Thanksgiving Reflections

Time to count my blessings as Thanksgiving is drawing near! Praise the Lord for sustaining me thus far! I’m thankful that the worst of the HG is over. I’m grateful that I haven’t vomited in about a month – this is the longest I’ve gone without throwing up since May! I am truly indebted to my husband and my parents and their faithful love and support throughout this ordeal. I’ve been blessed with my little chub-chub, Annelise who makes me smile and laugh through the nausea. I’m thankful for friends and their uplifting prayers. Thank the Lord for His protection over baby Katelynn thus far – that despite my initial 15 pound weight loss, Katelynn is alive and well!

I made it to 32 weeks…just a couple more months of HG!

Thanks for reading and know that I’m grateful for all of your support!

For Thanksgiving, we are planning to drive up north to the Bay Area to spend time with my in-laws. I’ve been bracing myself for this trip. Wish me luck that I won’t get car sick and throw up during the long drive! Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve been receiving cards and letters from various Beyond Morning Sickness volunteers all over the country. I am so touched by their efforts to reach out to me, a complete stranger. They truly are like angels, lifting me up in their thoughts and prayers.

Annelise’s First Birthday

Have you ever forced yourself to smile even though you feel like hell on the inside? Nothing about nausea is pleasant. But what do you do when your nausea lasts for 9 months? People might be sympathetic for the first few months of the pregnancy but they expect you to feel better after a while. So, at some point, you have to suck it up and fake a smile for the world. And at some point, you have to minimize your symptoms and tell people you feel okay even though you don’t really feel all that great.

So I forced myself to smile for Annelise’s first birthday this past July.

Traditionally, Korean families hold big celebrations (called “dol janchi”) for their child’s first birthday. Apparently, this tradition came about because in the past, babies frequently died before their first birthday due to various diseases. So if a baby made it to his or her first birthday, it was a big deal. Of course, these days in Korea, most babies survive well past their first birthday but people still throw elaborate and extravagant “dol” parties.

Because of the HG, I hadn’t done a single thing to prepare for Annelise’s birthday party. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure I would feel good enough to even attend her party! We decided to do a simple, cozy family party. My mother-in-law made the reservations for the restaurant. My mom arranged catering for the fruit and dessert and she also bought a han-bok (traditional Korean dress) for Annelise. The one thing I did was order a custom-design cake for her.

It took every ounce of energy for me to get ready and go out to the restaurant for Lisi’s birthday. This would be the first time I would go out in public since my HG nightmare started. I had just discontinued my home IV treatment. Taking a shower was arduous. Getting dressed and putting on makeup for the first time in months felt strange. I was very anxious about throwing up during the car ride to the restaurant or during her party but thankfully I made it through the day without vomiting. I couldn’t eat too much because my stomach still hurt every time I ate anything.

I forced myself to smile during pictures – I really wanted a good family photo. It was pretty overwhelming to see all our relatives after being cooped up at home, but I was so thankful for everyone coming out, so I forced more smiles.

Annelise is quite a character. She became cranky and started bawling in the middle of the party because she was sleepy and tired. But as soon as we gave her a snack, she immediately calmed down. She loves food!

Looking at her gleefully chowing down on the puffs made me smile. And this one was a genuine smile…I was glad that my daughter was happy. I was thankful that the Lord blessed her for one year and that she is so healthy and chubby. My first HG miracle baby.