Baby Koo

In my last post I shared with you some of the bigger heart things happening in our lives… including the pending arrival of a new baby in 2014! Thank you to so many for your congratulations and kind words on facebook and instagram :-)

This week we had our 20 week ultrasound. There is something about seeing your baby that is so miraculous to me! There is a baby in there! A real baby that we will meet, and kiss and cuddle and smell. I am getting so excited to meet this little one, and the reassurance that everything is going well is encouraging.

This pregnancy has certainly been the most challenging by far… I spent weeks 6-18 extremely sick and nauseous. I thought I had experienced being sick with Gabriel, which was throwing up about once a day for the first 5 months… but this was a whole new ball game. I realized that my empathy is often linked to my own experience, something that I am working on changing. I related “bad morning sickness” to my own worst sickness… but after going through this bought of “extreme nausea and vomiting in pregnancy” I hope I will learn to empathize differently. It looked like throwing up 8-9 times a day and not keeping anything in my stomach for days on end, no food no fluid… thankfully I realized that I didn’t have to go it alone. Matt took me into the walk in and I started on Diclectin week 7. Some people experience dizziness and drowsiness from the diclectin.. for me it made a huge difference to be able to manage the nausea a bit. I have never experienced something so intense… feeling sick 24/7… and having to become very meticulous about any sort of routine to keep food and liquid in my body.

I literally scoured the internet for ideas, talked to the nurse at our clinic… and eventually ended up upping my diclectin to 2 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon and 2 before bed. Why share this? Well, when I was at my sickest, I needed some kind of solution, and so it was really valuable to read what worked for other women to make it through. I will be honest, without my amazing husband I don’t know what I would have done. I didn’t prepare or eat a family meal for at least 2 months straight, and after that… it was very sparse. The boys would get their own breakfast in the morning and watched more cartoons then I’d like to admit. I am thankful that my boys are a bit older and kept themselves busy with toys and crafts… little troopers. (they are 3.5 and 5.5… that half on the end of those numbers is very important in their world)

The morning looked something like this…

  • -run to the bathroom when I smelled my husband’s morning coffee (he eventually moved the coffee maker outside… yes… it was that bad)
  • -rinse my mouth but not drink anything (I found drinking on an empty stomach instantly made me throw up, also, mixing food and liquid)
  • -nibble a bite of cheese and cracker… eventually as things got a bit better this became a 1/4 cinnamon raisin bagel toasted with butter which matt graciously prepared
  • -wait 20-30 minutes sitting up in bed, then drink about 1/4 cup of water with my pills

Throughout the day I would usually throw up once in the afternoon and found evenings to be the worst. I experienced some mini-miracles because I teach dance 2 evenings a week… but with deep breaths, snacking through class on things like crackers, cheese and sometimes nuts or apple slices… I was able to make it through til the end of class. I did throw up in my van on multiple occasions, and in the front yard… I kept a little “barf container” handy in my van… :-/

Based on what I have read, everyone has different triggers for nausea and different foods that stay put. I personally do not really like crackers to begin with… so I tried a lot of crackers before I found something I felt like eating. I bought some plain crackers with olive oil and sea salt from costco… can’t remember the name. They seemed to work. Also, fishy crackers. Fruits and vegetables were pretty much off limits… but some afternoons I could handle about 1/2cup of smoothie made with protein powder, blue berries and ice and a bit of water or juice… or just a basic juice and ice. Anything kind of icy seemed to stay down. Popsicles seemed to be bad… I think maybe it was the sugar. Gingerale was my arch nemesis, and not only made me throw up, but left me with a stomach ache for hours… and I am talking a few sips. I found things that contained sugar (including fruit) did not seem to sit well.

Things that worked:

  • -pizza (home made crust, with mozzarella and cheddar cheese, a little tomato sauce(very bland) and pepperon).
  • -little cheese slices (mozzarella or cheddar) with crackers
  • -kraft dinner (worked a few times… I read this some where, and normally would never have it in my house. haha)
  • -mashed potatoes… especially with gravy (found this out on thanksgiving)
  • bland toast and cinnamon raisin bagels
  • cold water (no hot beverages)
  • really watered down clear juice (apple, melon, mango)

The thing that is really discouraging is knowing this was my diet for about 10-12 weeks. I left my first pre-natal appointment in tears because I felt so worried about the nutrition (or lack there of) I was getting into my baby. My supplement and vitamin taking was very limited… I could hardly drink water let alone swallow pills. I know there are many women who experience far worse sickness, and spend their entire pregnancy with these symptoms, and end up on IV fluids or with a PICC line. I am really thankful that was not my story, and my heart goes out to these mamas. It is not only a physical battle, but an emotional and spiritual one. Some nights I would just weep in bed so overwhelmed by feeling sick and exhausted, wondering why my body was doing this, and why I couldn’t feel better. Worried about my baby… wanting to be comforted by my husband but feeling so drained physically that a hug or a smell just sent me to the toilet. Feeling helpless as he worked to keep the house together, the kids alive, working, grocery shopping… My 5 year old running out of clean undies. I mean… it is a humbling thing for a household. I feel so thankful this was just a short lived experience, and that I am feeling much more back to my old self!

I know when you are in it, you can not seem to imagine things ever changing… you accept being sick as your new reality. And I think that is ok in a sense, because otherwise it would be very daunting to get through each day… there will be bad days and not as bad days,but, know that it will one day get better! And you will one day hold that sweet baby in your arms… as the saying goes, it will all be worth it.

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Praying for a healthy little babe.

-Miss Ash

3 thoughts on “Baby Koo

  1. I had a very difficult week 6-18 with Max. I could not cook or think of ingredients. I could not be in the kitchen when cooking was happening. I would just cry at mealtimes. When something did sound good I could only think of restaurant food I wanted. Since we eat plant based and rarely at restaurants it was extremely difficult for us. Wesley was cooking three meals at times. I felt terribly guilty for eating Cheez it’s for breakfast because otherwise I couldn’t go to work and function. I was so relieved when I wanted vegetables again.

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better!

    • Thanks Danielle. Sorry to hear about your struggles with Max. I’m sure you are enjoying your little munchkin tremendously :-)

  2. Wow! Ashlea! I had no idea you were so sick! I’m so sorry to hear all that you went through, and thank you for sharing all your tips! I had nausea and fatigue but nothing compared to what you went through. I wonder if it’s a girl?!?! Can’t wait to hug you !

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