Evening Sickness

Stephanie was up at three a.m. this morning to worship at the altar of the porcelain goddess, and I was up with her, as jittery and nervous as ever, feeling as if there was nothing in the world I could do to comfort my wife. The vomiting, when it happens, seems to go on forever. And it always starts with her coughing, not an activity I’d previously associated with throwing up, but one that always brings retching to mind nowadays. Whenever she coughs lately, I can’t help but think that a trip to the bathroom is imminent. And I really, really don’t like the sound of someone throwing up. It always makes me want to throw up, too. So her cough is actually all it takes to make me queasy.

These bouts of nausea have tended to be middle of the night things during this third trimester, the sort of thing that passes by morning. Today, however, it did not pass. And instead of heading into work for her last day on the job, she had to call in sick. She’s doing much better now, halfway through the day, and I’m worrying less. But I’m still worrying. I wish that I could be there with her, that our financial situation would allow such an indulgence. And I wish that this pregnancy was over, not only because I want to meet my daughter, but also because I want my wife to be done with this ordeal.

We don’t know what caused this latest episode — the microwave pizza we had last night, the continued use of medicine to control what appears to be a non-existent case of gestational diabetes, or the simple build up of phlegm from the cold Stef’s been fighting for well over a month — but she’s keeping in touch with the doctors, and with me, and she’s resting. And that’s all we can really do.