I don’t want your mints, ginger, or judgement.

I’m starting into the 2nd trimester of my pregnancy.  It’s a time I looked forward to for a few reasons.  One, I had a miscarriage the cycle before this pregnancy early on.  Each week is a big achievement. Two, it meant we could announce that we were adding a third kiddo publicly and feel safe about it.  Finally and most importantly, I was told by now my morning sickness would be gone.

If I had a dime for every time a well-meaning person mentioned “Oh, my morning sickness was gone by week 11”, yeah, I’d be rich.  I’m past that now.  Week 11 arguably was my WORST week.  I puked in my cubicle while responding to legislative requests and then puked on myself on my commute home after my boss told me she needed me but not this badly.

Week 12 was bad, too. Week 13 will maybe be better?  I’m not sure yet.  I’m currently at home with a head cold and, you guessed it, woke up puking today.  My body is so tired of puking.  I have burst blood vessels on my face and neck to prove it. I’ve lost 12 pounds – 7 lbs in the last month – and my doctor wants me to “keep eating”- a task that seems completely ridiculous most days.

But even more so, perhaps, I’m sick of hearing your cures for morning sickness, people.  I’ve had the urge to puke since 3 days after my first positive pregnancy test. I have puked up crackers so much that eating them now leads to an instant run to the can.  I’ve tried ginger.  I’ve tried mint.  I have tried small meals (as if I could even eat a big one).  I really have tried it all.

When I tell you I’m now on medication but even on medication, it’s still bad, I would expect sympathy and concern.  However, what I get is judgement.  I’m glad ginger snaps and frozen oranges were enough to get you through.  However, my medication limits the amount of nose puking to 1-2 times a day vs. 4-6.  I don’t want to spend money and effort on Zofran but if I wasn’t able to stop puking, I would be unable to keep my job or my life.  I’m thankful my doctor is compassionate, believes in science, and values me as a person as much as my unborn child.

I don’t want to hear how you would “never have thought of taking medication” or how if I would just eat a frozen orange it would help.  I’m glad that has worked for you.  However, my doctor believes I have hypermesis and this isn’t your average morning sickness.  I wish I wasn’t this sick every day, trust me.  I LOVE food.  I LOVE cooking.  But I hate eating now.

And no, it’s not petty.  When a woman says she’s completely and utterly exhausted from puking and reaches for the Unisom or Zofran or both, let it go.  You don’t know her.  Especially if you are male or have never tossed your breakfast, lunch, and dinner for days on end, shut it.

This is not a petty problem. Offer advice if you think it will help but if a woman says “Yeah, I’ve tried that but I’m now on medication and still struggling” trust that she and her provider have those bases covered.  Don’t mansplain to her about the importance of her body being a baby incubator or assume she’s a weakling.  No one wants to be that sick.

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