April 14, 2015

11 Reasons Morning Sickness ROCKS

Posted in Watermarks in Progress at 8:17 pm by Tamara

Morning sickness gets a bad rap.  I get it; I was pretty miserable with my first two pregnancies, and this one has thrown me into previously unknown levels of misery worthy of a new level of hell in Dante’s Inferno.  Not only is the nausea bad, for most women morning sickness comes with a side of bone-melting fatigue (for example, I have actually fainted after the exertion of walking to the bathroom to get ready for bed).

However, this time around I’ve realized that morning sickness has some clear benefits, and not just the old rumor that it means you have a healthy baby.  Here are a few reasons morning sickness actually ROCKS.

1.  The Redefinition of “Morning.” I never understood why “morning” sickness torments pregnant women 24 hours a day until I realized that “morning” must not mean what I thought it meant. In fact, Mayo Clinic defines morning sickness as “nausea that occurs during pregnancy…and can strike at any time of the day or night.”  I’ve always felt terrorized by how early morning comes (WHY would I want to be awake before 9am?) and all the expectations heaped on me to be coherent and functional at unholy hours (“Child, what is this ‘breakfast’ which you say you require?  How can it be time to eat again?”)  I now know this is totally unnecessary, because “morning” can strike at any time of the day or night!  Do you realize how freeing this is?  No more guilt over sleeping in until noon—it’s still technically morning!  Boss says that report has to be on his desk in the morning?  Drop it off at 5pm the next day and refer him to the Mayo Clinic for proof that it’s still morning!

2.  Decreased Grocery Budget. The first thing that helps decrease your grocery budget is that the sight of food in any form makes you want to vomit.  The second thing is the exhaustion.  My normal route through the grocery store starts in the produce section and ends in ice cream, but the one time I tried to grocery shop during this pregnancy, I made it out of the produce section only to shuffle into the dairy section and realize that I had used up 98.9% of my available energy.  I leaned forward and draped myself over the shopping cart handle and rolled slowly toward the check out, where the check out lady gave me a weird look as I peered up at her from where my head was resting on our bunch of bananas.  She may have thought I was insane, BUT not only did my grocery bill ring up less than a fourth of what it usually does when I have the energy to shop the whole store, but I looked like a super-healthy crunchy mama who serves her family nothing but raw fruits and vegetables.  Not a potato chip, carton of ice cream, or slice of bacon in sight, because who has the energy to walk to those sections??

3.  Conservation of Natural Resources. Droughts and water restrictions are all over the news right now, and thanks to morning sickness, I am playing my part in saving water!  Due to the fatigue that has rendered me borderline catatonic, I have reduced my showering by 97%, choosing instead to lie on the couch and moan.  I have also lessened my environmental impact by severely decreasing my use of soap, toxic makeup products, and toothpaste.  Everyone can do something!

4.  Sharpened Risk Assessment Skills. Morning sickness has greatly helped me develop the skill of determining the least-worst-case-scenario.  For example, when the kids are crying from hunger and I am lying stretched out on the couch like a melted blob of play-doh, which is worse:

a)  The risk of my kids starving before daddy comes home and can resuscitate them by pouring cheerios into their mouths where they lie passed out from hunger, or

b)  The risk of broken bones, concussions, and brain injury if I let a four year old construct an elaborate tower out of chairs, bathroom stools, and wheeled toys so that he can reach the box of cheerios in the cupboard and serve some to himself and his sister.

5.  A Redefinition of Success. My goal for housekeeping used to be that if someone stopped by unexpectedly, I could let them in and feel something better than “Shame over my toxic wasteland” and less than “Pride over my pristine perfection.”  Now, when I finally gather the strength to roll from the couch to the floor at bedtime, I have no eyes for the piles of Thomas trains and legos on the floor, clothes draped over every chair, mounds of mail, hairbows, and dirty bibs on the counter, or visible dog hair turning the carpet a new color.  Instead, I give myself a Gold Star Housekeeper Award if I gather up the kleenexes that have heaped up around me during the day and drop them into the trashcan as I crawl into the bedroom. I am superwoman.

6.  Bubblegum Water. Maybe it’s pregnancy hormones, or the nausea meds, or just every tastebud in my mouth going haywire, but pregnancy throw up has a more bitter, acrid taste than I can possibly describe.  The upside of this is that I have discovered that after I throw up, plain water tastes exactly like those gobs of pink, mind-numbingly sweet bubblegum they throw in those big bags of off brand candy.  Who needs soda when bubblegum water pours out of your tap for free?

7.  Children Acquire Survival Skills. My kids were pretty dismayed when I suddenly started spending 89% of my time on the couch and responding to their requests with moans for pity instead of cheese sticks.  However, I have seen a vast leap forward in their development while I have been out of commission.  For example, my four year old figured out how to get out of his highchair by himself, find cheese sticks, put on his own pants, and retrieve things from the counters.  All of these were things he was convinced he needed my help for a few months ago, but necessity is indeed the mother of invention!  My 18-month-old daughter has always refused to say “Mama,” probably since crying seemed to summon me quite effectively enough.  But all of a sudden I now find myself frequently roused from my comatose state by the sound of my daughter insistently saying “Mamamamamamamamama!” while smacking me in the head.  It’s a good thing morning sickness doesn’t usually last more than a few months for me, or they’d be driving themselves off to college at four years old and I am not ready for that!  (Unfortunately, she is also in the mimic phase and learning less desirable things: for example, every time she passes one of the many trashcans that are strategically placed in every room, she stops, bends over, and pretends to throw up.  O_o )

8.  Detection of All Odors. I have lived most of my life in terror of being “nose blind” and not noticing smells in the house until my neighbor stops by, takes one whiff, and calls the CDC.  But, thanks to heightened pregnancy senses and gag reflex, I am like a BLOODHOUND.  I can tell you that three rooms away there is a forgotten diaper on the changing table, warn you that the dog passed gas in the living room 30 minutes ago, deduce that the Chinese from last Friday is probably no longer safe to eat without even opening the fridge, and pronounce that every square inch of the bathroom needs to be gutted and the boy taught better aim.  Unfortunately, I cannot DO anything about any of these odors, because I am out on the deck gasping for fresh air while I heave into a trash can.  But at least I KNOW.  Knowledge is power, right?

9.  Baby Exhaustion is NBD. Compared to how wiped out I am during pregnancy, the sleep deprivation with a newborn feels like no big deal.  It’s like training for a marathon and then finding out you accidentally signed up for the preschool bunny hop instead.  As a friend put it, baby exhaustion is like a human tired, whereas pregnancy exhaustion is like a zombie tired.  Give me a sleepless newborn any day!

10.  Go From Zombie to Bombshell Overnight (well, comparatively). Let’s face it, when you regularly smell clean and conceal your under-eye circles, people start to take it for granted.  After a couple months of not showering, shaving, applying makeup, or brushing your hair, it’s amazing all the compliments you can get just for the smallest effort.  I mean, after I spent three months looking like death warmed over, the first time that I washed my hair and put on lipstick before church, my husband’s eyes widened like I was the reincarnation of Helen of Troy.  After my pregnancy grunge phase, I wore a hole-free t-shirt to Bible study and got so many compliments you would have thought I’d spent two hours on my hair, gotten a makeover at Sephora, and worn a knock off of a Kate Middleton dress.  This must be what feels like to be a movie star!

11.  And, finally, the benefit that should be number one: Cementing from Day One How Much We Love Our Children. Pregnancy can be rough (seriously rough), but morning sickness it is our first chance to say “Tiny Baby, I love you enough to do this and anything else for the blessing of holding you in my arms.  I will sacrifice food, sleep, coffee, my ability to function, and whatever else it takes so you can be safely knit together inside me.  And this is just the beginning: for the rest of my life I will be there to give you whatever you need to thrive, no matter what it costs me, because you are the greatest gift God has ever given me.”

So bring it on, Morning Sickness!  Just…could you bring that trash can over too?

A note: I want to say that all through writing this I’ve thought of dear friends who would endure all this and worse 100 times over if only their prayers for a baby would be answered.  My heart bleeds alongside you and I pray for God’s comfort and abundant answer to your heart’s cries.


1 Comment »

  1. Donna said,

    Hahahhah! This is soo funny! But also so sad, because I hate the thought of you being so miserable! I think you must have gotten all of the “morning” sickness I didn’t get….. :-( LOVE YOU!

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