The Fragile Vessel

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About Matthew Salesses

Matthew Salesses was adopted from Korea at age two and lives in Boston with his wife, baby, and cats. He has written for The New York Times Motherlode blog, NPR, Hyphen, The Rumpus, and other venues. His new book is I'm Not Saying, I'm Just Saying. See more at his eponymous website. Contact him via email or @salesses.


  1. I wanted to comment and say that I know this pain. I went through this with my own daughter. I was so sick I was scared to eat anything and ended up losing weight. I had other complications that had me in the hospital a few times. I had to go to the ER for dehydration as well. Give your wife lots of hugs and both of you know that this won’t last forever. Soon you will have a little squirmy baby girl that will manage to wrap you around her little pinky with no effort at all. My daughter will be 3 in June, and I can say when it is all done with it will be totally worth it.

    hugs to both of you

    • Matthew Salesses says:

      Thanks, Gamermomma. That means a lot. I read your comment to my wife, and she and I both really appreciate your words and support. Cathreen seems to be turning the corner (now at the 20-week mark), so we’re praying the rest of the pregnancy will be as lovely as seems possible.

  2. Your last sentence is the most beautiful acknowledgment of what it means to be a mother that I can recall reading.

    I have three daughters. Each pregnancy was different. I never had morning sickness. Migraines, instead. Twenty-two years later, I can still smell perfume/smoke/fumes from MILES away. Blerg.

    I can remember how I felt on the home stretch. I wanted my body back. Not my figure: my body. I wanted to be the only one inhabiting it.

    I wish all women had the benefit of a partner like you beside her to just *be there*. Bless you both and congratulations! Best, M.

  3. Debbie Collier says:

    Matt, I so hope Cathreen has truly turned that corner. There is so much social pressure to enjoy a pregnancy and all its wonders. True, the wonders are there but sometimes hard to appreciate amid the discomfort and sickness. Your baby girl will know she was loved….from the very moment of conception and through all you and Cathreen have endured since. She is a lucky girl indeed!!

  4. I love how you love your fragile vessel(s), Matt.


  1. [...] can’t have another baby is: pregnancy. We remember the morning sickness, all day. We remember the ER visits. We remember the cold allergy (which never went away). We remember the PUPPP rash, the itch. We [...]

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