Heartbreak in Las Vegas*

When I was 20 weeks pregnant, my fiancé and I, at my impatient mother’s urging, abandoned our plans to wed the following fall and headed for a whirlwind wedding in Las Vegas. Instead, we discovered an overwhelming ache and fear that we carry with us still.

My pregnancy was plagued with hyperemesis- severe nausea and vomiting that lasts the duration of the pregnancy and usually results in dehydration, malnutrition, and the loss of at least 5 percent (most time 10 percent) of pre-pregnancy weight and constant leaking. Nevertheless, I got the OK to travel, even though I did not want to go to Vegas. As much as I wanted to marry my best friend, I did not want this kind of wedding.

A Grueling Trip

We left Oneonta, New York, on a Friday in February and drove three hours to the New Windsor, New York, where my soon-to-be sister-in-law cut hair. She gave her brother a haircut, then we took her minivan to the Bronx where I got my hair done. It was a long night. It takes forever to do black hair and this time it took even longer because of my frequent trips to the bathroom. When Andrew finally picked me up, I was uncomfortable and extremely tired. We drove to my mother’s house on the other side of the Bronx, where I slept uncomfortably in a green recliner. Little did I know that things would get even more uncomfortable the next day.

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*This post was originally published on in 2009

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