Has your husband ever wondered, “what is morning sickness exactly? And what does it feel like?’ Well today’s guest writer Jesse, has never actually experienced morning sickness, but has made a humorous attempt through a temporary experience to try and describe it for all your husbands. What do you think ladies? Is this a close description?
My best friend is pregnant and, as most pregnant women do, she went through several months of “morning” sickness. I have never been pregnant so I cannot understand what she and other women have gone through. My understanding of it was that she felt nauseous all the time which meant she also had a limited window for when and what she could eat. I would wish that I could feel sick instead of her even just to give her a day off from feeling so ill. Well, last night I doubt I got my wish of feeling sick in place of her, but I definitely felt sick right along with her. I am going to call my agony PTSD, that stands for something like Pregnancy Trauma Sympathy Death. (really I think it was food poisoning, but certain things my friend had mentioned she felt suddenly became something I could sympathize with.)
My “Morning Sickness” Sympathy Experience:
Last night I laid down with a headache around 9. I had just eaten mexican food so laying down caused little bit of what I thought was heartburn. I took?/ate? a couple of tums and felt better almost instantly. I fell asleep easily but woke up a few hours later and knew right away that something was wrong. My initial reaction told me I should run to the bathroom, but I felt so sick that the idea of moving seemed worse than not making it to the bathroom. I laid as still as I could and tried to will the nausea away. It worked to the extent that the hot flash went away and my heart stopped pounding in my ears, but I still felt extremely ill. Why do we have to breathe??!? I felt that if I could stop moving entirely I would feel better. I even tested holding my breath and it worked…until I had to breathe again. When you feel sick, breathing should be optional.
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Normally when I feel sick I like to curl up in a ball and wrap my arms around my stomach, but the first thing I learned was that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, was allowed to touch my stomach. If anything did touch my stomach I felt an anger like I had never felt before. I felt as though anything that touched my stomach should be cut off and suffer a slow and painful death, including my own arms, pillows, bed, etc. Even laying on my side was almost too much as it put pressure on the side of my stomach. I decided that I felt sick due to the position I was in. So I stored up all of my mental energy to make the drastic change…and I rolled over. After the initial sickness caused by moving wore off, I felt better. Unfortunately the better feeling only lasted for about 2.4 seconds before going right back to the level I started at. I wasn’t even that tired but being so sick made it impossible to keep my eyes open. I tried various positions. Each time I readied to change I required a few quiet moments to mentally collect myself for the exertion. Each position brought an initial wave of increased sickness, followed by 2.4 seconds of bliss, followed by the shattering disappointment that it did not help at all.
I tried to blame it on other things like “I don’t like the way the blanket is wrapped around my foot, that is probably why I feel sick.” Or “the corner of my shirt is tucked under my back weird, that is definitely the cause.” As much as my mind tried to tell my body that fixing those things wouldn’t help, my body still had to try just in case. Each time just made it worse because obviously that wasn’t the problem and I had to move (sometimes a lot) in order to fix it. I wondered to myself if any of this was what my friend had been going through. I realized that if given the opportunity to feel as I did in that moment in place of a friend or to let them feel that way instead….I would choose the latter. I mean, I am not the one who went out and got myself pregnant! Why should I have to suffer?! (ok, really I would still do it if I could but that is because I wouldn’t actually feel sick before making the decision to do so.)
At one point I decided that only a shower could fix the situation. I stood up….then immediately laid back down. That had been my first attempt at verticalness. This new wave of nausea hit me so hard that my mouth went dry and due to having recently eaten Tums my mouth felt like I had licked a chalkboard for 5 minutes after there was no spit left to lick with. It probably took about 30 minutes to feel ready to try again. Moving to the shower was going to take much slower movements if I was going to accomplish the task. This time I sat up slowly and stayed sitting for several minutes before standing. I managed to take a shower but had to sit for most of it. The shower felt great and I felt as though I had a little energy. Once again my hopes were dashed. That small bit of energy was burned up and used in drying off, getting dressed, and making it back to my bed. I laid flat on my back (with nothing touching my stomach) and for the best 17 seconds of my life I did not feel sick. The night continued to drag on in this fashion. I found that the only position where I could consistently feel better was sitting up cross-legged on my bed, no pillows, elbows on my knees and face in my hands. This brought a calm I had started to think I would never see again. The problem was that this had been going on for at least 6 or 7 hours. I felt good sitting up, but I couldn’t sleep sitting up, couldn’t stay awake if I felt good, couldn’t sleep if I felt ill, couldn’t feel well lying down….do the math.
Now, back to the point of this story. To the friend who I thought I was doing a pretty good job for….I am sorry for any teasing done while you were sick. I am sorry for getting frustrated at your occasional mildly angry words or your own frustrations. Or for having you drive or for not having you drive. Or for thinking you didn’t need more sleep or that you did need more sleep. Or for thinking you didn’t need pretty much anything you felt like you needed at the time you needed it. Thank you for going on a vacation that could have been disastrous but for making it fun instead, I have now had the smallest window into the level of effort that took from you. Thank you for still being a friend even when you didn’t feel like it.
If during my PTSD last night I knew that I would potentially feel that way for 3 months or more, this wouldn’t be a funny story it would be a funny eulogy about “mourning” sickness. I can’t imagine having to force myself to eat in that state, or go to work or church or see friends or do anything besides lie in bed dreaming of solutions that would allow me not to have to breathe. I am not in any way, shape, or form grateful for my experience last night….but if I look for the silver lining it would have to be that next time you are sick, whether in this pregnancy or the next, I will be slightly more understanding. I will understand when you cut my hand off if it accidentally bumps your belly. I will understand the punch to the face when I try to make you stand up. I will not understand anything close to what you are going through, but I will much more fully understand and appreciate your reactions to it.
I have a newly increased awe with how amazing you were during months 1-4!!
Thanks Jesse! What do you think ladies? Would you add or subtract any details to this attempted description of morning sickness?
What about this description?
I purposely started it at 1:34 to avoid the swear word 🙂