The Power of Words

It’s amazing what we can convince ourselves of. I was utterly convinced that because I wasn’t throwing up every day, I was genuinely less sick this pregnancy than last. But things hit a critical point on Monday, and I ended up getting on the same anti-nausea medicine that I took when I was pregnant with Ruby. And now that I’m taking medicine for the pregnancy sickness, I’ve got a bit more perspective.

I’m not sure that it’s easy to compare less/more sick. It’s more like it was different sick. I spent the majority of the last three weeks lying on the couch the doing bare essentials of eating, changing diapers, and feeding Ruby. She played by herself while I wallowed on the couch, unable to get up because I felt so terrible.

But I wasn’t vomiting! It wasn’t as bad as last time!

I told myself these things over and over again, and I really believed it. I was just tired. All the time. So tired I couldn’t get off the couch for most of the day. It was just that. I wasn’t that sick!

But now that I’ve got the anti-nausea medicine and my body’s no longer starving and dehydrated from the Monday Debacle, I was able to get a lot done today. I made French toast for Ruby and I for breakfast. I cleaned the front room, including the piles of things that had been stacking up in corners and on tables because I was too sick to do anything about it. I picked up toys of Ruby’s that had been lying around for weeks, and put ALL of the tupperware back where it belongs, instead of just a pathway through the kitchen. I still took a nap, sure, but it was a 15 minute power nap, and I was still able to go out and go shopping with a friend this afternoon.

The difference was profound and striking to me. I was measuring how sick I was based on how many times I’d thrown up, but I think that it might be a little bit more complex than that. Maybe I should also be measuring by whether or not I’ve got the energy to lift my baby up, or whether my stomach is settled enough to change a stinky diaper. Because lying on the couch for three weeks straight? Maybe that’s kind of sick, too.

And maybe I like feeling the way I felt today a lot better.

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