While finding out you’re pregnant is incredibly exciting, actually being pregnant can come with some not-so-fun symptoms—back pain, swollen ankles, and the infamous morning sickness.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I sailed through my first trimester with ease. I can recall a few moments where I felt a little queasy, but overall, I felt good.
A short two weeks after finding out I was pregnant, I got hit with some serious nausea and vertigo. I chalked it up to a “queasy moment” from my first pregnancy, but after several days with little relief, I realized it wasn’t going away. While I fortunately wasn’t diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, better known as HG, my midwife told me I was likely suffering from morning sickness.
Prior to becoming pregnant with my son, I assumed morning sickness meant just that—queasiness in the first part of the day. Boy, was I wrong.
Here are the four lies I believed about morning sickness.
1) That morning sickness only happened in the mornings.
When I woke up with nausea shortly after my positive pregnancy test, I couldn’t help but smile. Here it is, I thought. I’m really pregnant, and this little baby is making sure I know it.
Fast forward several hours later, and I was no longer smiling. My “morning sickness” lasted all morning, afternoon, and evening. I felt nauseous from the moment I opened my eyes to the moment my head hit the pillow—and sometimes the queasiness would even wake me up in the middle of the night.
Bottom line: for many unlucky mamas-to-be, morning sickness doesn’t just rear her ugly head in the morning; she hangs around all day.
2) That morning sickness wouldn’t prevent me from being able to perform my daily responsibilities.
I have a fairly high pain tolerance. I delivered both of my children without medication. I assumed I could push through pretty much anything. Wrong.
Pregnancy nausea hit me like a ton of bricks. It was challenging to work, chase after my 18-month-old, and manage my normal household responsibilities while feeling utterly green 24/7.
I quickly realized I had to rely on my tribe, ask for help, and tap out when I needed to.
3) That I could overcome morning sickness with natural remedies.
For some reason, asking my midwife for medication was challenging for me. I convinced myself I didn’t need meds. I could beat my nausea the “natural” way.
I spent a few weeks consuming endless ginger chews, ginger ale, and Preggie Pop drops; I sniffed an aromatic anti-nausea inhaler and even wore sea band bracelets. Nothing was working, and I needed relief, so I finally gave in and called my midwife.
I was a little wary of filling my prescription, but I’m so glad I did. While the medication didn’t completely take the nausea away, it took the edge off, and enabled me to be a better mom, wife, employee, human—the list goes on and on.
4) That I would be okay with the nausea because it was reassurance I was still pregnant.
In my early days of pregnancy and morning sickness, I often heard from well-meaning friends, “At least you know you’re really pregnant!” And while having a daily reminder that I was in fact pregnant was nice, it also got old quickly.
There were days when I felt guilty about complaining, and I tried to trick myself into thinking I wasn’t disappointed to wake up with nausea yet again. But as time went on, I realized it was okay to feel immense gratitude and frustration at the same time—the two aren’t mutually exclusive. I was over the moon to be pregnant and so excited to welcome another baby into our family, but I wasn’t thrilled to feel sick all day. There shouldn’t be any shame or guilt in that.
Ultimately, like most challenging phases in pregnancy and parenting, my morning sickness ended. Several weeks into my second trimester, I felt like a new woman. Now, my son is 10 months old, and my morning sickness days are a distant memory. To all the mamas struggling with morning sickness, it’s okay to be frustrated and to ask for help. Remember—it’s just a season, and better days are around the corner.