I have been pregnant nine times, including my five beautiful children and four pregnancy losses and I know from bitter experience that whoever invented the term "morning sickness" must never have been pregnant. For me, it was morning, noon and night. I couldn’t sleep at night because my stomach was churning too much. I couldn’t lie on my front in bed because that put too much pressure on my stomach. I was vomiting. I couldn’t go out anywhere for four months because I needed somewhere to be sick at a moment's notice. I couldn’t eat normal food. It had to be toast that had been cremated beyond recognition and polo mints. Malted milk drink was the only drink I could consume – even water came back up.
The weight dropped off me and I stumbled around with six packets of polo mints in my handbag and crumbs in my hair. I even fantasized about not being pregnant, because no matter how much I wanted my baby, I couldn’t see myself getting through nine months of that.
I tried all the usual cliched remedies: eating crackers before I got up, lemon tea, ginger tea, ginger biscuits (a very bad mistake). I even chewed ginger flavored gum in church while hoping the pastor didn’t think I was being insolent. The "eat little and often" rule would have made me laugh if I wasn’t feeling so ill. What did they mean? It would be a miracle to eat anything at all!
I tried deep breathing exercises, melissa homeopathic drops for upset stomach, positive thinking and massage. Nothing helped. The final straw happened when I answered the door to the postman and burst into uncontrollable tears, and all he’d come to do was give me a parcel. If only babies could be delivered that easily.
After showing myself up in front of a total stranger, I gave in and went to the doctor, something I had been avoiding because doctors always say that nothing can be done about morning sickness and a pregnant woman just has to put up with whatever ailment assails her.
After discovering that I’d lost weight, he gave me an anti-sickness drug.