The one about anger.
I’ve been a right bitch the last few months. If my middle brother were reading this he’d yell at me for using that word. But he can barely read my text messages so I’m pretty sure he’s not reading my blogs. If you don’t like that word here are some others - an arse hole, a cow, a meanie, a bully, a butt face, a shit head, a knob, a general boob. All I’m trying to say is I think I’ve just been a bit of a horror to live with lately.
I was so depressed for my whole pregnancy. I just wanted to get to the end of it - and not just for the obvious reason that the end of it would mean meeting my baby. I wanted to get to the end of it because it was making my life hell. I was miserable. I cried and complained and raged against the world every day. I made the people around me miserable - either because I was a complete mess and they felt helpless, or because I was demanding toast I would eventually throw up and crying hysterically begging them to end it for me.
And then Monty was born and the relief was immense. As soon as the placenta was gone I was so thirsty and hungry that I could have eaten a Pavarotti sized meal. And then had a nibble on Ol’ Pavarotti himself. And my baby was here and she was beautiful and perfect and WELL. She had survived the pregnancy far better than I had and that was a beautiful feat of strength I couldn’t have predicted. I was so proud of her, of us, for what we had survived together.
But I’m still carrying scars from my pregnancy - an episiotomy is no picnic and takes about four thousand years longer to feel okay than they tell you, and angry purple stretch marks snake their way from my pubes to my boobs. And then there are the scars I can’t see or feel, but know are lurking under my skin. The scars that make up the very fabric of my being and have fundamentally changed me on some deep, primal level. The scars that make me angry.
I’m angry that my pregnancy was not what I hoped it would be. I’m angry that I was so far from being able to bond with my baby that I (not) jokingly called her The Parasite for the first five months. I’m angry that I had to fight until I was hysterical to get basic treatment for my condition. I’m angry that far too many staff across two hospitals had no idea what hyperemesis gravidarum is or how to manage it. I’m angry that I didn’t get to go on my stupid Babymoon because I was too sick to even get out of the house. I’m angry they tried to put me in a psychiatric ward because that made more sense to them than giving me a bed in maternity. I’m angry that my husband had to be my carer for nine months because I was completely useless. I’m angry that I probably won’t be able to give my daughter a sibling because I’m too terrified to ever be pregnant again. I’m angry that I’m part of a Facebook group for HG sufferers that has over three thousand members all of whom have the same, or worse, experiences. I’m angry that women die from HG. I’m angry that I was rolled (literally in a wheelchair) out of the hospital before I was ready. I’m angry for my friends who suffered days of labour only to be told they should have had a c-section three days ago. I’m angry for my friends who weren’t given access to pain relief when they asked for it. I’m just fucking angry.
I feel bad, because this anger has led me to act like a bit of a brat of late. I’m taking it out on the people around me and that’s not fair - because they are the ones who got me through the horror and out the other side with four percent of my sanity intact. And I owe them all the apologies and cheese cake in the world.
But I’m not going to apologise for being angry. The system is fundamentally flawed and skewed against the success of women. We’ve come such a very long way but we’ve still got so very far to go. Amy Schumer posted one picture of herself in hospital with HG and the whole world lost its mind. But it shouldn’t take a celebrity to collapse before the world sits up and takes notice of something. And you shouldn’t have it have a hideous life threatening pregnancy condition in order to get the level of care you deserve - because sometimes even having that condition doesn’t guarantee you shit.
I don’t know what this is all in aid of - I’d like to be able to say I’m going to do something to change it for us all. And maybe I will - I hope that I will and am working on it every day. But I just wanted to give words to my rage, and to acknowledge that y’all probably are carrying around some rage too. I know Neall is. And we don’t have to apologise for our rage. We are entitled to it because it was enacted upon us without our control and, probably, against our wishes. We’ve been lumped with it so we may as well make it our own. So that our daughters don’t have to rage in the same way, I guess.