Let's be honest, there's never really a good time to talk about sick - so here we go… You will, of course, heard of ‘morning sickness’. In my previous blogs I mentioned that I, like many others, have suffered from the worst morning sickness, medically referred to as ‘hyperemesis gravidarum’.
This is such a tough topic for many reasons. My mam recently mentioned that my sister-in-law is suffering from sickness during her pregnancy and I replied with, “gosh that’s horrible, I know just how she feels”. My mam ( I can write this because she never reads anything I’ve written, lol), then said, "No Terri, She is really poorly with it. It’s really bad" - and so the 'who-is-sicker' debate began...
Then I realised my mam was totally unaware of how I was feeling when I was expecting. We live in different countries and I didn’t dare disclose how many times I vomited that day, via Skype. Being apart was hard enough so it felt cruel of me to add to her worries.
I was overjoyed with my pregnancy. I was ecstatic and really did love growing my little ‘Spud’, as we named (her) 😃
I won't brag too much but I got the glowing skin 😊 (for a change). Not a spot in sight - I couldn’t believe it. I also benefited from a little cute bowling-ball bump that freaked people out when I turned around as they didn’t expect to see that I was pregnant 🤰🏻
I found out I was expecting very early on, but I just didn’t feel anything. No tender boobs, no sickness, no bloating. Nothing. The only indicator was a blue line on a pee stick. I trawled through pregnancy blogs and mum pages (you know the ones) trying to find other clues. One I stumbled across said, “Don’t worry if you don't feel sick yet, enjoy this time as when you do, around 6 weeks, you’ll wish you didn't wish those first few weeks away. blah, blah, blah... ". This was not helping. I wanted real evidence. 🧐
I was so anxious! I made the decision to book into Pearl Scanning for an early 7-week scan. A decision I cherish as it really put my mind at ease at this early stage.
Prior to my scan date I was working north of York for the day. I was tired from the drive and then a full day of energetic retail training. I had a panini for lunch (circa my dairy free days) followed by an apple. On the long drive home I could feel this apple in my throat. Arriving home, I explained all to Jamie. The feeling of nausea had become so bad. I sat on my staircase neither up nor down. I was in complete limbo just willing to feel better. Jamie had the great idea that a bottle of Gaviscon should do the trick. So off he popped to the pharmacy. He purchased the largest bottle I’d ever seen. The Costco edit!
I took one swig of Gaviscon and that was my end. I can't even look at the stuff now without flashbacks. I vomited so much that night I wonder how I’m still here 🤢. And so it all began... A whole 9 months of vomiting - multiple times a day! The thought of eating made me nauseous and even water would resurface quickly.
The only way I can describe it is this: Take yourself back to your college days when you drank waaay too much and the next day had the hangover of all hangovers... to end all hangovers. At least at college, the hangover might last a day. Unfortunately, with severe morning sickness, the effects are constant. Unlike travel sickness which ends a few minutes after your journey ends. (Bear with me... it gets better).
The struggle lies in the ability to continue with regular daily life, work, home-life & responsibilities. It's not easy to resign to a duvet day and wait out the next 9 months.
As a first timer I didn’t know what to do. Every time I vomited I would notice Jamie smile as he knew that this pregnancy was in full swing. Despite my ramblings, I was happy, even thrilled. Beautiful, amazing feelings were flooding my body. Yes, I was worried. The sickness was horrendous but I was pregnant and that made me ok with it. My worry was for ‘Spud’. "If I couldn’t eat then how would Spud survive and grow healthily?" I asked myself. I tried to explain my concern to the GP who just dismissed my worry by saying: "You're pregnant - not ill". Eh, yeah I’m aware of that! I’m not looking for sympathy. I was searching for solace, someone tell me my baby is OK...
We arrived for our 7-week scan after work. I desperately wanted to see and hear something to confirm my viable pregnancy. I was ‘sick as a dog' yet I was happy, nervous and excited all rolled into one. The team at Pearl Scanning were so lovely and really made every effort to put my mind at ease. ‘Spud’ was growing and had a strong, healthy heartbeat 🙌🏻💕. I was absolutely bursting with happiness. It's a beautiful memory that will stay with me forever and carried me through the undulations of the upcoming months.
The months rolled by and alas, the sickness continued. I even passed-out in loo in the middle of the night and Jamie found me on the floor with my hand down the pan. Nice!!
As a pregnant woman, you are the happiest you’ve ever been... but severe morning sickness is hellish and feels like an eternity. There are so many good, strong hormones flooding your body that work to confuse and heighten your senses. Particularly smell. I found that odours I had never previously noticed were sending me over the edge. Everything smelt 'off'... even water.
Still... one thing that really helped me through was something I read along the way: 'The foetus takes essential nutrients from your liver reserve'. So I just thought, I was pretty healthy before so hopefully that will be enough. I supplemented my diet with vitamins each night which worked best for me.
Thankfully most women's nausea and sickness will subside within the first trimester. You'll be glad to discover your level of sickness has no bearing on the health and wellbeing of your baby.
So... to help you, I have rounded up my top 5 tips to help if you suffer from night, noon & morning sickness:
1. Healthy Snack 🍏
Keep some healthy snacks under your pillow. Little tiny bites reduce tummy acid. Try something simple with plenty of nutrients & energy. That's why I created Time Minis™. They are perfect during pregnancy and labour!
2. A Cup of Ginger Tea ☕️
Ginger tea was my drink of choice and kept me hydrated. The soothing properties of ginger are well recognised and work wonders to soothe an uneasy tummy.
3. Anti-Nausea Wrist Bands 👍🏻
I always carried anti-nausea bands with me and kept an extra set in my car and handbag. They're conveniently small and discreet. An essential companion when out-and-about or at work. They also work for motion sickness or travel sickness. Bonus! You can find some pretty ones here.
4. Smoothies 🥦🥒🥑🥕🍐🍌🥥🥛
I tried to pack as many fruits & veggies into a smoothie as possible. I found milk had become sour to the taste with pregnancy so I replaced it with coconut water for extra potassium. If you keep the veggie content high and the fruits bland (ie bananas, mango etc, rather than berries) then the smoothie is less likely to disagree with you. Plus they tick the healthy box!
5. Rest & Relaxation 🧘🏻♀️💆🏻♀️
Rest is key and allows you to relax and stay in control. The benefits of relaxation are abundant and I firmly believe that keeping a healthy, strong mind is they key to a positive birthing experience. Pregnancy Massage is the perfect way to unwind and relieve stress and anxiety, which is good for mum and great for baby! 🤱🏻
To all the mums out there, if you feel you are suffering excessively then I would always recommend you seek medical advice.
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Thanks for Reading!
Owner & Founder
Time: Bump & Beyond