The Life Lesson from Hyperemesis Gravidarum


I have always felt that my biggest strength and also my biggest weakness is the optimistic, I-can-do-it-if-I-want-to attitude.

It is on the most extreme end of the spectrum if you look at it from a difference perspective.

World-wise, of course, the more optimistic you are, the more determined you are, the more valued you will be by others. You are self-sufficient and can stand on your own. Those are indeed much-praised characteristics.

But spiritual-wise, such attitude can bring you far from the understanding the ‘hope and faith’ principle required in a living a life with God. The closeness and connectedness are very much related, even if not solely, to how much you feel you need Him and how aware you are that there is not much you can do without His help and mercy. It is understanding and living the delicate balance of working your ass off (because God won’t help anyone unless he helps himself) and relying on Him for everything  (the strength, the perseverance, the guidance to do that thing right).

I may have lost the battle of balancing a long time ago that God has sent me yet another lesson on that. To tell me that : ‘Stop! You may think you can do a lot on your own, but certain things within you are really beyond your control.’

And I truly thank Him for that lesson.

********

You  see, I am pregnant, all thanks to Him. I am 11 weeks into pregnancy by the time I am writing this, and indeed it is a blessing in more ways that I can think of.

But now I can always joke : The easiest way for me to lose weight is by getting pregnant, and obviously, breastfeeding.

I have lost nearly 4 kg now, 6 weeks after knowing that I am pregnant. It was not much different from my first pregnancy – I lost a significant 5-6 kg in my first trimester last time.

But this time the nausea, the vomiting, the fatigue seem much, much worse. The truth is I am getting older, and with an active toddler living  with me, I am deep buried.

I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum right into my 7th week of pregnancy.

There are days even a morsel of food won’t be tolerated by my body. My mouth feels extremely bitter all the time. My heightened sense of smell doesn’t help either.

I tried to fast though, during Ramadhan. It is actually a blessing in disguise for my condition. Ramadhan’s coming means that I don’t need to think about food (which makes me nauseous too) or forced myself to eat. But by the end of first week I surrendered. My GP got my urine analysed and confirmed that I am almost severely hydrated. My  losing weight was not a good sign either. And with that too came the painful  UTI. She just had to refer me to a medical centre, and the assigned O&G could not blame me enough for thinking that this and everything that I felt was normal. Losing weight is not normal for a pregnant woman, he said, and I am just extremely lucky that my baby was still healthy and living.

I was hospitalised.

**********

My  days in the hospital, was unexpectedly stressful. Being tied and bound by the IV drip made me restless. I was hungry, but I could not eat. Sure, whatever they fed me through IV would be sufficient for my body, but it didn’t satisfy. I want to eat, but as much as I want, or whatever strength I could gather for that purpose, my body will defeat me.

In the end I surrendered. I can only do so much. Only so much. He is the One who dictates, and sometimes I did forget that.

Two nights, and I felt worst. I’ve never been hospitalised in my life, except when I gave birth to Isa.

There I learnt the lesson. I tried to imagine those with critical illnesses. Those with perhaps no hope of getting healthy again. I tried to put myself in the shoes of those with cancer – how does it feel to know that you won’t know how this end; if it will relapse or not, if you’ll survived or not. How life-changing, stress-inducing that must be.

And compare that to my condition: the worst it could be is 9 months. If I’m lucky, it may be over by 21 weeks, or if I am as lucky as before, this horrible experience will be over by 14 weeks. I know when this will stop. That is indeed a game-changer.

I wish I could be more consistent in praying that Allah will remove this from me. But deep inside I could not do it. What  if through  this experience He actually want to teach me a valuable lesson? What if through this trial, as trivial as it may seem to you, Allah wants to wipe out my countless sins? I dare not to ask for things I do not know, but I pray that if it is so, He’ll make it easier for me to comprehend, to change according to His divine will, and to grow out of this.

It hurts and makes me feel helpless that I could not do a lot of things I want to do, and have to rely on others to do it. But that is life. He wants me to appreciate the intricate links and needs between me and others and remove whatever preconception I have subconsciously built in my mind that I may not need others to live my life.

I do.

As  of now, as advised by survivors of HG, I learn to focus on living by day. 14th  week seems far away with HG. What more 21st week or 38th  week.

Alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli hal.

I praise you Allah, for all matters.

p.s. My  GP thought I should be admitted again. The second time. *Sigh*

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