The truth about morning sickness

By 16:34

I don’t think I’m cut out to be pregnant. Everyone seems to glow when they are pregnant. Not me! I’ve got my tired face in a toilet bowl – at 28 weeks still! It all started with the nausea…

At first, I thought it was all in my head. I just found out I was pregnant and a few days later, I felt pangs of nausea. The nausea got worse. Pretty soon, my mornings weren’t complete without my daily throw up sessions. That was still fine because I picked myself up from the bathroom floor and grumpily headed on to work a bit later than usual. Whenever a wave of nausea hit at work, I’d quickly make and sip on a cup of peppermint tea. I remember once going through 5 cups of tea. I’m not sure how healthy that is or whether it worked. Perhaps it was a psychological feeling cos I kept drinking it until I felt better.

Then one dreaded day, the nausea was amplified and I just could not stop throwing up. I don’t think I had ever thrown up five times in a single day before. If I wasn’t throwing up, I was highly nauseous and holding it all in. All that anti-nausea advice didn’t help. The anti-nausea medication made me throw up. The travel sickness bands were useless. (I still used them hoping the placebo effect would kick in.) The ginger sweets made me throw up. The crackers in the morning turned into paste in my mouth and made me feel nauseous. 

The next day the nausea didn’t give up and in the midst of a heatwave, my husband dragged my dried up body to the doctor. There I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum – basically excessive vomiting due to being pregnant. I was put on a drip for extreme dehydration. The doctor and nurse were so really kind to me. The bad news however was that they couldn’t do any more for me. I’d basically have to stick it out for a few more weeks. They promised it would be over soon. I really hoped so.

With three days of being man down, I couldn’t make it to work and I was convinced that in my largely female team, they probably thought I was just being a big drama queen. All women go through this. I’m just the only one being a big baby about it.

I spoke to my mother about her experience. I found out that through all her three pregnancies, she was violently sick for all nine months! My online “research” didn’t make me feel any better either. A tiny percentage of women get this sick and some have it way worse than me to the point that they have to abort their unborn in order to survive. So I counted my lucky stars and I felt a bit better knowing that this extreme sickness generally comes with a lower risk of miscarriage. I guess this is why my gynae was actually happy about how ill I became.

The constant nausea still lingered and eventually developed into motion sickness. I felt sick when there was turbulence on a plane. I felt sick driving to the grocery store. I felt sick walking or moving too fast!

But I survived that nauseous first trimester. My trick that seemed to work at keeping the vomiting at bay was to wake up in the middle of the night to eat something. (Two fish fingers with a slice of white bread, in case you were wondering, with a huge dollop of hot Nandos sauce.)

I used to feel intense hunger, out of nowhere, and I think the secret to that is to have some food I could stomach on hand. (A packet of chips in case you were wondering.)

Keeping hydrated was a problem in a city that seemed to have switched on summer two months early. My little sips of water didn’t taste nice but I tried. (A tiny bit of apple ice tea did wonders in refreshing me in a tasty way in case you were wondering.)

In my first trimester, my husband definitely had it worse than me. He used to just stand there, helpless, while I propped my lifeless body over the toilet. When he last made a tasty meal (spaghetti and meatballs), he had to eat it in the other room because the meatballs smelled like animal and the spaghetti smelled like ear wax to me. We no longer planned meals and he certainly didn’t have a balanced diet anymore. He had to take time off work to take me to the doctors or check up on me to make sure I was still alive. I couldn’t RSVP for events because I wasn’t sure if I would be up for the drive or the food or the company. He bought the things I actually ate, in excess, after I hurried him up when grocery shopping because the nausea made me want to go home. He was the one actually getting up in the middle of the night to feed me and make my meals so I could avoid throwing up the next morning.  

Oh my God! Did I mention the crazy things that made me nauseous? So you already know that the anti-nausea tips and tricks made me nauseous. So did food and the smell of cooking – the stuff that usually gets pregnant women retching. But I also felt nauseous making a number two. Other peoples’ lunches looked disgusting and so did the American meals on Food Network that make Americans obese. I mean really, a meal of pork on pork with a side of pork! And then they wonder why they’re so fat. And for the most ridiculous thing, (yes, I’m clearly a mean person. I just want to put it out there that I couldn’t help it); some people’s faces made my insides want bring up my stomach acid.

Into my third trimester, I can tell you that it didn’t get better the way the doctors told me it would. I still throw up but my body got used to it. Instead of avoiding it, I throw up and I actually feel better afterwards. I no longer have a lack of energy after I throw up all my bile. I can continue with my day running just a little late and suffering with a burning throat.

And there you have it. My take on the good (absolutely nothing), the bad and the ugly about morning sickness. If you’ve had it really bad, I’d love to know how you coped. 

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