My body betrays me daily. Although my heart and soul shine with joy of the new life unfolding inside of me, my intestinal track is marching to an altogether different drummer. I know this is temporary, and a good sign of a healthy pregnancy in its first term, but I feel like I'm recovering from a raging frat party everyday.

I vomit when I eat, I vomit when I don't eat. Nausea plagues my days and my nights, coloring my life with a full-body sense of yuck. I have become a lack-luster woman on all counts, repulsed by tales of fabulous meals, sickened by virtually all culinary stimuli.

My nausea often renders me incapacitated for hours, even days on end, to which vomiting provides no lasting relief. My days are stained by actual or anticipated smells, and opening the refrigerator has become an act of bravery.

Nausea plagues my days and my nightsI have taken measures to try and help myself. I've tried acupressure, acupuncture, candied ginger, Saltines, ginger ale, and Vitamin B. I've tried keeping my belly full, keeping it empty. I've tried morning walks, positive thinking, and embarrassing amounts of home improvement downloads.

Nothing really works in a big way, and the dull thunder continues to roll in my depths, untouchable and ungraspable, slipping through my fingertips like a wave at high tide just as I begin to think I might be gaining some control over it. All that is left is to simply endure. Endurance, fortitude, stamina, and resilience are all adjectives I'm trying desperately to embody.

There are theories about why so many women suffer with nausea in their first trimester (and G‑d bless those sweet souls, for whom it extends far beyond): fluctuating blood sugar levels, a vampire-like sense of smell that sniffs out offending odors, raging hormone levels, or perhaps a protective mechanism for the embryo guarding him or her from otherwise harmful foods (I can only imagine my inner organs saying, "Red Alert Girls, cucumber on it's way, Keep that A-W-A-Y from the baby!").

Who knows why so many women go through this? Even if I knew the exact reason why I felt so sick, I don't think it would make me any less nauseous. However, I recently read that there are some researchers that suggest that nausea and vomiting in pregnancy could be due to a psychological predisposition: "an abnormal response to stress." I think if any such researcher would make that suggestion in my presence; that what I am experiencing is a merely a psycho-somatic response to the "stress" of pregnancy, I might just fix myself a plate of nachos supreme and let him deal with my "abnormal response"!

Yes, feeling horrible for months on end can be pretty stressful, but the suggestion that I have chosen this reality is a denial of the magnitude and impetuosity of this kind of sick.

Am I not trying hard enough to feel better?I suppose that psycho-somatic proposal strikes a chord in me because I myself have entertained and rejected the notion myself. I have spent countless hours examining my inner core for truth – lying on the couch at 5:00 p.m. while my older daughters entertain my three year old – I'd ask myself, "Am I indulging in some kind of secondary gain? Am I pleased in some twisted way that slack will be cut on my behalf because "Mommy's not feeling so well today?" Am I not trying hard enough to feel better?"

I've considered it all, taken responsibility wherever I thought I could – and I know, in the way that some people just know some things, that there is nothing I am doing to cause this. I'm not choosing to feel awful. No ill thinking or psychological stress is responsible for this debilitating reality. It just is what it is.

I am slowly coming to accept that I really have very little control over this situation. When I accept that wholly, I allow myself to open to the possibility of simply being where I am, and doing the best that I can moment to moment instead of wishing desperately I that I was elsewhere. When I remember the simple fact that the hormones raging within me, causing my intense sickness are the same hormones that are building my baby, my sweet, fig-sized baby, then at the very least, I gain some perspective. This is sickness for good, not the horrible kind that harms and scars and lasts. This is blessed yuck, honor yuck, this is good yuck.

As Passover approaches, the season where we are endowed with the spiritual strength to leap over and beyond our limitations, breaking the shackles of all that imprisons us, I'm going to try to remember that although I have been enslaved in my own small way by this nausea, this is only temporary state of being. This isn't the ultimate reality, this is just the way it is right now. There are way better days a'comin'.

I can only imagine the Jews inEgypt, after years and years of intolerable abuse and slavery, having a tough time believing that their liberation was imminent, even though they had already received prophesy thatredemption would come.1It's easy to forget the temporality of a difficult situation while you're suffering through it. But the Jews of Egypt endured. They had major fortitude and stamina, and were the embodiment of resilience. They made it through. Big time. And so will I.

I got a sneak-peak of my baby in progressJust yesterday, via ultrasound, I got a sneak-peak of my baby in progress. I wasn't planning on doing an ultrasound, but when we were unable to locate a heartbeat with the Doppler, we decided to have a closer look. Seeing that little floating body, delicate, tiny, and whole, opened up something new inside of me. I knew I was pregnant from the start, but something changed in me the moment I saw this kid. It made it real. It was my personal Moses appearing announcing that redemption was imminent. We Jews knew that the exodus was coming all along, we had heard the prophecy, had seen the miracles, but we needed Moses to show up and say it to make it real.

I guess I needed to see it to make it real for me. Lying on the exam table, I realized for the first time with a clarity I was previously unable to access how much meaning there is in all this sick. It seems a bit ridiculous to have not made that connection before, but feeling so down-and-out had actually dulled my awareness that I was growing a baby inside of me, a real baby. I knew it intellectually, but I didn't own that knowing. That visual helped me see that this sick was about so much more than me.

While we each wait for our own redemption in this overextended exile, G‑d willing one day very, very soon, we should all be blessed to marvel about how our experience, all too often seeped in yuck, morphed into something so magnificent.