What morning sickness is really like

(Written May 26th 2014)

I don't have any photographs to go with this post so you're just going to have to use your imagination, lovely!

Someone, someday is bound to google the question 'what is morning sickness really like?' I'm ready for them.

Also if you are male or have never been pregnant or have been pregnant and never had morning sickness (fyi i hate you) this is very important. You should read this. Carefully. And you should never, ever, ever roll your eyes when a pregnant woman tells you she is sick. Because she really is sick, she's not just pregnant and complaining, she's sick.

I have no idea why some women don't get sick. I have no idea why some women get sick. It seems massively unfair. Apparently the scientists and researchers haven't worked this out either, maybe a mixture of raging hormones, blood sugar problems and voodoo?

I suspect there is a continuum of morning sickness and no-one has the same experience but I'm more than happy to tell you what it was like for me. So you will never, ever, ever roll your eyes again. Please.

So when I wake up in the morning a wave of sickness rolls over me from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. It's exactly the feeling you would have had if you've had an upset stomach and feel sick. Exactly. Not less serious or less distressing.

It doesn't always lead to actual vomiting, but often it does. And it stays through the day. Before you eat, while you eat, after you eat. If you think you can beat it by not eating, you can't. If you get too hungry it seems to multiply the nausea ten fold. Have you ever been starving hungry and nauseous? Yack.

It's like a ticker through my head. You just think over and over again, 'I feel sick'. Put the kids shoes on, feel sick, put the kettle on, feel sick, clean the toilet, feel sick.

For some reason my sickness actually ramps up in the evening this time around and is worse from about 6 pm, which makes bathing and putting the kids to be even more fun than usual. I look forward to my own bedtime so much because when I'm asleep I don't feel sick, I have respite for a few hours before I wake up and feel that wave coming again...........

I can normally take the edge off enough to function at least by eating something small and bland every few hours. That being said there is no food which is actually appealing. Nothing I actually want to eat. And the smells, oh my word the smells.

Last night Greig was folding clean washing and I nearly tossed my (small, bland) dinner. The smell of the washing powder was akin to a bucket of fish heads. I also just ran a bath with my normal bubbles and had to drain it and have a 'plain' bath because the smell was truly disgusting. Taking a shower is fraught with danger, shampoo is the final insult.

Before you let me know that sickness is a sign of high hormone levels and therefore a healthy prregnancy, just don't. Of course I'm glad my pregnancy seems to be progressing as it should, that doesn't make feeling like this any easier.

And I'm really trying to be cheerful, so could you just be a bit understanding?

My husband is a superstar. He does not question my odd behaviour, if I ask him he will whip anything out of my smell range. He will hunt down any food, he rubs my back while my stomach empties it's contents - again.

Each pregnancy has been different, this time has been less actual vomiting and only a couple of times in public. All day nausea, sweats, headaches which slowly gets more overpowering and builds to an evening crescendo.

Update 16 August 2014

So I'm now 19 weeks pregnant, had breakfast a hour ago and feel sick as a dog (funny expression no? Poor dog) Most evenings I still feel distinctly queasy. I felt better at 22 weeks with Brodie, similar with Grier so I'm staying positive. I've also noticed that eating in a more balanced way as I've been forced to do helps a lot. I can't eat donuts or biscuits or any 'treat' foods so if I'm hungry I have to cook myself something with lots of fruit and veg and much as I hate to say it I have more energy to deal with feeling crap.  I know everyone tells you this will help but with my previous pregnancies I convinced myself 'healthy' foods would not make me feel better which was clearly not true.  The truth is that food packed with nutrients is going to help your body.

When pregnant with Brodie I tried everything, travel sickness bands, ginger etc. Not much helped but I've tried again this time and found some relief. Ginger ale and ginger tea have really settled my tummy on the worst days and provided some comfort. It makes me laugh to read that dry foods will help - that would be all gluten free foods then! Dry as an old boot guaranteed. I also found lemon juice in carbonated water to be good when I was feeling dehydrated and just getting some fresh air helped a bit. Maybe if you have some ideas of your own you could leave a comment for that poor newly pregnant googler who will hopefully find this post............


Of course if you feel like you need help, ask a professional. When your midwife asks if you are keeping anything down be honest and be clear if you are struggling. You don't have to suffer in silence and nor should you. Don't be shy about asking for practical help from family and friends, let your kids watch TV or redecorate your walls if you really need to just lie down with your eyes closed.