Well I would like to report that I’m feeling great and past the morning sickness….but I’m not. Glass half full = At 11 weeks along I can see the light at the end of the first trimester tunnel (let’s just pray that the nausea doesn’t follow me into the second trimester!). Another positive, over the last two days I have had a few brief windows in between waves of nausea where I don’t feel that bad. My stomach still feels crappy, but I feel like I can tackle normal activities like hitting the grocery store. BUT then I go to the store and I’m hit with way too many smells (I hate that the seafood is so close to the fruit & veggies!) that I can’t get out of Publix fast enough.
I think anyone who has experienced “morning” sickness has immediate empathy for anyone else experiencing it. If you have been graced with the opportunity of a non-nausea pregnancy then just imagine the most horrible hangover ever and multiple it a couple of times….
During my pregnancy with Lily I was sick, but it wasn’t everyday. I also didn’t experience such violent waves of nausea. Yes I said violent because some days I have felt like I was hit by a 4×4. I have spent countless days in bed all day, only getting up to pee and to ask Mike (or my mom) for something to nibble on. I would just curl in a fetal position, put a sleeping mask on to block the light and concentrate of breathing. Sounds weird, but with my stomach swirling around I thought focusing on slow deep breaths would help prevent me from throwing up. Between this pregnancy and Lily’s I have tried just about anything to help with the crappy morning sickness. All I can do is hope and pray that it ends…because it will. As a mom already, I know it will….but I have to tell that to myself everyday.
So I thought I would share some tips and ideas that I’ve been doing in hopes that maybe it brings relief to someone else! Being honest, nothing has really helped to get rid of the nausea, only keeping it at bay really.
FOOD. Even though the mere thought of chewing and swallowing food made me start to feel queasy, I sucked it up and nibbled away when I was at my worst. I found that I need to eat every two hours. Since nothing sounds appetizing I have kept to bland options. My doctor said I should stick to the BRAT diet (banana, rice, applesauce and toast). Carbs have been my best friend and help give me energy.
For breakfast I have turned to Cheerios with sliced strawberries or bananas, scrambled eggs & toast, pancakes (no syrup) and oatmeal. On mornings where I have low nausea, I take the time and make oatmeal from scratch with raisins, cinnamon & agave nectar. But I usually grab the instant oatmeal and use my hot water tap for an immediate meal.
Lunch and dinner are the same options. A baked potato, grilled cheese, any kind of pasta, small salads and small pizzas (using Boboli crust, a little pasta sauce, & shredded mozzarella). I’m surprised (& grateful) that with this pregnancy I haven’t craved greasy foods. I was a fast food junkie with Lily and it was one of the main reasons I gained so much! This time around if it’s too greasy or has too much spice or flavor I can’t do it. With a bland diet and the need to eat every two hours it has been tough. Food has become just a source of energy and just sitting down to eat has been miserable. There have been many nights where I have to go lay down or curl up on the couch after I eat and just pray that the food works to keep the tidal wave of nausea down.
Snacks. When the nausea is really bad I reach over to my nightstand where I have a box of oyster crackers. I have to snack on a few handfuls before I can even get up in the morning. So keep some saltine crackers or even cheerios for easy access in the morning. Don’t be surprised if you need to grab a few crackers during the middle of the night too! I have been woken up countless nights feeling horrible and if the crackers didn’t help I grabbed a banana or a cheese stick. Keep some water on that nightstand to help wash down the crackers as well. One snack that could be considered an actual meal are those pre-made peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches made by Smuckers. Found in the freezer section, these sandwiches thaw out quickly and help fill a grumbling stomach! One week I think I ate 2-3 of them a day!
Stay Hydrated. I have a little plastic mason jar cup (found at Walmart or Target) that I carry around with me. I have that thing filled with ice water all day long. I place a few drops of lemon juice in my water throughout the day (supposed to help settle your stomach). Try Ginger Ale, Sprite or 7up. Ginger Ale was actually too strong for me, so I took small sips of Sprite some days. I don’t know what it is, but Coke tastes good and hits the spot on some days. I have to drink the Coke over ice and with a straw (weird I know). The straw part sounds funny, but it is the only way I drink anything…even the water. I just take small sips. With Lily I found sour drinks like lemonade were easy to keep down.
Smells. Mike still can’t understand how simple everyday scents send me over the edge. Like coffee. Yep I can’t stand the smell of it. I used to drink 1-2 cups a day. Now the smell makes me queasy. To let Mike keep his sanity I gave him the green light to continue making his morning brew, but I made him move the coffee maker to his office so it didn’t affect me. I haven’t sprayed perfume either. Since I have sensitive skin my laundry detergent, body soap and lotion are scent free, so no changes there. The grocery store is full of awful smells so I have relied on Mike and my mom for grocery shopping. Air fresheners and candles can be too strong so they are off limits (except one candle that has a very fair smell, I light it because I like the flicker of light at night).
Medication. Currently I’m on my third prescription….a big thanks to my OB and her on-call nurse for all my desperate sobbing voicemails for relief! Don’t be afraid to turn to medication for help. Talk to your Ob about it. I tried Zofran, Reglan, and I’m now on Phenergan. The only downside with Phenergan is that it knocks me out, so I can only take it when I know Mike or my mom are watching Lily. Also Unisom & B16 taken together is supposed to be a great way to tackle the nausea, but it didn’t work for me.
Preggie Pops. This candy is made from natural ingredients and supposed to bring you relief….just not for me You can find these at drugstores, Target, Walmart and Amazon).
Ginger. There is something about ginger that is supposed to settle the tummy. Ginger candy chews, ginger crackers, ginger ale and ginger herbal teas didn’t do anything to help my condition.
Peppermint Candy. While at CVS getting my motion sickness wristbands Mike was actually stopped by a stranger and asked why he was getting them. When he told the woman it was for his pregnant wife she suggested getting a bag of peppermint candy with directions of sucking on two at a time to keep the nausea down. I tried but I just couldn’t do it. Problem is I can’t stand peppermint…I’m a spearmint kinda gal and I struggled with those two mints on the drive back home. As soon as I got into the garage I spit them out in the dumpster.
Miscellaneous. My nurse told me to try and eat my food at warm temps, not extremely hot. I also take my prenatal vitamin at night. Those vitamins are chalked full of important nutrients for your body, but it can also upset your stomach. Taking it at night while I’m sleeping seems to help. Emphasis on “seems” because I’ve consistently felt horrible with all these remedies!
I asked folks who follow me on Facebook and Instagram what helped them and got some great responses (thanks Ladies!):
“Ginger ale & bagels”
“I chewed gum and it helped”
“I put baby shoes by the toilet (weird, but it helps the focus) the book Jesus Calling & peanut butter pie…”
“I had a prescription filled for these suckers called B-natal. I also no joke would go to sleep smelling grapefruit peels and it would help.”
“Jolly Ranchers were my saving grace”
“Nibbling on a handful of almonds always did it for me”
“Ginger candies. The ones they sell at Whole Foods near checkout (Chimes is the brand I think) and ginger cookies (the ‘cat cookies’ from Trader Joes that are like animal crackers in a tub)”
“Anything with lemon in it helped me”
Things I’ve heard but never tried:
Aromatherapy (scents like mint and orange are supposed to help, but I’m staying clear of scents in general!)
Reading this post I’m sure you picked up on the word “supposed” used a lot. These remedies are supposed to help, but they just didn’t help me. If your struggling with nausea try it all, like I did…because you never know what will work! After dealing with this for 7 weeks now I’m still up to try anything…well anything but acupuncture- I hate needles.
To end this loooooong post (that has taken me a week to create because I get too sick to finish!) I have to extend thanks to those that have helped me through this horrible nausea. First up is Mike. He has been single parenting for weeks now and taking care of Lily and me! He makes the food, goes grocery shopping and spends his weekends and after work hours taking care of a toddler (who has been really sassy lately) on his own. No down time for him lately. He has always been my rock.
My other rock has been my mom. Living only a few minutes away she comes over everyday while Mike is working to help take care of Lily while I’m curled up on the couch or dying in bed. She has bought me groceries, cooked us meals, done my laundry (even putting it away one day!) and has kept my house tidy. I don’t know what I would do without her!
For a few days my mom was away visiting my Aunt in Charlotte, Mike was on the road for work and I was left to fend for Lily and myself. I broke down. Literally calling my dear friend Emily Ley balling my eyes out. My sweet friend and her awesome nanny, Danica, took Lily for a few hours the next day so I could lie in a fetal position in bed. Emily & Danica have hearts of gold I tell ya. Emily also popped by my house with a bunch of small containers packed with cheese, crackers, grapes, pretzels and cucumbers with humus. She also found some Sour Patch watermelon candies because she remembered I craved those with Lily. I’m so truly lucky to have that woman in my life!
I have been blessed with some great lady friends who call and text me all the time checking on me. When I was placed on bed rest they created a meal train to feed me, making sure to stick to some comfort foods that wouldn’t rough up my stomach. Thank you Elisa, Rachel, Emily, Kelsey and Mckay…I love you ladies. Mckay (of Oatmeal Lace Design) also sweetly dropped off a McDonald’s biscuit on my doorstep one day. They helped her during her pregnancy and let me tell you it tasted amazing! Those things are gold!
Anything missing on this long list of remedies that helped any of you readers??? I’m still up for trying other options!!!