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My wife has terrible morning sickness. She’s my hero.

“She tells me how grateful she is for my service in the line of duty, and I honestly feel honored to be able to help her fight through this.”

My wife has terrible morning sickness. She’s my hero.

You’d think that a first pregnancy would be a fairly simple thing to conceal over the first few weeks of the nine-month odyssey.


But you’d be wrong.

With no baby bump in sight at week eight, no one would ever guess that there’s a blueberry-sized person inside, multiplying by 100 cells per minute and creating ventricles in the newly developing heart that will last this kid for a lifetime.

So what—besides my own rabid desire to share the secret—is so hard about keeping an early stage pregnancy on the down low? Two words: Morning Sickness. Or, as it should be named in my wife’s case, Forever Sickness.

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How young and foolish we were after getting that positive pregnancy test. “Well, lucky you! It seems that you’re avoiding that whole morning sickness thing! Let the good times roll!”

Fast forward one week and my wife was spending more time hugging the toilet than me.

But this is not an isolated phenomenon. Throughout history, there have been millions (billions?) of un-hugged husbands and over-hugged toilets in the homes of expectant mothers. The struggle is real—and from my front row seat—awe-inspiring.

My wife’s body has been growing and nurturing a new tiny person from scratch. Her entire being is now focusing its energy and nutrition on the act of creation. There’s no denying it—pregnant women are ballers. (And sometimes bawlers, but that’s just the hormones, okay?)

Before watching my wife suffer through it, I had a very glamorized ideal of what morning sickness was all about. I figured a pregnant woman woke up feeling nauseous, eventually threw up and then felt fine for the rest of the day. The morning is over and so is the sickness. Then maybe the process starts over again the next day.

Don’t get me wrong, that still sounds terrible, but not nearly as terrible as what my wife has been enduring recently. The stomach turmoil starts before the sun comes up, making sleep nearly impossible and continuing right through the ring of our morning alarm. We’ve Googled the heck out of the subject in search of remedies and came upon the idea of eating something to settle the stomach before she gets out of bed.

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The foldable snack tray that I used to eat dinner on in front of the TV in my bachelor days now contains a morning buffet line of foods for my wife—saltines, celery and peanut butter, bread, bagels and more. Almost every morning, a menu item that previously did the trick is deemed unworthy, usually after it requires her to present another oral offering to the porcelain bowl.

Eventually, it’s time to greet the day (whether her stomach likes it or not) and she attempts to get ready for work so we can get out of the house in time for me to catch my morning train. She brings along another care package of food for her morning commute—a 40-minute drive in heavy traffic—so she can report to her cube and try to concentrate on work while she battles her stomach in a never-ending war to resist the urge to upchuck or lie down.

No one besides me knows that she is pregnant, so this battle is privately waged in public. This is no easy task when coworkers ask you to join them for lunch and everything they order looks disgusting. Or when the office is flooded with the sweet smell of cookies and delectable treats from vendors, but the mere thought of something sweet leaves you feeling queasy.

So basically, my wife is a saint. ?

She was already a saint when she helped me through similar side effects when I was undergoing chemotherapy (another story for another day), but now she is an invisibly pregnant saint who must soldier on throughout daily life while secretly enduring a much more intense version of what I experienced. After my six months of chemo and three months of remission, the shoe of suffering is firmly on the other foot…and it’s way too tight.

I want more than anything to ease her discomfort, but there’s little I can do besides obtaining more foods that solve her short-term problems until they eventually turn on her and join the steadily growing reject pile. Goodbye, chicken noodle soup. See you later, mashed potatoes.

I hate this feeling of helplessness when someone I love so much is struggling so mightily, but no one ever said the work of creation was easy, and our baby seems to be working overtime in the fetal factory most days.

I’m grateful to my wife for the incredible sacrifice she’s making growing our baby, but I’m also glad for modern medicine. Finally relief came in the form of medication—Diclegis—a weirdly named pill containing an even weirder icon of a pregnant woman. But if weirdness works, don’t knock it. The pill is a combination of Vitamin B6 and doxylamine. And it’s working. For now, at least.

After a few days on Diclegis my wife has been doing much better, though some days can still be a little rough—especially if she isn’t eating every hour or so. I can only hope that the Forever Sickness downgrades to Usually Sickness or Sometimes Sickness, or heck, even Morning Sickness, so my wife can lead a more normal, comfortable life for the rest of the first trimester.

She tells me repeatedly how grateful she is for my service in the line of duty and I honestly feel honored to be able to help her fight through this, even if it just means waking up next to Mrs. Hyde every morning and returning her to Dr. Jekyll with a plate of apples and peanut butter (which have thankfully not worn out their welcome yet!).

Morning sickness has allowed me to be the Samwise to her Frodo. “I can’t carry the baby, but I can carry her!” And from what I’ve read on the subject, this is probably one of the most vital times outside of the delivery room that I will be able to support my wife during the pregnancy, even if all I can do is rub her upset stomach or give her some ice to lick. (It really works to fight nausea!)

All in all, I’m so proud of her for what she is enduring on behalf of our child’s development. The opportunity for me to step outside of my own needs and put her first is making our marriage stronger and no doubt also preparing me for that glorious day when the new human she is working so single-handedly to protect is finally out and about—and relying on us for everything.

But until then, I think I hear my wife calling me, so I’ve got some more apples to slice. ?

Matt is a writer, social media addict, cancer survivor and expectant father. He writes at Dad Has a Blog.

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    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

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    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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