Before I got pregnant, I prepared myself for the worst nausea and vomiting (N/V). As a midwife, I’ve obviously seen varying levels of N/V. For myself, I expected the worst because I have such terrible motion sickness. Anytime I get on a boat with serious waves, I lose my lunch. So I thought that would transfer over to pregnancy.
I was wrong.
I have not had a day of sickness. Maybe a tiny bout of nausea here and there, but mostly that’s associated with not eating or being on the subway. So yeah, no morning sickness for this girl.
Of course in the early stages, I was actually nervous about this lack. Most people attribute N/V to surging levels of HCG and healthy pregnancy. I think there is one study that actually says N/V is related to intelligence in children. Many people feel that nausea is a good sign because it reminds them they are still pregnant and things are okay. So when you don’t have that (or really anything besides some breast tenderness/swelling), you kind of start to think about it.
Most of the time, I felt fine about it and often would forget I was pregnant (kind of). But occasionally I’d have moments of panic being like, “is it in there?”. Once, at about 7.5 weeks, I was at the hospital and actually snuck a sonogram machine into an empty triage room and checked to see the heartbeat (yes I found it and it was there). I can’t wait til I’m “out” at the hospital and I can ask that nurse if she remembers that night and wondered what I was up to.
As I moved through the first trimester acting quite normally (exercise routine the same, etc), I frequently reminded myself that no sickness was a blessing. I am happy to report I was able to continue to exercise at least 4-5 times per week with very little change to my routine. I was able to eat normally and healthy (as healthy as I usually am which I’ll admit could be better).
So many people can’t exercise or eat like that in their first trimesters and really beat themselves up for it. I am grateful for the easy first trimester that I was blessed with having. As a midwife who can often work long hours and overnight, it was especially helpful to not be sick all the time. I can’t even imagine having to throw up during the day at our tiny office, with people definitely starting to wonder. I am pretty sure none of our patients suspects a thing.
Midwife note: N/V in pregnancy is quite common, even though I didn’t have it. So many (the majority actually) of women do have some degree of nausea and many have some vomiting.
What can you do to keep it at bay? Well, there’s lots of suggestions out there and here’s some top choices.
If your N/V is getting severe or you can’t keep food/liquid down for prolonged periods of time, please contact your provider to discuss options that are best for you.
A pregnant midwife living and working in New York City