Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Surviving Morning Sickness

Whoever coined the term "morning sickness" can SUCK IT.
Mine was all day, all night, all the time, every living breathing hour for more than eight straight weeks. It was like having one of the worst hangovers of my life, except it didn't get better after twelve hours of sleep, Pedialyte and a #1 with Diet Coke from McDonald's. Oh, and I didn't get to drink first.
For the first couple of weeks after I found out I was pregnant, I thought I might get to skip morning sickness altogether. Not so fast, Sarah. Remember when the Seahawks played the Panthers and we had some of our good friends over to watch the game? That was the first morning I threw up. And probably the first and only time I've ever turned down a mimosa in my entire life.
From that day forward I proceeded to spend each and every day puking my guts out.
It's hard work growing a human.
I'd usually vomit about five times a day. Always in the morning, usually right when I arrived at the office, often before lunch, frequently upon arriving at the park and ride in the evening, and sometimes before dinner. In between, I was completely nauseated all.the.time. It was extremely difficult to focus on what people were saying to me, because in my head I was repeating, "Don't throw up... don't throw up... don't throw up..."
It was not awesome.
The thought of eating became almost unthinkable. However, I soon learned that if I ate a small amount of food immediately after vomiting, the nausea would sometimes abate for about 15 or 20 minutes. So using trial and error, I discovered some of the few foods I was able to stomach during the first trimester, while my baby literally sucked the life out of me... 
1.  Cheese Pizza.
Sometimes, after a long day of praying to the porcelain gods, I'd actually feel like eating (it was amazing how I could be simultaneously nauseous and starving). And there was something about Totino's triple cheese party pizza that my poor stomach was okay with.
2.  White Carbs.
I hang my head in shame. Processed carbohydrates are something that I desperately try to avoid in my life, and purchasing a loaf of white bread hurt my soul a little bit. But it was one of the only things I could fathom eating at the time, and if I found something I was able to swallow without gagging during this period, I was eating it.
3.  Saltine Crackers.
My mom used to give these to us when we were kids and got the stomach flu. For that reason, the sight and smell of them still makes my stomach roll. But pregnant women swear by Saltines, so I gave it a shot. When my alarm went off in the morning I'd reach for one without moving my head, and then nibble and wait for it to hit my stomach before getting up to shower. Nine times out of ten I threw it up 10 minutes later.
4.  Macaroni & Cheese.
Y'all know this is one of my very favorite foods, like ever. And it was also one of the things I could keep down while my body totally betrayed me. Maybe because it's so bland. I'd usually make a whole pot, eat a few bites, and then give the rest to Stew to polish off.
5.  Honey Crisp Apples.
This was a weird phase I went through for about a week and a half, around the time of the Mill Creek Garage Sales. I craved apples like crazy, but they had to be Honey Crisp and they had to be sliced into thin strips. I also went through a lot of apple juice during this phase (something that I normally hate).
6.  Cheese Quesadillas.
Can you tell I was on a white carb/cheese kick? For some reason this was another food combination I could actually stomach, and I'd occasionally make quesadillas and nibble on them in bed or on the couch.
7.  Frosted Flakes.
I discovered this gem while I was in Denver with Brooke. Our hotel had a continental breakfast, and this sugary breakfast food was the only thing there that didn't make me want to barf. I ate it every morning and immediately bought a box when I got home (which I mostly ate for dinner).
8.  Sour Candies.
I read on an internet forum that Lemonheads are good for nausea, so I started carrying a box with me in my purse. They were especially great on the bus, when their sour sweetness would help distract me from the fact that my mouth was filling with saliva in preparation to throw up my breakfast. Unfortunately, I didn't discover Preggie Pop Drops until Haley brought me some to a Hawkwagon tailgate a couple weeks ago, but those were equally great in helping with nausea. My problem here was keeping Stew away from them... he was always digging in my purse looking for the Lemonheads.
9.  Lemon Water.
I had a hard time drinking water during the first trimester. I could only swallow little sips at a time or else I'd puke immediately, and sometimes even the drops I did manage to get down would make me barf. However, adding a squeeze of lemon to my water somehow made it easier to get down. I'd do this at work pretty much every day.
10.  Ginger.
This is a tried-and-true morning sickness remedy, and it worked pretty well for me, too. My office manager gave me the Gin Gins right after I found out I was pregnant, and I popped a lot of those suckers during the first several weeks. The Gingermints I discovered at Trader Joe's a couple weeks ago, and they worked pretty well, too.

As you can see, my diet was pretty nutritionally deficient for those first few months. The thought of a eating a green vegetable had me gagging and running for the bathroom. Consuming (or even thinking about) chicken caused bile to immediately rise in my throat. Oh, and exercise? Forgetaboutit. Not only was I too tired to function, but puking on a treadmill at 24 Hour Fitness didn't exactly seem like fun times, so I basically did nothing but vomit, sleep, and eat garbage for two months.

My poor tiny human... I wish I could have treated you better there in the beginning! It doesn't mean I don't love you, just that you were sucking the ever-loving life out of me.

I couldn't even swallow my prenatal vitamins without barfing in my kitchen sink. However, I soon discovered the best.thing.ever.

 Gummy Prenatal Vitamins.

Oh em gee, these things saved my life (and possibly the life of my unborn child). They were the only reason I was able to swallow anything of value during my first trimester (besides those Honey Crisp apples). The horse pills on the right were impossible, but the sugary sweet gummies on the left were easy to chew and swallow, and they didn't upset my stomach at all. I take two right before bed every night, and it's like a little mini dessert.

Anyway, here I am at week 14 and my morning all day sickness has gotten WAY better. Now I only throw up two or three times a week... a vast improvement compared to five or six times a day. In between I still have moments of nausea sometimes, but for the most part that's passed as well.

Little Baby... why did you do this to Mommy?!

Oh well, I suppose it's a small price to pay in order to grow our own Mini Me. I'm just kind of worried that my child is going to be born demanding mac 'n' cheese and frosted flakes.

PS - Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions about morning sickness a couple posts ago. Unfortunately, Zofran and I did not get along. I know for a lot of women it's a miracle drug, but for me it caused migraine headaches and stopped up my system for a week and a half. So in addition to puking, I was also lying on the floor in a ball, crying with intense stomach pains. So yeah, I stopped taking that little "miracle" pill...


  1. It's still crazy to me how every pregnancy is so different like some people have it so bad and I had it so easy!! I pray every pregnancy I have is just as easy and I sure hope things get better for you!!!

  2. Oh my gahhhhd this sounds absolutely awful! Glad things are getting better...I hate barfing!

  3. I'm sorry you dealt with that horribleness! I had the same thing through my entire pregnancy. Threw up until my daughter was born and then it was like it never happened. I don't even know how to explain it to people so usually I don't try. I just started to ignore people giving me advice on keeping food down. One week I ate nothing but bacon because it was the ONLY thing I could stomach. And then just as quickly I couldn't anymore :) I hope that it's better for you the rest of the way there! xo

  4. This is just SO exciting! Sorry you have been so sick though, NO FUN!

  5. um, you POOR thing! all I can say though, is don't worry a bit about eating all the garbage. my midwife told me as long as I was getting calories in my body, then I was doing good things for the bambino. you have many more weeks to fill with delicious and nutritious food (now that your stomach is cooperating). good luck my dear and know that i'm always here to help :)

  6. I never threw up (don't hate me!) but for a while no food tasted good and I had to force myself to eat it. I never ate so slow in my life. I ate a lot of eggs because they were bland and good protein. I'm glad you found some things that worked!

    I loved apples when I was pregnant, one thing I couldn't get enough of! And I thought honey crisp were only in Minnesota! I know we invented them :)

    I've heard a lot of morning sickness = a girl! Are you going to find out the sex?

    Glad you are feeling better, hang in there!

  7. Reading this was some of the best birth control ever. I'm so sorry you were so sick - that's so awful!

  8. I am going to have to bookmark this post - tips for surviving the first trimester! You know, some people say a tough pregnancy means a easy baby! Fingers crossed!!

    - Jess @ The Odell Yodel


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