Morning sickness. The biggest joke ever. Its more like all day, every day sickness.
Pregnancy journeys differ so vastly and after reading Lucy Meck’s latest blog on her morning sickness journey so far, it gave me the push I needed to share mine and some of the little things I found along the way that helped me to cope.
For me, it has been particularly horrific. Spending my nights curled on the bathroom floor and hugging our toilet rather than in our comfy bed hugging my baby daddy, being unable to eat or drink practically anything, and resulting in a few stints in hospital. And in all honesty, if one more person told me to ‘try ginger biscuits’, had I had the energy I may have hurt them!
My Morning Sickness Experience
The majority of my first trimester was spent staring down various toilet bowls, grabbing onto the sides of cubicles for balance or collapsing onto the floor. Sometimes, the vomiting was so bad that I would bring up blood. After a few particularly bad episodes, I ended up taking myself to A&E concerned over the amount of blood I was bringing up or the pains or the sheer lack of energy I had. However, of those 3 or 4 trips to A&E each time, I was sent home after being told my symptoms were normal symptoms of pregnancy.
On one particular Tuesday, my mum came round to check on me and refused to leave until I had seen a doctor. I protested with the little energy I had telling my mum that there was no point, they’d just tell me I was being a wuss and this was normal. Honestly, I had no idea how women Pregnant women got through life at this stage, I was depressed and almost, regretting getting pregnant at the first place. Nonetheless, mum dragged me to the doctors. It seems she did know best because upon our arrival the doctor informed my mum that she should drive me to the hospital because it would be faster than calling an ambulance, wrote a note for her to pass to the receptionist so that we could bypass A&E, and called ahead to the ward to let them know I was on my way and would need admitting straight away.
Sure enough, we got to the hospital and when the nurses on the ward took my stats they were horrified that I had been allowed to deteriorate into such a state. By the time we arrived at hospital my energy sources had taken an even further plunge and I could barely hold my head up or have a conversation. Everything ached and hurt. My blood pressure was so low and I was so severely de-hyrdrated that the nurses struggled to get a canula for the IV into me (which also included one very painful failed attempt).
Initially, the hospital had planned to keep me in for 24 hours and give me 2 bags of IV fluids and some antisickness medication. That turned into a 3 day stay, 4 bags of IV and a whole goodybag of drugs! It was at this point that the hospital finally diagnosed me with Hyperemesis and thankfully, from then on things did get a bit easier but by this point I was already 12 weeks and even with medications the sickness didn’t really begin to calm down until around 18 weeks but it certainly became more manageable and I was able to slightly resume business as usual.
Tips for Coping
Getting through those times were not easy, but we are women. Strong and resilient. However, we needn’t struggle on if there are ways to make it easier, so here are a couple of ways that helped me get through and I hope they in turn, help you navigate the first weeks of pregnancy and deal with your morning sickness in an much smoother fashion (and no. Lemon drops are not on this list!):
- Trust your gut.
You know your body better than anyone. If you feel like something isn’t right, I urge you to get medical attention and do not leave until you are satisfied that you have been taken seriously and you are happy with the information you are given.
Fluids are more important than food at this stage. The hospital were only really interested in the fluids I was taking on. If like me, water and juices are a struggle for you to keep down then try fizzy drinks. There is something about the fizziness of drinks
- Pregnancy Vitamins
Yes, the hardest, largest most inconvenient pills in the world to swallow but they are absolutely necessary. Particularly if you are struggling to eat, those pills will make sure the baby is getting all the vital vitamins and minerals they need. Especially at such a crucial stage of their development as the first 12 weeks are when the spinal chord is formed. Actually, these Pregnacare Gummy Vitamins have been a god send for me!
- Navigate Bathrooms and keep a ‘sick bag’ with you.
I learnt this one the hard way in Tesco! Where ever you are, make sure the first thing you do is locate the toilets and don’t stray too far from them. As you may know, morning sickness has a wonderful way of creeping up on you all of a sudden when you least expect it.
As for travelling, keep a ‘sick bag’ close by so that no matter what, there isn’t the added pressure of having to find a safe place to stop or somewhere that you can be ill without any further embarrassment.
- Pee Sticks
If you have had a stay in hospital for a pregnancy related ailment you will likely be aware that your pee is your fee for using the bathroom!
That is because they are constantly testing for Leukocytes – which indicate levels of dehydration. Hospitals are not among my favourite places to reside and I definitely didn’t want to go back so, I ordered some of the Pee sticks from Amazon and constantly tested my own pee to make sure that I wasn’t regressing down the same path. Which actually really did help and certainly helped me to force fluids down my throat.