I’ve had hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) twice; the last pregnancy ended when I lost my twins at 20 weeks. I had an incredibly hard time coming to terms with ever trying for more children again. On purpose, that is. Not because I don’t want more, I do, but because both experiences left me with so many emotions. Like intense guilt, for instance.
When you have HG, it changes your perspective on things, including family size and especially how it impacts children already in the home. Your spouse. Your friendships. Your family.
Really anything you do is impacted. 9(ish) months is a long time to completely change emotionally and physically for the worse.
In my grief therapy sessions, I’ve been talking with my therapist (who also had HG) about all of this. Recently we decided to start trying for another baby, and I was consumed by the impact it would have, again, on our family by making this decision. Not just as an accident. I’d purposefully do this again.
I told her I thought I was being selfish. And yet, I so want more children.
And she said something that changed my life. “Would you think you were being selfish 10 years from now if/when you have more children after HG?”
“Would you think of anyone else as being selfish who had this and got pregnant again?”
We sat there for a minute. “How else could you think of something that takes such a physical toll on you? That requires you to alter your life and loves for the better portion of a year? That the end result is another child for your husband, more grandchildren for your families, a sibling for your daughter – but at a fairly high cost on your end?” she asked.
I hesitated because I knew the word sounded so – conceited. But finally, “A sacrifice.”
Oh, friends who know how this feels. Please understand what I am saying. When you choose to (or heck, accidentally) have another baby after HG, you are making a huge sacrifice of your own sanity, well being, and 9 months of your own life and happiness in order to provide, yourself yes, but also others, with a gift of another child in their lives to love.
And since ANYTHING you can cling to in moments of extreme HG is a blessing, cling to that. Make it your mantra. The end result (yes, even with losing my sons) is worth it. My life is better because of all 3 of my children, here on earth or in heaven. Each moment I was sick just made me realize that much more how very much I was willing to fight for the family I want.
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