Tuesday, February 10, 2015

All that Baby Talk, Pt 1

The question everyone asked me post-marriage was, "are  you planning to have children?" writing about the many ways in which I raged at such inappropriate questions is a waste of space, to be honest. I guess, this ridiculousness is not something I can change. Ever.

Being a parent was always something I wanted for myself. I never thought about anything further. I've seen enough forums online about modern women opting out of being parents, flowcharts that spoke of the financial implications of raising a human in today's world, and lots of arguments that favoured non-parenthood. And Let me just say that I respect each and every one of it, and those are ideas I've pondered on a lot. But precisely none of the well-thought-out arguments ever deterred me from my decision.

After having married at the age of 28, people were immediately on my case about reproducing fast so that my "age" wouldn't cause complications. Once again, raging about these things I don't want to waste blog space on.

 To cut to the chase, on October 14, 2014, I found out I was pregnant.I wasn't surprised I was pregnant, my pregnancy was no accident, I went to the clinic to confirm what I already knew to be true. But this was not the beginning of some magical journey. By the time I found out I was pregnant, I was very, very sick. A follow-up visit to the doctor confirmed what I dreaded. I had Hyperemesis Garivardum. By then I was beginning to lose weight. Just about every smell in my environment made be run to the sink to throw up. I couldn't keep food down. My parents, well, my dad mostly, assured me that I was suffering from morning sickness and I was being dramatic as usual. My doctor told me to keep up my calorie intake and prescribed a pill for my nausea, which I would promptly throw up whole after 30 seconds of ingesting it.

Throughout the time that I was vomiting incessantly, I was alone. My husband had to go someplace on work and was not available. I reached out to a friend of mine who was diagnosed with HG in her first pregnancy and she confirmed what my doctor was saying. Being alone, and this ill, took a toll on me mentally. I didn't expect that things would get better, or that I'd feel better, or even that this pregnancy would last to term. Before I went to sleep at night, after chewing on an orange-flavoured hard candy (the only thing that my body didn't reject), I prayed to just about every god I knew to get me out of this hell.

This incessant vomiting, and absolute lack of being able to keep anything down, drinking water included, went on for three weeks. By then I could barely stand for longer than a minute. My father was on his way to visit me, like a typical excited grandfather, but I didn't have the heart to tell him that I was arranging to go to the hospital and get admitted.

When I went to see my doctor, and weighed in, I'd lost 8 more kgs. She took one look at me and admitted me immediately and put me on saline drips. I kept throwing up, of course. That never stopped the entire time I was in the hospital. My father came from the airport straight to the hospital, complaining that I was making a big deal out of it. One look at me, and he shut up. It was that bad.

I was in hospital for four days and it wasn't like I was recovering or anything, I also had jaundice. Thankfully, I discovered it before my count got too high and the doctors got to treating me immediately. I'd had about 16 bottles of saline. They couldn't stop it because, well, I kept throwing up. The only tablet I could keep down was the one for gastritis. The nausea pills just came out whole.

When I was discharged, I was still throwing up. Clearly, the smells that bothered me, continued to bother me. But I was getting a little better, and kept getting better in increments. By this time, S had come back and I'd decided that I wasn't going to stay alone and risk getting worse again. I came to Chennai after I completing my first trimester and have been here since. After coming home to amma, and idlis and sambar, I've felt much better and have taken the time stop my negative thinking and redirect myself to a happier mental space.

Right now, the biggest annoyance in my life is the people who go, "But, where's the bump?" Dude, how would you like me to end your life? Sliced jugular or immolation? Call me when you decide and meet me at home with the necessary tools, 'kay?


  1. Congratulations! All the pregnancies are different so you shouldn't EVER compare yours to anyone else's. People will always try to "impart wisdom" but take it with a pinch of salt. Hope you are feeling better! :)

    1. Thank you! And yes, much better now. Better enough to talk about it here. :)

  2. This too shall pass...
    It is going to be my next tattoo, in case you're wondering.
    I had the same non-stop-vomiting-can't-keep-food-down all through the first trimester, like I told you. But I didn't know you got were int he hospital! I thought I had it worse... Well, I will not say it gets better - I mean, second trimester is fine but I couldn't sleep for some reason, and third is too much weight and then you just want to baby to come and be done with it because the last 10 days feels like decades. But, no negative thoughts. Hope you feel better with each passing week. And honey, people are idiots (like me, writing all that here but I have no self control) and they will ask stupid question no matter bump or no bump. When the bump comes, it will be the gender guessing, the lectures, and what not. Just read Dr.Seuss to the baby, talk to the tummy and eat lots of food. Kissy kissy!
    PS: I am incredibly excited about your baby! Take super good care!

    1. Aditi,

      Yeah, while nausea is a regular feature, it's a fine line differentiating it from my particular brand of vomits. If it was regular morning sickness, I wouldn't have ended up with jaundice... Anyway, it's over now and frankly I'm glad to be done with it. My third trimester is here and I'm not sleeping. Clearly the child I'm bearing is a nocturnal creature. Insists on kicking my insides post 10pm. Good times ahead for me.

      Apparently, my pain-in-the-ass ness led my mother to frustratedly cry out "AM I MOTHER INDIA? Why is this baby behaving like this." It's legend that rant of my mum's. I'm guessing I have a heck of a lot of payback to do!