how to survive morning sickness

how to survive morning sickness

It was a Saturday night when I confirmed I was pregnant.  I was certain I was just a couple days after we conceived (heightened sense of smell, irritability, achy breasts, and just feeling different had me convinced), but having it confirmed with two little lines was the best feeling ever.  I wanted to tell everyone at church the next day, it was so hard not to blurt it out every time there was a lull in conversation. As soon as church was over I went to the store and got my favorite snacks to stash them beside the bed and at my desk in anticipation of morning sickness.  I also got some “real” ginger beer and ginger tea, and Kristin loaned me her sea bands. I read everything I could about the first trimester and how to be as comfortable as possible, but nothing prepared me for what I was about to go through.

For over a week I’d wake up and think to myself “Is this morning sickness?  Do I feel it yet?” It wasn’t it. I felt fine. I felt fine all the way up until the end of week five, that’s when all hell broke loose.  I was nauseous all the time, there was no way I was going to eat any of those snacks I had stocked up on, and all I wanted to do was sleep and throw up as little as possible.  By the end of my first trimester I had lost over fifteen pounds and my throat would bleed every time I vomited. I had thrown up in the grocery store parking lot, in front of people from church (so embarrassing!) and in the bathroom at church multiple times, and on a “good” day I went to Target and cried in my car because once I got there I felt so horrible all I wanted to do was come home.  All of the research I’d done on morning sickness I declared absolute bs, none of it worked and what did work only worked for awhile.

Here are some things that made my morning sickness a little easier:  

Hair in a Bun - Having all of my hair up made it so much easier to throw up.  I didn’t have to worry about holding it back, getting throw up on it, or it falling into the toilet.  I kept a stash of hair ties on the bathroom door knobs and grew out my bangs so they’d fit easily into the band.  

Loose Fitting, Easy to Remove Clothing - My temperature was totally wacko during my first trimester.  I’d go from shivering to sweating in less than a minute. I practically lived in loose fitting pajama bottoms and a snap up sweater, or I was completely nude, there was really no in between and I went back and forth between the two multiple times a day.

Ziplock bags - I never left home without a gallon ziplock bag.  They’re easy to fold up small and make great barf bags. The first time I had to debate if I was going to try and hold it or ruin someone’s vehicle upholstery I knew these were a must have every where I went.  

Baths - I love hot baths and they really helped soothe my stomach after it had been heaving and achy all day. And after hours and hours of feeling like a troll it was nice to pamper myself just a little.

Sea bands - Before the morning sickness got too bad, these were super helpful.  I put them on both wrists and didn’t take them off for over a month (except to shower of course).  I’d wear long sleeves to hide them since we weren’t ready to announce yet.

Encapsulated Ginger - A girl from church dropped off some non-drowsy natural dramamine for me.  It was literally just 500mg of encapsulated ginger. This was the first thing that really helped me feel better.  I’d take one every eight to twelve hours and the vomiting stopped and the nausea was virtually gone. I honestly credit this gifted ginger to our successful babymoon.  

Simply Ginger Gum - This gum was another gift from Kristin.  It got the throw up taste out of my mouth and calmed my stomach down a little bit without having to actually eat or drink anything.  

Lemon Ginger Tea - CJ made me countless cups of this tea.  I’d sip on it and reheat it in the microwave when it went cold.  As my morning sickness was getting better this tea remained a staple in our pantry.  The lemon really helped to brighten up the flavor, because I was definitely getting sick of ginger after weeks and weeks of consumption.

Preggie Drops - I got these out of desperation, hoping that the B6 in them would help, but I didn’t like the taste, or having to suck on them when I hadn’t eaten anything for days.

Ginger Beer - A lot of the forums I read talked about “real” ginger beer so I got myself a couple of glass bottles from BevMo.  Once the morning sickness hit hard though they were way too spicy to even attempt.

BRAT diet - On the “good” days I stuck with the BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast) diet.  I’d bring applesauce and saltines to try and eat between services at church to keep my blood sugar up.  Applesauce was probably the easiest on my tummy in the beginning. When I started getting better toast was a staple every morning.  And to be honest, the smell and sliminess of bananas made me avoid them altogether. Rice (and plain baked potatoes) was great for dinner but there were a lot of days where I couldn’t and didn’t eat anything at all.

Egg Drop Soup - Ever since I was little I’ve loved egg drop soup for sick days.  Probably TMI, but it’s way easier to throw up then chicken noodle soup since there aren’t as many solids.  When I was able to eat again, CJ would run out and get me egg drop soup from the local Chinese restaurant almost nightly.

ASMR Videos - This one is super weird, but I got really into soap cutting videos while I was laying on the bathroom floor waiting to throw up again.  They were relaxing and focussing on them took my mind off of how nauseous I felt. I definitely think they decreased the amount of times I threw up per hour just by distracting me.  (CJ caught me watching them a few times and was entranced too.)

Prescription from Doctor - I felt like a huge failure for needing medical intervention, but I’m so glad I did because it gave me my life back.  After getting a cold and seeing blood every time I threw up, I knew it was time. The first prescription my doctor offered me was Diclegis, a mixture of Unisom and B6.  This did nothing for me except make me sleep all day. I hated it. I couldn’t function with all the nausea but at least I was awake and semi-alert even if I was mostly out of it.  When I went to my first prenatal visit the nurse practitioner offered me Zofran, which I immediately refused for two reasons: one, I’d been given Zofran in an IV a year before and didn’t help me then, and two, I’d read about a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer for causing birth defects (such as cleft palate and heart defect).  We finally settled on Promethazine, which definitely gave me relief for about a week.

Take it One Day at a Time - Just because today was horrible, doesn’t mean tomorrow will be just as bad.  I suffered through some pretty crippling morning sickness for over six weeks, but there were some alright days in there too.  

Ask for and Accept Help - I never would have made it through morning sickness without my husband.  He took over all of the household duties and the business that we run together, he ran completely by himself in addition to taking care of me.  Asking for help is really hard for me, but there is no time for pride in pregnancy. The first trimester and morning sickness specifically was definitely humbling for me.  I’m so glad I told my friend at church about my pregnancy early and that she went out of her way to bring me the ginger pills. One of my neighbors (with five children of her own) checked in on me a lot to see if there was anything I needed while my husband was away at work.

The most important thing to remember is that it’s not going to last forever and that you’re probably not going to die and there’s technically nothing wrong with you.  I got a lot of relief from posts saying that bad morning sickness meant a healthy, strong baby was in the making. Overall my experience with morning sickness makes me very wary of ever getting pregnant again, I can’t imagine trying to care for a child in the state that I was in, and I know I didn’t even have it as bad as some women do.  How was your experience with morning sickness? Did you find relief in ways that I didn’t mention here? Please leave a comment with all of your best tips, and if you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to Ask a Bestie!