Day 2: My Deepest Fear

May 21st, 2015

Joslyn Hamilton, freelance editor, Salt Lake City, UtahI’m taking part in a 30-day writing experiment. See Kale & Cigarettes for details.

I am just getting over one of the worst head colds I’ve ever had. One of those ones where you’re like, I don’t know if this is technically a cold, the flu, Mad Cow Disease, or outrageous mutant 21st century allergies, but it doesn’t really matter, because I want to die. 

I am a giant baby when I am sick (and all of the other times, too) and the timing was terrible in terms of Jon’s work schedule. I was on 24/7 baby duty for much of it, and spent about a good quarter of each day washing my hands and dousing myself with Thieves Oil so the girls wouldn’t get it.

So far, so good, except now Jon is getting sick, and on top of that, our nanny, Annie (yes Annie the nanny) just cancelled on me today because she has a stomach bug. She was here all day yesterday, cuddling and smooching the girls, so now I’m worried about them getting her bug on top of mine.

I am also really worried that I will get it. Because, as I mentioned, I’m bad at being sick. And also, I have a deep-seated clinical phobia of throwing up. This is one of my main things in life and yet something I never write or talk about. It’s one of those things that’s such a big part of me that I’ve spent a large part of my life trying to hide it from everyone.

If I see or even hear someone throwing up, my pulse races and I get an overwhelming urge to run away. Seeing a movie character throw up on screen sends me into paroxysms of panic. Having a stomach bug or food poisoning is one of my top three fears. This is the exclusive reason that I claimed to be a vegetarian for eight years of my young life: so I could avoid eating meat, which in my mind, led to food poisoning. (Except, you know, bacon, which I’m pretty sure I ate the entire time I was a vegetarian. Bacon is always exempt.) For years when I was young I was afraid of food. I was extremely skinny and tried to hide it by wearing a lot of layers all year long, in true anorexic fashion, although I wasn’t trying to be thin. I just didn’t want to eat food. Leave it to me to create my own exclusive eating disorder.

So if I’m being honest, one of the main reasons I was afraid of being pregnant was the morning sickness. The responsibility of actually having children didn’t really scare me, and neither did the idea of childbirth (although, that’s a story for another time). I was most terrified of throwing up while pregnant. I was convinced that I would be one of those women who gets hyperemesis gravidarum—extreme morning sickness that renders you bedridden throughout your confinement. Even just normal, average, run-of-the-mill morning sickness terrified me, so when I found out I was having twins, I thought I was doubly effed. And the old wives will tell you that having two girls means you’ll be sickest of all.

But guess what? I didn’t have any morning sickness. I mean, none. I did not throw up. I did not feel sick, at least, nothing that a constant influx of carbs round-the-clock couldn’t curb. I did have every single other pregnancy symptom known to man, but I did not have that one.

So, all that worrying for nothing.

That will be my epitaph.

Or, I will get this stomach bug—probably jinxing myself just writing this—and I will have to prove that I can get through anything, now that I am a mom. 

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One Response to “Day 2: My Deepest Fear”

  1. robin lucas says:

    Ok, I won’t tell you that my son just told me he threw up this morning (when he was late for school again). Since he’s older I no longer check to see it or clean it up. I just believe.

    I wrote an article in his honor (and yours).

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