I now know what true horrible debilitating morning sickness is. My first pregnancy was a breeze when it came to this particular symptom, not the story with my second. As I mentioned in my previous post, Surviving the First Trimester, at exactly 6 weeks I started to show signs of morning sickness. I was getting much more sensitive to smells, lotions, foods, temperature, pretty much anything that changed my bodies status quo I was responding to with being sick.
They tell you that this is a good sign, “It means a healthy pregnancy!”, “It means you are having a boy/girl.”, “It will only last until the 12th week”. People tell you whatever they can to make it seem like no big deal but when you are in the trenches, especially if you have a toddler asking, “Mommy why are you sick?” a thousand times a day it seems like it will never end.
Here are some of the things I figured out to help me survive the morning sickness. None of this will make it go away but it can make you more comfortable and a little bit more confident when you have to throw up in that Target bathroom that just makes your skin crawl.
Avoid sensitive smells – This seems like morning sickness 101 so I am just going to say, “duh” but if I did not put it up there you would know something was missing. The biggest thing to know here is that smells you usually love end up being the biggest offenders. My husbands cologne, candles, coffee, cooking foods, my daughter lotion, our laundry detergent; things like that were the biggest offenders.
Avoid triggers – This one kind of goes with the first but is a little different. Triggers can literally be anything, anything that makes you feel sick. Some of mine were, driving in a car, being a passenger in a car, walking outside when it was over 85 degrees, a fan blowing on me at night, anyone trying to touch me if I was the least bit uncomfortable, fun things like that. Just be honest with your partner and friends during this time. Tell them it’s not them, you just need to try not to be sick. They will want to help, if you cannot stomach it tell them, “Thank you but not yet. I will let you know when I can handle help.”
Find friendly foods – Find those few friend foods and eat them. Bland tends to be best but not always, listen to your body. It might seem crazy like pickles and peanut butter but just eat it. Know they will change during the weeks you are dealing with this. But the biggest thing is do not worry about nutrition! When you are truly sick with morning sickness do not worry about it. I lost 12lbs before I gained anything so nutrition, while very important, was the last thing on my mind. My doctors all agreed, if you can keep it down just eat it! That will be your war chant.
Find the best times to eat – Timing can be just as important as what you eat. If you feel sick in the morning eat a little later, wake up a little earlier. My best time to eat something was in the middle of the night. I would have a yogurt at 3am if that was what I needed. It made a difference.
Drink as much fluid as you can NOW – I wish I had known this one. It appears that if you keep up your fluid intake it takes you a lot longer to become dehydrated. I am not the best at drinking to begin with so I was not prepared for quickly I became dehydrated. Of course water is best but drink whatever you can. Juice, water with flavoring, Gatorade, Pedalyte even smoothies if you can. Whatever fluid you can get in you helps. Once you hit a certain wall it becomes very difficult to rehydrate yourself, I was never able to do it, the hospital had to help me, twice.
Be prepared – If you have a bad case of morning sickness, you will throw up in public, I promise! Know that now. Throwing up in public will become something you are all too familiar with. I brought a small towel everywhere in my daughters diaper bag to lay on the floor in public bathrooms. You can also use her old changing pad. I had an emergency kit, it contained, hand sanitizer, face wipes, mints, small makeup bag and that towel. Without it I do not know what I would have done.
Lock the bathroom door – This goes with the one above, if you are sick, lock that bathroom door. Your child will survive for 5 minutes while you throw up alone. Being alone can give you the 30 seconds you need to collect yourself and face the world again. There is nothing worse than throwing up and having a toddler hovering two inches from your face screaming, “MOMMY WHY YOU SICK? WHATS WRONG!!!”
Sleep when you get a chance – Sleep was one of the few things that made me feel better. It is a chance for your body to rest and for you to get a break. I was back to napping during the day which is odd for me. Granted I work from home so it was not as tough for me as some people but nap in your car if you have to. Just being able to zone out and get in a quiet place can help.
Lastly, accept the madness. There is a very good chance it will not last your whole pregnancy. It could, but hopefully it will not. Stay strong and remember you are growing a human being, pretty incredible!
Kristin, The Perfectionist Mom
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