Pregnancy Overhaul + Morning Sickness Debrief Session

I’ve been quiet, but with good reason. I’m growing a human. What’s your super power? πŸ˜€

I’m sure every woman has expectations and grand plans for her pregnancy experience, but everything looks a little different when one feels like death.

I am 13 weeks along and starting to feel better. Hallelujah! Ickiness has retired mostly to evenings instead of all day. That is, if I eat every few hours consistently. I leave the last two+ miserable months in the past and look expectantly to the second trimester where energy and glowyness is promised.

Looking back, the memories are a little humorous, but in the moment, not so much.Β A pregnant woman’s changing body was a normal process I always watched from a distance. Personal experience can be a little traumatizing though. It’s all so different and new, and it takes a while for the body to adjust to the elevated hormone levels. Heart burn, racing heart/heart palpitations, slow digestion, extreme bloating/trapped gas, extreme exhaustion, gag reflex, nausea, occasional vomiting, etc. were all part of my introduction to pregnancy.

I lost my appetite before I ever took a test at 5 weeks, and by 6 weeks, I found myself an invalid on the couch. Sickness peaked around 10 weeks, and it has gradually improved since then. I’m all for an appetite and returning energy! Gag reflex for a constant companion sucked.

Morning sickness has been one of the hardest experiences of my life, honestly. Prolonged sickness takes a toll on one’s morale. It makes the mind weak and vulnerable to lies. My body was consumed with misery, and my spirit felt too weak to worship or talk to God. When I did, it was things like, “Help!” and “Make it stop!” πŸ™‚

Dirty dishes, unfolded laundry, and the general mess that happens without upkeep drove me insane. I felt like a failure when my misery kept me on the couch while my husband fed himself and me for weeks. Simply opening my refrigerator door brought on nausea, so cooking pretty much walked out the door. Mr Kanagy was so kind and served me unselfishly, but I know the extra load took a toll on my already hard working man. Any time I did get a break from nausea, I tried to wash a stack of dishes or do something manageable to help him.

I have never experienced such extreme exhaustion. Showering before bed took every ounce of strength. Getting off the couch to put a load of laundry in the dryer made me light headed and nauseated.

I have no idea how women do this 4 or 6 or 10 times. I know of women who experience extreme sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) to the point of requiring an iv for hydration. With the amount of supernatural grace normal morning sickness requires, I think I would just say, “Take me now, Lord.” Not that I haven’t wished that myself. πŸ™‚ Maybe my pain tolerance is extra low, but me + prolonged sickness = the grinch on steroids.

Here are some notes from the last 3 months.

Week 6

Pregnancy dare #1.
Speed scroll over all food posts on Facebook or Instagram without gagging.

-Veggies repulse me beyond measure. All the gourmet flavors (lemon, garlic, etc) I used to cook with are out. The only consistent greens I get down is a handful of spinach that goes in my blueberry kefir smoothie.

-The only thing I legitimately crave without a single repulsion is mini pizza on toast. Way out of my normal protein/veggie combo zone, but every time I eat it, 95% of nausea leaves. God, please sanctify all these ridiculous carbs.

-Meat settles well in my stomach, but getting it down the hatch is another story. Warm soups feel good going down- well mostly the broth. Solid food in the broth makes me gag. Actually, almost every food makes me gag. If I can’t control my gag reflex, the retching upsets my stomach to the point of vomiting what I worked so hard to get down.

-Snacks: dry crackers and frozen pomegranate berries. Natural sugar boosts keep nausea away. Again, another thing I wouldn’t normally snack on. THM is out the door currently. I eat what I can to feel semi sane.

-Online, I read that most spicy foods makes nausea worse, but so far that hasn’t been true for me. One evening, browned deer burger and rice with a little lemon juice and spicy salsa hit the spot, opposed to the cilantro lime chicken with corn, beans, onions, cumin, and sea salt that I made for my husband. I pulled the repulsive smelling dish from the oven with a clothespin on my nose- literally.

Week 7

Chicken meat repulsed me, but I forced some down for protein. I was able to eat peas and corn without much trouble. First veggie success in days.

I threw up twice on Thanksgiving eve. That pre-puke/hot flash/heart palpitation feeling is awful. That sub from subway was a bad idea in the long run. I felt immensely better after throwing it up though.

Fizzy ginger ale was comforting. I felt like I was defiling my body with poison, but I justified it by stretching one bottle over a whole week. Eventually, I upgraded to black tea kombucha. Much healthier, but it still had the fizz.

Some studies claim that morning sickness is due to rising hormone levels. Therefore, strong hormone levels indicate lower miscarriage risk and healthy pregnancy.There’s also speculation that little women experience worse sickness, but that’s not necessarily a scientific fact. Fact or fable, I hang on to what I can to give me hope and get me through.

There are no guarantees when morning sickness will end, and that is the worst. No one can promise that I’ll feel better by 8 or 10 or 12 weeks. I’ve only endured 2 so far, andΒ tears are a normal part of every day.

I wish I could have an iv drip so I wouldn’t have to force feed myself.

I talk about Heaven and drawing up a will and induced coma and all things morbid a lot. My husband tells me it won’t last forever. I tell him this is all his fault. He laughs. πŸ˜€

My husband is so sweet to put up with my foul company. He’s become good at what he calls the “30 second rule.” That’s how long he has to fix me requested food to ensure that I’ll still want it when he gets back. πŸ™‚

I hate feeling drained and unable to contribute anything to our lives. Some days, I manage to wash dishes or fold some laundry or clean a room, and there was one amazing day that I did all three. That’s rare though. Normally, bumming around gives me a headache and leaves me feeling more yucky, but with morning sickness, being active generally makes me feel worse. Sometimes I feel better, and I wonder if it was all in my head. So I get up and try to do normal things. Bad idea. It’s not in my head after all. Gag. Back to the couch.

I’ve discovered that men can experience morning sickness when they are with their wives. “No offense, but when I touch you, I feel sick,” he says.

Week 8

BLTs are one thing I can stomach. Something about the toast and bacon, I guess.

My sweet neighbor brought us dinner twice since I’ve been sick, and it was like a gift from Heaven- for me and Mr. Kanagy.

Week 9

Did you know that colors can cause nausea? My lime green tank top makes me gag, and I refuse to wear it.

Oranges comfort me. The smell helps with nausea.

“Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation. It is characterized by tan or brown patches, usually on the face. This condition is so common among pregnant women that it’s called “the mask of pregnancy.” Thanks to google, I know I am normal. Thanks, little baby.

Week 10

We headed north for the holidays, and I was relieved to crash at my mom’s house. One husband and one mom to take care of me: perfect. πŸ™‚ Travel was rough and ended in a migraine, but a good night’s sleep fixes almost everything.

My best time of day is morning. I enjoy the energy and comfy feeling in my stomach while it lasts. I rarely wake up with nausea. I am usually hungry, but as long as I eat something semi desirable within an hour or so, I’m ok. Evening on the other hand is a very different story.

I was going to keep baby secret from everyone until Christmas, but sickness changed that. I just couldn’t take it alone anymore. My mom and sisters have been so helpful. I got an unusual amount of packages of pregnancy friendly gifts. Teas, fuzzy slippers, and loose fuzzy shirts that promote freedom from restrictive clothing. πŸ˜‰ No pregnant woman should be judged for going a whole day without pants.

I know different people all have their reasons for choosing their announcement time. The most popular reason for waiting until the second trimester is because the risk of miscarriage is lower. Couples want to be sure all is safe and the announcement permanent.Β I can imagine it would be very painful to announce a public miscarriage after a public announcement.

My perspective on 1st trimester risks: When is life ever safe? I could miscarry at 8 weeks, or I could miscarry at 20. My child could be born with abnormalities, or it could die after birth. He/she could be struck by lightening at five years old. I can’t live my life controlled by “what ifs.” That path doesn’t lead to a vibrant life. I want to live each moment fully and thankfully- without fear.

Jill Duggar was on to something when she suggested, “Early announcement creates value for every life.” It’s a precious son or daughter whether it’s carried 7 weeks or 40. The amount of people who deal with the pain of loss to miscarriage in secret is shocking to me. People have whole other families of children in Heaven, but no one knows. I don’t say that to criticize people’s reasons for keeping it private; I respect the choice. I just consider it an honor to value and celebrate each life + grieve and empathize with couples who experience the loss.

I didn’t announce to the whole world immediately because I was too miserable to celebrate. I did choose to tell family and a few friends who I knew would be there to support me through that dark time, but I waited to make it public until I felt well enough to reciprocate excitement.

We made Baby public on Christmas day- surrounded by family. Here is our little announcement! I thought the little hat idea was pretty darn cute. πŸ™‚

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That Christmas meal was one of the first that I enjoyed with gusto and that sparked no gag reflex. My mom made some incredible moist turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, salad, and cheese cake. A home cooked feast.

Week 12

Home after the holidays: I started craving acidic foods. Since I’m able to eat salad again, I love strong vinaigrette.

-I drank some of the brine from the jar after I was done with pickles.

-I had energy in the mornings, so when I felt up to it, I tried to cook a little or clean up the house. My sister and her husband stayed with us for a week, and she was a huge help with cooking and cleaning.

-The sun came out, and it was so relaxing and invigorating to hang laundry on the line in the crisp air.

-More traveling: we headed to Washington D.C. for a two day prayer event, then on to PA again for an unexpected funeral. That travel day was the worst for my nausea. I have a tendency towards car/motion sickness; add morning sickness to the mix, and that is some nasty turbulence. I threw up along the highway before 8:00 am. The early morning combined with not being able to find food that settled along the way made me so miserable. The restaurants weren’t serving lunch before 11 am. When they did, we accidentally ordered breakfast. (again) This pregnant woman was worn to tears.

After we arrived at the orientation for the event, I ended up not eating for another eight hours. I had to puke again before I could eat my dinner late that evening. I got prayed for before I went to sleep, and I felt so much better in the morning. Side note: the walk in shower in the hotel was amazing. Perfect for a pregnant woman to sit in (yes, sit) and let the hot water wash her nausea and migraine away.

On our drive home from PA after the funeral, we made a pit stop at friends’ house for the night. I was so over the 10 hour trips. We drove the last three hours home the next morning.

From Christmas week to the second week in January, my husband and I had over forty hours of travel under our belts. I do not recommend this to women in the first trimester. :/

Week 13

Appetite, you are coming back! I gag only a few times a day, and I am able to cook again. I am still pretty beat in the evenings, but my energy is going back to normal. It’s easier to stay hydrated because water doesn’t feel awful on an empty stomach. I can be more active without a racing heartbeat. I feel semi normal, and it is awesome!

I was on Netflix the other day, and the sight of the Grey’s Anatomy show nauseated me. It helped distract me in those early weeks, but now it brings back awful memories.

I ate a whole pint of pickles last night, and I’m not even sorry.

Chicken still kind of grosses me out, but today I grilled some and made the most spectacular salad and dressing I think I have ever made. I feel like the queen of my chicken again. I think my husband is secretly thrilled that I’m feeling better. πŸ˜‰

Ok, time for a snack! Peace.

 

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