I seem to have started morning sickness with this little one right around the time of my positive pregnancy test. Unlike with Mikko, when it confined itself to afternoon and evening, this time around it's been all day and all night until just recently. (Which, naturally, makes you wonder why it has that name.)
I've gotten a decided lack of sympathy from people in real life. See, two things happen. First, they ask, "How are you?"
And, being well versed in the art of conversation niceties, I answer, "Fine, thanks, and you?"
And then they round on me with, "Oh, good, no morning sickness then!" leaving me flummoxed and sputtering.
"Well, no," say I. "I actually feel like crap."
"Ah," they say, moving on to the second stage of combat. "Are you throwing up?"
"No-o," I intone, sensing where this is going.
"Oh, you're so lucky!" they say. "I / my friend / my sister / this woman at work used to throw up constantly."
And while I heartily acknowledge that throwing up constantly must suck potatoes, I submit to you that feeling a steady state of motion sickness that leaves you feeling on the verge of throwing up at any moment is not what anyone should ever call "lucky."
Desperate for reassurance that I am not overly whiny, I turned to my Twitter and Facebook friends. Not only did they give me the sympathy I was fishing for, they even handed to me their collective wisdom for combating the curse of the morning sickies.
Which I hereby pass on to everybody, with my notes interspersed:
- Tabitha D.: "eating small meals around the clock....and sucking on peppermints." Also: "I had nausea/loss of appetite late in my last pregnancy, too, and didn't really want to CHEW anything....so I lived on smoothies and those meal replacement shakes!! I even drank them in the middle of the night so I didn't wake up ravenous. For some reason yogurt often soothed my stomach, even ice cream! But I say, whatever is appealing, have it!!" I definitely am having some strange cravings, but I just go with them. For instance, ahem, Spaghetti-Os and Ramen (I think because they're bland), also mashed potatoes, salad, and celery with peanut butter. I've been going through phases, but I honor the requests my tender tummy makes, because I figure maybe it knows better than I do. I hereby agree with the peppermints idea; it seems to make my stomach forget that it's sad.
- Michelle A.: For nighttime only sickness, "the ONLY thing that worked for me was Unisom pills." I'm glad this worked, but obviously it's not a solution for daytime sickness, sigh.
- Natasha B.: "Ginger, ginger, and more ginger. Also, hard candy helps for some reason. Sprite or soda water with fruit juice might help." I really wish I liked ginger. The taste makes me feel sick, which is counterproductive, but I know it's supposed to help. I do agree that drinking something sparkly feels better than something flat, which is why I think I was getting dehydrated early on — I couldn't stand to drink my water. You know I hate water, anyway, but it was even worse than usual, because it was hitting my queasy stomach all wrong. I've experimented, and I've determined that room temperature water is more tolerable than ice cold (go figure).
- Jamie F.: "sipping spicy ginger ale...you know, the kind with lots of real ginger." Same as above.
- Cassie M.: "I … take vitamin b 6 tabs cut in half three times a day. Also a Dramamine. I hate taking the Dramamine but it's either that or not eat. I still feel queasy but the b6 helps a lot." I'm going to have to try B6. I grew up on Dramamine for car trips and know it puts me out like a light.
- Molly D.: "I liked lemon drops because I craved sour things when pregnant." I agree with this one, too. It's funny how certain things taste better now.
- Sinead H.: "Sleep, sleep and even more sleep... oh yes and a full fry (actually a grill!) every morning with my last pregnancy! Although I felt ill just looking at the food, I wasn't nearly so sick as with my previous pregnancies. I think just keeping my blood sugar levels up and rest really made a huge difference." Love these ideas! I do feel better if I can sleep, or even just lie down.
- Molly A.: "I'll be on zofran, unisom, b6, plus continuous fluids, and probably several other things. But thats because I get hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy. I hear good things about the PrimaBella wristband but I've not tried it." Ok, see, people with HG do make me feel whiny, because how horrible.
- Toya L.: "wait for about 12-13 weeks until its over & pray that you can relax and lie in bed all day like I did." That one gave me an envious laugh! If only I didn't have a three-year-old to run after, hey?
- Jenny H.: "My midwife told me last time to eat protein regularly, and it really did help. Of course, for that to work you have to be able to actually choke it down. I ate Luna Bars and had the occasional protein shake. I also have PsiBands (like Sea Bands but waterproof and adjustable) and I think they worked pretty well." I should get some sort of seasickness bands, for now and for my actual motion sickness. Even when I was a baby, I used to puke on car and plane trips.
- Donna B.: "Totally agree about protein! Roasted, salted peanuts are my best friend!" I was watching a TLC show about women who didn't know they were pregnant (that show cracks me up), and one of the ladies talked about how she craved peanuts. I thought that sounded SO good, I actually called Sam up and made him pick me up some on his way home. And I lurve them. I eat a handful whenever I feel yucky. The salt is a quick pick-me-up, and the protein a longer term one.
- Jorje A.: "Crackers and/or almonds. I was able to nibble on almond slivers. Definitely the eating all the time helped me. If it is really bad, there is a compound that they can make for you to put on your wrists to combat nausea. It only takes half the recommended dose, though... Promethazine. In the oral form, it knocked me on my butt, but the topical form is great!" I imagine almonds and peanuts are similar in terms of yummy snacky protein. Interesting topical idea!
- Krista O.: "Ginger and deep breathing...... and rest." Simple and effective. I've also been trying my Hypnobabies "Eliminate Nausea NOW!" training. (Don't you love the emphatic title?) It's deep relaxation and a way to focus elsewhere. I can't do it all day, but it's been helpful if I'm lying in bed unable to sleep because I'm feeling pukey.
- Gwendilyn F.: "I have heard that sour patch kids work... I haven't tried them but if yesterday is like today I will." I had the chance to, and I have to say: They do work. And in the interests of science, I tested several other sour candies, and I have to say they all work. Even if I don't feel like food, I can choke down some mindless junk. Score!
- Kristin H.: "Here's what I did in order of severity & desperation: constant nibbling (protein & carbs), including snacks at night, ginger tea or sour candies, Seabands (worked well for awhile), Unisom/b6, and then Zofran. For me, Zofran, which was approved/prescribed by both my midwives and perinatologists, saved me and was SO worth it. Of course, keeping up with sleep and staying horizontal as much as possible helped a lot too, but it was not always possible with a toddler!" Kristin was pregnant with twins, so I imagine she had a double whammy of morning sickness!
- Tara P.: "From My Page-a-Day Calendar: Ginger Root Herb Tea: It's good for digestion, nausea, and morning sickness. Cut off a slice of fresh root; pour boiling water over it and steep ten minutes. Sweeten with sugar or honey." Good basic recipe for making your own tea! If you like ginger, that is.
- @aphie: "Took to carrying peppermints round at all times - natural nausea-killer." See, I need more peppermints.
- @KellyNaturally: "Have you tried sea bands? They worked for brief periods (I had to take breaks) for me. Also, barely ripe mango, sliced." The mango also sounds intriguing.
- @BirthBabiesBlog: "I swear by @EMAB_HQ Happy Mama body spray... it has gotten me through my 1st trimester." Aromatherapy sounds heavenly!
- @anktangle: "I liked the preggie pop drops and snacking on almonds. Mostly I just waited it out though. Pregnancy nausea is the worst!" I tried a variety pack of preggie pops but didn't like the flavors I tried. I sucked constantly on Jolly Ranchers last pregnancy, and now they make me feel sick just to look at them! The same thing has happened to me, sadly, with pupusas: I ate a couple when I felt really ill, and now I gag at the thought. Sigh.
- @hildog: "mine was simple.. not go have any :)" Now why didn't I think of that?!
And if you're in the middle of waves of first-trimester (or later) nausea, here's an uplifting article that might make you feel better, at least emotionally speaking: "Morning sickness may signal healthier pregnancy," which backs up anecdotal wisdom that morning sickness — and how long it lasts — can mean you have a decreased risk of miscarriage. See also "Morning sickness protects both unborn and mothers-to-be," where the researchers suggest changing to name from morning sickness to "wellness insurance." Well, yeah. I don't think I'll go that far. It has an interesting take on why mothers might have morning sickness, which is to keep us from eating foods that might be contaminated.
If you don't have morning sickness, just enjoy it and don't worry, though! And if you do, I hope some of these tips from the community help you through.
If you have really bad morning sickness, it could be hyperemesis gravidarum, as Molly had. She recommends finding resources at HelpHER.org. HG is when you experience weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration because of your inability to keep food and liquids down, and it needs to be treated medically to prevent harm to yourself or your baby. Sometimes health professionals write off women's complaints of severe morning sickness or won't offer medications, so if the nausea and vomiting are really bothering you, be persistent so you can get the help you need. Here's a page to help you determine if you have HG, and here are frequently asked questions about HG that will help you as you discuss your symptoms with your health professional and family. Even if your morning sickness doesn't veer into HG territory, if it's bad enough that you're finding it difficult to eat and drink and live your life, you might still consider some medication and professional help managing your symptoms. Take it from me: You're allowed to complain if you're miserable.
Who else has tips and tricks to fight the dreaded morning sickness?