This is for the woman who is sitting in her bed with her hands over her face wanting to give up. If no one has told you that you are loved today, I love you. You ARE strong. You DO matter.
• 164 Hospital/Doctors visits
• 174 I.V Hydration’s
• 15 Doctors with no cure
• 7 Medication trials
I am laying in my bed holding this beautiful, soft, warm thing that I tried so hard to create. 8.5 months of absolute hell, and it was all worth it. I can’t help but to look down at her beautiful face and reminisce on all that I have gone through to bring her into this world. From countless emergency room visits to the joys of labor contractions. I would not change a single thing. I get to look at my baby girl and hear her breath in my arms as she drifts into sleep.
When she was first born I would sit in a quiet room at night and just listen to her breathing. It was like music to my ears. The continuous breath in and breath out. When you are pregnant, you are so eager and anxious to hear your baby’s heartbeat on the fetal monitor at every doctors appointment. In my experience, it was a constant fear that one day when they would put that monitor on my belly, and there would be silence. Every doctors visit, I would prepare myself. I felt guilt. I would say to myself “Ashley, if you would have just tried to keep something down, if you just were stronger, maybe you wouldn’t feel this way.”. I was my own worst critic.
As a woman who suffered with severe Hyperemesis Gravidarum, I had my critics. I had the “crackers & ginger ale” folks and I had the “oh honey you don’t look good” folks. No one had to tell me I looked like death… I felt it. I smelled it. I looked into the mirror every morning and saw the pale skinned woman that looked back at me with her sad eyes.
Sometimes I would lay in my bed and I would lose my cool. Like LITERALLY lose my marbles. I would cover my face with a pillow and scream, sob and cry because I felt so defeated. Do you have any idea what it’s like to have your body attack you? I wouldn’t wish that pain on my own worst enemy. I wanted to end my pain and misery.
There was a point in time where I wanted to give up. I would call my husband and my mother and cry hysterically wanting them to some how take my pain and misery away. I could no longer hold it together.My five year old son asked me once, “Mommy, are you going to leave me and go to heaven?”. I couldn’t even answer immediately. I stood there in disbelief that my sweet innocent baby was being affected by my pregnancy. He was truly terrified he would lose his Mommy. He was the only one who could put a smile on my face. Who i faked being okay for. We spent countless hours snuggling and putting in our Netflix hours. He brought me through a lot of tough times just by being his little five year old self and loving me when I couldn’t love myself.
I cannot stress enough, the amount of times I sat in my doctors office begging them to help me in full on tears. I am normally a very strong woman who hates to cry in front of others, so I’m sure you can imagine my state of mind when doing this.
One day, I texted my cousin. I was once again sitting in my bed crying hysterically feeling so defeated, and she said “let me go with you this time to the emergency room”. I agreed and asked her to drive. She picked me up and she brought a shirt with her and told me to put it on. I was confused and didn’t understand. A lot of people in this world will judge you on your appearance. I am a young 24 year old who has a sleeve of tattoos, so her fear was that the doctors would not take me seriously. I listened to her advice and put the shirt on. Then she had a list of instructions.. I was to keep quiet, keep my head down, cover my face with my hands and let her talk the entire time. I was confused and wasn’t sure how this would work, but i figured I’d try it out because I visited that emergency room 4 times a week on a consistent base and got nowhere so, what the heck!
She wheeled me in the emergency room lobby and jotted notes down about everything. From the pillow a nurse brought me, to the medications I was being prescribed via I.V. Whatever she did, it worked. She pushed the doctor and he ended up prescribing me a medication that only cancer patients receive.
For 15 more weeks, I was able to some what live a normal pregnancy life.