Romper's Trying project follows five women with very different stories through a year of trying to conceive. Where discussions about fertility often focus on the end goal, they'll document what it's like emotionally, physically, and spiritually before you get there — the anxiety, the hope, the ovulation kits, the tests. How do you function when getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term isn't a given? Read on for one woman's answer to that question.
Jessie has been married for three years and trying to conceive for one year. This is the eleventh installment of her Trying diary. You can read the previous entry here.
“Relax. Take a deep breath. You’re fine.” My husband said (read: yelled) while I bent over the toilet in our master bathroom. I’m sorry to wake you from your restful slumber, husband, but I am not fine, and I literally CANNOT relax. The fun part about intense morning sickness is you don’t get to choose when it happens, and you don’t get to just take a deep breath and drink some water while you wish it away. Inevitably, all of that nastiness will come up whether you’re ready for it or not. I washed my face, rinsed out my just recently brushed mouth, and quipped, “I’m sorry to wake you, but let me explain how pregnancy works…”
Needless to say, it didn’t go well. Why, good morning, hormonal rage!
I promise you that I am thrilled to be pregnant, we had tried, and cried, and prayed for years for this very thing, and I remember being jealous (yes, really!) hearing about other women’s morning sickness. But something that I’ve realized lately as the nausea and vomiting follows me into the second trimester is that I am 1,000 percent allowed to feel like this is terrible. I’ve missed full work days curled up in the fetal position next to a trashcan, I’ve vomited so hard that I have actually peed in my pajamas, and I have thrown up into my own hands.
Pregnancy is beautiful, and pregnancy is disgusting, and I’m allowed to feel beyond grateful and fortunate while also feeling like an absolute miserable wreck that doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing.
I spent a lot of time praying to God while hunched over sinks, toilets, and garbage bins.
Due to a really super fun insurance debacle, we lost our much loved OB of the past year that had been by our side through all of our highs and lows. We had seen our doctor for our infertility treatments, and even referred him to our closest friends for their pregnancies. We had his personal cell saved in our phones, and his nurses were there, responding immediately with medical advice and words of comfort for any hiccup we encountered, including the spotting and cramping that had us on high alert and feeling vulnerable. We learned just before we became pregnant that he only delivers at a hospital that our insurance company had recently dropped its contract with. This meant that not only were we parting ways with our trusted medical team at the most critical time in our journey, but now, at 9 weeks pregnant, and after going back and forth with insurance, we had to scramble to find a new doctor for this incredibly personal experience. Every recommendation that we received from the Good Doctor was fully booked for August deliveries.
After many panicked phone calls, one of our recommendations had exactly one spot left for an August baby. Our baby. We took the first appointment available, but it was the in between part where my upchuck reflex picked up some serious steam. In between doctors felt like a really unsafe place to be, and there were many anxiety-filled nights for a patient that requires a ton of reassurance. What did all of this sickness mean for my baby? The spotting had stopped after our last ultrasound, but the cramping had remained. My close friends and partner bore the brunt of it, and I spent a lot of time praying to God while hunched over sinks, toilets, and garbage bins. Our next appointment felt light-years away, but by the time it arrived, I was mostly just concerned about the repercussions of the stomach issues from the night before revealing themselves to the new doc before getting to actually talk about them.
It felt like we were squandering our opportunities to be happy and bask in the joy of our very own miracle.
Our first trimester felt like a rollercoaster of emotion, nausea and all. We were scared to talk about it, for fear that this simple act would somehow make it all go away. It seemed impossible that we could be pregnant. How did we become so fortunate as to have this occur? There are so many couples just like us that have yet to ever experience this, and they might not ever get to. It felt like we were squandering our opportunities to be happy and bask in the joy of our very own miracle.
Going in to our second trimester felt like an entirely different experience than finding out that we were pregnant. The nausea was still definitely making its presence known, but with the added bonus of reassurance. All of the excitement that I had expected us to feel weeks ago when seeing those two lines finally arrived while seeing our baby’s healthy, growing body, waving it’s tiny little arms at us on the monitor as if saying, “It’s OK, Mom and Dad, here I am!!”
Relief was awash as tears welled in our eyes. There you are, sweet baby, and we are so incredibly overjoyed and excited to be your parents. Now then, which way is the restroom?