By Lauren Conaway
I am a coward.
When the doctor told me I was pregnant, I was dumbfounded. The room was cold. I was vulnerable in my little robe, and his words echoed for what seemed like hours.
How could this be? I was on the pill. Every month, I called Planned Parenthood. I made sure to pick up that prescription, and I took that tiny, politicized pill religiously. 4:00 p.m. on the dot, every day. I later came to find out that I’m what’s called a “fast metabolizer,” a concept I didn’t even know existed until it was too late.
I was almost two months along. I was almost 20 years old.
My periods had always been a bit irregular so the first tip-off was the constant vomiting. I was so, so sick. From the moment I woke up to the moment I put my exhausted head on the pillow, I felt like an absolute trainwreck. Unable to keep food or even water down, I lost almost 20 pounds over the course of a month. Later, as I watched Kate Middleton grapple with hyperemesis gravidarum during her first pregnancy, I felt a pang of recognition. Is that what I was experiencing so many years ago? I’ll probably never know.
At the time, I was 3 months past a PTSD-fueled nervous breakdown and the subsequent ending of my brief and dramatic college career.Continue reading