Can I keep my figure if I have another?