Morning Sickness: It’s all in your head

A lot has been written in the blogosphere lately about morning sickness. Apparently, since the Duchess of Cambridge had it again, it is suddenly ok to admit some of the rest of us have experienced it as well. Now, I am as much of a Kate admirer as the rest of them (she is the Jackie O. of our times), but I am at a loss as to why her morning sickness was such big news. Is it really that extraordinary for a pregnant woman to have extreme morning sickness? I have had it four times now, and several mothers I know have had it too. But maybe I’m wrong! Maybe this is a noteworthy and taboo symptom of pregnancy that we needed British royalty to bring to light.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I am not downplaying the severity of the condition. I seriously believe I would have died of dehydration when I was pregnant with Ruthie if it weren’t for Zofran. I threw up every day of my entire pregnancy even with the Zofran. This was particularly embarrassing the memorable morning my prescription couldn’t be refilled until noon one day and I had to throw up into my desk trash can as discretely as possible while my boss was standing over me giving me instructions. He had just asked me if I was even paying attention. No, I was not. I was trying to find a quick place to throw up. Sorry. What were you saying?

I just am at a loss as to why we are still fighting to justify feeling so crummy the first trimester (and beyond!) How have we not already won this battle? I should hope that gone are the days of (male) doctors telling our grandmothers that morning sickness is all in their heads. But again, maybe I am wrong. Maybe people still think that women who are staying at home and throwing up all day or who are going to the hospital for dehydration are just huge wimps. I myself have endured comments like, “If you just got up earlier and pushed through it, you would feel much better,” or “just keep crackers by your bed and eat them before you get up and it will cure it” (I threw up so many crackers before I realized THIS WAS A LIE), or “are you agoraphobic? You never leave the house anymore” (my mom actually got that one), or my personal favorite, “will you stop gagging? It’s grossing me out.”

One blogger suggested that we should change the name “morning sickness” to “the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy” because morning sickness is a misnomer (if only it only struck in the morning!) and the name really downplays the condition. I would agree to a name change, but “the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy” is way too cumbersome. That is not going to catch on! I mean, if we’re going for a nice long name, I think “laying on the couch and waiting for the end to come” would be more accurate.

So hey, if the Duchess of Cambridge is responsible for finally making morning sickness an acceptable excuse to stay in bed for months at your mom’s house, then more power to her. You won’t hear a peep from me. That sounds vastly preferable to hanging out in my sweats in the bathroom with two pant-less toddlers hanging on me and telling me they need to throw up too. And by the way, changing poopy diapers while having morning sickness has GOT to shave off some of my time in Purgatory. Thank God Ruthie is potty trained.

These days, you will find me missing Pinterest and Instagram. All of that picture scrolling makes me so motion sick. And I can’t bathe the girls because that soap is so perfume-y. Everything smells way too strongly. Poor Scott had to buy conditioner for me today and he had the impossible job finding one that smelled the least so that showering wouldn’t make me throw up. I lied and told him that it barely smelled at all. I was just touched that he was trying so hard to make things better for me.

What do you think? Have people said absurd things to you while you had morning sickness that would have made you shake your head if shaking your head didn’t make you feel so sick? Do people still have a dismissive attitude toward morning sickness?

Advertisements

About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Morning Sickness: It’s all in your head

  1. seekoff says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog, I’m desperately looking for solidarity with my sickness and nausea. Thanks for writing. I told my boss last week I was really struggling, she said it was ‘in my head’. I felt compelled to defend my position giving her times I vomited that day and through the night, incidents of having to kneel down in the supermarket that lunchtime I was so dizzy and about to fall, head feeling like it’s being opened up, blood pressure stats etc etc. I wish so much that I had just said to her ‘you’ve got to be careful saying that to a pregnant woman who is really struggling’ and walked out of her office. Why did I feel the need to defend my situation???
    I hope you’re feeling a bit better now that a few more weeks have passed xx

    Like

    • sylcell says:

      Aw, I feel for you, mama! It truly is debilitating. And men (and women) who have never experienced it just don’t get it. Take care of yourself and I hope your boss becomes more supportive! Zofran is the only thing that keeps me out of the hospital. Lots of protein helps too. And some women swear by half of a Unisom (but that knocks you out). I am almost 23 weeks and still suffering every morning, but overall I feel much better! Thank you for asking. I hope you feel better soon! And congrats on your new blessing!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessica says:

    I just realized I’ve been missing out on your latest blogposts, including this one! You know I’m with you on this one! HG, NVP, morning sickness…whatever level it is or whatever you call it, it stinks!! Thank God for mothers, friends, and husbands who are understanding!

    Like

  3. Boeta says:

    Are you doing better?

    Like

  4. mglalala says:

    The morning sickness Kate had (I believe hypermesis gravadarium??) is in no way regular morning sickness. One of my good friends had it. It lasted six months. She lost weight during that time instead of gaining and was sent to the hospital for IV fluids four times. Her doctor also advised against zofran following the results of some recent studies. I don’t know how to verify on that last part, but sounds like it blows. Anyway, yeah morning sickness sucks, but that HG stuff is a whole different monster.

    Like

    • sylcell says:

      Yeah, again, I feel like there is a whole spectrum of morning sickness and HG and I don’t think it should devolve into who is suffering more than whom. Every woman experiences pregnancy differently. But I kind of feel like there is a real gray line between MS and HG with no real black and white diagnosis. I mean, if I hadn’t taken Zofran, I would have been in a hospital with an IV for sure FOR ALL NINE MONTHS with my pregnancy with Ruth. Did I have HG? Who knows. I’m not going to compete with other pregnancies that I know nothing about to see who suffered more. The point of the post is that morning sickness can be hard on a mom no matter the severity and people should be sensitive to that.

      Like

  5. blessedlittlemama says:

    New reader here, congratulations on your pregnancy!! I am just ecstatic to have found your blog, we have so much in common! My husband is currently in his first year of law school, we have irish twins and hoping for more (fellow csection mama and NFPer) and reading your blog is such an encouragement. ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to future posts! So nice to “meet” you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Bridget

    Like

  6. Don’t know if it works, but someone just told me to tell my daughter to increase her folic acid intake, and it would take care of her morning sickness.

    Like

  7. LorraineTee says:

    One thing I wish on my next pregnancy…no morning sickness pleaaaaasee. Uggghhh! I honestly am fearful just thinking about housekeeping, taking care of a toddler and having to deal with that crappy feeling every single day for many, many weeks. And my mom lives in another city. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Hope you feel better soon, Sylvia! 2nd trim is the best (at least for me)!

    Like

  8. morgan says:

    Oh my gosh. I really never-ever suffered from any kind of morning sickness – in fact the first trimester was in all three pregnancies the best, but when I went into labour with my firstborn, I started vomiting. And couldn’t stop until the bearing-down pains started – which was about 6 hrs later. I spent most of that day in the toilet sitting on the floor with my head resting on the toilet seat and my hand cradling the IV-rack with which they tried to prevent me from dehydrating and fainting (I miserably failed at the latter one a couple of times. It was 32ยฐC outside as had been for days and I was spent before I checked in). Every time they suggested that I got up and walked around I just started barfing. again.

    Long story short. When I wasn’t wallowing in self pity I thought about all those women who really went through morning, midday, afternoon and whatever sickness during their pregnancies. You are really some tough ladies!!!
    If I had to get through that for entire 9 months, I don’t know if I had gotten pregnant again. An inflamed sciatic nerve throughout all three pregnancies was enough for me. The only thing that kept me together was knowing that the pain would stop the moment labour started…

    Like

  9. Candi says:

    I feel like it made headlines because there is a serious difference between morning sickness and hyperemesis. I suffered from hyperemesis with my son, but not with my daughter. With my son, I puked as soon as I woke up and once? Fifteen times in one hour. That was definitely a hospital trip and me having an IV put into my arm to make sure my son and I were both hydrated. If you want to know more, I would check out helpher.org. They’re a great hyperemesis organization.

    Like

    • sylcell says:

      I didn’t mention it because I think nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is hard on everyone, and I didn’t want to turn it into a distinction of: well, she has H. G. and you just have morning sickness so you have no right to be suffering. It is notoriously underdiagnosed, in my opinion. But thank you for the link! I hadn’t heard of them before.

      Like

  10. I felt nauseous the entire time I was pregnant with Will, but never actually threw up. I thought the nausea had gone away because it was so much better than at the beginning, but immediately after he was born I realized, “I’m not nauseated anymore!” I really was still feeling pukey up to the end, I was just used it. The fatigue was what really killed me. I just wanted to tell all my students to please just shut. the. hell up. and stop asking me things. I don’t know how women who have toddlers or babies and are pregnant with a subsequent child AND work full time do it. I would crawl into a hole and die.

    Like

  11. I wrote about this a few months ago too!! My worst comment, “oh I just don’t let myself throw up.” Hmm well when I open my mouth to BREATHE and it comes out, I wouldn’t call that a choice. I almost threw up on the nurse at my 32 week appointment last week.. no reason, just did haha!

    Like

  12. Mo says:

    Oh goodness I feel for you! I was sick all three pregnancies , but this last one was the worst! Nearly all 9 months all day long! I remember my first go round, and I was still working in an office. I had been taking too much time off from being so sick and the HR department was furious! Thankfully my boss stood up for me!
    And yes, poopy diapers are the worst. I would put a bandana over me face with Vicks vapours on it to cover up the poop smell so that I could change diapers!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Boeta says:

    I am the last person to comment, but I can say this, I have the utmost respect for my wife and her body, for the changes that a woman goes through in preparation for a new life is incredible, a miracle in itself, and maybe just maybe, society lost that sense of respect and understanding toward women in modern times. Not sure.

    Like

    • sylcell says:

      Well I loved and appreciated your comment very much! Your wife is lucky to have you. And we consider it all very much worth it in the end. But it does help to take the edge off to be able to vent about it a bit;) But I completely agree. Everyone these days seems so obsessed with going to great lengths to NOT have children, they forget what a miracle it is every time new life is created and the wonderful sacrifices parents make to bring that life into the world and care for them. I know I am preaching to the choir here because Boeta is a remarkable little man and your love for him shines through your posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Boeta says:

        Thanks for your lovely post (this is Boeta’s mom). People that have not experienced these symptoms will not understand. I can only imagine what the Duchesss of Cambridge must be going through. I was very lucky. I had a bit of nausia but only in the first 3 or 4 months but not only in the morning, sometimes in the middle of the night. I also had a very understanding boss and husband. The few times that I had to run for the loo at work, it was available and I made it in time (2 very important points). The vomiting caused blood spots in face particularly around my eyes, but I thought the temporary “freckles” actually looked cute on a 40 year old. I am sure though that I lost a few brains cells down the sewer though. Good luck, hope your nausea clear up soon.

        Like

      • sylcell says:

        3 or 4 months is still a long time to feel sick! Thank you! Me too.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I feel awful for all the women who suffer through “morning sickness” (the quotes are to represent the fact it is anything but contained to the morning). I have never experienced it during any of my pregnancies, but my SIL had it AWFUL during each of hers. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It sucked watching her suffer and I felt so helpless. One thing that helped her was a drop of peppermint oil on the roof of her mouth. And every time she felt nauseous she would hum. Those are two things she swears by. I hope you feel better soon!!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s