The Dawn has come... As too the Morning Sickness
What to Expect When She's Expecting : Part II
Once again, congratulations on being expectant parents. Hip, hip, hooray!
Okay, mate, enough with the pleasantries and all that, have you been keeping up with your partner’s needs? Have you been doing all that she asks? Has she asked if you have showered? If you haven’t yet been asked, then that might mean one thing. You are still in the honeymoon stage of pregnancy.
I learned this as mentioned last time with my limited knowledge of what to expect week by week as the little green pea grows into a living human being. My wife, God Bless her, was overjoyed when we found out she was pregnant. Bad news however, the dreaded morning sickness kicked into overdrive for her. It was not pretty. The day before it happened, she was as happy as could be saying things like, ‘I don’t think it’ll be as bad for me, I’m hoping’ – I nodded in agreeance before waking up the next morning seeing her look every shade but the one, she was supposed to look like.
Now, if you already don’t know mate what the dreaded ‘Morning Sickness’ is for pregnant woman, let me tell you. It sucks! Not for you though, you aren’t physically affected, no. The sucks’ part is for her unfortunately. This is the point in time when her hormones are starting to go wild as her body begins to prepare for the growth of the fetus. The main contributor to this awful feeling for her is the hormone know as Human Chronic Gonadotropin or as you will hear over and over again from her, HCG! But don’t be mistaken, they don’t work alone. The nasty estrogen and progesterone also work hand in hand with HCG. Kind of like Kelly Roland and Michelle Williams working together for the main star Beyonce in Destiny’s Child. Again, when this kicks into overdrive, your partner will not be singing. It is going to be very rough for her, maybe not as rough as some others, but everyone reacts differently. This also in response to the development of another important factor of pregnancy, the placenta.
Links can be found between morning sickness and the placenta as it is being developed along with your little one. The placenta is the great big sack, full of nutrients that comes out of your partner after the baby is born, but I’m getting ahead of myself and probably scaring you too.
So, buckle up, break out the special requested hot-water bottles, wheat-packs and start brewing that ginger elixir tea.
And yes, ginger tea is a life-saver!
Week 6 – It has Arrived
It started for my wife in week six, well actually on the verge of week six slash, tail end of week five. She started to feel a dull nauseousness on the weekend which meant she didn’t feel like her usual brekkie meal which included a once a week treat of bacon. In fact, the bare mention of it made her very uneasy. I didn’t think much of it though, especially after watching a bunch of vids and reading online. I believed homemade smoothie bowls would help as it worked for other mothers-to-be. Let’s just say, it only really helped one person, me. The day after it only got worse for her. She was unable to move from the bed, no joke, the missus couldn’t and wouldn’t move away from the bed. The curtains were drawn, and she had to take sick days from work for the next two weeks.
Did it get easier you wonder? Heck no! It did not!
Your pregnant partner, if she receives the full brunt of HCG, will be begging for everything to end and quite possibly the end of you. So, what do you do? What are you going to do for her?
The simple answer is everything.
You, are going to pick up the slack, subbing in yourself for her. If she cooked a few nights in the week, you are going to have to be her chef, her personal chef too. Because the nausea will create food aversions, she never thought would stop her. A once favourite meal becomes the potential precursor to a night session around the toilet bowl. Or a mere scent of something oily, fatty, or very aromatic cooking becomes a Cold War between you and her. Speaking of scents, you are going to be the hot topic of debate. Your breath reeks. Your body odour is the bane of her existence, and the question of your bathing routine is put into question. It got so bad for her, she requested I change to a different deodorant entirely as she gagged trying to get into the car one morning.
Whatever it is mate that she wants changed, you gotta do it. Even if it means trial and error with certain personal deodorants and shampoos, you must change it. ‘Why should you change anything at all’ you say? Simple, are you growing a little human being, no? Then get back out to the supermarket and get the right roll-on mate!
HINT - Always have a notebook on hand to write down everything she says is affecting her and everything she wants to eat and drink.
Yes, drink because water will not be the only thing she wants or can keep down. From those notes, write down a personalised shopping list which you will start immediately when she says to go. This is also where your ‘research’ into what is acceptable to eat and drink during in pregnancy comes into play. Especially as you must remind her of what she is limited to and what is safe to have. Without of course sounding like a ‘know-it-all’ and ticking her off. No alcohol, smokes, deli meats and raw cookie dough for starters. Just limited amounts of cups of juices, coffee, softies and some teas as too much caffeine and sugar can be harmful.
HINT- Think about what you want to be eating as well.
As mentioned before, what you eat can affect her physically and indeed mentally. Because if you feel like having beefy steak with garlic butter, well-seasoned veggies, and a beer, be prepared for the stink eye. Whatever you make will create an aroma which will act like those cartoon scented whiffs and find its way throughout your place, through into the bedroom and into her sensitive nose. This will be especially difficult if you are in an enclosed space like an apartment. One possible solution, starting a new diet, and it involves you making and eating loads of salads… Yay!
I kid of course. But for the first week I did just only eat, when I was at home, salads. In-between trips to and from the supermarket though I did manage to have a treat of Maccas’ Serious Angus burger or a fresh hot cheesy pizza. It was quickly followed by chewing fresh parsley leaves from the garden and a stick of gum too. But my experience may not be exactly what you and your partner will experience. Your partner might only suffer a couple of bad mornings which last an hour or two before heading off to work or gym. Morning Sickness isn’t just limited or prescribed within the morning either, it can happen any time of the day and last longer than a Lord of the Rings ultra-marathon. If you can do something else for your pregnant partner, it’s also being proactive and being there in the moment with her too. That means if she wants to talk, be prepared to listen to everything she says, complains and moans about whilst offering her hot water bottles and salty crackers. You must be her rock, her source of stability and norm as she rides the storm of pregnancy hormones. And as I learnt from my mum and mother-in-law, if she still feels sick and nauseous, then the baby is alive and well.
Struggling through morning sickness though doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Especially when your partner is going through this, she will be feeling low and sometimes depressed with the fact that she has thus far been unable to move from that bed. This is when you as her rock, need to support her mentally, and need to call out the big guns.
‘Yes hello, it’s me. Your daughter needs to tell you something, Babe it’s your mum.’
That’s right. When your partner is growing a little human being and will be called soon mum, it’s time to call up the other person your partner will most want to talk to, her mum. This might be an early call to make, especially when you haven’t even made it pass the first twelve weeks, specifically when you both envisioned a grand pregnancy/baby announcement. As mentioned, many times before, everyone is different and there are no real rules on pregnancy announcements and secrets. What is important however is having a support system upon which both you and your partner can draw upon and confide in. Personally, for us, and for my wife going through a rough period of pregnancy, making a phone call to her mum some three and a half hours away by plane was the best call. This call to arms with close allies also will play a major role if the unexpected happens, something that everyone will have heard of or know someone who has gone through it, miscarriage.
1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and that’s okay
It's not talked a lot about due to the delicate nature and the feelings of those involved. If this happens to you, ‘I’m so sorry to hear that mate.’ It isn’t always fair and what you are feeling might be a mixture of feelings, but also consider the other interested party, your loving partner. 10/10, she will be feeling a thousand times worse and probably feeling like it’s all her fault. Tell her immediately if she starts to say it’s her fault that, ‘It’s not her fault.’ It is not her fault nor yours, an estimate of 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage unfortunately during the first trimester. After the first trimester your chances of having a miscarriage drop and by week 20 it continues to drop. So, if you and your partner go through this, again, so sorry to hear mate. But again, become that rock in your relationship, step up and become the man she fell in love with and never be afraid to reach out. You are never alone in your journey to parenthood and having a miscarriage doesn’t mean the end. There will be a time to grieve and mourn, but it is never the time to put in the towel and give up starting a family.
About the author
When life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life will be like, "Whaat?"
Never doubt your knowledge or ability to anyone, your gifts and talents might be the key to their success, and so would theirs to you
Australian Writer / Aviation Lover