Pregnant & Serially Sick

morningsickness2Each woman handles pregnancy differently, and that includes the haves and have-nots of “morning sickness.” For those who do experience it, it doesn’t always discriminate between your mornings, afternoons or evenings. But the tremendous joy from the outcome reminds us that “this, too, shall pass.”

When I was growing up, my mother mentioned to me that she had “morning sickness” at the beginning of her pregnancy with my older brother. She told me that it only lasted about three weeks and that sometimes her barfing made my dad barf, too – interesting piece of family lore to pass down through the generations. My mother also noted that she initially thought it might just have been a really persistent stomach virus. I asked her if she had considered the fact that she had recently thrown her diaphragm away in the trash. She acknowledged that the disposal of the diaphragm had, in fact, occurred to her but explained that she was too busy barfing to think much more about it. She assured me that, despite the lousy “morning sickness,” it had all been worth it and that my brother and I had given her tremendous joy in life which helped her forget about the barfing…for the most part. Please don’t let the idea of constant barfing dissuade you from having a baby. Keep in mind that there are many women who never experience “morning sickness” or who have minimal episodes. These are the women who “glow” during their pregnancies – a vibrant energetic pink. I glowed as well, but mine was a low-energy, slime green. This caused me to take issue with the phrase “morning sickness.” I barfed in the morning, in the afternoon, at dinner, before bed, after bed, in the bed, and on the bed. You get the idea. My obstetrician told me that it was a good sign, indicating that my hormones were in full baby-making mode. She tried to convince me that barfing was a positive thing. It was an interesting concept to accept.

morningsickness3As with every other symptom in a pregnancy, I was barraged with unsolicited advice from others as to how to curb my “morning sickness.” “How about dry toast?” my mother would suggest. Call me crazy, but I am thinking that if simple dry toast actually halted “morning sickness,” my doctor would have given me a loaf of bread after my first visit. My mother-in-law gave me a motion sickness bracelet from her last cruise. “Try this,” she suggested as I hung my head over the nearest trash can. The bracelet didn’t work but did help me visualize myself on a cruise ship far, far away from my barfy existence. A neighbor once left me a large fruit basket on my front porch. “Maybe this will help.” I assumed she had heard my agony through the thin walls of my townhome.

I was surprised to discover that my mother-in-law had given birth to three children and had only barfed once. Yes, three babies and only one barf. I was impressed. She proudly recalled driving in her car one day, four months pregnant with her first child, when she came to a complete stop at an intersection. She looked to her left for oncoming traffic, then to her right, and back to the left again. There was no traffic. Then she barfed. It took her utterly and completely by surprise. She never barfed again. Oh, what I would have given to be a onetime- barfer. Even if it was right out there in public; one time and you’re done.

morningsickness4Most women will tell you that during pregnancy, their sense of smell becomes that of a Westminster Kennel Club gold trophy winning Bloodhound. I was convinced that I could smell anything within a ten mile radius of my home. I was so astounded by my pregnancy-induced smelling ability that I considered offering my services to a local crime solvers lab. Perhaps it would distract me from all of the barfing. But, alas, there was a downside to my newly-found talent. Food items which previously seemed innocuous now became my enemies. The scent of a peanut butter sandwich sent me reeling. A grilled piece of chicken breast overpowered me. My poor husband had to endure moments of, “Good God, what are you eating?” “Um…a salad,” he would say quietly, knowing that he had unleashed yet another food item into my senses that would kick my “morning sickness” into “evening sickness.”

I found that my sense of smell waned around the twentieth week of each of pregnancy. My theory was that by that point in my pregnancy, my body was in such dire need for more space that it shrunk my nose to enable other parts of my body to grow ridiculously large. Less smelling meant less “morning sickness,” so I always welcomed the enormity of my protruding parts.

Yes, I am aware that whoever labeled it “morning sickness” did so because a lot of women experience nausea associated with pregnancy exclusively in the early part of the day. I am also aware that this person would have made me feel much better about the whole ordeal had it been called “pretty-muchanytime- of-the-day-sickness” or “perpetual sickness.” It would have helped better prepare me. Even “morning and brunch sickness” would have more aptly described my state of being.

Four kids down – three C-sections and one adoption – I can assure you that, despite the lousy “morning sickness,” it was worth it. They continue to give me tremendous joy in life, and it helps me to forget about the barfing…for the most part.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.