What Goes Down Must Come Up (HG Awareness Month)

Several posts back I told the world that my only resolution for 2019 was to simply survive. Even just surviving felt like an impossible task at the beginning of the year because I was so miserably sick.

It was too early to divulge the details back then, but now I can share that we will be adding another one of THESE to our family:

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I’m beyond thrilled for our baby BOY to arrive in July! We are ecstatic and giddy and grateful, but getting him here has not been easy.

My pregnancies are beyond awful. It’s not just morning sickness either. I am part of the lucky 1% of pregnant women who suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG for short). It is HG Awareness Month, by the way, so now felt like an appropriate time to write this post. In case you’re like me and don’t speak medical, Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is the term for the following:

-SEVERE (and constant) nausea and vomiting

-dehydration

-loss of 5-10% of body weight

-low blood pressure

-electrolyte imbalance

-paralyzing fatigue and dizziness

There were days in the beginning when I couldn’t even get out of bed because my body had entirely shut down. I puked so much throughout the day that eventually only bile came up (I’ve heard horror stories about HG sufferers who literally break ribs from puking so forcefully). I was so dehydrated that IV therapy at the hospital was my only hope for relief. And the nausea…..oh, it was relentless for the first 18 weeks!  

I learned a simple yet profound lesson that all who suffer with HG come to learn quickly:  WHAT GOES DOWN, MUST COME UP.

What little I could eat inevitably came back up, and I spent more time with my toilet than I did my husband. As a side note, I’ll never drink lemonade again. It was pure agony barfing that up…the acid nearly burned my throat off. I’ll spare you the details of other horrible things to regurgitate.

Before I go on, I just have to say that I know there are women who would give anything just to have the struggle at all. I ache for you. I see you. Those of you I know on a personal level, please know that I am praying for you and for miracles to come your way.

I also know that unlike most trials this particular one has a timeline, a clear expiration date. At the end of this difficult pregnancy and draining battle with HG, I will hold in my arms a piece of heaven. I’m nearly 30 weeks now and feeling significantly better than I did, but rewind 10 weeks ago and I was helplessly seeking the “lesson” in all of my suffering (besides NEVER EVER DRINK LEMONADE WHILE PREGNANT).  

I remember falling to my knees one particularly miserable night months ago and praying, “Heavenly Father, I know I’m supposed to learn something from all of this, but what?”

It occurred to me in that moment that maybe this trial wasn’t really about me at all.  

Maybe you’re not supposed to learn anything about yourself. Maybe you’re supposed to learn something about those you love—and those who love you back.

I began thinking about all of the people who put their lives on hold to make mine a little bit easier.

My mother-in-law and father-in-law who took Milo on adventures every Tuesday and Thursday.

Friends (two of whom had also suffered from HG) who sent kind notes and offered words of encouragement.

My husband who stepped up and took on so many added responsibilities even though he already had so much on his plate.  

My siblings and my dad who helped out with Milo, brought me food when I could think of something tolerable to eat, and put up with some pretty dramatic “poor-me” moments 🙂    

And of course my angel mother who basically did everything for me. She did my laundry, bathed Milo each day, and made sure we were fed. In fact, I stayed with my parents for 3 weeks during the worst of it all, during which my mom dropped everything already going on in her life to take care of us.

I have learned SO MUCH about sacrificial love throughout this pregnancy. I have learned so much about discipleship-in-action from those closest to me.

I have also learned (and am still learning) a lesson you can never learn enough–that Christ is aware of me and understands perfectly what I am going through. He is the only man who can fully understand the full scope of pregnancy challenges, including the additional misery of HG. I am so acutely grateful for an infinitely compassionate Savior whose atoning sacrifice includes anything and everything you and I will ever face. I’m grateful to know that Heavenly Father has a plan. We have to trust that His plan and the adversity we face will always be for our good–no matter what.          

I can’t wait to hold my baby boy in my arms and know that all of this was without a doubt worth it. Until baby boy gets here, I’ll just keep revisiting this picture of his cute face from the 20-week ultrasound: