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I was 99% certain that I was pregnant several days before I could even take the test. I walked in our favorite grocery store and it REEKED. For a few seconds I thought, “can’t everybody else smell that?!” but I quickly remembered how nasty the whole world smelled when I was pregnant the first time around. Granted, this was wonderful news. We had been trying to get pregnant again for over two years, so I was thrilled. I was also moderately concerned. With my first baby, things didn’t start smelling whiffy until about week six or seven. This couldn’t even be called “week four” yet and I was wanting to plug my nose and run! Uh-oh.
I took the test a few days later (totally unnecessary by that point, since I was already experiencing that unmistakable queasiness) and it was most definitely positive. So exciting… but what was I going to feed my three-year-old?? Even PB&J was starting to smell foul. Thankfully, we had just moved into my parent’s guest rooms in order to get our own house ready to sell (we didn’t sell it and are right back in it, now, but that’s another story). My husband and parents were wonderful about feeding Pumpkin, but even from across the house and down the stairs, I could still smell EVERYTHING. Ugh. Blah.
If you’ve had, or are having, bad morning sickness, you know what I mean when I say that everything stinks. We humans just can’t smell it most of the time. Long story short, from the time I found out I was pregnant until week 18, I lost over ten pounds. Now, at week 31 I have just gotten above ten pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. With my first baby, I couldn’t see a doctor until I was seven months pregnant, but this time our doc said either I take the Zofran or I would be admitted to the hospital for dehydration. I took the Zofron for just over a week and, in spite of my strong “anti-drugs during pregnancy” stance, it was a life-saver!
Now that you know that I KNOW what you’re going through (and I’m so, so sorry!), here are some ideas that I discovered. I hope they help!
- Morning sickness may be related to a magnesium deficiency in many women. Try to eat high magnesium foods. It is extremely difficult to get enough through diet or oral supplements, so you might want to consider a magnesium supplement that is applied to the skin (called “magnesium oil”).
- Don’t force down any food or drink just because it helped somebody else. It won’t work just because it’s “supposed to” help. I couldn’t stand the smell or texture of crackers, which is the first thing everybody recommends.
- If you think you can keep something down first thing in the morning, ask your hubby to bring it to you in bed. For several weeks nothing helped me, but as soon as I was able to eat it, my husband or Mom brought me oatmeal. It really did help for those first few hours to have something in my tender tummy.
- If water won’t stay down (trust me, doctors really don’t like that!) try putting a few slices of fruit or cucumber in the water. I had never had “spa water” until this, but it was the only way I could keep liquids down for those worst weeks. It really was amazing that it made such a difference!! Try strawberries, cucumber, citrus or melon… whatever sounds appealing. I liked my water ice-cold, but I know some women can only drink room temperature or warm liquids. Try it all and see what works best, because you do not want to go to a germy ER for an IV.
- One thing that made the world somewhat less smelly was to keep some organic essential oils with me all the time. If a smell bothered me (nearly all the time for several months!) I would pull out my peppermint or lemon essential oil and hold it under my nose. Sometimes that was all that kept me from… losing all that hard earned spa water I had gotten down.
- If you know for sure that something is going to come back up, do your very best to drink some water first. Just trust me on this one. It’s better this way.
- If it’s cool outside, it may help to get some fresh air. I also found that a cool washcloth helped, occasionally.
- Although you will want to eat anything that sounds good, or at least edible, do remember to consider that you may forever be unable to eat it if it makes you sick. I still can’t eat anything with teriyaki sauce, because I tried to use it in a crockpot meal during my first pregnancy. Our apartment smelled like teriyaki for days.
- Some women find great relief from eating lots of protein. The only protein I could keep down until about 16 weeks was string cheese. I still (at 31 weeks) can’t go near chicken. Go figure! High protein may work for you, though!
- Some days it seemed to help if I had dandelion root tea or tincture, but not all of the time. Some women say red raspberry leaf tea helps. I occasionally found relief from sipping peppermint tea, but only the kind from our own garden.
Like I said before, I did have to take Zofran for about a week due to dehydration, but I didn’t make that decision lightly. If you have sunken eyes or any other signs of dehydration, call your doctor or midwife. I sincerely wish there was a one-size-fits-all cure, but there isn’t. Just do your best to choose nourishing foods when you can and accept help from anybody who offers. I know it doesn’t sound very encouraging when you’re in the middle of it, but the morning sickness will eventually ease.
Do you have any other ideas that might help another reader? Please share!!