Stories I will Tell My Children. Bert Anderson for ThirstiesMy mother loved telling me stories about how horrendously sick she was when she was pregnant with me. She told me how one morning on the way to work she had to pull over during Chicago’s rush hour traffic. Once she was on the side of the road she had to throw up. Now, I don’t know if she threw up in a bag in the car or if she threw up outside of the car. I couldn’t really ever figure out how one could have morning sickness so badly that they instantly needed to throw up and could not wait. Surely, this has to be one of these exaggerated mom things, you know, the stuff we plan to say to our kids when they’re a little older so they truly appreciate all the work and “suffering” we’ve done for them.

For example, I’ll tell Brennan, my oldest son, one day, “You know what? When I was pregnant with you I was so sick that I threw up for the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy. The worst part was that it all happened at 8:30pm or 9:00pm so I was extremely nauseous until the deed was done!” My pregnancy with Kendall was not as extreme as it was with Brennan but I was exhausted 95% of the time and she came two and a half weeks early which resulted in a stay in the special care nursery. I think for her I’ll describe how she scared her father and me because I saw her aspirate on the examination table. The awesome nurses (let’s give all of the nurses in the house a round of applause!) jumped into action and I sat there in a glider sobbing as they worked on my little girl.

This child, this one whom I’m carrying in my womb, will hear this story:

It was a rainy October morning. I had overslept and your brother needed to be dropped off at preschool. Feeling rather nauseous, I took a shower, stopped to catch my breath as a wave of nausea overcame me, and continued on my very hurried little way. I had a deadline to make and that meant getting your sister dressed and fed and your brother out the door to school on time. I grabbed a handful of dry Corn Chex cereal, some water and a banana on the way out of the door, hoping that they would do the trick and soothe my upset tummy. Following the rules of the road but also keeping in mind that we were already late for school, I sped through our neighborhood and got out to the main road that runs through our tiny town.

Thinking I was home free it happened. I started feeling flush. My cheeks started to get hot and my stomach rolled around angrily inside of me. I knew what was coming. There was nothing I could do. There was no where I could go. I wouldn’t make it back to the house in time so I’d just have to pull over to the side of the road. Turning on my hazards I contemplated climbing into passenger seat to spare the drivers who were passing my Sienna.

No time! I had to do this now and there was no stopping it! I opened the driver’s side door and you guessed it. Up came the banana and the Corn Chex and the water. Car after car passed me by and I felt like I should look up in apology in between spews for the gross visual they encountered on their Friday morning drive to work. I couldn’t do that though because whenever I was able to take a break I had to explain to my children what was happening:

Kendall, 2 years old: Mommy what happened?

Brennan, almost 5 years old: Mom! We’re going to be late for preschool!! What are you doing?!

I mean really kids? What am I doing? I just thought I’d take a nice leisurely drive and throw up along the side of the road for all of my town’s workforce to see on their morning commute.

I survived my roadside morning sickness episode and I felt amazing for the rest of that day. If only I threw up every morning, sigh, then I’d be ready to grow a human and take on the world. Alas, it’s not the way this pregnancy seems to be going for me but at least I have an awesome “you better be nice to me because…” story to tell this child one day.

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