Sunday, 29 January 2012

The joys of morning sickness! (and lime pickle, kiwis and crisps)

I had a strange breakfast egg experience yesterday morning which reminded me I definitely needed to write a post about the dreaded and hideous morning sickness. (Warning - you might want to avoid this post if feeling queasy!)

I have been lucky enough to be 'MS' free since before Christmas (when I was about 12 weeks) but this weekend mid-breakfast a wave of nausea filled over me and my husband's lovely poached eggs on toast ended up straight down the loo. I felt so bad, five minutes before I had been nagging him to make sure the eggs were cooked properly when in the end it didn't really matter after all. My theory is it's eggs, a similar thing happened a few weeks ago with boiled eggs but that time I managed to ride it out.

My morning sickness, or for me 'morning nausea' started to kick in when I was about 6 weeks pregnant. It started very gradually and was probably at its peak between 8-11 weeks. Those of you who are pregnant or have been pregnant will know it has a very deceiving name as in fact it can strike at any time of day. Mine was definitely worse in the morning but definitely not restricted to morning only. I only vomited twice and both of those times it was before breakfast and was just retching bile rather than anything else, but I was still prepared and carried a paper bag (a Happy Birthday gift bag in fact) with me in my hand bag just in case.

As soon as the nausea started I stocked up on ginger biscuits and ginger tea, but these were short lived, what I found most about my morning sickness was I had immense cravings for certain foods, but come a few days later I had gone off them completely. Ginger biscuits were replaced with malted milks, which were then replaced by rich tea which were then replaced with dark chocolate digestives. I didn't really have any problem with eating during these weeks when I felt sick (unlike some people) in fact I was the opposite. For several weeks I absolutely loved crisps - tucking into a pack of beef monster munch one day at 10.30am I was trying to hide the crunching noises paranoid that my colleagues had noticed my weird eating habits. I would go to Boots in the tube station on the way to work and salivate over the selection - what did I fancy today? Salt and vinegar were a must at first then I went onto the more meaty flavours or sometimes the cheesy puff variety. I also strangely went off tea which for me was a big deal and again I thought would surely signal something odd was going on to the girls at work. But apparently they didn't twig.

Perhaps one of the biggest issues I had was that I also went off water. Plain water, just water, that I used to drink non-stop and never go anywhere without a bottle. This obviously wasn't good and probably led to this crisp craving, dehydrated and craving salt. I did find drinking ice cold water helped a little, but most of the time I just wasn't that thirsty. And when I was I wanted lemonade, orange, fizzy drinks. Even now I am definitely not drinking as much as I used to, especially in the evenings, but perhaps not such a bad thing as I would probably need two toilet breaks a night.

I read up about morning sickness a lot when it struck me and it seemed there were two theories about why it occurs - the increase in hormones and/or low blood sugar. I definitely found I felt more queasy when my BG was 4-5mmol/l and below, but this is the target you need to aim for pre-meals so it does make life more difficult. I don't know if women with diabetes suffer with worse morning sickness, it was never mentioned to me by any of my nurses or doctors but would be interesting to find out.

Most mornings when I was in the height of sickness I had a piece of banana before I got up properly which helped slightly, at least enough for me to function and get showered and then slowly force feed myself my breakfast - it felt like having a permanent hangover. Normally an hour after waking I would feel okay enough to leave the house but not always. Luckily I was able to work at home when I felt really bad and in the end I actually told a few of my colleagues earlier than I had planned (at about 9 weeks) as I was feeling really rough and lethargic a lot of the time.

I also read the horror stories on the internet about the poor women who suffer with morning sickness throughout their whole pregnancy and I thought please don't let that be me!! If you are one of them I sympathsise with you. I have already thought that if we have a baby number two I will completely dread going through morning sickness again - they say every pregnancy is different though so I guess there is hope yet. Luckily mine did ease off and come Christmas thankfully I was getting back into eating normal foods again.

When I started to tell people I was pregnant so many people asked me if I had started having cravings yet, I felt like a broken record repeating my stories about crisps and chip shop chips and lime pickle. Yes lime pickle! I had an urge for it combined with Pringles. And for about two weeks I really wanted a McDonalds burger (I hate McDonalds most of the time) one day I gave in and we pulled into a drive thru', it was heaven, especially the gherkin and mustard. It hasn't all been junk food though I also had a stage of oranges and a good few weeks of loving kiwis.

Now I feel a million times better and I hope the 'MS' leaves me alone for the rest of my pregnancy. I still have a packet of crisps a couple of times a week, but I'm not daydreaming of them like I was a couple of months ago. Biscuits are very firmly still on the menu though and of course a nice cup of tea!

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