Other title options:
“Pregnancy is for the Strong, and I’m Not as Strong as I Thought”
“Why Throwing up Leads to Eating Mashed Potatoes”
“Your old and fat, start walking now”
“Poor Baby, Sorry for all the Popsicles and Chicken Strips”
“A Must Read for all Teenagers Wanting to Get Pregnant!”
I gave up pop/soda in 2009. I didn’t like how it tasted, or the sugar it left in my mouth. I didn’t like the empty calories. It seemed like the easiest thing to cut out of my life. If I really wanted a non-water beverage at a restaurant I’d get an iced tea. For over three years I never craved pop, and felt very happy with my choice. Fast forward to 9 weeks pregnant and I’m chugging a diet Pepsi while sobbing into the couch, begging for a happy meal.
If you looked up Hot Mess in the dictionary there would be a photo of me from weeks 6-18 of my pregnancy. Ok, maybe just Mess, not the Hot part.
I threw up a minimum of 5 times a week from weeks 6-18. Sometimes I threw up twice a day, sometimes before I ate breakfast, sometimes after. Sometimes I could manage to chug enough water between heaves to reduce the amount of broken blood vessels on my face. Sometimes I was late to work after wrecking my makeup while throwing up, then having to apply extra to cover up all the red dots on my face. Sometimes the blood vessels would burst in my eyes and I would walk around for a week looking like a vampire with pink eye. When the throwing up wouldn’t stop for a week, my throat would become so raw and burned with stomach acid that it would bleed all day long, a constant taste of blood and burning in my mouth.
I only called out sick once from work. Despite my aversions to smells, and looking absolutely awful, work was a nice distraction from the discomfort and misery. I may have only wanted to lay on the couch, but laying on the couch only made me feel worse. On top of my constant sickness, I also had the most painful indigestion I have ever experienced. If I didn’t eat every 1.5 hours I would become so uncomfortable and sick that I would feel as though I was dying. I also felt completely disgusted by any and all foods. All I wanted was chicken strips and mashed potatoes, or french fries, I was really into potatoes. Even drinking water became difficult, in that I associated the act of drinking water with my chug and throw up routine, and it made me feel disgusting even to drink water. If I ate too much I felt sick, if I ate too little I felt sick. If I ate too late at night I felt sick, If I didn’t eat early enough I felt sick. I often went to bed at 6pm in so much discomfort that my only relief was to sleep away my life.
I did speak with my midwives, and they, like everyone else, just kept suggesting saltines and ginger chews. Psh. I know if you are going to an OB, that they often proscribe Zofran or something. This was not an option ever presented to me, so I do not know if this would have helped.
By week 13/14 (the beginning of the 2nd trimester) things did start to get a little better. My indigestion got better, and eating felt better. I still threw up nearly every morning until about 18 weeks. I threw up two days ago, but prior to that I hadn’t thrown up in nearly two weeks. Thank god it got better! To be honest the entire experience was nothing short of traumatizing. Its made me doubt my own personal strength in child labor, it made me question ever wanting to get pregnant again (I’m still on the fence, the memory is not nearly far enough away), and worst of all, it put me into a pretty bad depression. I put away all the baby books/journals, I stopped looking at baby stuff online, stopped looking at baby clothes, and dreaded talking to people (who knew) about my pregnancy. I felt no emotional connection to our baby, and had nothing but anger and resentment for the process. I feared it would never get better. How did so many women do this? Why didn’t anyone properly prepare me for this?
But its better now, it really is. Not that there aren’t aches and pains, but the constant state of misery has surpassed. I am not someone who gets sick often, I have never had a continuous ailment, I do not live in constant pain. I was absolutely unprepared for the entire experience. So here I am today, 20/21 weeks pregnant, and I finally feel like maybe I can focus on treating my body and baby well. I can actually prioritize some exercise and healthy food. I had soooo many good intentions when we decided to try to get pregnant. I would manage my weight, I would only feed my body things I would want my baby to eat, I would be the picture of healthy pregnancy. HAAAAAAAAAA! Yeah fail. I did not give two shits what I ate as long as it stopped some of the discomforts I was feeling.
I know I need to let go of any guilt I have about that. I was in survival mode and was not capable of focusing on anything else. I am not a bad mom, and my previous choices do not represent the healthy lifestyle I want for me, my family or my child. Every day is a fresh start, every HEALTHY day is a damn gift I plan to cherish.
I’ve read a lot about working out when pregnant (remember I was gonna be a fit pregnant lady! lol!) so I’m aware of the recommended fitness styles, and when and how much physical fitness a pregnant women should do. I do have super low blood pressure, and this can cause light headedness, fainting, and heart racing, so I do have to be conscious of this. I’m planning to just start walking every day. Maybe start with a mile or two and work my way up. I also really want to do some yoga and strength training, but it make me nervous to do a class, I’m very out of shape, and I don’t want to make a fool of myself.
As for eating I need to reduce my sugar (even most fruit) a lot. I don’t really crave sweets, but I do partake in a few Popsicle a week that I could probably cut out. My midwife said fruit is ok as long as I limit it to just 1-2 servings a day, and fruits lower in sugar. BUT ITS CHERRY SEASON!!! Also whole grains, not white stuff, and lean proteins, Same stuff you eat for any healthy diet.
I am taking the following vitamins every day too (the papaya pills are for heartburn or indigestion) I splurged and got higher quality prenatal, and omega 3 in hopes that they would help with the throwing up. The verdicts out on that one, but I definitely do NOT get nauseous with these, I like them a lot.
So yeah, here’s to a healthy 18 more weeks! Fingers crossed. This will probably be something I continue to blog about. Obviously this started as a health/weightloss blog, and thats something I like to talk about on here. Undoubtedly post-pregnancy this will be a bigger topic as well.