I always knew I wanted three kids.
But knowing that pregnancy for me, comes with a good four months of morning sickness, it was more about building up to survive that than it was about being ready for a third child. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and it would never feel like “the right time”.
As I write this, I am 13 weeks pregnant and suffering big time. My daughter, Harper, is three-and-a-half-years-old and my son, Paxton, is two-years-old. But here we are! Those early stages of pregnancy are hard when you’re feeling awful and trying to hide it from the world and from your kids.
I found out I was pregnant at four weeks and started feeling ridiculously nauseas from six weeks. Literally everything makes me gag; brushing my teeth, spraying my deodorant, my husband’s body wash, feeding the dog, getting out of bed, wiping the kids’ bums, making them food… the list goes on and on and on. Plus, trying to hide the vomiting from them isn’t easy either.
In saying all of this, I know the pain is totally worth it. I am absolutely blessed to have fallen pregnant a third time and so far, been able to carry two healthy babies to term. I just need to get through the next few weeks. My morning sickness lasted until about 17 to 18 weeks with both Harper and Paxton, so here’s hoping it stops then again or even sooner.
Luckily I have found some ways over the past couple of months to survive morning sickness when you have young kids.
1. Use what you can to change your mind-set (like music).
The first few weeks of feeling awful were really about survival. I’ve been here before, I know it will pass, I just need to get through it. I told my husband I feel like I’m swimming and trying to push through each day while trying not to drown. So yes, it is very much a head game. Sometimes my mind will be consumed with how awful it is so I’ve found MUSIC to be an awesome way to change that. I started listening to music on my dog walks and playing fun music in the car with the kids were we all sing along. I think I know every word to all of the Frozen songs now. It’s no joke, it helped my head forget about how sick I was feeling and have some fun.
2. Find the food and drink that helps you and stock up on it!
My first pregnancy was the hardest because I’d never dealt with morning sickness before. But now, being my third-time round, I have learnt to just go with what you can. Start the day off by putting food in your belly and then small healthy snacks all day long. If you let yourself get hungry, the nausea gets so much worse so eat what you can.
Most mornings my husband brings me something in bed before I get up. Even if it is just a glass of pear juice (which also helps with the terrible constipation) or a banana. I just need something in my stomach before I get up and shower. I say healthy snacking above but do your best. I have consumed so many white carbs because some days that’s all I can stomach. Melted cheese on bagels!
I’ve also really struggled to get water into me so making smoothies can help too. In my first few weeks, I would blend an orange, strawberries, ice and water – it is SO delicious, refreshing and a great way to get some fluids in.
I know this sounds random but Fruit Tingles are also genius. I saw it on a forum on Facebook and it’s really helped me. I keep a packet in my bag and in my jacket pocket. When I’m on the run with the kids and feel like I’m about to vomit or I’m out dog walking, they just give me that boost to keep going.
Hydrolyte icy poles really helped me last pregnancy too. This time I found it impossible to eat them because it’s been a very cold winter and the kids just wanted to eat them. So yes, find what works for you and just go with it! Have snacks next to the bed, have snacks in your handbag, always be prepared.
3. Get help, wherever you can find it.
My husband literally saved my life in these first few months. Yes, there are days when he wants to kill me and days where my guilt eats me up but survival is key and my husband has been bloody incredible. He gets the kids up and organises them before he leaves for work. Then he is home most nights for bath time. Weekends, he has been my saviour, literally being a single parent.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help if you’re really struggling. Remind your husband, partner, mum, friend, whoever you call on, that it’s a stage and it will pass and let them know how grateful and thankful you are. Although in saying that for some, morning sickness can last the whole pregnancy. Either way, it is not forever. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I told a couple of my best friends very early on this time, purely because my parents were away and I was in serious struggle town. It was the best thing I did, as the help and support I received from them was amazing. Bringing me a Boost Juice in the middle of the day when I couldn’t stomach anything else and couldn’t move was a life saver. Just do what you can to get through.
4. Talk to your doctor about your options.
I’m not one to be promoting taking medication during pregnancy. I don’t even love taking Panadol unless I’m desperate. I really do try to avoid it at all costs, but this pregnancy I just had to. I honestly couldn’t function. One morning the nausea was so bad, I just broke down to Jase. I cried as I didn’t know how I was going to get through being a mum and feeling like this.
When I was pregnant with Paxton, Harper was only nine-months-old and she wasn’t even moving yet, so things were much easier and more manageable. This pregnancy, I have been taking Zofran as prescribed by my obstetrician. It's the best thing I've done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still incredibly nauseas at times and I gag from everything, but I feel like I can be a mum and get stuff done. Plus, I am still able to continue my dog walking (at a slightly slower pace) which is great. If you’re feeling like you can’t function, make sure to have a chat to your doctor about your options.
5. Sleep as much as you can.
I’m not a day sleeper. But in the first few weeks the exhaustion knocked me hard. When the kids sleep, I sleep. It helps. It passes time. It makes me feel better and as a bonus, I don’t feel sick when I’m sleeping. Early nights have also helped. Seriously, I think being tired makes you feel more nauseas. I didn't sleep well last night and woke up feeling way more nauseas than usual today. A nice warm bath with a beautiful organic chamomile bath gel at night helps. It relaxes me and gets me ready for bed. And then combine that with a stunning tonic heat pillow for when you get out, you'll be feeling ready for sleep in no time. It’s my favourite combination, especially on these freezing cold nights.
6. Find what you can to keep your kids busy in the house.
TV, puzzles, Lego, play dough, arts and crafts, dress-ups, the list goes on. Playing doctors where you lie there and be the patient is brilliant too because you can curl up in the foetal position. In saying that, getting out and getting fresh air can help big time too. As we have the dog, we’re forced to get out for a walk every day and as much as I dread it and gag non-stop while I’m doing it, I always feel way better after. Organising play dates also helped us. Again, it was hard as I had to pretend like I was feeling awesome to the other parents, but it was worth it because it really wears the kids out and gives them something different to do and a change of scenery.
Looking for something to keep the kids busy? Aussie parents spent an average of $2000 entertaining their kids over the school holidays, here’s how to do it without breaking the bank...
7. Take deep breaths when you feel like you’re about to lose it.
I don’t know about you guys, but I have felt more angry and short tempered than usual in these last few months. I think it’s mainly because I have been feeling so awful but also maybe because we’ve been home more than usual so the kids have been a bit naughtier. I am not a parent who loves to yell at her kids. Stepping back and taking some big deep breaths really does help. It gives you a few moments of clarity to try and stop yourself from just yelling at your kids.
But at the end of the day, good luck! Keep going! You will get through it! As I’ve already said many times: survival, survival, survival. Just do whatever you can to get through. It won’t last forever. It’s the absolute pits, but you will get there and it will all be worth it at the end. At least I’m trying to convince myself of that right now...
What are your tips for surviving morning sickness with kids? Tell us in the comments section below.