Thursday, July 31, 2008

Confessions Of An HG Husband

Hyperemesis sucks. The constant nausea and difficulty keeping liquids or solids down has wiped my wife out. She's only been dehydrated once so far but she's pretty much been knocked on her ass. Even little things exhaust her and just about any time she eats it's followed by a nap as she tries to keep from vomiting. We knew what we were getting into after going through this twice already but it's still a struggle. It's left us wondering what we were thinking on more than one occasion. Speaking from the point of view of a husband of and HG wife, I've got to say it takes a lot out of everyone involved.

Yes, it means more of the household responsibilities are up to me. I actually gave the kids a bath last week which I think brings the grand total of times I've flown solo on that to four, maybe. It can also be a bit much to have them constantly pulling at me and asking for things. It certainly means it takes longer to post one of these things. Apparently watching daddy type is not what they consider "quality time". Throw in making sure mommy's got everything she needs and it can take a toll. We're lucky that we've got family around us that's very helpful and supportive though which is nice. In my opinion though, HG does have its upside.

When I say it has an upside I'm strictly talking about me. I can't imagine what the positive of actually having this could be and I'm thankful I don't have it. Since I'm not the one in a constant state of nausea induced exhaustion let me tell you what the benefits are for me. For starters, when the kids finally get to sleep and it's time to just relax and watch TV, there's very little debate about what we watch. "What do you want to watch? Oh, you're asleep already. Ultimate fighting it is then." Little tips for HG husbands, if she's awake just let her watch whatever show she wants. Two minutes into Ugly Betty or that show where the couple has eight youngsters and she'll be asleep. The remote is then all yours and you still get credit for being supportive. Thanks to that I've had lots of extra time to get reacquainted with old friends like Seinfeld or Kenny vs. Spenny. I've even gotten into Entourage. I'm not really sure what it is about that show that appeals to me but it's on at least one channel just about all the time which is nice. Also, with the help of the baby monitor, I can keep track of how everyone is doing while I spend time in the basement playing video games. My thumb is starting to toughen up again. If we didn't have kids I can't even imagine how much time I'd have for the things I like to do.

Added free time isn't the only good thing. There's also the food. There's only a select few things she can manage to keep down. At the moment that's pretty much just ketchup chips and croissants with jam. Most other things she can't even be around. That of course leaves just me and the kids at mealtime. It means I have to cook usually but it also means more food for me. The kids hardly ever finish everything on their plates which leaves the rest for me. Provided they haven't turned it into something too disgusting, it could mean quite a feast for me. We also save on grocery bills since we're not going through quite as much food. Another tip for the husbands, buy a few things you know your wife enjoys but that you like too. Odds are she's not going to be able to eat much of it, if any, which leaves a nice little treat for you but you still get the credit for being thoughtful. "If you're too nauseous I guess I could eat that whole cheesecake. The smell of those mozzarella sticks makes you feel sick too? I'll get rid of them for you then." I didn't learn that one the first pregnancy and I actually lost about 15 lbs or so. She couldn't eat much or stand the smell of most foods so I didn't eat as much as normal either. Having kids that need to be fed makes a difference though. Like I said, I get to eat my meal and finish off theirs most times. It's a win win.

Finally, there's the big advantage of HG. It's not my wife's fault that she can't do as much around the house. She's very sick and does as much as she can. (For the record, she does more than I would do if I was in her shoes. I'd be on my back all day long soaking all the pity I could.) It does leave more for me to do around here and that results in one thing, guilt. She feels guilty about not being able to help as much. That guilt just keeps increasing. Think of it as a high interest bank account that you get to cash in at the end. I'm hoping my account will add up to a new gaming system so keep your fingers crossed. That leads me to my final HG husband tip, always make it look difficult. Even if you find it easy, make it look a little bit difficult. You don't want to make it look so tough that she feels horrible, just enough to cause a little bit of guilt. It will also make your wife feel better about herself as a mom when she sees you struggling to do something she does easily on a daily basis. Guilt plus increased self esteem, that's a winning combination.

So it's a very long tough journey getting through an HG pregnancy. It takes a tole on everyone involved. If you're an HG husband though it doesn't have to be all bad, provided you handle it right. You can have free time to watch sports or play video games. You can pretty much eat whatever you want as long as you do it discretely. And ultimately you can bank a nice little guilt account that you can cash in later on. If it wasn't for the horrible, life threatening illness part, it'd be great for everyone involved.


Erin said...

You so are so funny. I love you. Now stop typing and go clean! ;)

FellowHGer said...

My HG husband got an XBox 360 :-) Hint Hint