Tuesday, December 14, 2004

All Day Sickness

When I was pregnant with my first child I would occasionally feel queasy. After telling my baby to stop bothering mommy, I would smile, pat my teeny tiny belly, and wonder if women with morning sickness were possibly experiencing something psychosomatic. Nature has a odd sense of humor. Because...

Then I had Piper. She kicked my butt! I was so sick, I had to stop working and literally sit in a chair all day long trying not to move. My only sense of accomplishment was reading all the Harry Potter books in a matter of days. Bridget was the same. Only that time I wised up and demanded pharmaceutical support. It never made me feel fabulous, but at least I didn't have to sit next to the toilet all day!

I wondered about the title "Morning sickness" since mine lasted all day. I thought it must be a name that a husband made up since they go to work and don't see us all day. I have since found that sometimes morning sickness is related to blood sugar and thus will be worse in the morning before eating when blood sugar is pretty low. Still, I have yet to meet a mom struck by it who only experienced it in the morning.

There are a variety of treatments for morning sickness. I have decided that most of them are simply another way of torturing pregnant women. They generally rub salt in the wound and add insult to injury and any other figure of speech you can think of that's appropriate.

My general advice is that if you're experiencing all day sickness, don't be afraid to try anything. Unless you think it'll make you sicker. Then avoid it like the plague. Also, try to remember that you don't have the flu or food poisoning. Vomiting will not make you feel better. Your body may be trying to rid you of what is making you feel cruddy, but you could upchuck your entire intestinal track and not come close to getting that baby out. So don't make yourself throw up if you're not. It won't help you feel better, it'll only make you smell funny. And be careful brushing your teeth. I was not prepared for the suddenly overdeveloped gag reflex I gained while pregnant and almost made myself sick several times while doing something as simple as oral hygiene!

Here is my list of treatments, and thoughts:

1) Sea Bands - they're these little bands with a pressure ball on one side that, if worn properly, is to help with nausea associated with motion sickness. It can and sometimes does work for pregnant women. It's cheap, non-medication, and definately worth a try!

2) Lemon - Okay, I guess some think that you can't experience nausea and sour at the same time. It sounds really stupid to me, and a mean thing to do to yourself. But if you're up for it, why the heck not?

3) Ginger - This is a natural nausea reducer. Also on-line you can find lolipops with ginger in them specifically for pregnant women. I never found it helpful. And I found out I don't like ginger. Drugs helped me more. But if you want to, give ginger a try!

4) Eat protein and a carb - With this pregnancy (blessing blessing) I've only had some morning nausea. I found that this (for me in the form of peanuts) was great! I could have a handful of peanuts in the morning and not want to vomit upon rising. Very helpful. I think this time it was related to blood sugar for me, and for those whom blood sugar is a cause, I think that may be why this is helpful. So, this one is certainly worth trying.

5) Black licorice - Okay, whatever. I love the stuff, but I don't know why it would help.

6) Rasperry or peppermint tea - both natural nausea reducers and raspberry is very good for pregnancy. Take in the form of a tea.

7) Flat coke first thing in the morning followed by a single saltine cracker - Yes, this indeed was offered to me as a solution. Has to be regular coke left open all night to go flat. The only thing it did for me was make me puke harder. But I have since found that it's supposed to be a legitimate treatment and the stuff is sold in drugstores as a product called Emetrol (minus the saltine). So if it doesn't sound disgusting...

8) Unisom - I tried this at night with Piper. I definately wasn't waking up to puke. Thanks, Doc!

9) Benadryl - Again, too sleepy to be sick. I'm not sure if this helps or just helps you not care.

10) B-6 - Another Dr. remedy. I actually tried B-6 shots in my Dr.'s office to try to help with Piper. But not only did I end up with a sore butt, I found myself puking by the time I got to my car to drive home. That's just no way to live.

My ultimate solution is drugs. But WHATEVER helps you MUST BE DONE. Don't worry about what other people think. If standing on your head, singing the "Star Spangled Banner" backwards in Swahili makes you feel human, then get out a pillow so your head doesn't hurt! And if anyone else has remedies to add, please comment.

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