This has been a rough first trimester. I’m now a couple weeks into the second trimester and supposedly–SUPPOSEDLY–the nausea should abate around week 16. That’s four days from today, and I am holding onto that hope with my bare fingernails because THIS BARFY FEELING HAD BETTER STOP SOON FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY.
Also: nausea tends to make a person cranky. So there’s that.
If any of you are facing crippling nausea these days, I thought I’d offer some tips and tricks that have helped me through the past three months. Feel free to pass them on to any other preggos out there (or others suffering from nausea) who are continually running to the nearest trashcan to hurl.
1. Try all the things
Sea bands? Check. Essential oils? Why not. Ginger ale? Peppermint gum? Saltine crackers? Washing your sheets twice a day with organic unscented detergent? You never know, it might help.
2. Realize all the things don’t work
Only thing worse than being nauseous is being nauseous and spending fifty bucks on products that did nothing for your nausea whatsoever. Now you are throwing up and throwing away money. Sigh.
3. Respond to other people’s suggestions of what else might help by backing away slowly
Oh, your sister’s brother’s best friend’s cousin’s next-door-neighbor was super nauseous but then they drank eight gallons of mint tea and then they felt better? I know you’re trying to help but PLEASE STOP.
People who are suffering need compassion. People suffering with nausea need you to stop wearing that perfume and doling out “you should”s.
People who want advice will ask for it. Trust me.
4. Do whatever you need to do to survive
I’ve taken some meetings while out walking because all the indoor smells are too much to handle. I’ve asked to postpone lunch meetings until the afternoon because restaurants are currently torturous (so many foods!).
I literally have not been able to cook for my family for ten weeks. Ten. Weeks. Daryl cooks, too, but I usually do the bulk of the food prep because I love to create in the kitchen.
These days I take the kids to the McDonald’s drive thru for lunches and breathe out of my mouth so I don’t have to experience a whiff of chicken nugget. Daryl handles the dinners and I often retreat to our bedroom alone because the food smells trigger serious vomititis.
I’m not winning Mother of the Year anytime soon, but hey, at least everyone is fed!
5. Eat anything that sounds good, and don’t force things that don’t
Week five was gluten free baguettes from Sprouts. Week six I couldn’t even look at a baguette or I’d hurl, so it was Gatorade and string cheese. Now, midway through week fifteen, the baby will tolerate watermelon and tortilla chips.
I haven’t eaten a vegetable in months. I’ve looked at them. I’ve even put a few on my plate. But eating them? Heck-to-the-nope.
This, friends, is why it’s good to take a prenatal vitamin.
6. Accept help
It’s hard for many of us to receive help. We like to give, not get. Yet in seasons of real need, just say the yes. We’ve said yes to meals (Daryl and the kids still need to eat!), to people watching the kids, to grocery runs and yard help and postponing dinner dates until months later.
A dear, dear woman at church came up to me on Sunday and said, “I can’t really lift anything, or I’d babysit for you, but aside from that I will do anything. Anything at all. I was sick with my pregnancies sixty years ago and I still remember how hard it was. Call me. I’ll scrub toilets.”
When I’d stopped crying (nothing gets me like the love of the church being the church), I said yes.
Nausea will wreak havoc on your pride. Let it. That’s a good thing.
7. Be very, very kind to yourself
What do you need today? Is it a nap? Netflix? Carmelized walnuts? A friend’s shoulder to cry on? The world’s fuzziest socks?
You will not feel this way forever, but today, you do. So give yourself grace, cut yourself slack, and treat yourself like you would a dear, dear friend going through a short-term but super uncomfortable sickness.
8. Remind yourself that no one is pregnant forever
All babies come out. I promise.
You got this.