72 times and counting.
These numbers reflect the amount of times I have had my head in the toilet during each of my three pregnancies. Yes, I'm the weird girl that kept track of how many times I threw up with each of my children. Perhaps it's a trophy to see which one of them makes me the sickest, or perhaps I can use it against them later..."You know mama loves you. She threw up her oatmeal 86 times for you."
With my first two pregnancies I typically joked about my morning sickness. In fact, with each pregnancy I have somewhat welcomed morning sickness with open arms because I know it's a healthy sign of a healthy pregnancy. In fact, I'd probably have been nervous if I never was sick.
Then my third (surprise) pregnancy came while I have a three year old and a one year old to care for. Having a surprise pregnancy was something that put such a big smile on my face because it was such a sweet surprise. Around six weeks in though, the morning sickness took off and it was full force as always.
But this time it was different too.
There wasn't any jokes and there wasn't as much of a smile anymore. Don't get me wrong, being pregnant is a blessing and from day one I've loved this little peanut and already long to meet him or her. But when you're living in a cloud of constant nausea and darkness, your excitement can quickly begin to fade.
Any mother knows that when we are ill, we really don't get sick days. It's the name of the game - it's motherhood. But when you're so sick everyday, your husband works 90+ hours a week and your kids are bouncing off the walls and asking to go swing outside, you'd beg anyone just to take them off of your hands (thank God for grandmas).
Guilt starts to set in because you feel like you are failing your children. Your kids just watch TV all day, you can't play much with them and you don't even care if they are walking around the house with a bag of cookies. Then you also have fears and guilt for the child you are carrying because you're consuming such poor nutrition and hardly able to stomach your prenatal vitamins. You feel like a failure. And you wonder why is all of this so hard when it is supposed to be to so joyful.
Morning sickness or any rough period of motherhood can easily bring you and your life down. Life can feel like a dark period but you know that one day the sun will shine again. You know that the moment you meet your new bundle of joy, you'll forget how hard it was and you'll remember how worth it it all was. And when you see your babies all smiling, playing and loving each other, you realize that you still managed to succeed despite the really hard and dark days.
If you suffer from extreme morning sickness, I can let you know that it does eventually get better. It at least becomes much more manageable and the dark cloud begins to fade. And if you are perhaps just going through a hard time period - I believe, it always gets better.
God doesn't give us anything that we can't handle. We may not always know his plans, but there is one. He made us mothers for a reason.
My tips for helping deal with morning sickness:
- Sleep. Sleep helps!
- Don't mix food and drink.
- Don't drink too much at once.
- Eat what works (forget about the perfect diet).
- Try gummy prenatal with no added iron.
- Take morning sickness medication sparingly if needed.
- Try to fill up before bedtime.
- Try proteins if carbs and starches are not working.
- Eat often and eat small.
- Look forward to hopefully relief around 12-15 weeks.