Friday, February 3, 2012

Dear Baby: February 2, 2012

Dear Baby,

Here are some new words for you to learn: break down, and suppository.

Last Friday, I was too ill to leave the house, what with my having to deal with week five of persistent, violent vomiting. (I've lost 15 lbs. Under normal conditions, this would rock. Under pregnancy conditions, this isn't good.) So your dad left to go to a poetry reading, all by his lonesome, poor man. Initially, I was glad I stayed in, because I was so incredibly sick, and it's easier to run a few steps to my own toilet than to wander the halls of a strange building desperately searching for any receptacle that could hold a half-gallon or so of my puke.

But when your dad came home, he told me there had been a special guest at the reading: Sandra Cisneros. You heard me, Sandra freaking Cisneros.

Since we moved to San Antonio, I secretly fantasized that she and I would become BFF writing pals, which would require Sandra to somehow take an interest in me, a girl with no writing clout or chicana heritage. In other words, it would require a miracle or an extreme twist of fate. Obviously. But it was a dream. I've loved Sandra's writing since middle school, when I first read The House on Mango Street. Imagine my distress, then, my little offspring, when I learned a few weeks ago that Ms. Cisneros was closing the San Antonio chapter of her life and relocating to her native Chicago. Imagine my further distress when I realized that this poetry reading might have been my last chance in this, my mortal life, to rub shoulders with one of my literary heroes.

After a few minutes of fighting back tears, I went into the bedroom and had a good sob.

Now, this break down was probably 2% Sandra Cisneros related disappointment, 3% hormones, and 95% exhaustion/dehydration. Still, I was devastated. Through my drooling and hiccups (I'm a really ugly crier) I told your dad that I've felt less than thrilled to be pregnant lately. My body feels so beat up. I've started fainting whenever I stand in one place for more than a minute or so. We don't have a room to call a nursery. We don't even have a corner to call a nursery. We're poor, poorer than I feel comfortable describing on this blog. I thought pregnancy would be more about glowing and nesting and less about feeling depressed and listless and riddled with anxiety. My strongest desire is to isolate myself and curl up in bed for the duration of this pregnancy. Can't I hibernate?

The whole time I was at residency in Vermont, I found myself feeling angry towards you, my unborn child, for making it so difficult for me to fully participate in my education, something that is very important to me. And I was really mad at you for making me miss meeting Sandra Cisneros. Don't worry, I'm over it now. I'm pretty sure you have no control over the effect you have on my body. (Pretty close to 100% sure.)

The point of all this is, it was (and continues to be) disturbing for me to confront these emotions. I wanted to get pregnant. I wanted to be a parent. But what sort of mother will I be, if I already harbor resentment towards my child for limiting what I can do? That's a reality of parenthood, isn't it? Setting aside goals and dreams in favor of the present physical and emotional needs of your children? Am I really prepared for this? I'm still trying to sort all this out in my mind and in my heart.

On a lighter note, I finally gave in and called my doctor once the fainting started to become more frequent. Since I can't keep much down orally, he gave me a prescription for a suppository that helps with nausea. Baby, that is a whole other battle. And it makes me sick in its own special way. But I will say I've stopped vomiting. It's nice to actually eat food and digest it. It's nice to have bowel movements again.

Alright, we've passed into TMI territory. Signing off now...


Your mom


  1. Hooray for baby!

    I went to OLLU, and I, too, harbored secret dreams of having Sandra Cisneros stumble across something I'd written and seek me out and be my friend. Like maybe that paper I had to write in her style in 10th grade after reading "House on Mango Street" that my teacher read out loud to the class and everyone was just in awe over (what can I say? Artistic run-on sentences are apparently a specialty of mine). I graduated OLLU without ever even seeing her. Sigh.

    And the pregnancy thing? It gets better. You're a champ--hang in there!

  2. Wow! You're pregnant! That is so exciting! Haven't had a lot of time to check the computer lately! Yay! Tell Mike congrats for Brian and I! But wow, looks like it's being tough on you. Keep in there Hilary! You can make it! You'll have to give me pointers when I get there. Also, I love the "Dear Baby" theme. :)

  3. Ah man, Hilary - that's such a hard time. You'll make it though. I think one reason why pregnancy is so hard is that it's preparing us for the selflessness we'll need when she's actually born. I was very sick as well - so sick I couldn't even make it from the bathroom to the bed 6 steps away, and couldn't eat anything but *sometimes* gatorade for weeks. I thought I'd (theoretically and actually) get to dance thru pregnancy, but was sadly disappointed when I was stuck on bedrest 88% of the pregnancy. In the end though, it can turn out to be a good learning experience for both you and Mike - though let's be honest - they've got it easy. Keep going though - you can do it!

  4. Hilary!!!! Your pregnant!?!?! Congrats girl!!! I'm so excited for you! Can't wait to check back often and see your progress! :) xoxo