There’s nothing like the excitement of seeing that positive line appear on a pregnancy test. Congratulations! Visions of nursery decor start to dance in your head and the undesirable side effects of the first trimester might be the last thing on your mind.
I realize women experience varying degrees of pregnancy sickness. Please take my experience with a grain of salt, and of course your medical provider’s guidance always reigns supreme.
Before my first pregnancy, I heard the stories of those who have suffered with all-day pregnancy sickness (Read: NOT morning sickness) But my own first trimester symptoms hit hard and fast. As the weeks rolled on, I found that the feeling of physical wretchedness snowballed and I could never seem to escape from underneath it.
When I learned I was expecting for the second time, all the survival tips I wish I had executed during my first pregnancy came to mind. I was determined this time to do everything I could to feel a bit less miserable. As soon as I got that positive, I went into action!
Nausea Kits: I prepared a nausea kit for various places in my home, my night stand, my purse and the car. These were simply small bags with crackers, peppermints, ginger drops, lemon wipes, and extra trash bags just in case. Peppermints were a lifesaver for me – they helped keep waves of nausea at bay, settle indigestion, and removed that ever-lingering bad taste in my mouth.
Preventive Grocery Shopping: I hit the grocery store before the nausea even hit and stocked up on fresh ginger, lemon, appetizing sources of protein (protein is supposed to help!), peppermints, crackers, chamomile tea, fresh mint, ginger ale and Coca Cola. My worst enemy was an empty stomach. If I hadn’t eaten a meal or snacked in two hours, it was time to eat something. Even if it was the last thing I wanted to do. Hunger = disaster lies ahead.
Up the Fiber: The constipation that often comes with pregnancy can do nothing to help nausea. This time I started a SMALL dose of a fiber supplement and stool softener, per my doctor’s blessing, as soon as I learned I was pregnant. This made a HUGE difference the second time around, and was something tasteless I could choke down with my ginger ale, as opposed to leafy green vegetables.
Talk to a Friend (and the Doc): There were many days during my first pregnancy when I could have used the listening ear of a friend. This time, I didn’t tell the masses early on, but I did tell just a few close friends and family to check in on me. And they did. It seemed like they called the days when I was at my worst.
I also had a heart-to-heart with my doc. I relied heavily on the Vitamin B6 + Unisom combo but had a prescription for an anti-nausea prescription in my back pocket. There is no shame in asking for help. I also pinpointed that my lingering sickness was related to my prenatal vitamin. With his blessing, I switched to a gummy prenatal and that made me feel nearly 100% percent better. And naps. I felt so much better when I wasn’t exhausted. Find a way to get some extra zzzz’s any way you can!
Call It What it Is: I believe it is OK to detest morning sickness. It is good and right to acknowledge feeling wretched for what it is. I would expect no one in the human race to rejoice over an 8-week long stomach bug. There is space to delight in what the season will eventually produce and to simultaneously despise the physical symptoms it causes.
Perspective Pays Off: Morning sickness will eventually end. Feeling constantly sick is tiring and discouraging, but I didn’t give myself too much permission to wallow in it. Not to mention that running after a toddler didn’t give me much time either!
If you are in the throes of pregnancy sickness, I am rooting you on and sending encouragement from afar. You CAN get through this, and you surely WILL!