Parents often collect stories of sacrifice that they can easily whip out at a moment’s notice to remind their offspring of the big “you owe me one”. These “get out of jail free” cards can’t be used often, and should be used sparingly, but can come in quite handy in the right moment.
Vampbaby is a little too young for such reminders as redirection, but nevertheless Vampmommy and I have THE story of sacrifice that should hopefully keep him the ever-dutiful son well into the college years — after all, it’s not about what we’ve done for him as a baby. It’s what we went through to have him in the first place.
Vampmommy is known to have a very close, personal relationship with nausea. Plane rides require “patches” worn behind her ear to ward off the evil spirit that brings lunch around for a second time. The wrong meal doesn’t stick in the digestive tract for long, and once she ended up in the emergency room with a flu that made the first night in our new home one for the record books.
So, when the joyful news of our pending little one came, we certainly were prepared for a little morning sickness. What we got was something far different — a not-so-rare but little-talked-about condition called “Hyperemesis”. Think of it as uncontrolable, unstoppable, completely nightmarish morning sickness — that last 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, for months. Nothing helped — we tried the “cracker and gingerale” trick, various acupressure gadgets, regular visits to the doctor for hydration, all resulted in nothing but Vampmommy dropping 20 pounds in about two weeks. Finally, she spent a week in the hospital, and was fitted with a portacath. This fun contraption is surgically placed under the collarbone, and allows nutrients in the form of a white goo to be fed through a tube to keep her (and the little one) from withering into nothing.
So, Vampmommy spent the rest of the first trimester laying very still on the couch at home, watching every available season of “Stargate” on DVD (thank GOD for Netflix). I would come home from work every evening and prepare her “meal”, by injecting vitamins and other yummy treats into the bag of goo before attaching it to the needle in her chest and turning on the pump (which I can still hear in my mind). A very friendly nurse would come by a couple times a week to take blood, change the needle, and check things out.
Fortunately for us, the hyperemesis got under control a few weeks into the second trimester. We consider ourselves quite lucky in this regard, as it sometimes can run uncontrolled for the entire pregnancy, and we are not often lucky in the health category. But, this time, the universe gave us a break. Vampmommy did spend the rest of her pregnancy on a cocktail of anti-nausea medications, but she was able to go back to work and enjoy the remainder of her pregnancy without similar near-death experiences.
We certainly have a delivery story that sits in our back pocket for the future (delivery in general is a good one to keep), but I think this particular part of the pregnancy will be a valuable bargaining tool someday.
Although, perhaps we’ll never need it, since Vampbaby is of course an ANGEL…..