Sunday, March 6, 2011

Surviving morning sickness

Now that I'm well out of the first trimester and feeling much better I thought I'd blog about surviving morning sickness, partly as something for me to look back to and jog my memory for next time and partly to encourage other moms.

Let me say first off that my "morning sickness" is BAD (diagnosed as hyperemesis). It has been for every. Single. Pregnancy. The exhaustion and nausea are rough, but I can handle those ok. Its the "sickness" part that really gets to me, and (even on medication) comes on suddenly if I'm not careful (or even if I am careful). While I've tried natural remedies that have helped a bit, none help enough. I've used medication for all but two (the first two) to make it through without IV's (though with babies #2, #3, and #4 I was close to needing them). However I think the last two or three have been getting better, and that through some changes we've made maybe the next one will be even better?

Here is a list of things that seem to help-

-Vitamins! I've been taking pre-natals for over 11 years now. About 7 years ago I switched to a more natural one, instead of the ones that are usually prescribed. I think those helped a bit. I've also noticed that taking a B complex for at least six months ahead of the pregnancy seems to help both for nausea and energy level.

-Exercise! I've been trying to get more regular exercise, which is easier at this assignment since Rob's schedule is more flexible. I managed to keep up my morning walks for a while and that seemed to help my energy level, but eventually due to interruptions and life happenings my walks gave way to morning naps. :(

-Beans! I read about the Bean Diet on a blog I read and thought that if it could be helpful during pregnancy maybe eating more beans AHEAD of the pregnancy would help (since I was fairly sure beans would not be sounding yummy for long once I got sick). I think that helped, and I'm thinking I should have kept it up a bit better despite my lack of interest in eating beans. Cooking and freezing the beans ahead of time would have been a good idea, since beans take a while to cook and thinking ahead is not my strong suit during the first trimester!

-Whole foods! The more processed the foods I was eating, the worse I would feel. That doesn't just mean staying away from sweets, and fast food and being sure to bake/cook from scratch, I mean no white flour, no white or brown sugar (though even natural sweeteners need to be very limited), and lots of whole grains, beans, and veggies. Protein is my friend during this time too.

-Great helpers! Now that some of my kids are able to help out more, this time is a bit easier to get through. They love to help watch the little ones, help with meals and even offer to change diapers! They all know how to help with/or do the laundry and clean the house. These are things they normally do, they just step it up a bit. However, they are still kids and our house does usually need some extra attention and a few days (or even a week or two) of re-organizing once I start feeling better.

- Let things go. The house does get messy during this time, things go unorganized, and I don't do nearly as much as I would normally. Even schooling slows down quite a bit. We keep up the basics like math and grammar. When I'm not falling asleep at nap time I read to the kids, and we always read together at breakfast and dinner (catechisms, memory verses, as well as a wide selection of books).

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