“Morning sickness during pregnancy usually subsides by week 14.” If only.
Everyone’s experience of pregnancy is different. Some ladies are sick every day, and some feel mostly great for 40 weeks. I am one of the unlucky ones when it comes to nausea during pregnancy and I have decided to share my tale in solidarity with those of you who are suffering from “morning sickness” at all hours of the day, throughout 9 months of pregnancy.
Journey into Nausea
I found out I was pregnant on December 20, 2014, and spent the whole holiday break in disbelief. “This is crazy,” I said. “I don’t feeeeel any different.” On January 2nd, after a nausea-filled commute to work, I texted my husband. “Felt pretty sick on the way in. Wonder if it’s a sign of things to come.” Was it ever. Within the week, I was vomiting several times a day, and it seemed to get worse and worse. Few people knew I was pregnant, but those that did, including my GP, suggested medication. I vacillated for a while, until my husband’s birthday, 2 weeks later. We were supposed to host a party Saturday night, but starting on Friday evening, I wasn’t able to keep down a mere morsel of food, and it stayed that way until Sunday afternoon. My husband was hopeful we could still host. “Just say you have the flu and you have to stay upstairs.” But who wants to come to a party where someone is so sick they have to “stay upstairs”?! Gracious friends offered to hold the party at their place. On Monday, I made an appointment with my doctor, who wrote a prescription for nausea medication.
The Drugs Don't Work (for me)
My hope for a cure-all was short-lived. The best that could be done was to cut my barfs from “on the regular” to twice a day. Almost like clockwork, I was sick around 9am, and then again just before bed. There was still no accounting for when I might be hit by nausea, or have “surprise barfs” – out for dinner, doing laundry, at the dentist… – who knows. I told my boss early on – because I was concerned she might wonder why I would inexplicably vanish from my office for ages. I was also forced to tell another co-worker, who happened upon me as I suddenly threw-up in the office kitchen. “Are you ok? Are you…pregnant?” she asked. Yup! But as the second trimester of pregnancy approached, I was excited for my morning sickness to wane.
But it didn’t.
I was sick every single day – at least twice – from the second week of January, until the day I delivered my son, at the beginning of September. And he was 9 days late.
I'm a Survivor
The day-to-day was manageable, and I actually only took two sick-days from my job. This was certainly facilitated by a very understanding manager, who never questioned emails that said things like, “I’ll be a bit late this morning: had to get off the bus to barf.”
In terms of tips for dealing with all-day morning sickness, I don’t have many. I found it helped for me to eat whenever I could – because I was a super-hungry pregnant lady, and it was good to have something in my stomach. (Dry-heaves are the worst.) I also found that being as honest [as I could be] about my sickness was helpful, because many people don’t recognize that the problem might last nine months.
Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Absolutely. When people ask about my pregnancy, I usually say that it was “funny” – because it was. I was this massive woman that had to travel everywhere with a barf-bag. Being sick every day was rough, but lots of women deal with far, far worse. Ladies, I’m with you. And while your babies can’t quite thank you for this time, you’ll know they really owe you one.