While my morning sickness never compromised my health, it did impact my quality of life during the majority of my first trimester. I was just miserable and, if you're pregnant and running to the bathroom almost every hour, you know what kind of miserable I'm talking about. While morning sickness is a well known pregnancy side effect and is usually the first thing someone will warn you about, there are things no one will tell you about morning sickness, too. These things are worth mentioning though, because even though you might not be able to prevent the nausea, you’ll feel better knowing you’re prepared for it and that you're not alone and that the hell you're currently experiencing is, well, normal.
Morning sickness is hard to talk about when you’re experiencing it. First of all, even the slightest discussion pertaining to nausea will just add to your overall queasiness. Second, most women (myself included) keep their pregnancies on the down-low until they’ve entered the second trimester. An estimated 80 percent of miscarriages occurring in the first trimester, so a lot of us don’t want to share the big news until we feel more confident that the pregnancy is viable. Not everyone feels this way, of course, but I was keeping my morning (and noon and night) sickness to myself, because I was keeping my pregnancy under wraps for the first three months. Looking back, that's somewhat of a bummer, because I may have been able to glean some insight on how to handle the sometimes overwhelming nausea, instead of being so focused on trying to sufficiently hide it.
Now that I’m six years postpartum, I’m happy to talk about the nausea and the puke and the things no one told me about morning sickness. If you can stomach reading this, here were some things I experienced in the first few months of both my pregnancies. I stand in solidarity with all the pregnant ladies who can’t look at an egg without dry heaving. I see you.
It’s Not Just For The Morning
In my case, morning sickness was perpetual. It might have hit hardest earlier in the day, but as the hours passed the nausea never went completely away.
You Think You’re Hiding It Well, But You’re Not
When I announced my pregnancy at the 14-week mark, nobody in my department at work was even remotely surprised (though a few humored me by feigning shock). My dead give-aways included surreptitiously sneaking crackers from my desk drawer, and looking green for two months straight.
I devoured these beautiful crackers by the sleeve. I could barely eat anything else from weeks six through eight of my pregnancy, which is the worst because, not only did I not yet look pregnant, but I wasn’t telling anyone yet.
… Until They Don’t
One day, I put a cracker in my mouth and wanted to throw it right back up. There was no way to predict what would make me nauseous. I just had to take deep breaths, and keep close to a bathroom at all times. That's no way to live, my friends.
You Will Feel Queasy And Hungry Simultaneously
Have you ever been so hungover that you can’t imagine eating a thing, but you're simultaneously starving? It’s kind of like that, only I couldn't revert to my usual morning after cures because I was trying to grow a life inside my body and the “hair of the dog that bit you” was not the wisest choice.
You May Never Actually Vomit
Dry heaving. Dry heaving is the seventh circle of hell, I am sure of it. I felt like I was on the verge of throwing up. All. The. Time. It made my subway commute really fun.
Open Office Floorplans Will Be A Living Hell
I could smell someone’s lunch from a mile away. The fragrance of coffee, which I would usually find so appealing, made my stomach turn. Even a whiff of baked goods had a negative effect on my digestive system and, honestly, that shouldn't even be allowed.
Brushing Your Teeth Will Make You Gag
It was enough that I considered skipping the whole teeth cleaning ritual altogether, because what was the freakin' point if I was just going to end up puking? It was hell every morning and every night. Soon, just looking at my toothbrush was enough to invoke the gag reflex. (Pro tip: mouthwash.)
You’ll Need To Delegate Bathroom Duties If You Already Have A Kid
My daughter was out of diapers by the time I was pregnant again, but still needed help on the potty. I couldn’t handle "doody" duty. Did I milk that for a while longer, even after my morning sickness ended? Mayyyyyyyyyybe.
Everyone Will Have A Theory On Your Morning Sickness Indicating The Baby’s Gender
It's never ending. If I was sick only in the morning, I was having a boy (not true). If was sick all day, I was having a girl (true, but then not true). It’s like a pregnant woman’s bodily functions naturally invite commentary from the world at large, because somehow everyone is an expert on what’s going on inside you and thinks you are fascinated by their knowledge. Don’t talk to me. You are literally going to make me puke.