A Tale of Extreme Morning Sickness


Both of my pregnancies were plagued by morning, noon and night sickness. With Shnook, I couldn’t take a single prenatal vitamin for twenty weeks, or walk into a supermarket without gagging. I survived on white food, with the only exceptions being green grapes, iceberg lettuce and Jarlsberg cheese. I puked two to three times a week. With Fuzz, I puked less often, but still felt horribly nauseated for five months. Both times I bitched and moaned and cursed my female-ness. 

I tried ginger, wearing those sea bands, acupuncture, and eventually took a combination of Unisom and Vitamin B6 suggested by my doctor. That took the edge off, although it didn’t completely cure it. As sick as I was, I still didn’t have hyperemesis gravidarum, the extreme debilitating nausea throughout pregnancy. Many women who are diagnosed with hyperemesis spend a chunk of their pregnancies in the hospital with an IV drip full of anti-nausea drugs used for chemotherapy patients. I couldn’t imagine that kind of hell, considering I already felt so horrible. According to the CDC, hyperemesis affects 0.5 to 2% of pregnant women. Writer Hayley Krischer recently shared a powerful essay on her experience with this affliction and how it made her feel like ending her pregnancy.

As I’ve said before, if it weren’t for being pregnant, I might have more babies. However, the thing about pregnancy that saves the world’s population is this: Pregnancy is temporary. Nine months feels like a heinously long time when you’re hanging over the toilet as your toddler is climbing on you, asking for cheddar bunnies. It would feel even longer if you had to spend it attached to an IV so that you don’t dehydrate.  But, it does end. Easy to say that when it’s over and you have a healthy beautiful miracle in your arms, right?

How did you cope with morning sickness or hyperemesis?