May 26, 2012

Dr. Croft on Morning Sickness

DISCLAIMER- I have no idea what I am talking about :) This post was mostly written to document how I have gotten through the first hurdle of motherhood.

     Let me just start out by saying that I was more scared of morning sickness than labor & delivery. I’m STILL more scared of it than labor & delivery. Mostly since labor & delivery has a beginning and end and morning sickness just hangs around for months. I should also mention that I was blessed with relatively mild morning sickness and I am so, so grateful. Unfortunately, relatively mild morning sickness doesn’t mean it was not incredibly annoying, frustrating and sometimes I-just-need-to-cry-overwhelming. I’m 13.5 weeks and hoping it will be tapering off any day now. In the meantime, I figured I would throw out all the weird, medicinal & emotional tactics I’ve been using to hang in there.

1. The whole low blood sugar theory. Many doctors believe morning sickness is the result of low blood sugar and that eating frequent small meals around the clock is the cure. I say..malarkey. Well, half-malarkey. It IS true that eating around the clock certainly does help reduce the nausea or at least keep you from vomiting. Eating before you go to bed, or even eating if you wake up during the night. For me, morning sickness has felt like a nagging hunger, upset stomach feeling. That being said, I ate protein constantly. Bagels & peanut butter  at 5 am, a yogurt a 7 am, fruit & cheese & 9 and so on & so forth throughout the day. The sad truth? The morning sickness was still alive and well. Please don’t disregard this theory though, as the constant munching did make it much more bearable. Just don’t expect it to necessarily disappear. My other two cents…protein!! I’ve been eating plenty of carbs & junk too, but it is protein that will quell the worst nausea.

2. Milk Thistle. Another theory revolves around the pregnancy hormone {HCG} causing an increase in bile which takes a heavy toll on our liver. Milk Thistle is a natural liver detox. Supposedly if you take Milk Thistle supplements prior to conception & continue during your pregnancy you can avoid morning sickness all together. {Read more about that here} Well, I didn’t have that handy-dandy knowledge prior to conception, but I tried some anyways. I truly think it did help a bit. My worst days were days I forgot to take the Milk Thistle. Again, it didn’t get rid of it, but I was still able to function and enjoy my life for the most part during the first trimester. Another similar liver-morning sickness theory swears that beans are the cure! No, I am not kidding..  I can’t really confirm or deny this theory since I, though normally love beans, had a STRONG aversion to beans the last 13 weeks. Boo. As weird as it sounds, if you google ‘the bean cure’ you will read many happy accounts of mothers who found relief from beans.

3. Laughter. Specifically, in my case, America’s Funniest Home Videos. Thankfully, Netflix has ALL their episodes {& don’t be ashamed to sign up for their free month trial and then cancel it after a month. Don’t ask me how I know this, but you can sign up for that trial as many times as you want, too} Laughter is an awesome form of distraction and in the evenings, when I would feel particularly lousy, this was such a HUGE help. Actually watching movies in general was helpful, but the funnier the better. Laughter is vital to our physical & emotional health, people!

4. Reading. I should probably just do a lump suggestion called DISTRACTION…I tore through so many books during morning sickness. My favorites were renowned Midwife Ina May Gaskin’s Birth Matters and Guide to Natural Childbirth. When I was in the mood for something other than hippy natural childbirth books, I read Fatherless {, could NOT put it down!} and Consoling the Heart of Jesus. I brought a book with me everywhere so when I felt really bad, I could escape & distract myself. Very, very helpful

5. Eating what I felt like eating. Don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t through your nutritional sense out the window, but if you just feel like eating Avocados {which I did} all the time…go for it. I’m not proud to say I ate Mac & Cheese for dinner nearly every night of the week, but my midwife assured me I can focus on a balanced diet when I feel better. I thrived  off of peanut butter & bagels, cheese sticks, Chobani yogurt, sour jolly ranchers & lemon heads, and salt and vinegar chips. I might have went a little nuts on the bagels seeing as how I managed to gain weight during those all-day-long nausea days. As my midwife said {after weighing me} “Well! I guess you aren’t that sick!” I really love my midwife, but I wanted to hit her when she said that ;)  I’ll add that if you suffer from extreme food aversions like I am, don’t try to force yourself to eat something that doesn’t sound good. The results won’t be pretty…trust me on that one. I may or may not have locked myself in the bedroom while Marcus tried to keep a normal diet since my nose was in overdrive.

6. Staying busy. This is completely counter-intuitive. Seriously, everything about morning sickness screams “STAY IN BED!” Sometimes, I had days where I did, in fact, stay in bed. Those days were needed time to time. But overall, for my pregnancy, keeping busy was a huge help, staying on the distraction theme. My body & mind felt like canceling every plan but I tried to keep doing things. It really helped!! Please, please, please disregard this idea if it does NOT make you feel better. You might be a good candidate for one of those laying in bed days. It really depends on your own pregnancy. What works for some women, doesn’t do the trick for others.

7. Exercise. Again, so counter intuitive. Long walks and swims can sometimes make me feel completely normal again. I have not been really vigilant about working out, but when I do.. I find some temporary sweet relief.

8. Offer. It. Up.  Remembering that suffering is not in vain and to lift it up to God in petition for loved ones. This truth actually really helped & comforted me

There you have it, a newbie mama’s take on surviving morning sickness. I felt like I needed to record this so I would know what to do the next time I go through it.  Before I sign off, I have to include the most important tip….

9. Support. Marcus has brought me countless meals in bed, cool washcloths on my forehead, prayers whispered and thanks offered. My mom & sister have called me countless times just to check on me & encourage me. My sister even brought over a morning sickness survival kit-made mostly of ginger products :) My sister-in-law Emily said nothing as I once consumed her household supply of red grapes one morning. My other sister-in-law dropped of preggo-pops. My brothers & brothers-in-law always greet me with a simple “How ya feelin?” My friends listened to me cry in frustration on the phone, while other friends texted me ideas of foods that might sound good to me. Morning sickness really is not fun, but it sure does provide an opportunity for you to be bathed in God’s grace & mercy during those unpleasant months.


It seems strange to stop this post before reaching number 10, but that is all I got! Hope it will help somebody someday! Or just explain my lack of blogging recently :)


Kelly said...

Sounds like the little Bambino is giving you a run for your money already! The seasickness bracelets helped me. They are sold everywhere and do something with your pressure points. I'll be praying you feel better SOON!

Cat said...

I remember just sitting on the floor watching House Hunters, episode after episode. It was definitely my distraction. And I had Brian go get me a bag of frozen chicken nuggets so I always had an easy meal to make. The good news is that at weeks 14, everything magically stopped and I felt normal again. I hope that happens for you!

Laura said...

Kelly...yes, morning sickness/pregnancy has been harder than I thought already, haha! Some people make it look so easy while looking amazing {hint, hint!} I have the sea bands too and NEVER take them off. Accidentally wore them to a couple weddings this spring! Also, I just went & looked at your cloth diaper blog post...I'll probably be bugging you for more details soon :)

Cat- Thanks for sharing what you went make me feel less crazy!!! I am 14 weeks today and feeling like crap but maybe tomorrow?! I hope so :)

CA Rhoades said...

Yea, the morning sickness is definitely not easy! If you need some help with staying busy/distracted, give me a call! This is my last week nannying baby K so I'll be super free after that! (And hey, any time you have a prenatal appt, come stop by after! I'm so close :))


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