This year was different.
As I awoke to the feeling of instant nausea I grabbed the green puke bowl and shuffled reluctantly to the kitchen to make my morning ramen noodles. For reasons I can't begin to fathom, chicken flavored ramen is all I can keep down in the morning. I didn't have the energy to empty the dish drainer to find my favorite pan so I opted to use the microwave. I sat down at the table while my microwave hummed. The smell of bananas too dark to eat permeated my senses and I heaved into the puke bowl. I grimaced and held back the tears that so easily flow these days. This is harder than I thought it would be.
Mom, was I worth this?
I pulled the steaming bowl of noodles on to a potholder and retreated to the couch with that second and (thankfully) empty other bowl. I smelled the broth and lifted the fork to my mouth. I blew, I gagged, I shoved it in. A second bite was consumed and then another and another. With both bowls on the floor in front of me, I leaned over and melted into the couch pillows and waited for the ramen magic to begin. Slowly and predictably, the nausea subsided enough for me to finish my breakfast and return to bed. It wasn't even seven o'clock.
I curled up next to my sleeping husband and wrapped my arms around him as he mumbled something in his sleep. All of my desires to wash dishes, bake cupcakes, prepare Sunday school lessons, and be productive became entangled into one singular desire. Sleep. I needed more sleep. . . and I drifted off for an hour or so before the neighbor downstairs started his pot of coffee and the smell sent me searching again for that green bowl.
I have to eat every two hours. I no longer enjoy eating. Food doesn't sound good, reading through recipes makes me ill, watching my favorite cooking show is unbearable. But every two hours I eat because without the food in my stomach, uncontrollable heaving ensues. I'm gaining weight because my body doesn't have the metabolism to keep up with the ramen and saltines. I want to exercise but don't have the strength to walk to the bathroom, let alone around the block.
I pulled out my scriptures and lesson manual and stared at them for a long time. I couldn't focus on the words, so I got back in bed. I began thinking about my anniversary which was the day before and how sweet my husband had been taking me back to the restaurant where we had our wedding luncheon. I remember how hard the smell was and how slowly I had to eat. I kept smiling at him, assuring him that I was fine and the food was great, which I'm sure it was. But it just wasn't chicken ramen.
Mom, thank you. Thank you for doing this time after time to ensure five little spirits received their earthly bodies.
It still doesn't feel real. It's difficult to imagine there's really a little person inside me. I can't feel them move or see a bump, but they are there depending on me for everything.
Mom, I'm scared. I don't think I'm as strong as you.
But I know this is my future and still I feel excitement. I can't wait to meet this little one, hold them in my arms, and introduce myself as their mommy. Though, I think they will already know that.