The Depths Of Despair

I was, and am a big Anne Of Green Gables fan. As I child, I lost myself completely in the entire series of books and re-read my favorite passages until they were memorized. Anne refers frequently to sinking into “the depths of despair” and I felt like now, as a grown woman I could for the first time truly, deeply empathize.

I’m almost 3 months pregnant and my whole life is “the depths of despair”. Also a “perfect graveyard of buried hopes”, another choice Anne-ism.

Not because I’m unhappy about being pregnant. My sweet husband and I are really, really thrilled to be expecting. It’s just that I had no idea that it was possible to feel this dreadful physically, week after week.

I am nauseous. All the time, constantly feeling like I am about to throw up RIGHT NOW. Sometimes I actually do throw up, like I did today, in the shower. Oh god. A terrible morning. At least it was easy to clean up. Throwing up provides no relief, and I continue to feel incredibly nauseated immediately afterward.

I am exhausted. I can’t get enough sleep and often stay in bed until I absolutely must get up, throw on some clothes and stagger off to work. Or to the studio. Or both. I get home and go back to bed.

But the worst part is, I don’t recognize myself. The things I used to do have completely disappeared from my life. Reading, writing, playing with my band, practicing piano and guitar, daydreaming, socializing, exercising, watering my plants, errands, cooking, cleaning, lesson plans for my students, research about teaching, website maintenance, brainstorming, singing, having ideas, being inspired, listening to music – all gone. I have no motivation or desire for anything beyond staying in bed with a pillow over my head to block out the audacity of the soft summer sunshine and those inconsiderate neighborhood kids with their stupid giggling.

I have a book that I write down ideas about ideas for teaching, recording, writing, whatever projects I’m working on. I’ve filled half a filing cabinet with these books over the past 10 years. I started a new book in July. There is one entry, scrawled rather unsteadily:

“What has become of me? I used to do a lot of things I don’t do anymore. My activities have changed and it’s not
great
challenging
exciting
an adventure
interesting
What does it feel like work on an absorbing project?”

And this is while I’m supposed to be making a record – which I remember being really really excited about when I started it -and now I can’t even force myself to care about it. This would normally cause me great distress. But not now. I’d rather just go back to bed.

I don’t look pregnant yet (just sick). We haven’t told anyone. I’ve dragged myself out a couple of times so my friends don’t think I hate them or anything, and I’m still going to work. The idea of sitting down and focusing on mixing the album is completely out of reach. I’ve realized it is impossible to concentrate on anything when one is constantly nauseous and/or vomiting.

I learned about chronic nausea recently during a quick internet search for nausea remedies. I am horrified, absolutely horrified that such a condition exists. In my case, there’s reason to hope that it’s likely temporary and I’ll soon feel better. I feel deep, deep empathy for anyone who experiences this for months or years at a time.

It would be enough to make you want to stop living I think, knowing that there’s no end in sight. Give these people prescriptions for all the best quality, high grade medical marijuana they need. It works and they deserve to feel human again.

It’s hard to believe that this teeny tiny tadpole is the reason I feel so terrible. My brain understands that if everything goes well, I’ll end up with a baby next spring. My body understands that something seismic is shifting, my entire system has been turned utterly upside down. My heart hasn’t quite put these two things together yet.

Please, please, please let it get better.