Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Morning Sickness Diet, or, What Can I Eat Today That Won't Make Me Throw Up?

Ever since Ryan was born – actually, ever since Ryan was conceived – I hoped that my next pregnancy would be less fraught with morning sickness. I read all kinds of articles in hope that someone would tell me that second babies cause less morning sickness. And I found articles that said exactly that. I also found articles that warned the exact opposite. I spoke to friends who had subsequent pregnancies with symptoms nearly identical to their first pregnancies, and to friends whose pregnancies varied wildly from child to child. So I had no idea what to expect from this pregnancy.

Until I hit the 6-week mark, at which point my body totally rebelled. I was nauseous morning, noon, and night. Not only did I have bionic nose, but I developed an aversion to many smells. One night my stepdaughter made Brussels sprouts and I actually went outside and stood on the porch in the freezing cold air to escape the smell (actually, the fresh cold air felt wonderful). I borrowed my husband’s toothpaste one morning and gagged as soon as the toothbrush hit my mouth. The mere thought of the grilled chicken that had gotten me through my last pregnancy made my stomach roil. I spent my days lying on the couch and praying that this stage would be short-lived.

Fortunately, things eased up just a tiny bit at the 8-week mark. I still have nausea on and off through the day, but it’s a bit less severe. And I’ve even discovered a few foods that I can manage to get down. It’s rather an eclectic menu, though, and consists mainly of starch and dairy. Come to think of it, I think it consists entirely of white and beige foods. Here’s an example of what I had to eat today: For breakfast, I had a piece of toast, which I washed down with a vanilla Ensure. Around lunchtime, Ryan and I shared some vanilla yogurt and I had a bite or two of his grilled-cheese sandwich (white American cheese on white bread, of course). This afternoon, I had a coffee-flavored Ensure and shared Ryan’s string cheese. And for supper, I think I might be up for a handful of elbow noodles and a glass of milk. Oh! I almost forgot that I had an afternoon snack of a couple of Christmas cookies (one shortbread and one M&M – and the M&Ms were green and red, so it wasn’t a completely white and beige day).

Every once in a while, I can get wild and crazy and manage a few bites of squash, or some soup, and Spaghettios with franks are still a good bet most of the time (although everything from a can tastes a little funny this time). So I’m fitting in the vegetables and protein wherever I can. It isn’t easy, and it isn’t fun, but when I’m at the end of my rope, all I have to do it look at my precious little boy and I remember the prize at the end of the journey. And that makes it all worth it.

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