“This ain’t no regular morning sickness. I’m sick all damn day.” I said frustrated.
I couldn’t get out the tub. Work started at 7:30 am and I was still in the tub at 7:10 am. I was crying because I knew I was going to have an awful day. I would be throwing up all day and then given extra work which added more stress on me. I would be taking trips to the bathroom to throw up my insides as discreetly as possible, wash my face and then return to do it again. My days were rough.
My son’s father was staring at me. I could tell he felt helpless, there was nothing he could do. I knew there was nothing he could do, but he was the only person I could vent my frustrations to. I mean hell, it was his baby I was carrying. I looked down at my bump and I immediately started feeling sick. I barely made it out the tub and into the toilet bowl. He stood behind me to hold my hair back. I can say a lot of things about my son’s father, but one thing I can never say is that he deserted me during my pregnancy. He was at every doctor appointment and with me every step of the way. He held my spit cups, he wiped my tears, he bought all my crazy cravings, rubbed my back every night. I suffered from sciatica.
I didn’t know what hyperemesis was. I thought this was just an unlucky curse for pregnant women. I thought there was something wrong with me. I was also sick with Heaven, but after my first trimester I was back to normal. With Jr., my sickness lasted longer. I was extremely sick. I was passing out at work. None of this was a good mix for a corporate America working mom. I attributed most of the ongoing sickness to being a tad bit older (29) and then finding out I was having another gender.
On top of the physical chaos, I was working for a company that did not understand that productivity was going to be low when a woman was throwing up every twenty minutes. I wasn’t the same worker they had knew. I was a new woman, pregnant with her second child and not feeling her best. My life had changed and I felt isolated. I did my absolute best, but it wasn’t enough. As I look back now, I pat myself on the back for what I did. I salute myself for coming back to work after being in Emergency on liquids to help my dehydration from the night before. I salute myself for not cursing people out for asking me to extend myself beyond my pregnant capabilities.
However, as a mom advocate, I will never tell a mentee to accept what I accepted. I will never tell a woman to extend herself beyond her capabilities just to stay employed. I tell women to run at the first sight of ill treatment in the workplace during pregnancy, if you possible. Especially, if HR is also in alignment with the improper treatment. I always say choose yourself first. Never stress or drain yourself out trying to do what you are incapable of doing.
Hyperemesis is a real struggle to deal with and needs to be discuss more. I will never forget about my experience. Despite the circumstances, I was blessed with beautiful babies. I am proud to overcome my obstacles and share my journey with other career moms to encourage them to keep striving.