1st Trimester: Morning Sickness
It was the evening of Holy Thursday, we were commeroting the Last Supper when the Lord offered his very Life to us, to be fulfilled the following day. I had not been feeling well and decided that the next morning I was going to take a pregnancy test. I woke up and immediately peed in a cup and did the test (as this is what the package recommended to do to get the most accurate results- when hcg levels would be highest) and it was positive! What a perfect day to contemplate the giving of oneself for the other. More so, how God had given new life to this little body and soul growing inside me! Although I had been praying for new life, I was humbled by the mystery of this child growing in me. How old were they? How long were they in me and I had not known? It was good that I did not know right away about this child, as it helped me to turn to God and deepen my trust in His Goodness and perfect timing in everything.
How much a joy it is to carry life inside you! A gift only women can bear. We are never in the same physical proximity to this child again after pregnancy and have the honor of giving them a little dwelling while they mature, an honor indeed! Nevertheless, I felt awful. After our previous child was born, I forgot what the beginning of pregnancy can feel like. Emotions are all over, only certain foods actually reach the stomach, energy is low, smells are manifested, and you may wonder can I do this? The degree of what is commonly known as “morning sickness” varies from woman to woman, from pregnancy to pregnancy. I cannot offer a “cure” per se, and according to some theories of what morning sickness is a result of, it may be a good sign we are feeling so awful. Just like labor intensity is not a bad thing, but actually a great thing as it means the body is expanding and opening for the baby to come through. So too, morning sickness may be the way your body is responding to this new life within and protecting them.
There is no solid evidence yet found of exactly why morning sickness happens, however these are some theories: vitamin B6 deficiency, a biological adaptation to keep us from eating foods that might harm our developing baby, the increased burden on the liver with pregnancy, just plain old hormone changes (enormous physical and chemical changes), changes in carbohydrate metabolism, blood pressure fluctuations, high levels of oestrogen, and low blood pressure.
Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day, not just in the morning as you may be experiencing first hand already. Morning sickness normally lasts in between weeks 5 or 6 - week 18. As mentioned above though, it is different for every pregnancy and woman, some may experience it their entire pregnancy (I feel for you and appreciate your added sacrifices for your child) and some may not at all. About 80% of pregnant women do experience morning sickness to some degree though. Although it is common, you should make it known to your care provider and seek assistance if you have excess vomiting, cannot hold down any fluids, or feel very sick as Hyperemesis Gravidarum could be a possibility and should be taken seriously. Hyperemesis Gravidarum can be characterized by the following symptoms: dark concentrated urine, peeing less often, losing weight, blood in vomit, a high temperature, or low blood pressure.
Morning sickness is a real thing, and I don’t know if there is anything similar I could describe it as. But it is not without hope! There are ways to manage the symptoms and icky feeling of morning sickness. Following are some ideas gathered through research, stories from what worked for other mother’s, and personal experience:
*feel free to share what worked for you too, as there may be some very grateful woman(en) out there happy you did!
*As always, consult with your care provider for any questions or concerns of what is right for you!
In the future:
I would like to use this space in the future for families to share their birth stories as well as post information about various topics related to fertility, marriage, pregnancy, birth, and parenthood.