This post is sponsored by fruitwater ®.
Now that I am more than a month out from my pregnancy, enough time has passed that I can reflect back and see some of the good things that came from a less-than-ideal situation. Obviously, James is hands-down the best thing, but there were other, smaller moments that now sparkle through.
Thirty-eight weeks of daily shots, modified activity, and a diabetic diet would have been a large enough hurdle for anyone, but for me the hardest thing about my pregnancy was the hyperemesis gravidarum. The extreme morning sickness was horribly debilitating and physically destructive – my fingernails split, my hair fell out, my teeth were destroyed by stomach acid, and I lost twenty-seven pounds. My medical check-ups eased my worries about James (despite my problems, he thrived), leaving my mind to focus squarely on how my unending sickness impacted Annabel.
As you know, Annabel is an extremely active kid. She loves to be moving, doing, dancing, anything that allows her to burn all that toddler energy. Before I became pregnant, I was keeping up with her, but once the hyperemesis took hold, I barely had the energy to make it to the bathroom. I stressed over how my extended time in bed would affect my relationship with my busy girl.
Then I had an epiphany: there was a way to make the most of this unexpected challenge. I explained to Annabel that Mommy was sick, but that it wasn’t going to be for long. I also told her that she could comfort Mommy by having quiet time in bed with me. I didn’t think active Annie would go for it, but she did. She started spending longer and longer stretches of time snuggled up in bed next to me. We’d lay in my bed and I’d read her books or tell her stories about when she was a baby. I told her about my childhood, and she’d tell me jokes.
Mike always thought it was hilarious to walk into our bedroom and see what Annabel was “doing to [me].” Like when she took my words to heart, and decided to be the doctor who took care of me:
I think we played tea party at LEAST 187 times. This ended badly once when, unbeknownst to me, Annabel filled her kettle with water. Girl needs to work on her pouring skills.
Or my personal favorite, when we’d play “Sleeping Beauty” and I’d get her to close her eyes while we waited for our prince to come. This got me a few naps, I highly recommend it!
What could have been the worst moments of my pregnancy are actually some of my most treasured memories. Annabel learned how to slow down, and I watched her imagination grow leaps and bounds. She also became much more empathetic as she observed some of my struggles (although I tried to shield her from the more gruesome aspects). But mostly, with James now here, I know such special one-on-one time with Annabel will be much harder to come by.
Who knew that morning sickness would have such a positive, meaningful impact on my life?