Have you ever noticed how awful wet wipes smell? And coffee, and the upholstery in the car? How about the cupboards in the kitchen, so unbelievably vile! The parking garage and the hallway are places of unknown horrors, and even my beloved husband, who returns from work wanting to give me a cuddle and a kiss, has on occasion made my gag reflexes go into overdrive as I whiff the lingering scent of the day on every iota of his presence ("go get a shower, baby, and then tell me about your day").
No, I didn't notice any of this either, until the pregnancy nausea hit me like a brick wall six weeks ago. I keep saying that "It isn't as bad as with my first pregnancy" as it makes me feel better I guess. But still, 24/7 nausea and numerous bouts of vomiting each day is never going to be "not bad". Honestly, I've been feeling terribly miserable and down, because I'm just feeling so sick.
I don't want to feel sad. Because I feel so very excited at the prospect of having a beautiful, kissable, snuggly ball of a newborn again. Oh, how I can't wait to hold my newborn and breathe him or her in! But right now it's hard to feel excited about anything, particularly in the coming hours, days, and I fear weeks, because I really am just feeling so sick.
It's true too, that upon typing this I have not left the vicinity of the apartment in 7 days. I am terrified of going out. Of embarrassing myself in public. The apartment - the one we so wanted to move to - has become both a sanctuary and a prison. The walls are closing in, I am starting to hate the furniture, but I don't want to leave. It's a horrible feeling.
The nausea hits me from the moment I wake up. I lay in bed, repeating in my head that "I don't need to be sick, I'm not going to be sick, I don't feel sick", before ultimately and inevitably running to the bathroom to dry heave the empty contents of my tummy. I sometimes wake my poor two-year-old as I do this. It made him cry the first few times - it must, after all, look very scary! But what a sweetheart he truly is when at the tender age of two he'll come in to see me, stroke my back and give me a cuddle and a kiss. I hate him seeing me like this, but at the same time after being so very sick while pregnant with him, I find it somewhat poetic that he now tries to comfort and cuddle me. What a wonderful big brother in-the-making.
But the guilt is there. I am not the fun, energetic, happy, playful Mummy that I was six weeks ago. I have no energy. I cannot tolerate the lingering summer heat so am unable to take him to the park. Even a walk around the block or an air-conditioned Mall leaves me feeling like I've run a marathon on an empty stomach. All I am good for right now, it seems, is watching cartoons and enjoying snuggly afternoon naps together. But I cannot keep up with his energy, and toddler-duties have been relinquished to his Daddy and his nanny. To say I am truly missing "the village" - my parents, my sister, my nana, my husband's parents, our friends - is an understatement. To say this pregnancy has 100% cemented my desire to move home, back to this wonderful village, is a truth that hit me as fast as the nausea.
Because, right now, I just feel so sick. This feeling, of constant nausea, of weakness, of dizziness, is something I would not wish on my worst enemy. It is testing beyond reason. You think you can deal with "a bit of sickness", but unless you've experienced it, you cannot understand the physical and psychological effects this sickness has when you feel like this 24/7 for weeks on end. It's bad.
"The end is in sight" I keep telling myself as I near that all-important 12 week mark, but having had it go on until week 20 with pregnancy number one, there is something at the back of my mind that tells me not to feel too excited. That this feeling of sickness might easily last until Christmas. It is terrifying and depressing, and it makes my world feel nightmarish and bleak, because honestly, I just feel so awfully sick.
It's not a nightmare though, it's my dream to have more babies, to have a beautiful family that I can watch grow with pride and with love. And at least the sickness is because life is growing inside me, not something sinister and evil. That I am growing life, alone, if a magical thought. So this sickness, I guess, is just one of the many challenges thrown my way as a Mummy. Being a Mummy means being strong, and that's what I must remain, even though I feel physically weak and tearful and like I am just generally a bit rubbish at being pregnant.
Oh how I wish I was one of the ladies that "glow" with health and go swimming and jogging every day, filled with energy from the beauty of the new life within. But I am not. Maybe one day soon, yes, hopefully.
But right now, I just feel so sick.