Best Laid Plans (Six Weeks)
I started the week staring down the barrel of two french fry empties from McDonald’s, obsessing over the unfathomable amount of weight I’ve already gained and the fact that by the time I’m actually showing I won’t even be able to fit into my maternity jeans from last time. My thought was to try really hard to avoid eating crap this time, and maybe somehow control the insane weight gain, but as usual the hormones get started and suddenly I’m eating McDonald’s again like it’s going out of style.
But as it turns out, this week came in like a lamb and is going out like a lion. Since last we spoke, I’ve sat on the floor of the shower five? six? more times, and I’ve finally determined the exact position that allows for the therapeutic effects while not compromising either drainage or my ability to breathe without swallowing a mouthful of water. The nausea has not yet reached the heights to which it soared during my pregnancy with Mini; however, I recall that it did not start with Mini until 6.5 weeks and so, therefore, we can assume that this little fetus is an overachiever already looking to usurp its big brother’s throne of vomit.
At present my nausea relief methods are many, though none of them foolproof. In case you are wondering — and if you have been in this position, you are wondering, believe me, because there isn’t all that much help out there for morning sickness (more on that later) — include the following:
- Exercise (if you can get through the first 30 minutes, you might be rewarded with an endorphin hit that will alleviate the nausea for approximately another 10-15 minutes. But be forewarned: during that time, you might find yourself contemplating more McDonalds french fry tallboys);
- Ice chips (water makes your body feel better, but drinking a lot of it is difficult, suck on some ice chips and you’ll hydrate yourself less painfully);
- Sour and/or “bold” hard candy, or anything else that is really, really sour (shocks your system temporarily, forces your brain to focus on the sourness of your mouth instead of the queasiness of your entire existence);
- The previously mentioned method of sitting on the shower floor for upwards of an hour; and
- Sea Bands (these will might take off the edge from the nausea, and might save you a few vomiting episodes, but you have to wear them constantly. Constantly. And you won’t feel the effects until after you’ve been wearing them for several days continuously.) I’ve only used the Sea Bands brand but I’ve ordered a pair of Psi Bands to try out (they are waterproof and so I won’t have to take them off every time I’m sulking on the floor of the shower), and I’m hoping they will be more effective.
Some people like saltine crackers and sipping water but I have had mixed results with these methods. Depending on how bad your morning sickness is, you might be able to control it with food, but experience has shown me that my brand of morning sickness is usually beyond that until about 12 weeks. With Mini, I had to take Zofran, a prescription anti-nausea medicine also given to people undergoing chemotherapy that costs about $100 a pill. I’m hoping to avoid that this time, because Zofran has some very unpleasant side effects that I won’t get into just yet, but things are looking bleak over here.
Last time I was pregnant I spent a lot of time on the floor of the shower trying to brainstorm ideas for products I could develop to make morning sickness less miserable. It’s usually only three months women have to deal with it, and once you’re through with it you pretty much just want to block it out like some kind of repressed ritualistic abuse incident from childhood that may or may not actually have happened. So, the thing is, people don’t study it that much or work on solutions.
I think the best idea I came up with last time was creating a set of cards, each one of which contained an elaborate task on which the hyperemetic was required to concentrate — a new one for each day — to attempt to distract one from the agony of the persistent nausea.Now that I have a child, I know that the child himself kind of serves the same purpose: you’re not really feeling any better, but you have less time to kick the dirt and obsess about how bad you feel, and that is better than nothing. Similarly, the more I am actually out in the world interacting with people, the less I can think about it, even if the nausea never goes away. So that has been my plan: continue to operate as if I am not sick and hope that makes the time go by faster.
I’ll let you know how that works out.
[Photo: Mr. Right Click took this of me when I was pregnant with Mini in 2006. I have heavily cropped the photo so as to make it suitable for internet publication.]