Friday, January 18, 2008

Cheer for a Friend

From one of my morning readings from "The Valley of Vision." Dedicated first and foremost to my friend Lesley, who has suffered with me in horrible pregnancy nausea and is not finding the Unisom to help much. Dedicated also to the women out there who understand like few can what it is to have debilitating sickness for weeks and weeks on end in pregnancy, or who have suffered with other long-term illnesses.

"Assure us that we shall at last enter
Immanuel's land
where none is ever sick,
and the sun will always shine."
Page 387.
What not to say to say to someone with severe pregnancy nausea:
(Taken from my own personal experience! Yes, I've heard 'em all!)
1. I never had a hint of sickness myself! Pregnancy was bliss for me! (If our good friend Hannah has blissful pregnancies in the future she'd better not tell us or we'll come give her horrid tickle tortures!)
2. I always made sure to eat very healthy and take care of myself and never got sick.
3. Suck it up! You're a wimp!
4. I've learned that if you always keep food in your stomach, you don't have nausea, so just eat little snacks and meals all throughout the day.....(or other unwanted advice that comes across as haughty and all-knowing! Besides anyone who's had it BAD knows that NOTHING works completely anyway! Sadly, not even Unisom, my friends.)
5. Tsk, tsk, tsk. It's a shame that pregnancy is so hard on you. (Or worse...gossip to someone else and tell them, "Poor Mrs. Jo! Isn't she looking awful these days!) Or tell them to their face, "You look awful!" "You look like such a pinched-mouth!" (uh, that pinched-mouth look is because I'm trying to keep from throwing up on you!)
6. You'll get through it! It's just a blip in time and before you know it, it'll all be over and you'll have a baby! (Sure, next time you have a 48 hour flu and you're heaving in the toliet begging God to kill you I'll remind you with a smile that you only have to suffer 2-3 days instead of about 70 days!)
7. Should you be eating that? (This one goes for all pregnant women! Don't you love how people think they can tell you what to eat and what not to eat?)
8. The scale is supposed to be going up, not down Missy! (There's a reason I'm avoiding the clinic for the first trimester of this pregnancy! It's not like I'm TRYING to lose weight people!)
9. Please don't barf on me! Don't barf in my car! (Sheesh! I love you too Mom!)
10. I just ate a ______(fill in the blank with a very nasty-sounding food) or... How does ______(repulsive-sounding food) sound for dinner Honey? I actually filled a barf bucket once when King Jo suggested something for supper that I was NOT in the mood for! I've also lost an entire meal when he gave me a goodnight peck on the cheek after eating a garlicky meal!
On the Other Hand....
List of Things Fellow Suffering Women Will Say....
1. I'll pray for you.
2. Can I do anything to help you? (Thanks for asking Shiloh! I know you care!)
3. Try Unisom Honey! It can be a lifesaver! (I owe you bigtime Laura J.!)
4. Please whack me over the head with a 2X4 as hard as you can if I ever THINK ABOUT getting pregnant again!
5. Fill your pockets with rocks when the nurse is weighing you at the clinic! (Not kidding, a woman with 4 kids at my church who suffered the entire 9 months with EACH OF THEM told me to do this! Instead of doing this I just wore really heavy clothes!)
6. I understand why you would rather go through natural labor TWICE for one pregnancy rather than have a couple months of endless nausea!
7. You can cry, you can scream, you can vent to me anytime!
8. You're not crazy! This is one of the hardest things in life!
9. It's okay to cut back on activities, cut stuff out, get help, eat frozen dinners and fast food, and try to rest during this time!
10. Barf-swappin' stories! "Oh yeah... well one time I threw up all over _____ (fill in the blank)." "That's awful girlfriend! That's like the time I threw up when I was ______." Hey, you have to find the humor somewhere! Speaking of which...some of my most embarrassing moments.....blacking out and having to get on the floor while I was waiting on customers at my job as a cashier....having to run to the bathroom to throw up in the middle of a transaction with a customer....having to ask the bag boy to give you extra bags after grocery shopping so you can go heave in one on the way home from shopping....having to carry a barf bag with you in your pocket wherever you go.....
Funny Things My Kids Have Said:
1. I'll pray for your tongue Mama (when I'm gagging and it's hanging out!)
2. Don't forget to cover your mouth with your arm! (Every time I go into the bathroom to wipe her, Ali reminds me and shows me how to cover my face so I don't gag!)
3. Laugh at Mama! (Jer does this when I'm gagging and burping and I'm holding him. He thinks it's a funny game or that I'm purposefully making funny faces!)
4. Uh-oh! Uh-oh! (Ali says this when I'm on the verge of throwing up!)
5. Not say anything! This is the saddest thing of all. Today I was in the middle of giving Ali her time-out lecture on why we don't shove baby brother and I started gagging and heaving nasty burps and she didn't even seem to notice. Must be used to it by now! She just said, "Can I get out of time-out now?"


-V- said...

You GO girl! This is one of your best posts yet... I love your honesty about stuff NOT to say; you're right, many of us haven't been through what you have and our words can give away our cluelessness! Personally, I talk about it for weeks when I get sick just once... I can't imagine the frustration of living a whole segment of your life that way. Glad you have supportive friends who can relate and well... support! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Have King Jo cook some meals for your children, or, have him take them out for some food. That way you can have a reprieve from the constant assault of food appearance and odor.

Angela said...

I get the COF newsletter (which I love by the way) and just started reading your blog. I love this post. Your list of what not to say is SO true, I lost 16 pounds in the first trimester, among numerous other complications and hospitalizations. And I got so sick of hearing everything on that list. I have never heard of taking the unisom, I will definitely keep that in mind for the next time around.
I will pray that you feel better soon, and congratulations on the new little one!!

SamAndHisGirls said...

Oh my goodness, I've been too sick with nausea to even come on here and read your blog lately, but thank you SO MUCH for the dedication and wonderful post!!! I coudln't agree more -- everything you said is 100% right on. I've heard it all myself.
I was groaning in bed today and Aubrie came up to me and wanted to know what was making me so sick. I told her that the little baby in my tummy is making me feel really sick and she said, "ohhh mommy, I'm sorry." I guess I should be careful how I word things or she'll be blaming her newest baby brother/sister forever for making me feel so miserable!!
Thanks for being my war buddy - it means a lot to me. :)

Mrs. Jo said...

Thanks for the compliment V! I've enjoyed your posts on things not to say too! It's sometimes fun to "vent" on our blogs about the challenging situations we are facing in life!

Thanks for the tip Anonymous! He does help a lot on the weekends and offers to cook and even went to McD's late one night to get me a sundae that sounded good!

Thanks Angela! I'm sorry you get sick too. There's nothing like it! Even labor feels better! I wish with all my heart that the Unisom helps you as much as it has taken the edge off for me!

You're probably the only reason I've survived these last couple of pregnancies! Thanks for being there and helping me through the despair and hopelessness that can come with endless nausea!

Mrs. Taft said...

I feel bad pointing this out, especially given the nature of the post. I'm not trying to pick on you or anyone, I promise! But, as someone who worked in the medical profession, I would highly, highly be careful with the suggestion about rocks. Yes, it's hard to hear that you are losing weight instead of gaining weight and not all nurses or doctors are understanding or sympathetic. But your weight is part of the signs your body gives a medical professional what to watch for and a picture of your overall health. Your weight in the beginning will be charted with your weight toward the end, and sometimes that can cause problems later down the road. Chronic weightloss can be a sign of a deeper issue when in the first trimester, as can serious nausea (such as pregnancy emesis) so it is important to get an accurate picture, no matter how tough it is to hear.

Ultimately, our baby's health needs to be paramount, and prioritized above our feelings. And, frankly, prioritized over our sickness. And if your nausea/weightloss is so severe that a nurse or doctor would be concerned, they may be able to suggest things or prescribe things that wouldn't be available to the average consumer.

I know how hard it is, as I suffered through a similar pregnancy with my second. The thing that worked the best for me was eating to stay on top of the nausea, but it didn't work right away, I had to eat no matter how ill I felt until it worked, and even then, it didn't ALWAYS work. I also had to pay attention to my cravings, as if I tried to eat anything but, it would come right back up. Sometimes, sipping Coke right before a meal helped. Sometimes it didn't. I had to have Hubby start all the meals that began with raw meat, as I literally could not stomach even LOOKING at or smelling raw meat, and certainly not touching or cooking! Ginger? made me sicker, as did peppermint. I had to find what worked for ME, and that might not work for everyone. And unfortunately, nothing worked 100%. It was extremely miserable. But I was able to get some vitamins that didn't make me gag to swallow, and a few other things (sometimes instant breakfast was my best friend), and while my weight dropped initially, it slowly picked up momentum. So I did my best, although it was hard, and it paid off in the end :) I'm glad the unisom works well for you, hope that you find more tricks to get your baby the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy. :)

Mrs. Taft said...

Again, I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer! I hope you don't think I'm criticizing you or anything, and maybe I shouldn't have said anything, but knowing what I know it was unconscionable for me to not say anything. I hope I didn't hurt your feelings or anything.

Mrs. Jo said...

Dear Mrs. Taft,

Thanks for all of your input. You aren't being a downer; just being honest! I put the suggestion about the rocks in because it was kinda funny, but not intended to be taken too seriously since deception is wrong for any Christian. I included it in the list because it seemed to me like the desperate answer to one of the annoyances that nauseaous women have to deal with. The woman who advised me to do this is in the medical profession too and I think she was mainly referring to the fact that the nurses bug you about weight loss, even if it's not serious, as if you can do something about it. I took heed to their concerns and did drink Boost shakes to try to maintain or keep my weight. I only lost around 13-15 pounds with my son, and I could definitely spare the weight as I was carrying a little baby weight still from my daughter. If I was losing so much weight that my health was in danger I would look to them for help and advice. But I just got tired of the nurses making comments about my weight loss and telling me to eat more and eat all day when I was already doing everything possible to combat my nausea. I wasn't bad enough to require Zofran or anything like that. I found that if I wore denim heavy skirts and tennis shoes instead of my usual sandals, they didn't bug me as much. I'm not sure why they liked to bug me anyway since their charts only indicated a 10 pound weight loss due to the fact that I had already lost some weight before my first appointment. These nurses also liked to tease endlessly about the act that resulted in a baby and they mortified me and my husband once when he came along to hear the heartbeat. Maybe some of you out there have more professional nurses!
I hope any future pregnancies won't be as terrible for you Mrs. Taft and that you will find the cures that help you get through it, as I have found with Unisom!

Lyndi said...

I hope you don't add this to your list of things not to say, but Lindsey you are so funny! I know it's NOT funny when you are going through it, but your honesty about real life stuff is just funny. I'll "kick up" my prayers a notch for you:)

Mrs. Taft said...

Aha! Thanks for clarifying, sometimes I am a little dense. I'm glad you didn't take my concern the wrong way. :) God bless!

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