First thing first… I have never ever looked like this photo during either of my pregnancies.
Perhaps a photo of a woman with mascara running down her face, broken capillaries on her cheeks, lipstick smeared all over the toilet paper in her hand whilst laying on the bathroom floor is a more accurate representation.
I am pregnant!!
But if I may express myself honestly, the last few months have been tough.
While I’m a big advocate for seeing the positive side in everything, I cannot ignore the utter debilitation that comes with my pregnancies.
I’m talking about morning sickness… and what a bastard it is!!!
It’s one of those illnesses (can I call it an illness, I feel like I can as ‘sickness’ just doesn’t seem to cut it) that others cannot see. It’s also one of those ‘illnesses’ that you many choose to hide by not announcing your pregnancy during its peak performance at around 6-7 weeks gestation.
And that’s tough.
Feeling bloody terrible but pretending everything is fine and dandy!
Apart from the usual changes in my lifestyle that comes with my pregnancies – you know the going from running 21kms to not running at all, creating pillow castles in bed, walking and moving generally slower, not drinking caffeine/alcohol or eating smoked salmon and some cheeses – there are also other changes that are purely caused by morning sickness.
No healthy fruit breakfasts for me anymore. I might as well throw the bowl of fruit down the loo.
No late night blogging – in fact, no staying up late full stop.
No exercise before breakfast.
No spontaneous outings.
Instead the only thing I can eat begins with a ‘c’ and ends with ‘arbs’, and lots of them!
Sure protein and veggies at night, but in the morning, give me that dry, vegemite toast.
In my first pregnancy, I had morning sickness not for the ‘normal’ 12-15 weeks but for nine.god.damnned.months! At least then when I vomited I then felt better for the rest of the day.
This time, however, things are different.
I have nausea when I don’t vomit.
And I have nausea when I do vomit!
I am not only sick in the mornings, but I am sick at night.
My remedies for my first pregnancy no longer work. The crackers and tea before getting out of bed rarely works anymore.
The lying down and feeling sorry for myself, doesn’t work either.
Neither does exercise, yoga, eating more, eating less – you get the idea.
The doughy, processed chocolate muffin for second breakfast works at times, except when I vomit that up too!
It’s like I’ve worn out all my resources.
And to make it worse, this time I have to manage it with an inquisitive 19 month old child who is now mimicking mummy vomiting into the toilet, or the kitchen sink, or his sand bucket. Yup, I’ve stooped that low!
The hardest thing above all else is that I feel no one else really gets it.
Sure I’ve had the other mums who’ve experienced some level of morning sickness. And yes, they get it!
But for everyone else… sorry, but you don’t get it. Every decision of each day is impacted by morning sickness.
So this is What I wish you knew about my morning sickness.
It’s 6am when bub wakes. Once when I used to run a quick 30 min 5km before bub woke up, I now open my eyes and spend ten seconds assessing how I feel.
I’m terribly drowsy. The prescription pill I take the night before stops vomiting most days, but I don’t fully wake up until midday.
Hubby has already left for his morning swim. He has made me a cup of ginger and lemongrass herbal tea. What a man!
I have exactly 30 seconds to eat my dry, salty salada that sits on my bedside table before bubby starts crying and I have to get up. And my stupid pregnancy bladder tells me I need to wee – pronto.
I know that if I don’t eat this biscuit before leaving the bed but wait to long to go wee, I’ll be nauseous.
A take the risk: I eat the biscuit, sniff my tea, present Niagara Falls to the toilet and head into bubs room (and here he is in all his gorgeous, bed-hair glory. His cheeky little smile and fluffy pj’s make my day).
We have a good morning cuddle and we walk to the kitchen.
I don’t carry him like I used to, the exertion is enough to make me vomit.
On the way, I go via the main bathroom to ensure my midnight wee is flushed and the toilet seat is up. I have been known to vomit into the toilet from the bathroom door before. It’s best if the toilet seat is up!
Gone are my muesli days. Today we are having porridge with honey, banana (if the smell doesn’t turn my stomach) and cinnamon. It has been two weeks since I vomited up porridge so it’s stomach-able today. Toast, eggs and avocado, however, are no go zones – that was a vomit 5 days ago and I can’t stand the thought of them.
I quickly make bub’s porridge and set him up at the table. He throws a tantrum because I took too long. Great, I just don’t have the energy for this today.
It’s been five minutes since I’ve woken and I’m starting to feel sick. I take a small bite of bubs breaky to tie me over before I make my own. It doesn’t work.
I cook my breakfast and lean over the kitchen counter – standing up too long makes me nauseous. I take a sip of my now cooled tea.
I perch myself on the couch and eat in a slouched position – no more eating together as a family, the upright-incline of the dining room chairs makes me nauseous but only in the mornings.
I entertain bubby from the couch while he sits in his high chair at the table.
Despite all these measure I’ve out in place this morning, I start to feel quite unwell.
I know I must shower, but I need a rest.
Bub plays with his toy station we set out the night before for cases such as this. I lay down next to him and try to make myself appear like a better mother than what I am by smiling when he wonders why I’m lying down. Suddenly, lying down doesn’t feel so good.
It’s touch and go.
I know that if I start salivating I have approximately twenty seconds to get myself to the toilet.
I start salivating.
I beeline to the main bathroom. I try not to run as bub will follow me. I’m so glad I prepared the toilet earlier.
I very ungracefully hurl my entire stomach’s contents into the toilet. You know it’s a good-one when you continue to vomit even after all the bile has gone.
Bub wonders in and looks at his teary-eyed and shaking mummy. I tell him it’s okay, and ask him to bring me a toy. Anything to get him away from this.
If today is going to be a bad day, I have ten minutes to have a shower, get dressed, get bub dressed, put my makeup on and leave the house before I start to go down hill again.
I sip some water – too much water will set me off again. I have a quick shower, with a toddler banging on the glass shower door. Another lesson I’ve learnt – I have already put the toilet paper out of reach as I know he’ll grab the end and run through the house – I just won’t be able to deal with that either.
But today is obviously going to be a better day as twenty minutes have passed and I’m feeling good.
I sit next to bub’s play station while I put my make up – no more standing in front of the the bathroom mirror. Did I mention standing up for long periods of time makes me nauseous.
I walk bub to childcare, approximately 20mins. It takes us thirty today as I’m half hunched over the pram with fatigue and weakness. And I’m starving.
I arrive at work fifteen minutes late. I say hi to all my colleagues and pretend that nothing has happened.
The first thing I do even before I fire up my computer is make myself a hot chocolate, and today, I’m toasting some hot cross buns. There is nothing like sugar and doughy goodness to settle an empty and nauseous stomach.
I sit down for ten minutes and bask in the judgmental looks from others for getting to work late and then sitting and eating my very unhealthy but completely satisfying second breakfast. Gone are my healthy eating days.
But I don’t care.
I don’t care because when I have morning sickness, I just have to do what I can do to get through each day.
I only have the one hot chocolate because two will send me into a hyper and make me nauseous.
I have a couple of litres of water, but can only start drinking it around lunch time and only sips at a time as too much will make me nauseous.
I have a high carb, protein and vegetable filled lunch at 11:30, but am craving it from 11. If I go too long without eating, yup you guessed it – I am nauseous.
I have ‘afternoon tea’ aka second lunch at about 1:30 which is usually some biscuits (salty) or a cup of noodle soup goodness (also high in salt). If I don’t have this, I feel nauseous.
And this is what most days look like until 8pm when I take another pill and crash into bed.
As I doze off to sleep feeling the little butterflies kicking in my tummy and thinking about the little goodnight kisses from my toddler before bed, it’s then that I realise….
All of the nausea, vomiting, hunching over, lying down, judgmental looks, sugary, salty, and high carb foods are suddenly all worth it! Because soon it will all be a distant memory and I will have another little bundle of joy to hold.
Morning sickness – you double edged sword bastard!!
Morning sickess is not the same for everyone, it comes in differing levels of severity. But my point is, don’t judge us mere-mortal-morning sickness-preggy-women.
It’s actually quite tough. Be patient. Be empathic, but for god sake, don’t ask us why we are doing something because they answer is always going to be… “because it makes me nauseous”.
So, what I wish you knew about morning sickness is that while it rarely makes you feel as beautiful as that photo, it is all worth it in the end!
Have beautiful pregnancies everyone x