Have you ever wondered why morning sickness has the word “morning” in it?
For me, “morning” sickness comes any time of the day. Some days I feel it all day. Even now, I am 18 weeks pregnant and obviously don’t fall into the category of lucky women whose nausea tapers off after the first trimester.
Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t like to dwell on the negative. But writing a list of what “morning sickness” is like for me is a good distraction from the actual feeling. Besides, one needs to laugh about these things sometimes. That makes everything more bearable.
So here goes.
1. Drinking water is hard for me. Lemon in water isn’t much of a help. However, the thought of sitting 2 hours straining in the toilet, turning green and bursting a few facial veins is more than I can bear. So drink the water, I do. Even if it makes me gag. Keeping well hydrated makes me feel better in the long run.
2. Apart from having to eat something every hour, my appetite is as unpredictable as the weather. At some meals, I can only manage a few mouthfuls while feeling downright sick. At other times, I can eat twice as much as the hubs. And still feel fine.
3. Still on the subject of food. (Bear with me.) I hate soy sauce now. Even my favourite Braggs Liquid Aminos as a soy sauce substitute makes my nose curl. Fry anything with soy sauce and watch me bolt like someone’s stuck a nail up my behind. Serve it to me, and I might nibble – while holding my breath at the same time. All this makes Chinese cooking difficult to stomach in general. And that, for me, coming from a Chinese family, makes eating very difficult. Western, Indian and Malay meals are so much easier.
4. I make sure I eat a light supper before bed to reduce the chances of being hit with nausea in the morning. Keeping food constantly in one’s stomach helps. But even then, I find myself waking up at 3.00 am some days, feeling like I need to eat up the fridge.
5. Snacks? Forget the dry crackers. That was then (pre pregnancy). Now it’s all kinds of fruit. Or, for a more substantial fix, noodles in plain soup. Or plain rice porridge with canned fish and preserved bean curd. ???????
6. Smells. Oh, the smells! A person with fragrance on is to be avoided at all costs. I’m now using unscented soap and so is everyone in the family. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to change my facial wash, shampoo and dish washing detergent, so I have to stop breathing while cleaning my face, bathing the kids and washing dishes. I’m bionic. But you knew that already, didn’t you?
7. The experts on combating pregnancy nausea say, “avoid cooking smells”. I chortle. I laugh. I roll on the floor. A wife and mother has to cook most times. Period! Especially when there are 3 kids, a hubby and a mother in law who needs to eat. Cooking inevitably involves smells and when you can’t avoid cooking, you just have to master the art of not breathing while cooking (see #6). Thankfully I have help from my mother who brings me a frozen meal once a week. A friend actually sent me a batch of frozen meals. I saved these for days when I knew I’d be too whacked to cook. Whenever I resort to them, I pray a thousand blessings upon these women. No, a million. I just have to make some rice and whip up a veggie dish. Of course I still have to contend with the smell of soy sauce in most of those dishes, but I try to stay out of the kitchen when the food’s heated up.
8. I would like to look like those mamas who still look stunning during pregnancy. But I feel most comfortable in loose cotton tees and even looser shorts that hang from the hip. Anything that touches my belly is a big no-no! And that’s why I don’t have many photos of me rocking my bump.
9. Distraction, or getting involved in a project one is passionate about, is a good thing. Even if that might make me tired. Like teaching that piano lesson. Or reading a book. Or writing this blog. Or connecting with other couples, facilitating a marriage course (tell you about it another day). Or watching Superman 1. And 2. Up till 3.00 am in the morning. (No, the timing of that last one was downright ridiculous. I’ll never do that again. It knocked me down for days after.) By the way, what were they thinking of when they made Man of Steel?!
10. Nursing during pregnancy exhausts me and fuels the nausea. It was the same thing when I nursed Lamb throughout pregnancy #3, but somehow this one drains me a lot more. Piglet’s down to nursing only once a day, sometimes twice when he really needs that closeness. I’m handling it by remembering that nursing still means so much to Piglet, and that tandem nursing will close the gap between him and his younger sibling in so many ways it is worth keeping up the effort.
11. Relaxing and resting more definitely helps. Like having an afternoon nap and sleeping early when the kids do. At least 9-10 hours of sleep a day would be ideal. But there are those non-stop days in a row. The days when I hardly have any time to myself. The days when, exhausted as I am, I just need an extended evening, staying awake. Just to enjoy the silence of the night, have a hot cuppa, read and write. I might feel like vomiting upon waking the next morning, but at least I’d wake feeling more like myself with a better sense of perspective.
There. Just 11 things. There are others, but nothing major. Actually vomiting isn’t on that list, so I have a lot to be thankful for.
I feel better now already!
What is morning sickness like for you? How do you cope?
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