In week 6 of my pregnancy I started feeling symptoms of morning sickness. I never threw up but I would feel nauseous all day. I lost my appetite (so sad for someone who usually loves to cook and read recipes!) and didn’t want to eat anything. Things that became particularly disgusting to me included burritos (by the time I posted this recipe just looking at the photo made me gag) and vegetarian/vegan meat substitutes like veggie burgers. Even though I didn't feel like eating the longer I went without eating the worse I would feel. The irony! It was definitely not fun.
At the same time I knew I could have it worse. I never got sick and it was reassuring to be feeling symptoms; it helped me to feel that the baby was developing and healthy. Still it was hard to feel appreciative as I was feeling nauseous all day at work combined with being exhausted. It made focusing at work (really) difficult. It would take all the focus I could muster to read one page of a report. Growing a baby is hard work!
I didn’t find anything that cured my UGH-ness other than time (the nausea subsided around week 14) but I did find some things that helped me cope. Other bloggers (like Ashley) and friends who described how they got through morning sickness really helped me get ideas for things to try and it was comforting to know I wasn't the only one. So I want to pay it forward to anyone dealing with morning sickness right now. Here are a few things that helped me:
+ Keeping a snack on my bedside table at night. I woke up frequently to go to the bathroom and just being up for a couple of minutes was enought to get my stomach going. I had to eat something to keep from feeling sick. I tried crackers but all the crinkling of plastic woke Chris up and I felt bad for disturbing him so I found a quieter snack: a hunk of cinnamon raisin bagel. One day I forgot about the bagel hunk in the morning and it was mysteriously not there later in the day...hmmmm....
+ Eating something small as soon as I felt the nausea getting any worse. Even though my body was not saying it was hungry the longer I let the feeling persist the worse it got.
+ Small snacks that were tolerable to me: half a toasted bagel, apple slices with peanut butter, plain tortilla, pecan nut thins. The hard part was that one day something would seem tolerable and the next completely gross. So I tried to keep a variety on hand at work.
+ Sipping on ice water or half lemonade/half ice water. A cold drink really helped and the sour taste of lemonade helped too. Sometimes I’d munch on a few pickles slices which also helped a bit (such a cliché!).
+ Sleep! I knew that pregnancy made you tired, and I definitely felt that, but I didn’t think about a connection between morning sickness and sleep. After sleeping for 12 hours one night and feeling a lot better the next day I realized there might be something to this more sleep thing. Sometimes I needed to come home and go right to sleep either in bed or on the couch. I also started letting myself sleep in an extra 45 minutes, which usually meant forgoing my morning workout, but clearly my body needed sleep more than exercise. Unfortunately the nausea would creep back in the afternoon as I started to get more tired.
+ Exercise. Working out seriously helped a lot. I think there were only one or two times when I didn't feel back to my "normal" self during a workout. Even though I started skipping morning work outs for sleeping in I still made it to my evening spin classes and did a run and/or yoga on the weekends.
I tried some things that didn't seem to affect my morning sickness but they might be worth a try for someone else:
+ Magnesium supplement. A friend recommended this to me because it had really helped her sister who was suffering really bad morning sickness. I took a magnesium supplement in addition to my prenatal vitamin for a few weeks but didn't notice any difference.
+ Ginger everything. Sipping on ginger tea maybe was a bit soothing but I could take it or leave it. I tried some candied ginger as well but eh.
+ Sea sickness bands. My sister-in-law recommended these to me and I also have a friend who wears them for motion sickness. They're suppose to work by putting pressure on your wrist pressure point. I tried them for a few days but didn't see a noticeable difference. Plus it was before I had told anyone at work I was pregnant so I felt kind of weird wearing them.
Besides feeling nauseous for several weeks it was also so hard not to feel like myself. Usually planning meals and trying out recipes would be one of my past-times but I basically abandonded cooking during that time...and am just now starting to get back into it. I also didn't have energy for weekend projects and blogging. There were times when I just felt so frustrated because I missed eating because I was hungry instead of eating because I felt nauseous and it was so boring to spend weekends just laying around feeling ugh.
But! It did get better. And if you're going through it know that it will for you too.