When I first got pregnant, I read ALL the books and did all the googling. I wanted to know what was happening in my body, and how to save myself from the hard work involved in growing a human from scratch.
Once I started getting nauseous, those google searches leaned much more toward how to beat morning sickness (morning. HA. what a lie). Like millions of women before me, I learned that it couldn’t be done. No real way to deal, except to deal. Sure, there are old wives’ tales about home remedies, but most of the advice boils down to “You feel terrible! Give thanks for the miracle of life!”
Eight days into my journey with the sickness, I had this awful day. I spent it shuffling between my couch and the porcelain god. No hangover had prepared me for this level of incapacitation. All I could think was, I have 6 more weeks of this, before it’s *supposed* to stop. How am I going to get anything done?
Sitting on the couch for 6 more weeks begging the universe to release me from my body just wasn’t going to work. I have places to go and things to do—even if all I can manage once there is to nibble on some bland carbohydrates and try not to reveal my secret alien invader.
So, I resolved to find ways to deal even though I really couldn’t deal. Here’s what I’ve learned so far, and what I’m doing to get through this first trimester until this sickness is supposedly over.
- Buy foods in small packages. By the time you’ve eaten your third saltine, ginger chew, or wheat cracker, you’ve already associated that flavor and smell with the sickness, and you won’t be able to stomach it. Just one week in and my pantry is full of open, mostly full bags of stale chips and crackers.
- Thou shalt distract thyself. I haven’t worked out in 5 weeks. I have been avoiding friends because my main hobbies are totally unavailable to me: exercising, eating, and boozing. I also can’t focus for shit on my work or any reading above Hunger Games level. (Sorry, if you happen to be waiting on an email from me. It’s coming. After this nap.) That leaves a whole lot of time to focus on how miserable you feel. I decided now is a good time to start Game of Thrones – a pursuit I had been putting off for some time now, knowing full well how thoroughly I’d get sucked in.
- Make yourself a motivational something. I live and die by gold stars and other tracking mechanisms. I love crossing things off lists, checking the boxes, and celebrating arbitrary milestones, so I made myself a paper chain.You know, the kind you make in elementary school to count down the days left before summer break. My husband came home in the middle of me working on this and had the good sense to celebrate my project instead of questioning my sanity. The anticipation of violently ripping a link off at the end of every day might be the only thing keeping me from going completely insane.
- Just order the french fries. Vegetables—or whatever other healthy foods make you feel green—can wait. Bonus: potato chips have folate in them, so clearly we were meant to eat them, and only them, for 13 weeks.
- Order s’more french fries. This nausea is the party guest that just won’t leave. No matter how desperately you wish it would LEAVE already, it stays, and has another drink, and keeps babbling nonsense in your ear. Strangely enough, nibbling constantly throughout the day, even when the last thing I want to do is put food in my mouth, seems to have me slightly better off than taking breaks between meals. Here’s to eating for two.
- Give yourself a break, already. I spent the first two weeks beating myself up for not making it to the run group I’d just joined and paid good money for. Thankfully, I’m over that now. I’m getting good at dodging invitations and bowing out of obligations without feeling guilty about it.
- Feel free to adjust your standards. Never in my life have I counted regular old walking as exercise. (At least, not in the “give yourself a gold star” kind of way). Now, a few blocks on my feet totally, 100% counts, and I proudly tell my pregnancy tracker app that I exercised that day.
- Child’s pose. There are times when I want so desperately to just not be inside my body. When I start feeling the “this will never end” hysteria, I get into child’s pose and BREATHE. It does not make me feel better. But it helps to calm my panicky mind.
Well, I’ve run out, and I need fall asleep with potato chip crumbs on my face. Do you have any tried and true tips? Please, please share.
Your friendly neighborhood crazy pregnant lady