***I decided to share my morning sickness story here in case there may be someone out there who may be encouraged by it. If you have morning sickness and just want a “shoulder to cry on,” feel free to e-mail me! Also, while I am using the common term, "morning sickness," the morning has nothing to do with it! I felt sick 24 hours a day, and it was usually more unbearable in the evening and at night.***
Imagine you have a stomach virus or maybe food poisoning. But instead of lasting 24-48 hours, it lasts for 5-9 months. Instead of deciding to avoid food for the duration of your illness, you are forced to eat (and very frequently). Imagine trying to eat all kinds of high-protein and other healthy foods while you are sick with the stomach illness. That is as close as I can get to helping someone understand what severe morning sickness is like.
After we got married, I couldn’t wait to have a baby! I was so happy, when, after 10 months of marriage and longing for a baby, I finally found out I was expecting. My excitement turned to despair a few weeks later when the sickness hit. I was so unprepared for what was happening to me. Before conceiving, I had read every book on pregnancy I could get my hands on. I knew what to expect. But no one had mentioned this terrible misery I was experiencing. I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t drink, even though I was so hungry and so thirsty. Everything came right back up. Even tiny sips of water wouldn’t stay down. I had always been healthy, and hardly ever sick, so this was so difficult to understand.
The books I read on morning sickness suggested eating crackers first thing in the morning (I can’t tell you how many times I heard that one!), getting exercise, drinking fresh juices, eating whole foods, lots of protein, etc. This didn’t apply to me. I was vomiting so many times a day and night that I lost count! I was so weak that I could barely stand up to walk to the bathroom. I started the pregnancy at around 107 pounds, and I was now down to 97 pounds just a few weeks into the pregnancy. I was seriously ill.
I had a hard time not feeling despair. I couldn’t go anywhere or do much of anything. I would just lie in bed all day, trying to make it through the most difficult experience of my life. My main concern was for my precious baby that I already loved so much. I wondered how a little baby could survive this. Oh, I cried and prayed so much, worrying about my little one.
I was thankful for my Certified Nurse Midwife who could bring IV’s to my home if I needed them, and who could also have her backup physician write prescriptions for anti-nausea medications. Yes, I survived all of my pregnancies because of medication. I truly believe I could not have lived without them.
It was at this time that my husband discovered Shonda Parker’s books, Mommy Diagnostics, and The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy. I was so encouraged by Shonda because she knew what I was going through (she also had hyperemesis with her first). Eventually I began to e-mail Shonda and that was even more encouraging to me. She was so sweet and understanding, and gave me lots of ideas to try. I think the main thing that helped was just having someone understand and not judge me. Oh, that was so comforting.
After reading Shonda’s books, I decided (in between my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies) to do a whole body, liver and colon cleanse. I even got the very one that Shonda said she used. I also started taking milk thistle (for liver support) before conception and also after I found out I was pregnant. Shonda had also recommended Entrox and AbsorbAid, and I used both of those, too. None of this had any noticeable effect on my morning sickness. I was still miserable this time around, and now I had a 12-month-old and a 24-month-old to take care of. Oh, it was hard! Changing messy diapers was the worst. I also had migraines again. How many tears I shed! But again, I went on to have a very healthy (9 pound) baby boy. He was born at home and his was my favorite, most happy birth (the circumstances surrounding his birth were especially wonderful and happy!).
Before I got pregnant the fifth time, we had begun to eat a Nourishing Traditions type of diet. I drank Beet Kvass, Kombucha (which some have reported is supposed to help with preventing morning sickness), raw milk, ate fermented vegetables, soaked grains, etc. We also had been taking coconut oil, cod liver oil, butter oil, and doing many other “nourishing food” practices. But alas, I was still just as sick! I will say that even though I was miserable with all my pregnancies, I didn’t have the uncontrolled vomiting that I did with my first two. It seemed that I learned some things that enabled me to eat and keep some of it down (and I also started taking a different anti-nausea drug than I had been using). But I can tell you that overwhelming all-day-and-all-night nausea is so very, very miserable, even if you are able to keep some food down. And I had to be medicated in order to be able to eat. Thankfully, I gave birth at home to another healthy baby boy, my biggest baby yet at 9 lbs, 6 ounces!
After all that I’ve experienced with pregnancy sickness, I’ve come to believe that no matter what I do, I will still have severe, debilitating morning sickness with any pregnancy. There isn’t a diet or any kind of “cure,” unless it would be a miraculous healing from God (which I and others have prayed for many times!)!
One thing that I’ve gained from being sick during my pregnancies is a heart of compassion and empathy for those mothers who suffer with severe morning sickness and any kind of sickness during pregnancy. I would have never believed it was possible to be this sick just because you’re pregnant if I hadn’t experienced it myself! Your whole life kind of comes to a stand-still, and the whole family suffers when Mommy is so sick for so long.
Even though I have spent around two years of my life with morning sickness (with all five pregnancies combined), I would still do it all over again to have my precious, beautiful children. Each one of them is worth it all! It’s amazing to look at each little life that the Lord has blessed us with, and think that He allowed me to meet each one of them and to be their mother. I count it a privilege. ♥
"He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young." ~Isaiah 40:11