The electric blood didn’t last. I wish it would have lasted because I would have been able to focus hard on my work, get to the gym for an energetic spin on the elliptical, reach out to friends I hadn’t seen in a long time and just kick ass in life. Electric blood gave me positive natural energy and lots of ideas, but for the week or so that I had it, I did keep wondering when the nausea would set in, or the headaches, or the dreaded fatigue that I had kept reading about. For that first week after I found out I was pregnant, I had all kinds of weird cravings for foods I hadn’t thought about in a long time; childhood foods like ‘Nilla Wafers, Fig Newtons, malts, pizza, cheeseburgers and ruffles with sour cream dip!
The second week after the positive test, came the “morning sickness,” which isn’t at ALL what nausea related to pregnancy should be called. For me it would catch me mid-morning or early afternoon and it wasn’t like immediately running to the toilet to puke like in the movies, rather it was a warm nausea that would seep through my veins heating up my whole body and making me wonder if I should try to get something in my stomach or if I should skip food altogether. Saltines.
Saltines; sleeves and sleeves of them became my best friends. In fact, I was only ever feeling okay if I was eating a saltine, or a slice of plain toast. I drank lots of fizzy water and ate saltines, and never left home without the two. A few weeks later came the headaches which led to the real violent puking. There is a short list of foods that have been ruined for me: bananas, raisin english muffins, cereal with milk to name a few. At some point I am sure I can eat a banana again, but that perfect fruit isn’t so perfect coming up. There is also a list of pop songs on the radio that I can no longer hear without wanting to roll down the window of my car and throw up: anything by Ed Sheeran, Stay by Aleesia Clara will turn me green, and a few by The Chainsmokers will have me searching for an ally dumpster.
Tomorrow I am week 18 (almost at the halfway point through this pregnancy). This second trimester for me has almost been worst than the first. I could handle the sick blood with the help of saltines, and I could leave the house on most days if I was armed with a sleeve, and some water or a can of coke or ginger ale, but the headaches that have come on in my second trimester have literally brought me to my knees on the cold, hard tile of my bathroom floor.
They say you can take Tylenol for headaches during a pregnancy, but Tylenol never worked for me when I wasn’t pregnant and I really just don’t want to put any chemicals in my body (outside of a can of coke) that are unnecessary. So I have suffered through, once again with the saltines, coke (to settle the stomach and also the caffeine helps a bit with headache pain), and my Owl Snuggly heat compress which I toss into the microwave, wrap in a dishtowel and use as a pillow to ease shoulder and neck tension related to the headaches. The other day I went to Whole Foods to pick up lavender and peppermint oil and both have helped so much. Peppermint oil to sniff when the headache starts coming on, and lavender oil under my nose and at my temples to calm me while I sleep.
This week started with me at the doctor complaining about the headaches, but once she took my BP and we listened to the baby’s heartbeat I felt like well, if I am okay and the baby is okay then I can get through this. I think the visit to the doctor changed me a little and set me at ease because although I have had a few headaches this week I have been able to work through them better than I have when they first came up on me.
Being as sick as I have been on and of for over three months now certainly does make me feel so brand new and grateful for the days I have when I can wake up headache and nausea free, get to work creating something, helping my husband, checking things off my list, connecting with my Mom or a friend. I have wondered if this sickness isn’t all about the hormones and maybe just a way to slow me down, keep me imprisoned for a while, so when I am free and light and energetic I can truly be grateful for all I am capable of doing for myself and those around me.