Monday, May 13, 2013

Surviving Morning sickness (hyperemesis)

Well, I made it through my 8th round of "morning" sickness.  Who ever thought to call it "morning" sickness?  Every time it has been 24 hrs, and often it has been worse in the afternoons or evenings.  Morning sickness in general is rough, you are exhausted and nauseated constantly; then throw in a few kids and it gets really rough.  Some of us get to spend the entire time throwing up (or working really hard not too).

I've struggled with hyperemesis with with most of my pregnancies (I didn't with one, but I miscarried that baby).  To say it is rough would be an understatement, but each of these sweet babies are so worth it, I'm happy to (in a small way) offer my body as a living sacrifice.  These are some of the things I've found have helped over the years....

1. Whole foods (no, not the store); eating foods that are NOT processed,  and ARE full of the nutrients my body needs really do help.  Keeping a good diet before getting pregnant has seemed to help.  For me a diet high in meat, eggs, and vegetables really keeps me going; on the other hand too many sugars (including whole grains and fruits) seem to take my blood sugar levels on a ride that makes me sick.

*This has been one of my favorite meals.  Onions and spinach cooked up in olive oil and an egg or two fried over it.  Season with salt.  Serve with avocado over the top.  A friend of mine suggested it as it helped her through morning sickness as well.  I found that this seemed to be just the right combination of protein, fats, and vitamins to settle my stomach and help me feel satisfied.

2. Stay hydrated!  This sounds easier than it is.  I've found that drinking from a straw works better than from a cup.  We have four sources of water in our house (tap, filtered refrigerator water, water cooler,and a berkey) I couldn't stand any of them.  Other drinks would work for a while (like a couple of days), but eventually would make me sick.  The ONLY thing I could drink consistently was the water from Sonic.  Yep, twice a day we (mostly my husband) would go order a RT44 WATER.  Hey, you do what you gotta do.

3.  Don't worry about the house, and homeschooling.  Just do what you can, it'll all be there when you get better.  Do try to enjoy the kids.  Use this time to snuggle with the little ones.  This is also a time when kids will step up and help out more.  I've seen this every time, the kids are eager to serve and are excited about the new baby.  *This is also the time to take the easy route.  I prefer to serve my kids homemade meals made with whole grains and such.  While my big kids helped out quite a bit and did manage quite a few healthy meals, this is also the time for letting them have French toast sticks or cereal for breakfast, PB&J or Mac&Cheese regularly for lunch, and Pizza for dinner often.  This is a short season, you will all recover soon enough!  

4. Drugs!  Truly, I don't know how I'd make it through without drugs.  While I'm the type that tries not to even take Tylenol (pregnant or not).  Zofran is my best friend during this time.  It keeps me from needing IV's or a stay in the hospital.  It allows me to be somewhat functional and present instead of constantly running to the bathroom, lossing excessive amounts of weight, and getting so worn down that I need further medical intervention. (Without drugs I do get to a point that I can't even keep water down ans lose weight.)  *laughter is good medecine too.  Being sick can lead you to be in some fairly pathetic situations that can be quite disheartning if you don't approach them with a bit of humor.  One thing I've found is that toddlers contribute quite a bit of humor as they watch mommy go through something they don't understand.  I've had toddlers chase me as I run to the bathroom and stand behind me making the same noises I'm making OR clapping and cheering me on.  Yea, laugh so you don't cry. ;)

5.  Training the kids; this should be a part of your regular parenting, and if it has been, now is a time you will see the results.  If you have not been, you will also see the results. ;)  If you know ahead of time that morning sickness could be an issue, I'd encourage you to look for areas that your kids need help in obediance or could step in and help more. *Be realistic in your expectations.  If you have all littles it may be that the most you can hope for is that they pick up their toys and grab diapers (or other commonly needed easily accesible items).  Maybe they could make their own PB&J?  As they get older they can help more.  My oldest is 12, I also had a 10 and 9 year old for this go 'round; this is the first time our home has been maintained and meals resembled our regular diet.

6. Natural remedies do not work well when you are in the thick of this kind of morning sickness, but it can ease some of the symptoms early on or at the end.  I've found Lemon and Peppermint to be very helpful both in the form of tea and essential oils.  Ginger has been said to be helpful too, but I usually can't stand the smell or taste or ginger.  In one pregnancy I did find that ginger root tablets helped, but I had to swallow them down with something with a strong flavor to cover up the ginger.

7. The biggest one of all?  The body of Christ!  This go round was not any better physically (in fact it seemed to be a bit worse, or the meds didn't work as well), but in many ways it seemed much easier.  I know I had many praying for me, and I'm so thankful for their prayers.  We were also blessed to have an amazing community that stepped in in big and small ways to help us through this.  Meals were brought over regularly.  Others invited us over to get us out, but in a comfortable setting close to home. A young woman came into our home a couple times a week and helped with anything that needed to be done.  Some ran errands for us.  A friend took one of my more active boys to her home a couple of times a week (this child is a sweet heart, but is high energy AND needs constant supervision.  He was thrilled to get to go help this friend with yard work and I could rest knowing this child was in good hands).  The flexibility of many was appreciated as we worked around my "good" times.  In no way least; my husband and kids truly served our family in big ways.  They showed the love of Christ and servant's hearts as they cared for our home.

*None of this is intended as medical advice.  I'm just a mom sharing what has helped me get through this over the last 13 years.  If you are struggling to keep foods/liquids down while pregnant you really should speak to your doctor or mid-wife about it.

I'm linking to My Joy Filled life- pregnancy journal link-up


  1. Oh this was good to read! I'm 8 weeks in my 5th pregnancy and I too am blessed with "all day" sickness. My pregnancies seem to be progressively worse with the nausea. The last few days have been depressing and I feel like a loser mom. But I agree that I see my older children growing. They are 9 and 7. Mealtime is hard though so I'm thankful for your advice. I've been holding off on the Zofran because of some side effects I've experienced. I suspect I'll need it in the next week or so. My 10th week is usually extremely difficult.

    Second Corinthians 4:17-18 rings in my ears during these early weeks of pregnancy. It is temporary and the reward far outweighs what we can see with carnal eyes. Thanks for sharing! I'm always tempted to say I can't do this again when I'm in the throws of it. I needed the reminder to persevere with patience and trust in Christ.

  2. Amanda- I'm so glad that this post was timely and encouraging for you. I too have often had the thought that "I just can't do this again" but, yes, this struggle is temporary and the rewards truly are eternal. Many blessings to you as you persevere and trust in Him.

  3. Hey! Someone else with a water aversion! I have never had such bad morning sickness as with this pregnancy (#4) and I cannot stand the taste of water! Even now, nearing the 3rd trimester, I can only have a few sips a day. I have been buying bags of crushed ice from Sonic and pouring just a dab of juice or soda over it to flavor it. You're right--you gotta do what you gotta do!

  4. Milk thistle capsules have helped me the most. A little lemon in the water is what made it palatable for me. You said you are done with sickness, have you had the baby? My "morning" sickness usually doesn't go away until delivery, sometimes a day or two later.

  5. dccdmom- I had not heard of Milk thistle capsules, I'll have to look into those for next time.
    I've still got a few more months to go in this pregnancy. My "morning" sickness, thankfully, goes away around 14-16 weeks.