Tone, filters, and information

Photo by Bas Silderhuis

Whenever I see articles talking about the importance of nutrition in pregnancy I get a little tense.  When recent articles came out about research findings that moms that eat a diverse diet of healthy foods during pregnancy expose their babies to flavors that can help them to be less picky and eat a wide range of healthy foods later, I had a momentary twinge of guilt.  With articles like that I find myself thinking “I guess I screwed up” and then “actually, they eat pretty darn well, thank you.  They turned out fine.”

I eat like crap when I’m pregnant.

An article like this one about how physical activity during pregnancy gives babies a “head start on heart health” cause me to want to curl up in the fetal position and cry that it must be my fault that Smunchie was born with a heart defect and I’ve probably taken years off her life because I didn’t exercise much during pregnancy.  In fact, I hardly got off the couch.

It’s not easy to hear that what we have done as parents may actually give our children a disadvantage or worse, hurt them.  In fact, it can be darn near crippling or lead us to defensive responses of anger.

Those articles all hit a sore spot for me, the vulnerable spot of the reality of my pregnancies.  With every one of my pregnancies so far I have battled hyperemesis gravidarum.  Due to extreme nausea and vomiting I lose tremendous amounts of weight and usually don’t even get back to my prepregnant weight by birth.  With my worst pregnancy I was down to 83 pounds at 5 months pregnant.  Instead of a diverse diet of healthy foods, I can’t even keep down prenatal vitamins and pick what I will attempt to eat based on how it will come back up.  (FYI, ginger burns like hell and saltines rip up your throat and make it bleed.)  Regular IVs, PICC lines and an impressive drug cocktail closer to a cancer patient’s regime than anything pregnancy related get me through my pregnancies sometimes along with TPN and NG tubes.  Usually with multiple hospitalizations.  Kidney failure, liver problems, gall bladder problems, and permanent heart damage from severe dehydration have all come with having my babies.

This article just about broke my heart and the possibility that my children may experience long term health and behavioral issues as a result of my pregnancies is a tough reality to face.  I hate it.  It makes me angry.  I may even get defensive.

Sometimes all I want is someone to tell me it’s ok, that nutrition really isn’t that important and all that matters is that the baby is growing.  Not to dismiss the suffering of HG but to somehow alleviate my fears that artificial nutrition is really not that bad and that poor diet in pregnancy isn’t going to ruin my children for life.  After all, I want to say, Lactated Ringer’s and TPN (total parenteral nutrition) are specially formulated to be just as good as real food, right?

No, no they’re not and they come with some very real risks.  I really don’t want people to lie to me and more importantly, I don’t want to lie to myself.  It’s not even close to “just as good.”  But it is as good as I can get.

I’ve tried it all.  Eating the “right” foods, avoiding the “wrong” foods, detoxing, homeopathy, gut healing, a variety of testing, cleanses, herbs, chiropractic, acupuncture, positive thinking (can’t convince me I’m not puking though), prayer, supposed miracle drugs and so much more.  Nothing has worked.  Some have made it a little less awful.  Every time I’ve been afraid of what the medications will do to my baby but more afraid of what not being on them would mean for both of us.  It is not what I would choose and I grieve the loss of the pregnancy experience I had hoped to have.  And, I have to admit, sometimes when I hear that someone else has the perfect pregnancy with no problems and never even took a Tylenol I not only get a little jealous (or a lot, as in completely green… again) I may even get defensive even though what they’ve said really has nothing to do with me.

Do those articles set out to make me feel guilty that I barely eat during my pregnancies?  No, they are just sharing information and sometimes aim to encourage and inspire moms.  Do the moms celebrating their beautiful pregnancy experience do so to punch me in the gut and knock me down?  I’m pretty sure they are just excited about their own experience.  Does the fact that I have very little physical activity during the prenatal stage of my mothering make me a bad mom?  I don’t think so but it doesn’t mean I don’t wonder from time to time or that it doesn’t hurt a little when I’m faced with the reality that it really isn’t a good thing and could be putting my children at risk.  Blaming the information though doesn’t help me or make my reality better.  Hiding it, or worse denying it, doesn’t help anyone else either.

But maybe I have an acceptable reason that gets me off the hook?  Maybe because I had no choice and couldn’t move off the couch or do a prenatal work out with my IV I “shouldn’t feel guilty.”  (I thought this blog post from Analytical Armadillo about telling others they shouldn’t feel guilty was interesting.)  Some may say that but just as soon as some try to make me feel better about the reality of my situation, others will tell me I “should’ve tried harder.”  In fact, when I was pregnant with Lolie I had multiple psych evaluations and was told that if I just wanted my baby and if I would make up my mind to stop throwing up I would be able to eat.  If only that had worked.  It was in moments like those that I felt like nobody really heard me and my suffering and that maybe I was a really bad mom and didn’t deserve my children.  Where is that line?  When is the problem real “enough” that it  doesn’t deserve criticism?  And who gets to decide that?

What if I had just decided to be that way though?  What if I didn’t have HG and just had a normal pregnancy with normal pregnancy fatigue and nausea and I didn’t eat well or get off the couch?  I’m sure the harsh criticism would have been significantly more and maybe even deserved.  But what if there were other factors that others couldn’t see?  What if my husband wasn’t supportive of my pregnancy and I struggled with wanting my baby but having no support?  What if depression was already an issue for me and pregnancy changes led to more of a mental and emotional health battle?  What if no longer feeling in control of my body brought flashbacks of my sexual abuse history?  What if I was totally terrified at becoming a mother, giving birth or that if I moved wrong I’d hurt my baby?  What if I didn’t tell anybody what was really going on and instead I let people think I was selfish and lazy?

Harsh criticism only goes so far.  Occasionally it will inspire people to change but usually it inspires people to become defensive.  It’s hard to listen from a defensive position.  Dialogue, information sharing and genuine care, on the other hand, help people explore their own situations and choices honestly.  It is important to remember that the tone with which we share information can make a difference, making it personal towards someone else’s choices rarely is effective.  At the same time, when reading and receiving information readers bring their own baggage and filters to the message.  Remaining objective is incredibly challenging particularly when we live in a world where much of what we see and read is intended to rile us up and get a reaction.  A form of entertainment.  Even fairly objective peer reviewed studies can be reported in the news with headlines that immediately spark controversy and raise emotions that really have nothing to do with the study.  One I linked above reads as though women who love their babies will be doing prenatal work outs, leaving unsaid but certainly implied that not working out indicates a woman does not love her baby.  With tones like that the actual message can be a bit hard to accept.

Yet these caveats should not preclude us from sharing information.  In fact, we have a responsibility to share it.  My training as a midwife required me to learn a lot about prenatal nutrition and the impact it has on pregnancy, child birth and the health of the baby.  It took a while but I got over the urge to write in every margin on prenatal nutrition “but not always…”  Because ultimately that response was about me, not the standard, normal, healthy, low risk pregnancy these texts were talking about.  Over time I even developed sympathy for women dealing with normal nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, able to offer up suggestions that could help with their discomfort that never touched mine.  These days I can also legitimately celebrate with those that have healthy, normal pregnancies, gain weight without problem and enjoy food and I don’t take it personally or feel the need to remind them “not everyone can, you know.”  They’re not making a personal indictment against me and even if they were too, life is too short for me to dwell on that and let it get to me.  I know they legitimately don’t understand.  Frankly, I’m glad they can’t, I wouldn’t wish my pregnancies on anyone.  But I risk isolating myself, winding up in a dark, lonely hole of guilt and anger if I remain defensive towards the information and the people sharing it.

Whether we’re talking pregnancy health, birth choices, breastfeeding, formula feeding, or just about any other subject related to the choices we as parents have to make, sensitivity and recognizing our own filters in the conversation go a long way.  We should still share information, we should still read information and we hopefully do this in a safe community where processing the information can happen through trusting and supportive dialogue.  I hope that by keeping in mind the fact that we do not know everything there is to a person’s back story and why they make the choices they do we can remember to be more sensitive in how we share information.  I hope that by keeping in mind the fact that we all bring our own baggage to any topic we can remember to try not to take information sharing as personal jabs.  It is through these steps that we can support one another and make a difference for others.

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Comments

  1. I love you so much. I’ve been wanting to write something along these lines all morning, but there’s no way I could have worded it so well. Thanks. This is great timing.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this. My experience with HG wasn’t nearly as bad as yours, but o remember crying because of the “drug cocktail” I was taking every night, and eating based on how things tasted coming back up. And being judged because McDonald’s chicken nuggets were literally the only thing I could keep down the first half of my pregnancy. Others complaining about their pregnancy symptoms made me so, so angry. Or telling me how small my belly was. Didn’t they know I was in constant fear that my baby wasn’t growing well enough? That me being sick was hurting him? Didn’t they know that my husband being deployed and me feeling like I had no one often kept me from going to the hospital even though I really, really needed to? And now it’s playing a huge roll in us TTC again. Can I handle the HG all over? What if it’s worse? I’m scared of it. And that breaks my heart.

  3. But here’s the thing–you DID give your kids the best possible nutrition that you could: you breastfed them. You’re still breastfeeding Smunchie. HG is such a horrible thing, and too often I think that people write off just how awful it really is. I didn’t eat totally well during my pregnancy (because I was stressed with a bad relationship) and I didn’t exercise as much as I should (mostly because I’m lazy, but also because I was in pain and it didn’t help.) My son is just fine. He has great genetics. He loves all kinds of food. I think that these nutrition articles need to be interpreted the same way that the formula vs breastmilk ones are: just because these things can happen doesn’t mean they will happen.

  4. Thank you so much for this perspective. I’m in week 38 of my second HG pregnancy. As a lactivist, I talk about the notion of supoort through sharing accurate information about breastfeeding. I feel the same way about birth, which is pretty easy for me. Those two topics don’t push me outside my comfort zone. I hadn’t managed to make the leap about pregnancy and HG. It’s so hard not to carry the anger and the grief for the pregnancy that never was for me. My therapist likened it to going through the stages of grief. I’ve been in denial for a while. She has helped me move on so I can get really angry about some of the mistreatment I received in the hospital. I’m not sure where I’m at right now. Definitely angry still, but I think your article is helping me start building that bridge.

    Generalized anger and defensiveness at everyone: pregnant women who aren’t sick, scientists who talk about nutrition in pregnancy (boy those articles sting), and pretty much anyone who’s never had HG. That doesn’t help. Targeted anger is much more productive. Thanks for writing this. You’ve really helped me.

  5. i am 6 months pregnant and i look like i just visited a buffet, not like i’m giving birth in a few months. i hear this again and again and again from people.
    why don’t you just eat more?
    your just trying to make it easier to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, huh.
    your baby is going to be tiny!

    thanks jerks, but i eat whenever i can, as much as i can, and i wish more than anything i was mistaken as shamu, that my stomach was ballooning, that my baby was growing well. its harder than it looks. the worse is when really overweight people ask me why i can’t just “eat more.” i’m not asking you why you don’t just eat less so mind your own business!
    sorry for the rant, i’m pregnant, i blame the hormones :]

  6. I had two c sections, 2 premises and had to use a blog thinner and though i wished for a better outcome, I never felt guilt and it doesn’t bother me when people state facts about c sections, etc.

  7. Oh I feel like giving you a big hug! I had HG during the first 6 months of my pregnancy and I can’t believe you have so many babies and you toughed out HG EVERY time… I take my hat off to you!!!

    I spent 9 months worrying that my lack of nutrition would hurt her, she would come out tiny etc. And to make things worse I couldn’t make people understand that its wasn’t just morning sickness, that I couldn’t get up off the bathroom floor, I couldn’t function like a “normal” human being. My grandma got angry and told me that I should just have an abortion because my baby would come out depressed because of the way I was acting. My mother in law thought I was being unreasonable for quitting my job and depending on my husband for so much. My husband didn’t understand I needed more support not just from him but from other family members too, he thought I had decided to leave him because I wanted to move in with my Mum. I lost contact with friends that didn’t understand, I lost confidence in social situations. It just wasn’t a good time. I tried to find a “cure” or at least something to ease the nausea, but nothing really worked. I tried SO hard, with all the strength I could muster.

    Only people who have been through HG can understand that what we went through cannot be prevented, the feeling of utter hopelessness and that sick feeling you get not only from the nausea but from wondering if you’re doing any damage to your unborn baby. I feel proud that I got through it and hopefully my expereince will make my next pregnancy easier (wishful thinking!)

    Personally, I have come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t prevent my HG, I couldn’t prevent the fact that for at least 4 months I lived off nothing but toast, lemon ice blocks, and sweetened coconut juice, I couldn’t prevent myself from spiraling into prenatal depression, I couldn’t help but feel alone. And if that article about poor health and depression is true, then we’ll tackle it if it arises. I’m just glad to have my baby the way she is. Besides, my Grandmother had HG in all 9 of her pregnancies and all her daughters had HG in theirs AND all their daughters had HG in theirs too! All family members don’t have poor health and are some of the happiest, well balanced people I’ve ever met! What I’m trying to say is, research has been wrong in the past and just because some research paper claims that it may happen… it may not.

    Sorry about the long comment. Just feeling passionate 🙂

  8. As I said on twitter, I had no idea you were a fellow HG mama and I am so amazed that you managed to get through it 5 times.

    I too suffered. First time was with a twin pregnancy that ended in MMC at 8 weeks. Second time was with Isabel, from 6 weeks until the day I gave birth (although the last 8 weeks was just once – twice a day). Lost nearly 50lbs total by the end of my pregnancy. Nothing I tried helped. Ginger, in all its forms; sea-sickness bands; eating certain foods; not eating certain foods; eating X at Y time of day etc etc. I quickly learned to just eat/drink what tasted fine coming back up again. Towards the end I lived off plain/bland salty snacks and warm sugary hot chocolate.

    I’d love another baby but I am terrified of HG round two. Terrified of having to cope with a toddler through it, of the weight loss, the overwhelming exhaustion (caused by normal pregnancy tiredness and basic malnutrition)

    Wouldn’t wish it on anyone 🙁

    • I can understand your fear, completely. Sometimes I think that if it weren’t for HG I may not have had 5 kids, largely because I was always hoping “maybe this time it will be different.” Being a bit of a rebel I got angry at HG and declared I wouldn’t let it determine my family planning. Also, I’m crazy.

      Most importantly I did a lot of research and found care providers that would be aggressive in early treatment. With a full protocol in place HG tends to be more manageable. Before trying to conceive some women have experienced improvements with cleanses, particularly liver cleanses. Check out helpher.org for protocol suggestions and more information. Being prepared can help tremendously.

      It is hard to parent the child you have while growing a new one with HG. Very hard. Getting a support team around you can make a huge difference in that as well. While it is hard I can tell you with some confidence that when you get through it toddler will forget those rough HG days and enjoy having a younger sibling. In the moment it’s incredibly difficult and I’ve had to deal with a lot of grief about not being the kind of mom I want to be to my children when I’m pregnant but my children having each other has made it so worth it.

      Good luck with your decision. (((hugs)))

      ~Jessica

  9. Melinda Toumi says:

    I made the decision to not feel guilty. Period. It gets ugly sometimes, forcing myself to let go, accept, even embrace some of my early ignorant parenting decisions, career choices, etc. the”how you say something” speaks to me, as this is a part of my life to which I’m devoting a lot of energy and thought. Thx. Ps. As a teen mother for my first, no one took my hg seriously, as that was “what I deserved”, 80 pounds lost later, I started treating myself with organically grown marijuana, and was able to gain some, and have a seven pound baby. I should have found another doctor and got some help! Interestingly, different husband, never hg again… Makes me wonder how much is “mom” and how much is mom being affected by her interactions with everything and everyone. Hope to see improvements to women’s health care in all areas!

    • There is a theory that maybe HG is a reaction to something about the man’s contribution. However I know mothers that have children with different fathers and still experienced HG. I really believe this disease is so complex that it can’t be attributed to one set of causes or another. Which of course makes it so difficult to treat. I’m so sorry you weren’t taken seriously because of your age at the time. That’s not right. 🙁 ~Jessica

  10. Jessica, thank you so much for sharing. While my pregnancy experience was not as severe as yours, it was not something I look back on with joyful memories. I’m 13 weeks into pregnancy #2 and it has been just as rough, only with a 4 yr old to mother. After a challenging pregnancy, I had a chaotic birth, unsupportive hospital staff and pediatrician practice and it took me 5 months to realize that the baby I thought hated me had a VERY High Needs temperament. Nearly everything has been a challenge, from the pregnancy all the way through her 4 years of life. It is hard not to take a glowing new mom’s picture of her smiling newborn as a big of a dig, or hear how much their lo sleeps or sits/plays on their own. I find that I rarely share that part of myself with people, it is so personal. All that to say, thanks for sharing. The article really resonated with me, something I know I still have to work on and at the same time a reminder to be aware of how I present information and not take defensiveness so hard.

  11. Since my boys were diagnosed with autism in December, I have cringed with every new study. They all point to things like iron levels, folate levels, “environment”- things that because of my awesomely craptastic (although not as bad as yours) HG pregnancies, I know I was lacking. I kind of thought that when they came out all perfect and healthy that that was enough. My body betrayed me, but not my kids. I may have been wrong. I’m trying to let it go. http://www.theslackermom.com/2011/07/07/i-hate-my-body-but-not-for-reasons-you-might-think/

  12. Miss Leaky,
    I was referred by Molly A. Thank you for writing.

    Some of us in the HG world have taken to the term “HG Sisters”. I am one of those.

    My four HG children are now grown. I want to let you know that they are all of sound mind. There are no psychological disorders. Physically, they are all Super Heroes. For real. Super Heroes.

    I don’t say these things for the sake of bragging rights. I have no bragging rights. I am simply an HG survivor. I say these things for the sake of encouraging my HG Sisters.

    One child was diagnosed with Junvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at age two. He is now an undefeated MMA fighter.

    That article was frightening. I just don’t want HG Sisters all over the world to feel frightened. If my children were not already adults…I might feel doomed. But in my own family, we are past all of that. All is well.

    I had no “cocktail of drugs”. If those things had been available to me, I would have feasted on them. They weren’t. I survived on Gatorade-by-the-sip and miracles. Mostly miracles.

    I wish you all the best. You precious HG Sisters are warriors and nothing less.

  13. Dear Leaky,
    Thank you for writing. I was referred by Molly A.

    In some corners of the world, we’ve come to call ourselves HG Sisters. I am one of those. I’ve given birth to 4 HG babies.

    There are no psychological disorders. Physically, they are all Super Heroes. Really. Super Heroes.

    I don’t say that to brag. I have no bragging rights….other than the fact that I survived HG 4 times. Everything my HG babies have accomplished belongs to them.

    My second-born was diagnosed at age two with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. He is now an undefeated MMA fighter.

    That article really was frightening. I don’t want all of my HG Sisters to feel doomed. I think I’d feel doomed after reading such an article—except that my kids are grown and we’re past all of that.

    I had no “cocktail of drugs”. There were none for me. If there had been, I’d have feasted on them. I truly would have. In that state of mind—in that level of suffering—all we want is to feel like a normal human.

    There is life and there is joy after HG. There is health and vitality after HG. There are challenges and struggles….and that is simply life. But… by the Grace of God, there is nothing thrown our way that we cannot handle.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing! I can’t imagine what a struggle that must be. I loved your words in the comments about giving your children each other 🙂 ~Melissa

  15. I am so sorry you went through that – years ago I used to actually MAKE the TPN’s for patients and know it was no picnic, and can never imagine actually having to have that stuff. It must have been a living nightmare.

    I don’t know what it is, though, about morning sickness – whether it’s just nausea or full-blown hospitalizations – that gives people the right to make terrible comments. I’ve read some doozies from people – one was an L&D nurse, even – that basically said, “You wanted to get pregnant, this is your mess to deal with.” She couldn’t believe that anyone’s hyperemesis would actually be bad enough that they’d have to go on disability. At the time, one of my friends was going through her third pregnancy with a Zofran pump and couldn’t work, and had a horrible time with that and preterm labor. While I personally never went through that, I can feel for those who do and can’t stand it when people treat it like it’s no big deal.

  16. As a fellow hg’er… I echo the worry. Thankfully our kids seem
    To be doing fine. It is one day at a time. I
    Am recovering from my third HG pregnancy and I do wonder what life will
    Bring us next. One day at a time… For now.

  17. I don’t think these studies are directed toward women that can’t help it. I know it is part of being female we feel guilty over things we can’t control but I still think we should try to accept the things we can not change. Change the things we can and have the wisdom to know the difference. It looks like to me that you were too ill to worry a whole lot about power walking 3 miles if you were anything like me I wasn’t a puker but I was highly nauseated to the point that is affected my balance. Walking would have been dangerous. I don’t feel bad about not working out more even now because I know falling would have been worse. I hope all you mama’s can see you did the best you could at the time with tools you had. You are all amazing.

  18. Oh wow. Bless you for going through five pregnancies. I had HG with my daughter and once was MORE than enough. I lucked out; mine was caught very early and controlled pretty well with Zofran. I had to fight my first OB for it–until you were hospitalized, they didn’t believe you had it, by my second was much better. I certainly understand the worry and the guilt. In addition to the HG, I had crippling pelvic pain from 4 months on and backspasms starting in my 6th month that required muscle relaxants to control. I was terrified they were going to mess my baby up.

    She just turned a year, has been in the 99% percentile for height and weight, a very early walker, and a chatterbox. Whatever my body was doing, she was okay. Studies, no matter how good and how well controlled, are still just snapshots, not the be all and end all of things.

  19. I didn’t have hg, at least I don’t think, but I had two miserable pregnancies that were nine months nausealicious (+ baby one broke my rib) Went from fresh CSA healthy food to craptastic splendor diet and weeping into deep bed imprints. I give myself ten gold stars and an ice cream and had 10lbs 3oz, and 10lb 2oz babies.

    I think that nature takes care and that your have stores in fat tissue and other places in your body so that if you can’t take in the nutrition you would like – it strips your stores to feed the baby. If your diet was good prior to becoming pregnant the baby was never really deficient – you were. Its pretty difficult for these studies to really be able to say that diet/exercise was the factor and not the environment which is likely more the cause with all of the toxins we are exposed to daily. Yes it makes sense to eat healthy, but our bodies are often more wise than our heads. We have the equivalent of a gods diet in riches compared to women popping out healthy babies in places where food is as scarce as clean water. You are not in control (or the cause) of everything. The magic of birth isn’t that simple, but it is a gift.

    I have read some theories that sickness can be a form of protection to keep toxins away. (Something more detrimental than the medicines?) Mother nature knows what she’s doing. Anyway, I like this article about communication and understanding and say rock on and kudos to all you brave women! Solidarty!

  20. You understand!!

    Thank you. I struggled with HG, an aggravated chronic illness, an unscheduled c-section and umbilical hernia surgery, moving with the Army twice, and somehow never being able to produce more than 2oz at a feeding despite all the books, lactation consultants and le leche league advice… and I was at a loss. I was down 15lbs in the first trimester only holding on by regular IVs, then gained an embarrassing 70lb through to term even though I jogged (slowly), swam, did yoga and elliptical every week once I felt better… and for each “failure” that seemed out of my control, all I received was criticism, including your familiar, “this is in your head,” and, “if you just wanted the baby more, your body would react properly.” Who could have wanted their baby more??

    While my second pregnancy is going considerably better (no HG, preventative medicine, and a great midwife), I find myself very guarded about my experiences. I don’t want to tell people how sick I am or was, let anyone know I’m gaining so much weight or that I still have to nibble ginger candy throughout the night, that walks longer than a quarter mile make me dizzy and sick all night, and that I feel terrible when I am too sick to do more than serve a PB&J to my son in front of the TV so I can go throw up all evening. I could just cry when I hear that someone else had any of my symptoms, for one because I would not wish them on anybody, and second, because these are the only people who understand. What a feeling of support to read that another good mom who cares about her children and loves them and has high hopes and expectations could have the same trouble out of her control. Thank you 🙂 And just for our record, my toddler is smart, kind, articulate, tall for is age, athletic, and an excellent eater. I still would have liked an easier pregnancy (who wouldn’t?), but I can’t look at my thriving boy and feel like I’ve failed.

    We’re just not all dealt the same hand.

  21. Love this post. I’ve felt the same way. All three of my pregnancies were spent with my head in the toilet and in and out of hospital and craving weird foods. The weird foods never stayed down but at least they satisfied the craving. Mostly it was macdonalds big mac! I was fine with it all until i first heard about the “damage” i may have done to my kids with “bad” nutrition in pregnancy. It took me a few times of reading and rereading to know there was no difference i could have made. Regardless of what i did my body was still feeding my kids adequately from its own stores and they certainly gave no appearance of suffering, my kids were born 9 pound, 7 pound 3 ounces and 10 pound 3 ounces. But i had the advantage when i read the information of having my kids already grown to a degree, when that info came out they were 9, 5 and 2 and they eat everything i put in front of them, and none of them are over or under weight!!! Society likes to beat up on the vulnerable, mothers are the vulnerable. Be careful what you read, its not always as true as we perceive. Thanks for writing a post i tried to write a while ago but couldn’t find the words for.

  22. I can’t speak for HG personally but my older sister had it with both her pregnancies. She was hospitalized multiple times for bad reactions to drugs, dehydration and malnutrition. She even had her own nurse telling her that it was all in her head and she just needed to suck it up and act like a better mother! With her second daughter she somehow got a staph infection at the site of the Zofran port that almost killed her. Her OB called 911 and sent an ambulance to her house just from the sound of her voice over the phone. While at the hospital for that she developed an embolism that exploded, leaving her blind in one eye. Somehow thru this she still managed to breastfeed her older daughter (power to her for that!) but like you, she worried about what the drugs and sickness would do to her babies. I don’t think that people understand how hurtful simple comments can be when a mother has her choices taken away from her. My sister was highly defensive for a long time about her pregnancies because people always say things about how important it is to eat right and excersize while pregnant. I know that my sister would’ve eaten the healthiest foods she could think of if she had been able too and I know for a fact hospitals really don’t like critically ill patients doing jumping jacks in the halls.