The feelings are so changeable I can’t even keep up with myself. The daily thought spins around inside my head like a washing machine on steroids. My heart tells me one thing and my head says another whilst my body literally wants to shut up shop. Some days it’s a positive, some days ‘it’s a no from me’ and other days (most days) I simply don’t have an answer to the biggest question of the moment. Am I done at one?
Will I have another baby? Not just any baby but an HG baby? Because there’s an 86% chance that’s exactly what I’ll have.
I always imagined being a mum of two, it’s a nice even number and I like things to be ‘just so’. However it feels like a slight on my womanhood that I didn’t have a nice ‘normal’ pregnancy, that I even appeared allergic to it and most likely will be again. It’s little wonder that in different circumstances I wouldn’t even think twice. I would love nothing more than the free choice to try and create a sibling for my little HG hero without the threat of HG hanging over me, but because of what I’ve faced, knowing what could await me, it would be easier to wrestle a tiger. As one of the 1-1.5% of women to endure severe HG this is not an exaggeration (okay, maybe ever so slightly). It’s not a simple decision to make and the stigma of HG as a mentally inflicted illness or a women’s weakness is devastating and only goes to show how desperately misunderstood this serious medical condition is. Now there’s hope in the light of new research that a blood-borne protein, growth differentiation (GDF15) could be the cause of HG and other nausea and vomiting issues in pregnancy. I’m no scientist but I love this recent development and GDF15 I now affectionally call ‘Great Development Fuck-yeah!’ If there’s a cause then there can be a cure.
I descended into HG hell at 6 weeks and lingered there until the day I delivered. I lived to tell the tale but the memories of that time have stayed with me to this day and factor highly in this risky game of decision making.
Einstein’s definition of insanity states doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This really resonates and I fear I might be insane or end up there if I embarked on another HG journey. A journey which takes its toll on everyone and not just me. I now have a dependant who would miss his mummy because his mummy could literally be sick day and night and can’t do all the lovely comforting things that mummy has always done because mummy might be in hospital again! These thoughts alone give me the chills and are enough to throw in the towel. Then there’s the husband who is also left with HG scars to heal from first time around. It’s not easy for men to feel so helpless and watch the women they love suffer so much on the daily and if it was anything like last time I’d be off work, need round the clock care and sadly the practicalities of cost bear heavy on my mind. I would never put a price on a child’s head but I need to keep a roof over ours!
But then wouldn’t it all be worth it? The sacrifice, the struggles if it meant completing our family, giving our son the gift of a sibling, a friend for life to share moments and make memories with?
I know the answers to these questions yet I also know the same to be true when asking myself if I can cope physically and mentally with the debilitation of an HG pregnancy? If my husband could bear to witness it all again this time with my son in tow? What would be the impact on them and the collateral damage during round two? Could any of us handle it?
All this is enough to sway me into the ‘no zone’ but the thing is, I hate to be defeated. I never like to give in or be told I can’t do something but I think HG has broken me and I ought to just wave the white flag. At least this is how I feel today, ask me tomorrow and I could tell you that nine months of HG is a small price to pay for the greatest gift of all. And so the mind keeps racing, the daily heart versus head battle rages on and the old biological clock is ticking now too and yet I still can’t decide if I’m done at one. Maybe I should just toss a coin and hope for the best.