Saturday, 5 April 2014

Nausea and little ones

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I knew that I was pregnant before I even took the test.

The nausea started I swear the moment that I even thought of being pregnant. So I knew. I just knew.

Intense nausea, pregnancy, and me seem to just go hand in hand for some reason. The kind of nausea where you really feel like you can't make it through the day, let alone the next hour--let alone the next minute. Where you feel like the world is spinning and you're on the verge of running for a bucket literally every moment of the day...ALL day long...for 9 months straight. The kind of nausea where your OB looks at your case and prescribes the same anti-nausea medication that cancer patients undergoing chemo are prescribed (which is thankfully also safe for pregnant women to take)...because the nausea is THAT bad. I was starting to feel somewhat sorry for myself for the first few weeks this time 'round. Wondering why it's always this way for me with each pregnancy. Wondering why I have to suffer through debilitating nausea that literally leads me to be bedridden, as it did especially with my first pregnancy. Wishing so badly that I could be that beautifully glowing pregnant woman who happily rubs her belly and says "I feel great!" whenever anyone asks how she is feeling. But instead I'm sucking on hard candies, trying to keep the nausea down, smiling through the knots in my stomach, trying to pretend that I don't feel as rotten as I really do, because if I think about it it only makes it worse. Looking at Mya and Carter as they crawl up my leg, wanting every ounce of my energy and attention, and smiling at my 24 kindergarten kids each day as I pretend that I'm not about to fall over.

I was lying in bed one night a few weeks ago, as the room was spinning around me, and I decided to finally just let it be. To let my body do this. To let my mind accept it. To stop trying to fight it and stop obsessing about trying to make it better. To let my body take on this incredible experience of growing a baby as it always has--to be sick. To let the nausea take over as it always has, because that's what my body needs to do in order to create this little miracle growing inside of me. To be grateful for the nausea instead of feeling sorry for myself, because with every wave of nausea that comes over me I know that that little baby is still growing...I know that he/she is still there.

So now every time that I start to feel that wave of nausea rising up in my throat again I quietly feel grateful for it. Every day as I hang over the toilet, while calling out every few minutes "Mommy's okay...don't worry...mommy's just fine!" as Terry ushers two worried little children away from me, I remind myself that it's worth it in the end. And as I clean myself up, slap on some blush to cover up the green hue covering my cheeks and head downstairs to finish getting the kids and myself ready for work, I put a smile on and try to pretend that that whole scene didn't just happen---because life has to go on.

And when life has to go on regardless, I've learned a few tricks to survive those really tough days. Those days when all that I want to do is lay down--but I can't, because a one year old and a three year old need every ounce of me...and I don't want to miss a moment of them. So, whether it's nausea, the flu, a headache or any other day when you just feel rotten (and you still have little ones to look after) are a few things that I do to get through it so that my kids still feel like I'm with them, but I'm really (somewhat) resting.    

Here are just a few:

 1) Baths during the day.

But not just any normal bath. Shaving cream baths.
Because if you give kids some cheap dollar store shaving cream, it provides endless amounts of fun and it means that you can just sit there, and breathe, and enjoy.

Not to mention that I promised this little boy when he was only a few months old that he could one day get in on the shaving cream fun--so now he's all over it.

2) Nap when they nap.
I realize that this is nearly impossible for most people to do since there are always a million other things that we could be doing during this one and only quiet time during the day--but I remind myself that it really is necessary when you're feeling crummy. So I try.

3) Take them through a car wash. 
This is brilliant, because it's incredibly entertaining for them, they're super quiet during the whole process since they're so mesmerized by the whole experience...and I can just sit there. I wish I was rich enough to take them through these things multiple times a day, every day. It's so relaxing. 

4) TV isn't always a bad thing. Thomas the Train is sometimes my saving grace. That one little half hour is sometimes all that I need to just lay down on the couch and get myself together again. Thank you Thomas--thank you.

5) Bake with them.
It doesn't necessarily make the nausea go away, but it's a good distraction from feeling miserable and it takes your mind off of your twisting stomach when you have two little ones 'helping' you. And the bonus? You get an oven full of treats in the end.

These are gluten-free treats that I made for my mother-in-law for her birthday...and they were delicious. If you want the recipe, this is the one that I used.

6) Get outside.
The cool air helps with the nausea and when you give each of these guys a doll and stroller to push they're all of a sudden completely entertained, while I get to just casually walk beside them and breathe in the cool air until my stomach starts to settle. It works every time.

So, with all of this said, I'm off to bed since my computer screen is starting to spin as I type this very moment. But I'll take it--because it means that this little baby is growing, and I can't ask for anything better than that.

P.S. Thanks for all of the wonderfully kind words and messages of congratulations that you have sent us--we can't even begin to tell you how much we appreciate it. We're beyond thrilled--nausea and all.

Erica xo

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