Today, I am feeling very pregnant. One of those days where I am just so uncomfortable. So before I share my experiences with this pregnancy, I wanted to share an account I wrote when I was pregnant with my first child and how very real pregnancy (well more specifically, morning sickness) was for me.
“It has been the most physically and emotionally draining experience of my life. Somehow, I can officially say I have made it through. And sometimes I truly wonder how I did it and more importantly, how my husband put up with me through it. Yes, it’s that dreaded morning, or should I say all day sickness that a few of us unlucky ladies are cursed with. I honestly had no idea. None. I always knew my mother suffered from morning sickness with the majority of symptoms that accompany it. I just never remembered how bad my mother was during her pregnancies. So as naive as I was at the very beginning of this and even before that, knowing that I wanted children, I thought it was no big deal. Vomiting, pshh. I vomit every couple of months at ‘that’ time of the month. (Yes, and it would get intense sometimes. With a record of 11 one cycle. Not so pretty). So I thought I could cope with that during pregnancy. No big deal, right? Wrong!
Well! This is on a whole other playing field! I don’t even know where to begin. I guess for starters, I am now (being 17 weeks) only just completely feeling like myself again. That is a long time to be spewing your guts out, never knowing whether to take a bucket or bowl and some breath mints or to just chance it. I even stored extra plastic bags in my handbag, just in case. I had to be prepared. Prepared for the worst.
Now just on a side note, this post is not to come across as being ungratefully pregnant. Because that is nowhere near the case. I am so incredibly thrilled to be pregnant and know that at the end of all this there will be a beautiful little baby that we are so blessed to be having. I know there are a lot of women out there trying to fall pregnant and are experiencing a lot of hurt and heartache because of it. I know they would drop anything, even go through what I have to have that little miracle at the end of it all. But this post is to just document my personal experiences and trials of it all. I know I will be grateful I shared, so that I can read back on it and remember the hard times along with the good. And what I went through to be snuggling up to my baby! Although I complain, I know that every bit of this pregnancy will be worth it.
So, it started off slow. I remember talking to my mum around week 6 saying, I don’t feel like eating anything. At that point I didn’t have any nausea or vomiting. I just didn’t want to eat. Now I know exactly what she was thinking. It’s about to get a whole lot more intense. Slowly… the days went by. I started feeling nauseous and would vomit here and there. Then as the weeks went by, I couldn’t keep anything down. I think I lost about 6 or so kilograms in the space of 2 weeks. That’s not normal for me. But during this, the thick of it all, I learnt to sleep. Just sleep it all away. I think the longest I slept, dozing in and out, was 18 hours. I was so physically exhausted. I would get up and get dressed, then almost immediately needed another nap. It was such a vicious cycle. I hardly saw my husband, or anyone for that matter. I just slept. Woke up to try and eat, then vomit and go to back to bed. Showering was the hardest. I almost always finished one with a decent spew.
My husband, Trent, was so incredible through all of this. Never once did he say, ‘come on’ or ‘harden up princess’. He was so patient, loving and kind. He would just hold me when all I wanted to do was cry. Cry for reasons unknown to me or him. He would hold my hair back if I didn’t have time to tie it up before I ran into the bathroom. He would answer to my every, and what may have been a nagging call from the bedroom. He would restock the fridge with my staples; apple puree, plain bread rolls and milk arrowroot biscuits. He would clean and tidy the house, including the dishes left on my bedside. It was rough for not only me, but him. At times, I thought I wasn’t going to make it out. Alive at least. I was literally withering away. My mum and sister came up to visit during this time, mainly to just lay by my side as I slept but to also give my husband a little break. This is when they saw my state and nicknamed me ‘chicken legs’. I guess you have to find some kind of humour in all of this.
Then, later on as I got a little energy… not much, but enough to only need one nap during the day. I couldn’t even walk into a grocery store without my stomach churning. I gave up in the end. I guess that’s the best advice I can give. Don’t push yourself! If you can’t do something, no matter how big or small it may be, then don’t do it. My husband was super understanding of this and would often head up to the store on his own. Sometimes every day! He was used to it by this point. I loved freshly frozen blueberries at one stage. Not the freezer bags already frozen, but a fresh punnet bought home and frozen. Picky, I know. But it wasn’t on purpose. Other times, I’d get it wrong. A sausage roll that I burped up for the next 12 hours, or garlic bread that seemed so plain and delicious that lingered in my mouth all week. No matter how many times I brushed my teeth.
It is so crazy because when I did feel like food, it was always something specific. Sometimes, I couldn’t really put my finger on what exactly it was that I wanted. And it was as if whenever I didn’t make that exact choice, my stomach knew! And I would see it all again in the toilet bowl. I can remember specifically I managed to master enough energy to go to work one day, but the whole day I ‘thought’ I wanted a chocolate milk. So I eagerly asked Trent to bring me one when he came to pick me up. As a loving husband, he did just that. Bless him! I sculled that milk like there was no tomorrow. It felt so good going down. I thought, ‘Yes! Take that morning sickness.’ Unfortunately, that night we weren’t going home straight away, and we were heading out for dinner with a few of Trent’s old friends that were in town. So I went prepared. I was set. I had my bowl at my feet in the car with some gum on hand. But at this point I still thought ‘It’s all good, we’ve got this.’ You can probably guess what happened next. Luckily I was prepared! Because as we arrived my stomach quickly changed its mind and every last bit of that milk ended up back in that bowl. And let me tell you, coming up did not feel as good as it was going down. So we had to dispose of this quick smart. So out I poured it, under the car, in the middle of a busy car park. Charming! And not to mention, just had charming as Trent rolling the car wheel back into it as we left that night. Haha! Disgusting.
It was hard talking to women who experienced morning sickness with just the nausea, and no vomiting, or even those women who, beside a missed period, had no other sign of a pregnancy. I still ask why? Seriously, why? If you’ve never experienced morning sickness, honestly you probably have no idea. This doesn’t mean that I disregard any other type of sickness and its severity. I have been blessed to be healthy my whole life and I can’t even imagine what it would be like to go through something like a chronic illness. I know many people who have experienced other forms of such, but what I went through with the first trimester and more of this pregnancy is so far from what I have ever experienced before. I’m sure many women who have been through the same can testify that there is nothing quite like it.
I’m hoping this means I will be blessed with an easy labour. But is any labour ever easy? Maybe don’t answer that. Ah!”
Is morning sickness a symptom you experience with pregnancy too? Or maybe it isn’t and you experienced a different symptom on a whole other level to me during your first trimester? I’d love to hear about it and how you dealt with it!