The Secret

For the past few weeks I’ve been living with a secret…
I’m pregnant.
I’m very sick.
For me, the two have always and will always go hand in hand.
Our IVF involved an arsenal of additional high tech help including huge doses of meds on an estrogen heavy protocol for poor responders, ICSI (inserting sperm into an egg), assisted hatching (cracking the eggs open a bit to help fertilization).
We got 13 eggs.
Five were mature.
Three became embryos.
Two were put back in my womb, the other arrested.
One implanted.
I am about to enter my third month of pregnancy.
We’re happy.
We’re scared.
We’re praying.
I’ve had enough miscarriages to know that the superstition about not saying anything until a certain point is just that, superstition. I’ve lost a baby when the pregnancy was still in that hush hush phase. And I lost one during that it’s safe to tell cause you’re over the hump phase.
I also know that the joy and sorrow in our own personal parenthood narrative has been made all the more meaningful by serving as witness to others.
So, in bearing witness I’m offering a glimpse at the other side of our rainbow.
We always knew that if we got pregnant I would suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum .
And, intellectually, we were ready. We had the OB get the paperwork for a home health aide on standby so that I could get my daily IVs, the zofran pump which administers the same anti nausea meds chemo patients use, ketone checks, nutritionist.
But I was unprepared for how guilty I’d feel emotionally when my toddler asks for mommy to play and I just can’t.
Or when I had to skip her little friend’s birthday party and send her with daddy instead.
Or when I couldn’t hug her because there were too many medical cords and too much machinery in the way.
We’ve explained that mommy is ok but a little sick and needs medicine. She’s started calling my Zofran pump mommy’s “time for your check up bag”.

What we don’t let her see are the needles and daily shots.
The IV needle.
The Zofran pump needle

And the progesterone shot needle.

That last puppy requires a shot in the patoot. We slap a frozen bag of chopped spinach on my buns nightly, warm up the shot in a heating pad, and make that intramuscular jab as quick as possible.
Our kiddo is too little to understand it all. She thinks the ultrasound pictures show an owl. We’re content to leave it at that till I start to show more.
As for baby owl, it’s nesting just fine.


About domesticpolichick

My life is a crazy jumble of sitcom-level domestic hijinks and fast-paced political reporting in the nation's capital. Breastfeeding while doing a phone interview with a senator...yep, I've done it and no, I won't reveal the name. Toddler calling a member of Congress on the cell..yeah, that really did happen. Pregnant in high heels on Capitol Hill trying to chase down a particularly grumpy senator, yeah...that was nuts. But what can I say? I'm just one domestic polichick trying to figure out the work-life balance.
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