Women are just bloody amazing.
The positives of pregnancy can be listed very quickly: No periods. Feeling like you have a superpower – supersonic smell. And seats on trams (though this will likely not kick in until your stomach is protruding so far that commuters can no longer ignore the possibility you’ve just had one too many Nutella donuts).
The reality is something like this…
Thanks to Hollywood, I expected morning sickness to be one quick spew (so the audience knew you were pregnant, of course), followed by glowing skin and partners running to Coles at all hours to buy craving-compliant food items.
But, having just emerged from the horror that is the first trimester, I was completely knocked for six by the severity and relentlessness that is morning sickness.
I was even more surprised by the realisation that women willingly experience this again after knowing what they’re in for. I was completely amazed by how many women are suffering through it in silence (not wanting to spill the beans before the end of the first tentative 12 weeks), just going about their lives – working, looking after kids, giving presentations, sitting through long meetings, presenting live TV – while dealing with the brutal symptoms of being pregnant.
When we broke the happy news to family, they eagerly asked, “Are you excited?” All I could muster was: “I just want to feel better.” For something allegedly ‘the most natural thing in the world’, why does it feel like something the size of a blueberry has hijacked my body and is slowly poisoning me?
And, unlike a regular illness, where you can openly talk about it and seek some compassion, during the first trimester – when symptoms of morning sickness are at an all-time high – convention is to keep the news to yourself due to the high risk of something going wrong.
So, much like period pain, we women hide it from the world and our colleagues and keep trucking on, valiantly trying not to throw up at the scent of our colleague’s lunch.
But as I’m slowly exiting the fog that is all-consuming morning sickness (and having heard more and more tales of woe from women around me), I’m just left in complete awe of all those ladies silently going about their business while feeling like absolute crap.
For those who have never experienced morning sickness, I’m talking about…
Oh, the constant nausea. Like the worst hangover you’ve ever had, but it lasts around eight weeks – morning, noon and night. Doctors can prescribe drugs, but with thoughts of the Thalidomide disaster and way too much speculation on baby forums, being brave enough to take them is another matter.
Vomiting with little notice is another wonderful side-effect. My friend’s colleague just kept a bucket beside her in her office because it was easier that way.
Throwback to teen pimples:
Just when you thought you were done with big, pussy pimples, suddenly they’re everywhere. Look out for belters on the jawline and neck, as well as bacne and racne (OK, I made that word up, but even your chest is no longer safe).