Perfection (Caurie)

Becoming a mother saved my life. Before I became pregnant with my first son my focus in life was my body. I had anorexia and exercise bulimia for years. In the pursuit of a “perfect” body my body was like an old woman’s. I had osteopenia, the enamel on my teeth was eroded, my heart had palpitations, and I had a seizure. I was 27 years old! I got pregnant on Valentine’s Day 2003 and immediately my whole focus in life changed. I fell in love with the little bean inside me instantly. At just five weeks pregnant, though, my body turned on me (who could blame it!?) I started throwing up and it would not stop. After passing out from dehydration and being taken to the hospital I found out I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum– a pregnancy complication marked by extreme vomiting, nausea, and weight loss. Basically it is like having the worst case of morning sickness 24-7. During my first trimester I lost 20 pounds and was hospitalized five times for IV hydration and nutrition. The IVs kept my baby alive as I could not even hold down water. I worried every minute that my baby was going to die. For the first time in my life I WANTED to gain weight, but I could not. The lowest point in my Hyperemesis came when a hospital physician suggested I was making myself sick because I didn’t want to gain weight. At around 24 weeks the vomiting stopped thanks to anti-emetic medicines used for chemotherapy patients. I slowly began to gain weight and look pregnant. I LOVED the rest of my pregnancy and embraced the roundness of my body, fullness of my breasts, and widening of my hips. Brice was born on November 4 and it was truly the best day of my life. Because of the Hyperemesis I did not plan to get pregnant again, but my husband and I were surprised with a souvenir from a vacation in May 2006! The day I found out I was pregnant again my OB started me on the same medications that helped my Hyperemesis with Brice. I am happy to report that I had an excellent pregnancy with Brady – the medications worked and I only had to be hospitalized once – when I delivered him. Although he had some breathing difficulty at birth, he is now a healthy, happy, and rotund baby. January 12 marks one year postpartum. I have had such a journey with my body over the past several years. At this point I no longer view my body with negativity, but with respect. I admire it not for what it looks like, but for what its achieved — two pregnancies, two births, and the nourishment of two babies through its milk. Unlike how it looked when I was anorexic – bony, gaunt, and child like – my body is now curvy, fleshy, and womanly. I have accepted it. Sure there are moments when I do not exactly embrace it, but thinness is no longer the focus of my life. My focus is my sons. How can I hate a body which gave me such precious gifts? In this sense, my body is finally “perfect.

Photos: Photos: 1) 34 weeks pregnant with my first in yoga pose 2) 34 weeks pregnant with my second 3) Breastfeeding 4) My boys and I

Courtesy of photographer Sara Matlik

10 thoughts on “Perfection (Caurie)

  • Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 11:31 am

    that sounds like a terrifying experience & i’m so proud of you for shifting your focus & surviving it. you look amzing now.

  • Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    I’m glad to hear that you are no longer anorexic or bulimic. Your sons are beautiful! I love your breastfeeding photo. It’s gorgeous. I also love your pregnancy photos! You had the most beautiful pregnant belly. I loved being pregnant and I miss it so much. I can’t wait for a full belly with a little miracle living inside.
    God bless you and your family!

  • Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    I never experienced any nausea during pregnancy. I was hungry all the time and ate way too much. So I can’t imagine what you went through (except I’ve had stomach flu a few times, and I’m sure your distress was much worse than that.) I am so glad that in spite of the hypervomiting, you were able to have two healthy children. They are lovely and you are a beautiful mother!

  • Friday, April 4, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    You are so beautiful! And your sons are adorable! They look a lot like you. Your story gives me a lot of hope. I suffer from anorexia and bulimia, too. Your courage gives me strength! Thank you.

  • Friday, April 4, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    What sort of baby sling are you using? It’s just what I’m looking for but can only seem to find the very structured, made-up ones, and the total hippie long piece of fabric ones. Thanks!

    Your older son is the definition of “spitting image” lol. Very cute. :)

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    You look amazing and I’m happy you made it through. I never ever had a eating disorder and I had hyperemesis with my first and only pregnancy so far. But I am so scared on getting pregnant because I thought I will have it in every pregnancy and I can’t even find an isurance that will cover me.

  • Monday, April 21, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Our sons share a birthday!!! Nov 4th. Your story is amazing and I appericate you sharing. I think you summed it up nicely when you said you have a new focus!! Congrats.

  • Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Thanks so much for all of the sweet comments! My sling is a fleece Peanut Shell.

  • Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Caurie, you look beautiful in these photos. I was moved by your story of how having a family changed your life for the better.

  • Monday, February 1, 2010 at 9:34 am

    wow… that sounds exactly like what happened to me! i wonder if its common for people just starting recovery to experience hyperemesis? you have beautiful babies and you look awesome! congrats.

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