Sure, I wasn't naive enough to think I would get by without experiencing many of the symptoms that go along with pregnancy - the fatigue, mood swings, bloating, food aversions, and nausea - but I didn't think it would hit me like it has. I'm ok with being bloated. I'm ok with not wanting to smell/taste certain things including my beloved Chickfila. I can handle being tired. I'm even fine with the increase in weepiness I seemed to feel for a few weeks. The nausea though? Please, just knock me out until it ends.
Before I was pregnant and even the first few days of this pregnancy, I was certain that I was going to be one of the lucky ones. My mom wasn't sick a day with me, I don't have a particularly weak stomach or get "sea sick," and I was full of energy. Fast forward to four days after I found out I was pregnant (approximately week 4), and I had to rush to the restroom during lunch with a friend.
That day was May 10. When I began writing this post, it was July 7 (you can laugh, but it's taken me until September 19 to finish my thoughts on this touchy subject -- and fear of it starting up again!), and at the time, the longest I had gone without getting sick since May 10 was three days. That's right. Those three days were close to July 7, too. In fact, July 9 was probably the worse day I experienced in regards to sickness. I don't even want to pull that day from my memory.
I'm grateful for this time. I feel like if I tell myself that over and over, it'll make it better. Truth is, I really don't think there's any real remedy for morning sickness. It could be worse - I could be one of the poor women in the hospital with hypermesis gravidum. I'm thankful I'm not. One thing is for sure, morning sickness, no matter the severity, is not something I'd wish upon my worst enemy.
That said, the five months of feeling closer to death than I ever thought possible, have brought with them loads of advice, some requested, most not. As I was attempting to make it through a day without getting sick earlier this summer, I joked to Kevin that I should make a list of things not to say to pregnant women who are dealing with morning sickness - the name itself needs to be changed. Hence, this post.
Here's my list of 9 things not to say to pregnant women dealing with any form of morning sickness, in no particular order.
Disclaimer: Family and friends, we pregnant ladies know you mean well. We know you are trying to encourage us. We know you want us to feel better and feel helpless than you can't make everything ok. Please, though, while we're dealing with this side effect of one of the best things to happen to us, just shut up!
1 | Eat some crackers. If I had $1.00 for every time this adage has been said to me, the baby's room would be furnished and he'd have clothes to last until at least his third birthday. Crackers may work for some people, but for others, they don't. I wish I could eat some crackers and have the sickness subside, but for me, crackers of any kind (unless they are Captain Wafers individually wrapped from a local restaurant and dipped into homemade Ranch) make me sick.
2 | Keep food beside your bed and eat it before you get up. Yes, this sounds like a great idea since it seems so much of morning sickness is based on an empty stomach, but this one didn't work for me either.
3 | Drink Ginger Ale or other carbonated beverages. In regular life when you're hit with a virus, you're told to drink Ginger Ale or a carbonated beverage to settle your stomach. I don't like Ginger Ale when not pregnant and tasting it while pregnant was ever worse (trust me, I tried everything). I went through a phase of about two weeks where I could drink ice cold Coke, but then I started loosing it. Again, for me, this one didn't work.
4 | You'll forget about it as soon as you're not feeling sick. As much as I'd like this to be true, it's simply not for me. I may be too close to the sickness -- I'm 23 weeks and have felt like a human for about three, though it has been more like six weeks since I've gotten sick.
5 | It's going to be a girl! That one was wrong!
6 | At least you know the baby is healthy. True. It's been long-reported that the high level of hormones produced during pregnancy are linked with morning sickness. I'm also thankful that I have a healthy baby, but while this part makes me feel better emotionally knowing that the baby is healthy, it doesn't really do anything for the physical side of it.
7 | You'll feel better by X weeks! While I have to say this was a great thing to hear and gave me so much hope, every time X week passed and I didn't feel better, it was bad. I know every pregnancy is different, but when the majority of people you know that have suffered from morning sickness feel good by 13 or 14 weeks, you count on that to at least be the standard. For me, it was 20 weeks and even then, it wasn't great.
8 | Don't take medicine for nausea. Whether you take medicine for nausea or not is a deeply personal decision and one I only shared with those I know well. I am not a proponent of medication in normal day-to-day life unless it's really needed. I'm on the other end of the spectrum from a pill popper, but nausea? That was a different story for me. I started taking Diclegis around 8 weeks when I could barely make it through the day. I held off on Zofran until about 11 weeks (after all the organs were formed per my doctor). At that point, I took two child doses a day though I could have taken more. It made a huge difference! While I still threw up some with the Zofran (and not being on it all the time was more than likely part of that), I was able to function and keep foods down for the most part. After about six weeks, I was able to cut it down to once a day at lunch. Last week, I've halved it, so I'm only taking 2 mg at lunch each day. I'm also using Diclegis, but instead of three pills per day, I'm taking one at night. Even though I wish I was past the point of taking something, I'm not, though I feel like in the next few weeks I'll be able to eliminate it all.
9 | Don't you think pregnancy is the best? I've not ever been a jealous person, but I have been really envious of those I know who tell me about their easy pregnancies. Yes, pregnancy is by far one of the greatest things to ever happen to me and something I am thankful for every second of every day, but it's also the hardest thing I've ever done. It has not been a walk in the park. Does this mean I'm not thankful? Absolutely not. This baby is so loved and so prayed for and no amount of sickness can change that. I've said over and over if I have to be sick like this until January, it'll be worth it. It will be.
What are some things people have said to you during pregnancy that make you cringe?