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To the Mom With Unbearable Morning Sickness

Photograph by Twenty20

This isn’t a post full of suggestions for how to relieve pregnancy-related nausea, I know you’ve already tried everything. And this isn’t an article claiming that I had it worse and for longer. This is simply an acknowledgment to all of you out there laying in bed or hunched over at work, just trying to get through the next 15 minutes, that you are not alone, you are not weak, and though you will survive this very first phase of motherhood, it's still pretty darn hellish.

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If this isn’t how you pictured pregnancy, you’re not alone. I remember seeing that positive pregnancy test and being super excited. I was thrilled to be expecting and felt great. “I’m going to be awesome at this pregnancy thing!” I thought.

My body had other plans.

I went from feeling great to feeling like I had a stomach flu that would not end. I couldn’t keep much down. I lost weight, the one time in your life that you actually want the scale to tip the other way. I struggled to get out of bed. It was brutal. I felt desperate, frustrated and flawed.

If nothing seems to help, it isn’t your fault. I tried everything. I read every article on the internet that claimed it could cure my affliction and then felt defeated when none of the suggestions worked. I tried medication prescribed by my doctor which scared me and didn’t help much. I found mild relief in taking Unisom on my doctor’s recommendation, at least I could get some sleep. Ultimately, the only thing that worked was time.

I was told that it meant I would have a strong baby, but I didn’t need to birth a bodybuilder, I just needed to stop being so sick.

If you need a break from the peanut gallery, take it. People either told me how they had had it worse or implied that I was simply not sucking it up. When someone says “I just had to keep something in my stomach,” they didn’t have unbearable morning sickness. I was told that it meant I would have a strong baby, but I didn’t need to birth a bodybuilder, I just needed to stop being so sick.

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If you’d like my two cents, read on. You are strong and awesome and doing the extremely difficult work of growing a human so give yourself all the grace in the world. Eat whatever sounds good, do your best to stay hydrated, make sure your Netflix account is up-to-date, and know that although it doesn't feel like it right now, you will survive. And with any luck, the hardest part of pregnancy will be behind you.

If nothing else, the reward at the end of all this is pretty awesome. In fact, it might even be so worth it that you are willing to do it all over again.

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