Late last night, as I stumbled down the hallway toward the bathroom, I noticed the clock blinking in the stove in the kitchen. It read 1:45 am.
"That means it's Monday," I thought. "I am officially 14 weeks. According to every single book I've read on the subject, my nausea should be ending right....about....now."
And then I threw up.
Then this morning I was pulled from a dream about pink lemonade by the distinct feeling that I was going to lose that lemonade and that I'd better hurry to the bathroom if I didn't want to have to clean up a mess. The lemonade turned out to be stomach acid, and I'm sorry if that's gross, but what I've learned these past 14 weeks is: pregnancy is gross.
But 14 weeks. I'm not sure if I believe it. This was supposed to be the morning sickness endpoint. In fact this was our safety week, the one we said aloud in order to be realistic while we secretly believed that maybe things would let up by weeks 11 or 12. The books all stop discussing morning sickness at this point. The say, "You made it!" And "The honeymoon period!" And "We told you you'd feel better!"
And for those of us still stumbling down the hallway in the middle of the night to do the thing that has never gotten less disgusting, this can make the world begin to feel a little lonely.
I still remember one sad day about six weeks ago, when the vomiting had really started to get serious and I put my foot down. "I refuse to go on like this," I said, as if I had any say in the matter. But I could not fathom having to feel that way for one more day, let alone another month and a half. It just didn't seem possible.
And yet. Those days and those weeks kept coming. Week 8 turned into Week 9 and then Week 10. Week 10 became Weeks 11, 12, and 13 and now here we are, just past what was supposed to be the furthest imaginable point of all this. We are past the moment that seemed impossible all those weeks ago. We've arrived in a new country, a place without guidebooks that cheer you along with, "Just a few more weeks!" and "Relief is just around the corner!" and the view is depressingly the same. It's barf-colored.
But while it's the same in one way, while it feels just as physically horrible to be inhabiting this body now as it did when all this first began, while there are some days when I just lie in the middle of the floor and wish the day would end and that the next would be slow to come, the difference is I now have this accumulation of weeks. I can look back at them, I can number their days, and I can know that I have made it through, just by putting one drowsy, complaining foot in front of the other.
And if that's true, if I have made it somehow through all these weeks, it means I have proof that no matter how awful each day has been, that day has passed, and the next one has come, and soon enough, whether it is next week or it's 26 weeks from now, this all will end, and I will feel well again.
And then, if all goes as I hope it does, soon after that I will be able to hold my little baby in my arms, pet her downy head, and whisper in her tiny ear: it's time to pay.