It was 2017. My partner and I had just found out we were expecting our first baby. We were ecstatic. Growing up I was an only child, having lost my younger sister at a young age. As a result, I had created this elaborate fantasy of a large family in my future, six children and three dogs deep. In my mind, I was well on the way to my large and loud family.
Excitement turned to worry when I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HE). I am Kenyan and at the time we lived in Nairobi, my country's capital city. As the months progressed and I wasted away, unable to keep anything I ate or drank down, we decided to move to my partner's hometown where I would be able to access specialized care for the condition.
We moved to Austria, to a relatively small town on the outskirts of Vienna. Leaving Kenya, I knew my life was about to be turned upside down. Newly married and expecting a baby far away from everyone I knew and loved, I anticipated an initial period of settlement-related stress. However, in typical optimistic fashion, I figured I would find my place in this new world fairly quickly, leaving me to focus on mothering my child in as optimum a manner as possible.