HG Part 4: Unease, she lingers
Updated: May 14, 2020
The nausea dissolves within hours of birthing my precious babe.
The relief of many lifetimes.
I assume HG has left.
And indeed, the physical manifestation has.
But the shadow?
The gaping hole that lays underneath the joy of being able to see in colours and savour smells and textures again?
Oh, she is there. And she is real.
I don't look her in the eyes until now. One year on.
Of course, she had been there.
Hiding in my inability to throw together a quick salad.
In my preference to do one thousand loads of washing
over preparing one dinner.
In a crisper filled with produce, ready to be discarded.
With me as I stood at my fully stocked fridge:
She and I, in a haze together.
Organic cucumbers. Nuts and Seeds. Capsicums.
Overwhelm taking hold just to look at them.
Transported back to the horror.
The discomfort wins. It's all too much.
I close the fridge to stop the pain. Opt for toast.
This cycle of food stress so relentless though pregnancy
that I barely remember
this was not the way I used to feel
looking at an abundance of fresh produce.
It's the mind bending tiredness I tell myself.
It's the lack to time to cook. The zillion interruptions from the kids.
It's a temportay loss of my cooking mojo.
It's the lack of God Damn Sleep.
A frustration. An inconvenience. And no more.
And I really want to believe it.
To avoid It.
So I furrow my eyebrows and give myself a hard time.
About not getting my food sorted.
Not having the processes and stratigies in place.
The recipes. The discipline.
There, brain, that will keep you busy.
Isn't it always so easy to distract ourselves with our own perceived shortcomings?
Being hard on myself seems so much easier than going There.
Stubbornness and roughness with self
have been long standing time-consumers here.
And to my delight, in this instance, they are limitless.
I could continue my whole life
being stubborn and rough with myself
To distract from the heart of this painful truth.
My own roughness
is preventing me from making any meaningful connection
with the horror of my pregnancy experience.
And I know it.
Because I know deep down what This is.
It's not the tiredness. Indecision. Lack of preparation. Or overwhelm.
This is fear.
And even one year on I haven't found the strength/time/energy
to truly unravel the emotional experience of HG.
To embody those memories and those emotions,
even for a brief moment,
seems too big a risk to take.
And yet I know that the piece of toast in my hand is an ode
to what felt the only safe territory in pregnancy.
My occasionally trusty friend.
A trust that continues on in my mind still now.
Well after physical symptoms have left my body.
It's time to process some big emotions in order to expand into who I am.
And Oh, am I ready to expand.
I get that gentle nudge inside that says
this is as safe a time and place as any.
To go beneath the surface.
Acknowledge the fear.
Embody it. Unravel it. And reclaim the experience as mine.