Hyperemesis and Why I’m Ashamed of My Too Thin, Post-pregnancy Body

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Concept of healthy lifestyle.You see all the time women struggling to lose the weight after baby. Some Moms truly gain a lot of weight despite eating healthy and exercise. Some gain weight because they eat donuts, Skittle bags, and everything else under the sun while pregnant (yes, I actually saw a girl at work who ate nonsense like this every day while gaining 40-50 pounds). However, those of us with hyperemesis – true hyperemesis, weekly hospitalizations, PICC lines, etc. — not the Kate Middleton kind, where you are out weekly for date nights with your husband — struggle on the opposite end to regain our pre-pregnancy bodies with any sort of weight or muscle.

I’m 25 pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant. I’ve lost my muscle tone, I can’t workout like I used to, I can’t gain a single pound no matter what I do. My clothes won’t fit, I still struggle to eat, I still just don’t feel “right” for whatever it’s worth. Hyperemesis left me with two permanent scars from the PICC lines and a too-thin frail frame. I constantly have people tell me “My god, you’re so thin – you look great!” When I feel just the opposite, that I am too thin. I’m envious of people who workout and have the stamina; I’m envious of people who look healthy like I used to. There’s all this support for people who need to lose weight and such very few outlets and information for hyperemesis sufferers and the lingering effects post-baby. We had our daughter 7 months ago and even once we stopped breastfeeding the weight stayed off. Some days between the after-effects of hyperemesis, the working full-time, then coming home and dealing with a baby who needs Mommy-time, a catnap, dinner, bath and bedtime all in a 3 hour stretch leaves little time for eating or trying to get back to normal. Usually by the time Emily’s asleep, I’m nauseous from not eating and eating a big dinner at 8 PM is not in the cards, and will make my sleep even worse than it already is.

I wouldn’t change a thing – but the lingering effects of hyperemesis have us struggling with how my body would handle another pregnancy. It’s a question with an answer, I’m not mentally prepared for today.

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