I had terrible morning sickness. Anyone who lived/worked/talked with me during the first 24 weeks of my pregnancy knows that. But saying that to someone who either didn’t have the same caliber of morning sickness (or any at all) or doesn’t know anyone who did doesn’t seem to convey much meaning.
Take, for example, my mother. Now, I love my mother, but when I was throwing up in my trash can at work multiple times a day, she actually said to me, “Mind over matter, Michelle.”
Mind over matter? Mind over matter? Seriously? Mom must not have actually LAID DOWN ON THE BATHROOM FLOOR WHILE BLOW-DRYING HER HAIR as I did, more than once, during the early stages of pregnancy. You know, before I started to show and couldn’t get down there (or up again) without help. Then I stopped blow drying my hair altogether. Besides, who cares if a hugely pregnant woman has frizzy hair or not? (I also stopped wearing contacts because my eyes got so dried out, but I don’t think that was related to the morning sickness…)
A former co-worker told me that all that ‘mind over matter’ crap was just that: crap, and I should just let myself throw up if I felt like it. She said that when she was pregnant she kept a bag in her car for puking emergencies during her commute to work. Of course, she told me that after I had vomited out my car window at a stoplight. Thank God the urge didn’t come while I was on the interstate.
Apparently little-known morning sickness facts: 1. It is not confined to the morning hours. That is the cruelest joke of all. 2. It is not confined to the first trimester of pregnancy. Some women (thankfully not me) have it the entire pregnancy. 3. You can not wish, think, will it away. If we could, don’t you think we would? 4. If you eat a little something first thing in the morning and get moving, it does not always help. 5. Ginger, sea-sickness bands, flat soda, crackers, eating small meals and snacks, naps, getting out of bed slowly, and mind over matter MAY NOT WORK. 6. Generally, every woman will know what eases the nausea a little bit for her. For me it was milk. We are willing to take suggestions, but don’t be hurt if it doesn’t work for us.
I eventually got a super-strong anti-nausea medication from my obstetrician. And it worked pretty well, though there was a terrible stretch in July that the queasiness was overwhelming. But at least I got to find out that if you ever feel sick on an airplane and you think the regular air-sickness bag won’t be enough, they do, in fact, have super-size puke bags. And the flight attendants will also get you ginger ale even if they are not serving beverages to anyone else because you are flying over the remnants of Hurricane Dennis (Delta Airlines).
Now, for as clearly as I remember all of this, and as clearly as I’m sure my husband remembers the ONE TIME he had to clean up my vomit (of all the literally scores of times I threw up from May 15-September 26, 2005, I think the fact that he had to clean it only once is pretty good on my part), I would not hesitate to do it all again. Not even a little bit.