For Now, It’s Just Your Little Secret

Unless you intend to pee on the pregnancy test with your family and friends waiting right there, there is going to be a period of time where no one knows you are pregnant but you (and maybe your husband if you find out together like we did….if you want to read the story you can read it here ). It can be exciting to know that there is a tiny life starting to grow in your tummy and know that no one else knows about it. I remember the first few days after finding out we were going to have a baby, I felt really weird (in a good way) being around other people and knowing they had absolutely no idea that there was a tiny miracle forming inside me. I’ve never been good with secrets though, ever. I was the kid who snooped out her birthday and Christmas presents every year, and my best friends have always known everything. I don’t have secrets, I try so hard to be very open book-whatcha see is whatcha get. But this, this was different. I knew that in a few short months that even if I wanted to keep it a secret, the baby belly would start forming and everywhere I went people would know that I was pregnant. For now, however, it was just mine and my husbands secret.

If you have been trying to conceive you know the early signs of pregnancy. You have probably read multiple websites and blogs outlining all the same things, you may be emotional, tender breasts, light bleeding, missed period obviously, feeling tired, having to pee more often, slight nausea and vomiting etc. If you are like me you read these blogs secretly on your phone for days before you could take the test because the wait between ovulation and missed period can be excruciating.  After a few months of trying, I learnt to stop looking at the signs, they made me depressed. There’s only so many times you can say, “I really think we did it this month, I just “feel” pregnant” or “I just don’t feel so well, I bet I’m pregnant” only to be proved wrong. You realize that these signs could come from numerous things and you are attributing them to a pregnancy that may or may not exist. Perhaps you have to pee cause you had a vente Carmel macchiato this morning, your boobs hurt cause you slept weird, your nauseous because you ate something funky or are anxious about the upcoming pee test.  When you want something so bad, it is really easy to overlook those things and automatically think, “maybe I’m pregnant”

What you probably haven’t googled (I know I didn’t) was how to deal with the symptoms once you for sure know you are pregnant. I previously mentioned that one of my early signs was how incredibly emotional I was. However, it wasn’t long after I received the call from the Doctors office confirming my pregnancy that I got sick as well. I know there are other women out there who have experienced worse morning sickness, and many women who didn’t get it at all (lucky ducks!) but I was still insufferable to be around. I have never felt like such a sack of garbage in my life. I like to compare the feeling the worst hang over you have ever had (assuming you drink), and this intense hang-over was there every single day. Nothing helped.  While I didn’t puke that often, from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed (and even when I woke up in the middle of the night) I felt so nauseous that it felt like I had a chugged a whole bottle of tequila the night before. I really don’t know how else to describe it, it was debilitating. I even had that over abundance of saliva you get right before you puke, all day. I actually looked forward to puking because it was a mild relief from the nausea.  I chugged ginger ale like it was going out of style but nothing seemed to help. My appetite was completely gone. I remember one night in particular, my husband (who I cannot say enough is easily the most amazing man I have ever known and I am SOOOO lucky to have him) made dinner for me.  I LOVE pasta, could easily eat it 7 nights a week and so he made me pasta with roasted red pepper sauce which he made from scratch. He is an EXCELLENT cook, I always get really giddy when I know he is cooking cause I know it means we will have a “real” dinner. Well it turns out that this baby of ours does not like red peppers because  the smell made me feel worse then I had felt all day and I felt like the most ungrateful wife ever when I had to say, “I’m sorry, I love you and I appreciate you making this, but I can’t eat it” and having to crawl off to bed. In typical Blair fashion, I cried. I felt awful. Husband was just trying to do something nice for me, slaved away making this sauce from scratch, trying to help make sure that baby and I were getting the proper nutrition  and I couldn’t eat it. and the smell made me so nauseous I went to bed and couldn’t even help him clean up. (This feeling of unintentional ungratefulness and failing as a wife and mother are something I am still coping with 32 weeks into pregnancy…seriously this is so much harder than I expected it to be).

But lets get back on track. Its your secret still. We told our parents and my siblings within a couple of weeks. I also informed my work within a week of knowing because I saw how much it was affecting my ability to work. But we wanted to wait until the second trimester to tell everyone else (we almost made it that far). The problem with it being a secret is that I had no idea what to do for the “morning” sickness. I continued this way for about 2 weeks. Barely eating and going through the motions of the day the best I could. I talked to my mom and mother-in-law, my sisters, and my best friends sister, they all said the same thing “I don’t really know what to tell you, I was never that sick…in fact I didn’t enjoy the first trimester much because other than the positive test I had no other symptoms of pregnancy” It took everything in me not to say “screw you!” to them out of jealousy, Then I talked to my wonderful amazing cousin J. She had so much wisdom! She also had to deal with morning sickness and her advice was so valuable that I need to share it with you. She was seriously a life saver I don’t even know how to thank her enough!

1) Prenatal Vitamins could be making your morning sickness worse.

I didn’t initially believe her on this one. I had been taking prenatal vitamins for the last 6 months and they hadn’t done anything to me.  But she told me that she was the same way, her body just reacted differently to them when she was pregnant. Her advice? Take them at night before bed. If that doesn’t help, talk to your doctor and get a prescription for vitamins. I did end up talking to my doctor about it and she wrote me a prescription for pregvit which is over the counter but not outrageously priced. It separates the iron from the rest of the vitamins and its the iron that often makes you sick (but you need it, don’t skimp on it) You can learn more about PregVit here. These vitamins still make me nauseous but not to the extent that the generic ones did. And as long as I take them with a full stomach and/or right before bed I’m ok (just sleep the nausea away). Its been a life saver, while I still feel sick, I can function!

2) While eating is the LAST thing you want to do, EAT!!

My cousin suggested to me that I eat lots of small meals and try not to let myself get hungry.  She suggested eating some crackers before even getting out of bed in the morning and then to continue snacking all day. I bought a few boxes of delicious Triscut crackers and stashed them all over the place. One beside the bed, one in the car, one by the couch, one on my desk at work etc. I also carried pretzels  around with me. While eating was the last thing I wanted to do, continually eating was magical.  Again, while I didn’t feel 100% I could at least kind of function and think of something other than my upset stomach.

The last lesson I learnt somewhere else (not really sure where perhaps BabyCenter)

3) If you are a caffeine addict, drink caffeine.

I mentioned this briefly before but nothing sucks more (believe me) than dealing with morning sickness and Caffeine withdrawals. On top of the sickness I had a killer migraine for weeks. Then I learnt that caffeine really isn’t so bad for the baby in moderate amounts (200mg a day) and I drank a morning coffee. A real coffee not a decaf coffee. Then I had a coke with dinner. A real, cold, delicious Coca-Cola right out of the can. The migraine went away and I had so more energy. My body was so used to that kick of energy from the caffeine that I was dragging my ass without it. I am not proud to be a caffeine addict but it has gotten me through some rough times this pregnancy. On the worst days a nice hot white chocolate mocha and blueberry muffin from Starbucks can make me smile (or hysterically cry if they don’t have any blueberry muffins as was the case a few days ago).

Bottom line, AGAIN, there is TONS of great information out there for dealing with pregnancy symptoms. Remember women have been doing this forever. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck, cause it friggen sucks! But it does mean that there are some ways to cope. Don’t just dismiss information, try it. I thought for sure that eating would make me puke, I kept reading that I should eat but I thought that that was crazy advice that didn’t apply to me. It definitely helped. If you try it and it doesn’t work oh well, move on to the next thing. Every pregnancy is different, who knows, maybe you will be one of the lucky ducks who doesn’t have to deal with 9 months of nausea and pure exhaustion. But if you are like me, everything is worth a try. Especially if you are still trying to hold down a full-time job. Most people don’t exactly view pregnancy as a critical illness….but trust me it sucks!

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