I want to take you all back to health class in your teenage years and just think about everything you learned about sex, reproducing, and your body. My memories are very minimal, and by that I mean very little factual information about how the body works, stuck with me (was it even presented?). My memory includes the life lesson: NEVER HAVE SEX BECAUSE YOU’LL FOR SURE GET PREGNANT! Anyone else? We, as teenagers, were paranoid (probably a good thing), but didn’t know the slightest bit about everything that goes in to getting pregnant. Health education (relating to reproduction) was quite misleading, similarly to the phrase morning sickness.
I had this picture of pregnancy in my head for many years now: quick throw up sesh in the AM, cute bump, eat super colorful meals, always smiling, feeling baby kicks, dressing for the bump…etc. I guess I never realized how different pregnancy can be for different people…such is life, yeah? The reason I say that the phrase morning sickness is misleading is because it can range from basic to super complex to dangerous. How was I supposed to know that something referred to as MORNING sickness, didn’t mean that it would only happen or last during the morning of your day? The Bump helped answer a lot of my questions.
This is the exact reason I was M.I.A on my blog for a long time. My “morning sickness” that I am personally going to reference as my pregnancy sickness has been extremely complex, touching upon dangerous. And, I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy (if I had one…). Mine started on the very day I hit 5 weeks pregnant and lasted 24/7. It felt more like a flu bug that was completely debilitating. I had all day nausea without vomiting, weakness, dizziness, exhaustion, headaches/migraines, inability to get comfortable, irritability, cold sweats, symptoms of fever without the actual fever, and straight helplessness. The symptom that never went away no matter what I did is my nausea. Even now, at 21 weeks, I have 24/7 nausea; it’s basically become a part of my everyday life, so I have adapted. All other symptoms came and went sporadically, but my first trimester I often had them simultaneously.
One of the worst parts about pregnancy sickness is that it usually begins early in your first trimester when very little, to no one, knows you’re even pregnant. So, you have to put your happy pants on and be a really great actress. Needless to say, the last few months of school (aka work) were extremely tough and I had to give in and use several sick days for frequent doctor visits, an ER visit, and simply because I couldn’t get out of bed to drive myself to work. I made it through, and luckily, my boss was so supportive.
I remember researching, reading, and asking friends how to help this pregnancy sickness and trust me, I tried it all. I don’t think there was a single remedy I didn’t try (preggo pops, warm lemon water, bland foods, ginger…just to name a few). But nothing helped.
This extreme pregnancy sickness lasted from the very start of week 5 to week 16 until I figured out the proper balance for my prescription medication. I worked closely with my doctor to try out a medication called Diclegis, which is ultimately a large mix of vitamins with a little bit of Benadryl. I had a hard time figuring out the right dosage for me because of how my body naturally reacts to medications. I have been taking ¼ dose of Diclegis, which seems to eliminate the debilitating symptoms and just leave me with my usual, all-day nausea, which is totally do-able! I must say, this has been a total game changer!
Entering the 2nd trimester helped a lot, too. Some of the crazy symptoms became much less frequent and severe (even without the medication). I just needed a little more assistance so I could properly eat, function for work, and live life like a human! I still take my ¼ dose every night before bed so I can wake up feeling decent in the mornings while understanding that other parts of pregnancy need my attention so I don’t experience extreme sickness (EX: never letting myself get hungry or dehydrated, going #2 regularly, avoiding certain foods…etc).
At this point, I feel in control and feel as though I have gotten the hang of it! I have tried a few times to stop taking Diclegis and my body isn’t quite ready. I will continue to try every now and then, but I have also come to the conclusion that if my body needs it through the whole pregnancy, then I will do just that! I know that it will all be worth it in the end.