. . . as I knelt on the bathroom floor, in my suit, throwing up for the third time since breakfast, I was struck by the realization that my Mom was not born with an innate ability to “suck it up,” but rather it was a skill she was forced to cultivate as soon as she became pregnant . . .
I have always been in awe of my Mom’s high threshold for pain and her ability to push through ailments that brought lesser beings my father and brother to their knees.
Growing up, while a common cold or a tension headache would send the rest of the family off to the sofa for a few hours or a few days of bedrest, it seemed that not even a full-blown migraine or an attack of vertigo could stop my Mom from cooking dinner, going to class/work, and/or teaching a class full of screaming preschoolers at children’s church.
I always suspected this was some sort of superpower my Mom was born with. But this morning, as I knelt on the bathroom floor — in my suit — throwing up for the third time since breakfast, I was struck by the realization that my Mom was probably not born with an innate ability to “suck it up,” but rather it was likely a skill she was forced to cultivate as soon as she became pregnant with my older brother.
You see, under normal circumstances, constant nausea, extreme fatigue, raging and chronic heartburn coupled with simultaneous sensations of starvation, and unpredictable and uncontrollable vomiting episodes would be more than enough reason to call in sick and spend the day in bed. But, when you are pregnant all preconceived notions about normality are thrown out the window (at least when it comes to your body), and unless you plan on dialing it in for the next 3 months (if you are lucky), you just drop a plastic bag into your purse, pack a toothbrush (in the naive hope that you will at some point in the day be able to use it without triggering another “episode”), and get on with your day.
I must say, though, that while this new state of affairs undoubtedly sucks (I would much much much rather be at home in bed watching daytime TV and sipping gingerale than sitting here at my desk praying that my lunch stays in my stomach where it belongs), I am seeing the bright side — in a few short years, my little son or daughter will admire my seemingly superhuman threshold for pain and illness, and that is pretty cool.