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)”
that sounds like a terrifying experience & i’m so proud of you for shifting your focus & surviving it. you look amzing now.
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!
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!
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.
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. :)
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.
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.
Thanks so much for all of the sweet comments! My sling is a fleece Peanut Shell.
Caurie, you look beautiful in these photos. I was moved by your story of how having a family changed your life for the better.
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.