My limp body made its way to the bathroom nearly seconds before I vomited everywhere. It was barely morning when I decided to take another pregnancy test. Our window shades were slightly open, allowing just enough moonlight to create a path to where I was. I walked over to the bed, test in hand, and stared at the man who had always put up with my craziness. He was aware that I had bolted for the toilet but didn’t think twice about why. I closed my eyes and raised the test, hoping to see a result that would explain why my body was acting out. My eyes went from squinting to fully adjusted with the darkness. A soft whisper entered the room…
My initial reaction almost completely took control, wanting to shout far beyond the balcony into a crowd of strangers. Instead, I rolled back into bed with full acceptance of the nausea that seemed to stick around for days. My eyes suddenly became heavy, but my mind was pressing on the gas with no stop sign in sight. As much as I wanted to remain thankful that my body gave us another chance, the anxious thoughts quickly returned and were set to ruin the rest of our vacation. The activities we had planned were no longer considered, as I remained in bed with no desire to move, to eat, or to sleep. My body couldn’t decide whether to bundle under the covers, or to strip completely before the sweat stained my clothes. The slightest movement jumpstarted the nausea, which helped me aim toward not moving until our vacation stay was over.
Sharing the news with my boyfriend was filled with more excitement than you could imagine. We didn’t realize how soon we would relive the memory of seeing our very first positive… but we were convinced that this outcome would be one to reminisce about. I wanted to make sure everything was done correctly. I feared that the smallest mistake would end in another procedure, and no choice but to try again. Knowing that stress related issues could also complicate the pregnancy, it was a huge challenge trying not to let my anxiety spread its fame. If I didn’t eat or drink enough during the day I would tell myself I’m hurting the baby. But when the voice inside my head was reminded about trying to remain calm, I also told myself I’m hurting the baby. It was a constant battle in which I played both sides, one that would never end. No forfeit, no winner.
I became obsessed with knowing that as each day flew by, my pregnancy still remained normal. As each symptom made its presence, a phone call was made to the office in which I had all my prenatal visits. How was I expected to know what was considered “common”? I didn’t last more than six weeks in my first pregnancy, much of which I barely felt nauseous. I couldn’t help but question my body when it was introducing me to something new. The stretching, pulling, and stabbing pains were feelings that took turns exploring my body. While they forced me to stay in bed all day, I still smiled… I smiled because my baby was here to stay. My baby was reminding me that my belly was now a home.
My anxiety spoke loud and clear. I had to protect what was mine, and the smallest detail would create a mental game that didn’t like to lose. I had to find the strength to make it through this pregnancy without having to worry about my mental health too.
Impossible? No. Challenging… yes.