Morning Sickness… I am fairly certain a bloke came up with that terminology because let me tell you now, it isn’t just morning sickness, it’s all day long sickness.
I love being pregnant, and every day I feel so grateful to be in this position, but undoubtedly, dealing with morning sickness has been the absolute hardest part of pregnancy. Three quarters of women deal suffer with sickness, usually in the first trimester, which is even more difficult to deal with because the vast majority of women like to keep their pregnancy a secret during this time until you have the reassurance of the 12 week scan. I seem to have become a master at managing to throw up “on the sly”. Because I have thrown pretty much every day since around week 6.
I had terrible morning sickness with Josh, and I’d been hoping that the pregnancy gods may have spared this time round, but no such luck. For me, morning sickness is a similar feeling to travel sickness and it’s fucking horrible. That feeling of nausea and knowing you are going to have to throw up RIGHT THIS SECOND. That of course knackers you out, your body feels empty of food which you really don’t need because your food supply is supposed to be nurturing your growing baby, but then the thought of food makes you feel sick again, it’s just a continual vicious circle. It can really suck to be entirely honest. I’ve really tried not to complain out loud too much; I know how fortunate I am to be in this position, being pregnant, and that so many other women would love to be suffering with horrible sickness for such a lovely reason. In fact even my husband said to me the other day how I’ve just got on with it and that that’s quite amazing in itself.
When I was pregnant with Josh I could rest, I could sleep it off as best as I could. But Josh is not one for being sympathetic about Mummy being sick; to him it’s still time to play and cause mischief. And this is whilst I’ve been sick pretty much every single day since the end of May (it’s now the end of August)! I had hoped that by the time I got into the second trimester, the famous honeymoon trimester where you’re meant to be glowing, I’d be feeling a bit better. But it’s still here, plaguing me, and the glow I have is from sweating after a vom session.
So how have I survived this bitching sickness the second time around. I’ve tried many things but there are definitely some things that seem to help:
- Eating! I am hungry the vast amount of the time! And if I get to a point where I start to feel hungry I feel even worse. So it’s been a case of little and often food wise. I can’t lie; it’s been a pretty beige world at points. A lot of toast, cereal and pasta; it is reminiscent of one long hangover. I have done my best to get as much fruit and veg in me as I can too, otherwise I then worry about not getting enough goodness for me and the baby. A good reminder is that if you’ve always had a pre-pregnancy diet you’ve laid down important pre-conception nutrients in your system for the baby. And there is also the reassurance of pregnancy vitamins; I swear by Pregnacare and it does make me feel much better to know I’ve got vitamins that baby and I both need going in me every day. At the end of the day now is not the time to beat yourself up over eating an entire box of cornflake cake – it happens (trust me)! You’re growing a human whilst simultaneously puking – you’re a legend. Everything in moderation and all that!
- Fresh Air. Some days I have just wanted to lie on the sofa, and sleep. But as I’ve already said, Josh isn’t one for co-operating with that especially in the summer. So I’ve had days where I’ve dragged myself out of the house for a walk and some fresh air, and every single time it has done me the world of good. I don’t know if it’s the distraction, the change of scenery or the fresh air itself, but it always lifts me and gives me a bit of energy.
- Rest (when you can)! Now having said all that, there is nothing quite like a rest when you realistically can. I make the most of the husband on weekends and nap if I get a chance. It does help with keeping your energy levels up and I have to admit I am also trying to nap when Josh does too. The tiredness can make you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus so if you get a chance to nap or even just lie down and let cBeebies occupy your little one then do it. Ignore ANY Mum guilt; needs must!
Those are the things that helped me but I’ve read loads more; ginger is a classic for helping with sickness, acupressure wristbands (which I’ve always used for my travel sickness but it doesn’t seem to help with my morning sickness), and sucking on mints. If you’re suffering, try them all! It’s worth a try.
Most importantly, keep hydrated. Even if you can’t stomach any food, be sure to keep your fluid intake up. It’s so important to ensure you don’t get dehydrated which can result in you being admitted to hospital for fluids, which isn’t really something you need or want.
Of course, the guilt may rear it’s ugly head; “I’m not eating right, I’m not getting the other kids out enough, I’m not resting enough, am I doing what’s right for the baby”. Please don’t feel guilty. Growing tiny humans is exhausting and that’s without morning sickness thrown into the mix. I have many friends who don’t suffer with sickness at all during their pregnancy, and yes sometimes you feel jealous of that and wonder how some people can get so lucky with avoiding it. But on the other side of the coin I wouldn’t wish the sickness I’ve had on anyone. I can’t even imagine how horrendous hyperemesis gravidarum, the extreme morning sickness Kate Middleton suffered with, must be. A lot of people brush off morning sickness; “it’s just a bit of sickness, it’ll pass soon enough (I’M 17 WEEKS IN WHY HASN’T IT GONE), it is a positive sign your pregnancy is going well (I’ll take this – it’s been a mantra I’ve repeated to myself every time I’ve felt awful). In every aspect of motherhood, including even before the baby arrives, you get given advice, and yes this is sometimes unasked for advice, and to boot it can even be from those who have never suffered morning sickness.
But the truth is, annoying as it may sound at times, it is temporary. And for your efforts, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful baby. Every time I feel that wave of nausea I visualise my baby, his or her adorable button nose and big eyes and it reminds me, I will get through the rough days and I deserve the occasional (!) cornflake cake!
And if you’re suffering, you’re not alone. Don’t let anyone mock you for feeling ill and please take the time to relax when you can.