Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Turning Tides

As told to Leah Gebber

There was no food in the house. And I couldn’t imagine going to the grocery store. But when I had found out I was pregnant, despite my two previous pregnancies being terribly difficult, I was determined not to let my life fall away. So I swallowed my feelings of nausea and picked up the car keys. I blindly filled the cart with products until I couldn’t anymore. I leaned on the cart, almost ready to collapse. I felt a blackout coming on. I was going to collapse.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Though I tried to cook and clean and play with my kids and run my business as usual, from the very start of this new pregnancy, I found myself weak and nauseous in the extreme. Well, doesn’t everyone suffer from morning sickness? But this was beyond. I couldn’t keep down any food at all — my body’s reaction to the least morsel was almost instant. I couldn’t venture out long enough to pick up my kids from preschool. I had to hire someone to do it for me. Not that I was capable of taking care of them when they were home either. I’d hear my kids in the other room, whining, bickering, and crying. I know my kids. I only had to go in there, hold out my hands and start a funny dance, sing a silly song, and the atmosphere would turn around. But I was unable to do so. I cried in my bed, feeling terrible and helpless that I couldn’t do my magic. There were no specific triggers to my nausea — it was endless, unceasing, and suffocating. I lay in bed, unable to run the air conditioner because the slightly processed smell and the air movement made me vomit. Any movement — from my left side to my right — made me retch. Brushing my teeth. Taking a shower. Talking. It all made me vomit uncontrollably, until I felt as if I might suffocate. I forced myself to drink water, dribbling it down my nightgown as I was unable to sit up. My esophagus burned, I had a terrible taste in my mouth, my internal thermometer was totally out of whack, so I burned with heat or shivered. The reaction was so violent that I phoned my doctor. “Can you throw up a baby?” I asked. Normal interactions vanished. My life consisted of eat, drink, feel sicker than sick. I knew I was putting my life and my baby’s life in danger by starving, so I forced myself to push some plain bread and one cup of water daily down my throat. There was no relief. Each night I went to sleep crying, wondering how I would be able to wake up and face the next day.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you