Welcome to the first of a few posts on pregnancy. While I will try not to overdo it, pregnancy is sort of going to be a big part of the next six months of our life (and most likely a few more times after this, as well). This is also part of my plan to maintain positivity and share some of the fun things I've learned in my training as a Bradley Method instructor.
As far as first trimester woes go, I consider myself very, very blessed to not be a big puker. I don't vomit much. Isn't that wonderful? It really is.
Despite not actually vomiting much, I often feel like I would feel a whole lot better if I just could. Nausea has plagued me in this pregnancy and in the first (the one that we lost was completely nausea-free). I think the hardest part is having an aversion to nearly every type of food imaginable.. especially whatever happens to be in your kitchen. At this point, most of the nausea has faded, but the lack of interest in food has continued regardless of how hungry I am. When I was pregnant with Verity, this lasted until about 20 weeks, and then came back for the whole seventh month.
And the name 'morning sickness' is completely misleading, too. I think it could more accurately be called 'nonstop misery' or 'round the clock puke-age.'
There are a lot of things that can help manage morning sickness. For me, the most helpful things have been:
1: peppermint tea or peppermint gum
2: beginning a meal with a sweet drink, such as juice or soda (V8, baby!)
3: starting with simple carbs (toast, crackers, etc.) first, then diving into the good stuff
4: choosing snacks with a little bit of protein to keep your stomach from getting too empty (trail mix, peanut butter on an apple, yogurt, etc.)
5: Sea Bands
6: not having to cook, or eat anything that I prepared myself
7: getting plenty of sleep
Most of these things have been consistent between pregnancies for me, although this time around it's been noticeably worse. And my trusty peppermint tea began to give me heartburn.. which is sort of no fun, either.
So I discovered Sea Bands- wrist bands that work via acupressure to suppress nausea. I think they were originally used to help with seasickness, and then the medical profession on this side of the globe began giving them some credit (pretty interesting, consider that acupressure is very Eastern in terms of medicine) and treating chemotherapy-induced nausea in cancer patients with them.
I was a little skeptical at first, but decided they were worth a shot. (I was getting pretty cranky and feeling guilty for making my husband's life miserable..) It took a few tries initially to get the pressure point right, but they worked! Ha HA!
I was pretty dang excited the night I wore them while making dinner with Husband and was still able to enjoy my meal. In fact... toward the end of that meal (spinach fettuccine with parmesan meatballs!) I paused when I felt a strange feeling in my stomach. I thought about it for a minute. Then I realized: I was full! It had been so long that I had forgotten what it felt like to be full!
And there's my happy story about the Sea Bands.
I've seen and heard of a lot of other morning sickness aids, although I haven't tried all of them:
1: ginger tea, ginger gum, gingersnaps, ginger ale..
2: other various types of herbal tea
3: B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6
4: fresh air
6: eating several small meals and snacks, rather than the 3-meal-a-day norm
Some women suffer from a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or HG, which is basically severe morning sickness. These are the women who land themselves in the hospital for IV fluids because they simply cannot keep anything down and it's dangerous. In these cases, I think the benefits of anti-nausea drugs (such as Phenergan and Zofran) far outweigh the risks. If my morning sickness were that severe, I'd be taking the drugs, too. Despite how much drugs during pregnancy- especially the first trimester- freak me out.
Looking back on the past three months, I feel like I've been surviving on V8 Fusion and simple carbs. Nutrition during pregnancy has sort of become a big deal to me, as it's such a worrisome time in your life when you really don't want to be sick or have things go wrong. But I think when it comes to morning sickness, I think you just need to do whatever's necessary. If moderately healthy juice and whole grain breads are all I can manage to eat, then I'd say I made some relatively good choices. My total weight gain is only at one pound so far, but I know that as soon as this passes.. I will have no trouble at all in eating well and gaining a healthy amount of weight.
What have you found helpful in managing your morning sickness? What were your go-to or most requested foods in early pregnancy? Aversions? Cravings?
I always love to hear this kind of stuff..
There are now 12 pearly whites shining from the mouth of this sweet little girl when she smiles, and she likes to keep them clean. She likes her toothbrush. I'm pretty sure I never remember ever wanting to brush my teeth when I was a kid, so let's hope this goodness keeps up.
After I brushed her teeth before bed, she wanted a turn at it, too. It's times like this that I'm grateful to have my phone handy to snatch a couple photos before missing the moment.
She loves it. She cried when I told her we were done and it was time for bed. (Also, note the "brush marks" on the mirror where she tried to clean it with her toothbrush after finishing up with her teeth.)
Verity also loves getting her hair done lately. Loves it so much that the minute she found me in the bathroom this morning fixing my own hair, she demanded to join me! I plunked her onto her designated seat on the bathroom counter and she grinned at herself in the mirror as I brushed her blonde tresses into place and secured them into a ponytail. Cuteness in the purest form.
One of these days, not so far off I expect, she'll enjoy getting dressed, too. Maybe. Maybe it's wishful thinking?
I am continually amazed at how much of a girl she is. One of her favorite words is "shoes," and she carries them around the house asking me to put them on for her. She can find a purse hidden anywhere to become her newest toy, and she's even been known to choose chapstick over a binky from time to time. She loves to wear chapstick. She talks to herself in the mirror. In fact, she rarely stops talking.
Now to discover what she's saying...
But that will come with time.
When babies are small, you clap and cheer and want to tell the whole world when they learn simple skills like rolling over or sitting up. When they start to become little people it's things like dipping their crackers in hummus, or trying to "unlock" the door with your keys, or walking around in Daddy's shoes that become the most exciting, endearing things.
I can't get over how much she's learning and changing. As excited as I am for her, and as much as I love to watch her grow, I'm equally excited to get to do the baby thing again. And flip out when they first grab a toy and shake it or learn to sleep through the night.
Being a mother is wonderful in ways I never would have expected.
At the beginning of the summer in which I fell in love with my husband, a few new roommates moved into my apartment. Among them was one who was both sassy and funny, smart, and fun-loving.
The fun part is what I remember most about Emily, as I spent the vast majority of my time working my guts out in two demanding design classes and then some, and sending (almost) daily love letters to someone in a little town in Illinois.
Three years later, she has served a mission (Spanish speaking to California.. kinda just like me) and is getting married to the man of her dreams just one month from now!
JJ proposed to her at a Chinese restaurant, in a fortune cookie made especially for her. She posted the video on the internet.. so I'm pretty sure I'm allowed to publicly gush over how fun and thoughtful that was. Perfect for my friend Emily.
So she let me make her some cute wedding announcements, and it was so stinking fun. They are such a beautiful couple! I just couldn't choose only 3 photos as I'd originally planned.
Along with the general invitation, we put together some little inserts for those family members and close friends who would be attending the temple sealing ceremony.
Sometimes I wonder why I don't just make art for myself.. instead of for everyone else.. but then I'm reminded of how awesome it is to make things for people that are everything they wish for. And brides are especially fun because you get to be a part of such a special time of their life.
I think my favorite part of this one is the little seal. It says "JJ & Emily Kay - For Time and All Eternity." With their wedding date.. oh, I just love it. And look how gorgeous that temple is!!
Congratulations, Emily & JJ! Thank you for letting me help make your wedding into the stuff of dreams. Best wishes from me, Jordan, and Verity. Wish we could be there.