Dec 19, 2013

On being a control freak, spew, and Christmas

This post is not about spew.

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Deep down, I am a control freak, and controlling Christmas is like my favourite thing ever. Buying the presents, making chocolates, baking, gingerbread houses, trips to see the lights…. I live for that stuff.


And then I got pregnant, and started to feel the full effects of Hyperemesis Gravidarium. (I feel like I should write a blog post on how awful this condition can be, but I don't know if I should afflict the world with that… it's ugly, G. You spew because you're hungry, you spew because you're full, you spew because you imagined a smell you don't like, you spew because you walked past the toilet and it reminded you that that's where you normally spew……. does anyone get queasy at the word spew? WELL GOOD. Not that I'm bitter or anything.)
To be honest, I have learnt a lot through these last 3 months of spews hyperemesis.
Other than things about spew (although they are fascinating and everything).

Mainly, that I'm not in control. 
Of anything.
Would I love to be able to nip out to the mall on a whim and max out a credit card on useless, tacky Christmas crap? Of course I would. 
And would it be the highlight of my year to make chocolate truffles and shortbread and gingerbread houses decorated with tiny silver balls and jelly tots? And invite people over for Christmas cocktails with weird and wonderful novelty recipes and mini-candycanes in all the drinks? And give sweetly packaged gifts to all my friends with glittery cards filled with my own stunning calligraphy? Like, duh. Although, dreaming about the calligraphy part. Ain't nobody got time for that.

Here's the reality: bed rests, toilets, empty ice-cream containers, and a chronic fear of being in a supermarket, mall, driving on the motorway, or at somebody else's house. You know, because spewing on your own carpet is fine, but spewing on someone else's… I don't know… I just wouldn't feel right about it….

Add to that, fear of kitchens, fear of food smells, fear of basically every food that this foodie girl used to LOVE and now can't tolerate the sight of. (Not that I'm meaning to complain. I just can't WAIT to enjoy food again instead of dreading mealtimes. I swear the moment that baby is born I'm ordering a large helping of butter chicken with spinach-and-cheese naan and I'm going to drink it, not eat it, because that's how bad I will have missed sweet westernised Indian takeaways.)

What is my point in this post.
Oh yes.
I can't control jack. The biggest thing for me in these 18 weeks of pregnancy has been learning to take not one day at a time, but one HOUR at a time. If you call me at 10am and ask if I can meet up at midday… I won't know. I just have to be grateful for each moment of wellness as it comes. 
And when I hit a bad patch where the medication is not even working and I relapse back into the spewed-in-my-own-bed zone… I have to graciously allow myself to just lie down all day long and try not to feel guilty that I can't do ANYTHING and that my husband is doing ALL THE THINGS by himself. And I have learnt to just blatantly ask for things. I have been known to text my brother and ask him to go and buy a certain food and bring it to me. Thanks Rob. I may have spewed that Filet of Fish back up, but I enjoyed it momentarily. 
There is no shame here.

What I'm saying is, Christmas is different this year. I think maybe it's even more of a true Christmas because I'm learning to let go of my elf-like ways and just allow Christmas to happen around me. No-one is going to die if I don't make chocolates (debatably). And I am considerably less anxious or stressed about anything at all, which seems crazy considering I technically have more to be anxious about.

So, whilst the picture at the start of this post looks idyllic ("sunbathing on the lawn with Christmas treats") the truth is that that pink biscuit was the only food I could consume at the time. I couldn't even do the candy cane. And I was lying down only because I physically couldn't sit up. And there were no smells outside, which is why I was there. A tan is the least of my concerns, yo.

But did I enjoy it and was it a special moment lying out there on the ground under the trees feel the breeze and being grateful to not be spewing at the time? Yes. It was amazing.

P.S I lied - this post was totally about spew.





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