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The Barbie Barf Club

You can only read this if you belong to the Barbie Barf ClubHyperemesis Gravidarum (Severe Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy)(SNVP). Yes, the exclusive club of women, only women, who endure the hardships of pregnancy with retching, gagging, heaving, spewing, puking, barfing, hurling, ralphing, throwing-up, spewing, losing- it, bringing-up, coughing-up, upchucking–or shall I say, formally, vomiting “with child.”

This is a special group of women, especially if you happen to be a repeat member. Once a member, always a member. Why do I “bring this up”? Not for me, but for my daughter and all the great women who begin the sacrifice for motherhood at their child’s gestational age of 4-5 weeks.
The first time around, I was taken by surprise; the second time I was hoping it was a one-time thing; the third time, I prepared to endure, and after that I no longer hoped for anything different. I became the life-long friend of all women who belonged to this upscale club. The dues is heavy and demanding, and it’s set on auto-draft from your account.
I laugh now, but when I was 25, and hoping to be pregnant, I took a sample of pee into the doctor to see if I might be “expecting.” I was so excited at the prospects. In those days you had to wait weeks after missing your period and you had to make a trip to the doctor’s office. I laugh because I felt so incredibly good! Later I found out that I didn’t need to be running to the doctor’s office for confirmation of my pregnancy–it came with grand announcements of nausea and vomiting.
I took a drug called Bendectin. You can buy it as  unisom now, and I took that for the last four kids — it’s really an over- the-counter sleeping aid. Too bad you can’t just sleep through it.  I had two miscarriages of barfing and five pregnancies of barfing with the outcome of healthy babies.
I carried around a bottle of Perrier water with the last child, I was 40+ years old. I learned the tricks of the trade — barf to feel better, and then eat (not at all like the stomach flu)–small amounts, too. And there was no guarantee it would stay down. And early to bed–like 7 pm–to stare helplessly at the little black & white tv propped up on my mattress, broadcasting “Jeopardy” ( I never watch that now, it makes me sick.)
When I first moved to Irvine, I was 26, and became pregnant with all the positive signs. I lost the first to miscarriage, and the second was rough going, but I had my daughter–my only daughter, who is now a member of this club.
Not every pregnant woman is the same. One comrade in action advised drinking grape juice — it was easy to barf. But stay away from rice..not something that comes back up with ease. And, always eat after you barf. Don’t go too long between meals, eat even when you do not feel like it. Barf, and then eat. There is great camaraderie in this club. I understand the role of the Savior much better now — that he had to suffer our infirmities so that he could be the servant at the gate.

I am sorry that my daughter got the genetic predisposition to be sick from me, from my mom and back. My daughter took zofran. It helped a little teeny tiny bit, but it comes with side effects like not being able to poop. Take your choice.

Hats off to all of you women who are members of the Barbie Barf Club. And for those of you that “love being pregnant” – that don’t even know that you’re pregnant, or just plain feel wonderful — we have no openings for you in our club.