Getting pregnant is an exciting time, there's no doubt about that at all.
But with the highs can come a few unexpected lows – one of which happens to be morning sickness. It can happen to the best of us. And that morning sickness can make the physical part of pregnancy downright awful.
I'm a mum of three, and I've suffered terrible morning sickness three times now. Let me count the ways in which that sucks …
You feel great about being pregnant … then the sickness begins
This is my third pregnancy – with the other two I had morning sickness, so I expected that this time around would be no different. But there's an optimistic side of you that hopes morning sickness may pass you by. Each pregnancy is different, right?
By week 5 I realised I wasn't going to be lucky – this time my morning sickness started much earlier than with the others. And it progressively got worse.
Thinking this is as bad as it's going to get … then somehow finding it gets worse
By week 7 I was feeling pretty foul. Surely it couldn't get much worse than this? With my first two pregnancies I was feeling pretty OK around this stage – but then I read that morning sickness can continue until week 14. And of course then I read that it can actually last all the way through for some poor women. How is that possible?!
You're hungry and yet the sight of food sickens you
This was a horrible contradiction – I was often so hungry, but when I thought of eating it made me sick. I ate whatever I could manage, which was mostly dry toast and bread. Sometimes I was able to tolerate rice, which was very exciting.
Other times I thought I could eat something a bit more adventurous only to start retching and vomiting at the sight of it.
Nothing more needs to be said about this. It's awful, especially when you start to feel your stomach acid in your throat. Or when it's so bad your tooth enamel suffers. The worst.
Feeling like you're on a boat, suffering vile seasickness, but you can never get off
That's the best way I could describe it to my husband. Imagine you have terrible seasickness but there is no sight of land. The only way I could get relief is by lying in one position and not moving, which isn't possible if you have to work or have other kids.
Having morning sickness while dealing with your other kids
Just because you're sick doesn't mean life stops. School and preschool drop-offs and pick-ups need to be done. Homework needs to be done. Activities need to be done. In between all this you have a tremendous need to rest – but sleep has to wait.
TV had to step in a lot of the time, and there were a lot of dinners that consisted mainly of fruit and pre-packaged pasta. I figured though as long as they were alive and healthy, I was doing the best I could, and that was enough.
Letting the cat out of the bag earlier than you want to
I didn't want to tell my children why I was feeling so sick, wanting to wait for later in the pregnancy. But seeing how worried they were at my continued illness meant I broke the news quite early – and their excitement at the news actually helped alleviate my symptoms somewhat.
And after cancelling many plans with friends and family I had no option but to start telling people the news, in case they thought something was horribly wrong or I was just being rude.
Having people tell you for the 10,000th time to give ginger a try
I know people have the best intentions at heart, but none of the often-mentioned natural remedies worked for me. I tried ginger and peppermint in many forms. I bought bottles of morning sickness tablets with Vitamin B6. I even paid $120 per visit to an acupuncturist. Nothing worked.
In the end I opted for medical intervention. It helped somewhat but not completely.
What did help was time. When you're going through it, morning sickness feels like it will never end, but perhaps the best thing about it is there is an end to the sickness. It may take 12 weeks, 20 weeks, or in the case of a friend, all 9 months, but it does end.
And when you see your baby at the end of it you somehow manage to forget all that you went through. And you might even do it all again …