photo credit: jovike via photopin cc

First, an update on my last post. I just got back from trip #1. I told one person, and two guessed due to conversations and notable lack of drinking. All were lovely about it and I may post my “not freaking out” response to telling people at some point. Trip #2 is next week… and I really am not looking forward to getting on another airplane feeling queasy.

Which brings me to nausea.

In the beginning, I was like “Nausea! What a novel and cute pregnancy symptom! I don’t feel great, but look, I’m really pregnant!” Thank you internet for not smirking at me at the novelty of crackers.

And now I’ve settled more into a “wow, I feel crappy most of the time” stage.

I was thinking of it when considering one of my favorite Offbeat Family post on going from being a mad scientist to a mother. She talks about how in the early months of her son’s life, she tries wild and crazy things to help him stop crying. She is baffled and slightly unsure of what it is that actually works. And it is only with time and the growth of the relationship, that she becomes a mother that can comfort her child.

At the moment, I’m at the mad scientist stage of early pregnancy. I feel crappy most of the time. But then some days are better–for completely unknown reasons. Days with more stress seem to increase nausea. Eating sometimes helps, and sometimes makes things worse. I have tried ginger in way too many forms: ginger tea, ginger gum, ginger ale, candied ginger…. I feel like ginger is my offering to the nausea gods. It is still unclear if they find my sacrifice acceptable.

What have I discovered?

  • Feeling crappy today doesn’t mean that you will feel this bad for all the days that follow. This is a really helpful discovery, as it helps me from falling into despair of “Bah! Life is horrible and I will hate food for all time!”
  • Nausea and vomiting aren’t necessarily the same thing. I spoke to a friend of mine much later in pregnancy, who didn’t actually vomit in her first trimester. This gave me hope that the horrible “vomiting” stage was looming ahead of me, ready to make me feel awful for weeks to come. If that does happen, then I will deal with new reality. But it is heartening to know that the first trimester could just continue like this.
  • Prenatal vitamin at night. Brilliant. Why did it take this long for me to realize this was an option?
  • Eating many small snacks with protein actually does seem to help. In my attempts so far, I actually do feel better with many small meals that include more than carbs. The challenge is finding any source of protein that I can imagine eating–as all meat sounds gross, and most nuts and dairy require some mental convincing (“Yes, self, you can eat almonds. Just try one to see. I promise”). My best food so far has been yogurt with fresh berries. Something about the berries distracts me from the fact that there is real food in there somewhere.

But here’s the thing, because my body is so newly unknown to me, there is no method to this madness. What works, what sounds edible or not, could change pretty quickly. I’m finding it a strange out-of-body thing, which I guess is part of the hallmarks of pregnancy. I have lived in this body for 31 years. I thought I knew it’s ins and outs pretty well, what makes me feel good or bad, and how to respond to its needs. And I’m now in this process where I’m closer to a passenger along for the ride, with very little control or knowledge of what’s around that turn.

So hello body, I’m the mad scientist here trying to figure out what you need! I’m looking forward to that time when we’ve made a new relationship, and I can react to your changes with something less like panic and more like discovery.