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Sad Sack

Sad Sack

Mr. Right-Click brought me a copy of Us magazine yesterday to peruse during the 30 or so hours earlier this week in which I did not get out of bed except to vomit or to attempt not to vomit by sitting in the shower. He added it to the pile of offerings that is slowly accumulating on my bedside table: a bag full of like 25 Cadbury creme eggs, a two pound box of See’s Candy from Valentine’s Day, three or four water bottles with straws in them, assorted flavors of Gatorade, and the occasional (hopeful) bowl of pretzels or plate of cheese slices.

I don’t always (ever) say it, but Mr. Right-Click is great husband to me. He always takes care of me, even when I don’t deserve it. Lately, he has had to up his game a few notches to pick up the sizable slack I’ve left behind with the running of the household. He has kept Mini eating (and even eating vegetables! sometimes) and clothed, cleaned up after him and kept the kitchen spotless for the past two weeks, all the while being careful to keep offensive smells out of my general vicinity.

But I know I am a sad sack. It’s patently obvious: I look like the walking dead. But even without being able to recognize that fact myself, there’s the pile of gifts on my bedside table, which stand in for Mr. Right-Click’s worry and wishing that he could make this all go away. I know he buys me the candy because one day he hopes to come home and find me working my way through the Cadbury Eggs, because that will mean I am better and we can all go back to normal. And if you know me at all, you know that the fact that the Cadbury eggs haven’t been touched is bad news, because my hands would be covered in chocolate and fondant filling the second I felt there was an even remote chance of being able to keep them down.


The Us magazine was notable, because even if usually I’m not that into reading about celebrity gossip, I found it uncharacteristically enjoyable to read this time. I guess when your brain functioning is compromised, and you have a burning desire to escape reality, there is nothing quite like the Us magazine. (And just like that a newfound understanding of the unbelievable money involved in the paparazzi industry in the United States clicks into place — now I get it.)

I learned from Us Magazine that Kate Hudson (who is now about five months pregnant) is having a “difficult pregnancy” in that the first few months she was so sick that she was only able to gain one pound. I found this mention of morning sickness interesting because it is just so unusual. Usually we don’t hear about celebrities being pregnant until they are at least past the first trimester, and though I understand taking that precaution it is frustrating from a pregnant lady’s perspective because it makes pregnancy look so goddamn fucking easy. It’s always like, oh! look Angelina and Brad are expecting twins, and then like three months later the twins are born, and Angelina’s already skinny again, almost as if the pregnancy itself was just a cameo she did as a favor for a friend.

Celebrities certainly shouldn’t be expected to give us the details of their personal lives, but I wish they would at least give it a rest with the whole making-pregnancy-look-easy bullshit. It’s really a disservice to the rest of us, who find ourselves pregnant and miserable, and are encouraged by this kind of thinking that suggests if you hate your pregnancy you will be a horrible mother, or that you are just a big baby who can’t cope. Probably there are women out there who love being pregnant, who think it’s a magical time — but I don’t know any of them personally. And if I met one of them today I’d have a hard time not junk-punching them, frankly.

Becoming Mini’s mother was one of the best things that ever happened to me. But when I was pregnant with him I wanted to die. Since I’ve done this before, I know that feeling like I want to die from the constant nausea is normal. I know that it doesn’t mean anything about what kind of mother I will be to this kid, just like it didn’t mean anything with Mini. But just once I’d like somebody else to say that, too, instead of perpetuating the myth that this is all so easy and magical, and anyone who says anything else is a sad sack who isn’t fit to be a parent. It’s just not true.

Comments (26)

  1. Feb 22, 2011

    decidedly NOT easy, but i would challenge you and say it is a bit magical.

  2. Feb 22, 2011

    Oh, man, this is totally my pregnancy right now too. So sick, all the time. I’m 11 weeks now and I feel like once or twice in the past day or two that food actually tasted normal. Also, I haven’t thrown up in a few days. I hope both of us are nearing the end of this! Hang in there!

    (And I felt like a terrible mother before my twins were born, too, because I was so terrified of caring for 2 babies. Man, we are way to hard on ourselves. I thought if I wasn’t EXCITED ALL THE TIME, that I didn’t deserve them. I guess that’s the blessing of the 2nd (or 3rd etc) baby– we are so much more confident…)

  3. drhoctor2
    Feb 22, 2011

    You poor thing. You have my every sympathy. I can remember feeling so sick that I doubted I was pregnant because surely, a natural good thing like pregnancy would never make a person feel that sick.
    I get lucky and the nausea fades out for me as an every minute thing after the first 8 weeks or so..hoping you will get that result yourself.
    I love to be pregnant. sorry !! Am THAT ONE.

  4. drhoctor2
    Feb 22, 2011

    Also, your attitude toward pregnancy has no bearing on your mothering skills. I hope nobody is telling you any such thing. Your body is flooded with hormones…that is why you don’t feel good..it has nothing to do with the “REAL” you. I think you are coping very well , you are posting and hanging out with Mini and appreciating your husband so it sounds good from here.

  5. drhoctor2
    Feb 22, 2011

    Oh, my you too with the terrible nausea ? You have my every other sympathy. You are all the best moms ever …we all are, really. try not to doubt yourselves …

  6. Feb 22, 2011

    Not enjoying a chemotherapy-like experience doesn’t make you a bad person, a bad mother, or a bad anything.

    I can sort of understand why celebrities don’t talk about this stuff though. Imagine doing so and having the entire universe say, “Yeah, I know, I threw up twice and it was awful!” or “Have you tried crackers?” They’d end up killing somebody, and only those of us from the HG club would understand.

  7. Feb 22, 2011

    Yeah, while I get that some people love pregnancy and feel great, I think that experience may be in the minority and more people need to ‘fess up about that. The thing that kills me is that when they talk about movie stars being so sick they can’t function, it is treated like such an abnormal thing and gets press yet when it happens to us “normal” people, it is hard to get anyone to care. All pregnancy isn’t sitcom-style where you get sick on your boss’ shoes once, have a laugh and move on to be glowing and choosing travel systems.

    As many have said, sucking at being pregnant has no reflection on your ability to mother. Honestly, I was so grateful to not be throwing up 24/7 that the idea of baby blues never even entered my head. Not to “Pollyanna” it here, but that is the silver lining. All the rest just seems so inconsequential when you are suddenly “healthy” and enjoying a baby.

    You will be eating those Cadbury eggs before you know it 🙂

  8. Nic
    Feb 22, 2011

    Oh you poor thing. I know someone else who struggles/d with HG and it just sounds like hell. I wish there was something that could be done or said to make things better. I wish this were easier for you.

  9. Feb 23, 2011

    I am SO SORRY you are going through this! I remember being pregnant with my first and suffering the whole time with all the nausea and vomiting — I lost 35 pounds in the first trimester. I was hanging on by a thread, but I didn’t really know it at the time. I was drifting, numb — just coping, but barely. And in retrospect, I see that I was so so so depressed. The second pregnancy was a little easier on me, and on top of that, I think I was a little bit better prepared for the horrors of it. (So: miserable, but maybe not so depressed.)

    Being pregnant sucks. I’m with you 1000% on that. Good thing the end result (babies!) is so nice, right?

    Hang in there!

  10. scantee
    Feb 23, 2011

    OT: Have you seen the five page ad for Dooce in the NYTime Magazine. How in god’s name does that count as anything even approaching journalism?

  11. Feb 23, 2011

    Maybe magical in the sense that a baby gets made out of it. But not in the “magical experience” sense.

  12. Feb 23, 2011

    I’m totally jealous of you at 11 weeks. That sounds like a dream at this point! Hang in there.

  13. Feb 23, 2011

    Boo! Sucker punch you pregnancy lover.

  14. Feb 23, 2011

    That’s true, but the overall effect is that they make it seem like pregnancy is a breeze. This pisses me off.

  15. Feb 23, 2011

    That’s true — I remember when I had Mini the first several weeks were just about me being so happy not to be pregnant anymore. It definitely takes the edge off that transition.

    But you’re right: nobody really cares about you if you have HG. I mean, not that I expect them to be like checking in with me constantly or anything, but you know, my parents act as if it’s just like I have vomited once or twice or something, no big deal. It’s annoying.

  16. Feb 23, 2011

    Thanks. 🙂

  17. Feb 23, 2011

    Yeah, this time I know it is worth it. I really wasn’t convinced of that the first time.

  18. Feb 23, 2011

    Yes, but I’d argue it doesn’t make them look that great. The quotes from Jon Armstrong are vintage douchebag. I cannot imagine those will play well.

  19. Feb 23, 2011

    I lost so much weight during my last pregnancy that, as soon as I sopped puking all the time and rediscovered the joys of Ben and Jerry’s, my OB told me “I’ve NEVER said this to a patient before, and I’ll probably never say it again, but you have my permission to eat all of the Ben and Jerry’s you want.” It was the greatest thing anyone has ever said to me.

    On a related note, forgive me if this has been mentioned already, but have you trued Unisom yet? It saved me more times than I can count.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon…

  20. Feb 23, 2011

    I was maybe 92% sure the second time around. I’m not a huge fan of the newborn phase, either. (Luckily my second actually LIKED sleeping. The first, who is five now, is still unconvinced on the merits of shut-eye.)

    You know what ALSO sucks about having a hard pregnancy? Working in an office with two pregnant coworkers who just breezed straight through their pregnancies and looked at me like I was a foreign body when I suggested that pregnancy was difficult. “I think it’s in my genes,” one said. “I haven’t been sick at all.”

    Ah, well. Then we can’t really….share this common experience.

    It’s so alienating!

  21. Feb 23, 2011

    I was lucky to avoid all the horrors of “morning” sickness, but i still hated pregnancy. That doesn’t mean anything about my love for my kid though, just like it doesn’t mean anything about ANYONE’S feelings for their kid if they think the alien incubation stage is effed up and unpleasant.

    I hope you feel better-ish soon (selfishly, I hope you’re feeling better by March 19th!).

  22. Feb 23, 2011

    Good genes, eh? That deserves a sucker punch.

    The newborn stage is tough, too, but I think that it’s still easier for me than this particular 3 month phase. Because at least I can pass off some of the duty to my husband et al with the newborn, though the breastfeeding does make that tricky in the initial stages.

  23. Feb 23, 2011

    I’ve been using benadryl off and on, and initially it was actually working better than Zofran. Now, it’s kind of touch and go — sometimes it will work, others not.

    I don’t even think I’m losing weight. My body is immune to such things. I will probably have gained weight when I got in there next — with Mini I remember he kept getting bigger despite me not eating.

  24. Feb 23, 2011

    Yeah, it’s not like the rest of it is a walk in the park, it’s just comparatively for me this is the worst. I also lucked out with Mini by having him go into labor at 37 weeks (full term). So I missed out on some of the worst time in the 3rd trimester.

    And I will be there on March 19th, no matter what. It’s very rare that I absolutely cannot get out of bed — I’ve had a few days like that but usually it’s somewhere in between.

  25. Feb 23, 2011

    Anna, I find myself just wanting to lend a hand. It sounds like Mr. Right Click is right on it, keeping Mini and the household going and all. If we lived near we’d want to bring over some food that doesn’t make you barf. We are thinking of you!

  26. Carla Hinkle
    Feb 24, 2011

    You poor, poor thing. I think anyone who has ever been pregnant and felt crappy, let alone HG, will have nothing but total sympathy for you. Which I think would be lots of people. Those who aren’t have probably never been pregnant. And not to be all “you just don’t understand” to the men and non-childbearing women out there, but if you haven’t been there I just don’t think you can understand how it feels to feel like you’re going to die, no, REALLY die, every waking second for months on end when you are embarked on something so pedestrian as pregnancy. I didn’t have HG but I felt AWFUL for 4 months and I will never, ever forget it or fail to sympathize with a sick pregnant woman BECAUSE IT IS HORRIBLE.

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