As it turns out, my Nana (grandmother) gave me more than just her red hair.
I've also inherited her constitution. In one way, that's a fantastic thing. She has always has an amazing amount of energy. While I was growing up, she would take my sisters and I camping for a week or two in every summer. I always remember her right there beside us, running and playing and walking and fishing. I'm glad I'll have that seemingly everlasting youthfulness to look forward to.
I also inherited much of her physical make-up. We both suffer migraines, and have a strange reaction to the binding in all pills which severely upsets our stomach. And we both have terrible pregnancies.
We spoke on the phone yesterday, and as she spoke of her three pregnancies I felt as though she were describing my own experiences. She even used the exact analogy that I use in regards to illness in the first 4 months: that it is as though our body were fighting something foreign inside, that our body thinks the baby is incompatible. Everything inside - every system - is upended and out of sorts. She actually spent a lot of time in hospital during the first two pregnancies on an IV, and only avoided this during the third pregnancy by spending most of her days lying completely still in bed. I've avoided hospitalization by naturally taking this same measure - before I even knew my Nana had done the same thing.
Nana mentioned my mother's cousin, who also suffered in the same way during pregnancy, had been reading a little on blood types and pregnancies. There is no research in the area, but questions have been posed about possible problems with the mother and father have different positive/negative elements in their blood (which is the case for James and I). I wonder if my body really is fighting something foreign, and only sort of settles in after 4 months of dealing with it, as a sort of truce. I also wonder if there might not be something that could be done about it, similar to blood/organ transplants cases in which drugs are administered so that the body doesn't fight the foreign element.
I feel that too little research is done on the first trimester of pregnancy. Doctors are so quick to write things off as "morning sickness" and I've never felt a doctor feel any inclination to look further into why my body takes this so badly. As someone who has always been in tune with her body, I know something deeper is going on, I only wish I could figure it out and do something about it!