One of the biggest symptoms of my pregnancy is denial. I compare my surprise at seeing a wee little being growing in my abdomen at my first ultrasound to the surprise my husband would have felt if he had the ultrasound and discovered the same thing in his tummy. I suppose part of it is the newness and the novelty, regardless of the rational “knowing” of something.
So when I felt sick at week 6 of pregnancy, I thought it would pass. Because, really, how long can a person feel sick? A few hours? A few days? Well, let me tell you. FOREVER.
I lived on string cheese and Boost for a couple weeks but when I had lost nearly ten pounds and spent the better part of two weeks lying very very still, I admitted to myself that perhaps this was going to stick around awhile.
My doctor prescribed Diclectin, a wonderful little pill of antihistamine and vitamin B that I’ve been on ever since. I was able to cut my dose in half in my sixth (SIXTH!) month. I feel sick but I’m managing. There was a slight set back in my 24th week where I threw up so much in the ER that the doctor was beyond disturbed that someone could throw up that much (I’m a little bit proud). But we’re doing much better now.
I’ve learned a few things on my journey of nausea.
1. There’s morning sickness. And then there’s morning sickness. To everyone who suggested chamomile tea and having a cracker or two before getting out of bed – I responded politely but I really wanted to punch you in the face. Weeks 6 to 8 were the time for trying out the tried and true cure-alls. This was something else beyond what Eve was asked to endure.
No morning sickness is fun. But there is a spectrum of severity and every woman knows about the crackers. Trust me, she’s tried the crackers. Stop suggesting crackers. Your morning sickness and my morning sickness are not the same. Respect the sickness.
2. One can get very good at not throwing up. Even medicated, I spent a lot of time heaving into a bucket (I call him Ol’ Blue). As time went on, I got better at keeping it to myself, as it were. Some days are easier than others and I find it nearly impossible when I’m very tired but there has been personal growth in this area.
3. Morning sickness doesn’t end in the first trimester. There is nothing magical about week 12 so don’t pin all your hopes and dreams on that number. My sickness soldiers on but even women who are now feeling better didn’t necessarily get a reprieve at week 12. It could 14, 16, 20… Hold on.
4. Bring your own bags. Even to the hospital. When you want to throw up, they’ll give you a tiny, kidney-shaped plastic container. Please. I’m anticipating throwing up during labour (I hope not but really, at this point, who am I kidding) and am thinking of bringing along Ol’ Blue.
5. It’s not complaining to talk about it. When people ask how I’m doing and I’m honest it about it, I often get comments of pity or sympathy. Though this hasn’t been the most fun I’ve ever had, I’d rather deal with this rather benign symptom than one of any more serious complications. So many things can go wrong and there so many things to worry about but as long as that baby keeps growing strong, I’ll make do with what my body has to say about it. While I may not have drawn the long straw when it came to morning sickness, considering the big picture, I’m quite lucky.