I have been reading Jules Oliver's (Jamie Oliver's wife) book - Minus Nine to One - The Diary of an Honest Mum. I can't bear Myleen Klass, or Melanie Sykes and I have limited tolerance for Tess Daly so I thought old Jules' missives would be the least offensive of the celeb mum baby books. It's quite good - aside from some very annoying repetitions of words in the same sentence or phrases in the same paragraphs - but that's just me being professionally picky.
However I am rather jealous of her morning sickness - not a sentence I ever thought I'd write. Poor old Jules suffered with retching at 6am every morning for five months. Post AM retch she then reportedly had to wolf down an enormous breakfast. Now I am sure this was perfectly hideous for her and I don't mean to pee on her parade in the slightest - everyone's pregnancy is different as everyone keeps telling me. However for the sake of anyone who is newly pregnant and might be reading this - let me tell you that you, like me, might not be so lucky.
It seems there is a conspiracy amongst women when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth. I think you must be given something to sign at the end of it all - a kind of non-disclosure document which says that you're to keep the worst aspects of all things pregnancy and birth related under your hat unless you're speaking to another already pregnant person. By that time the poor sap is well and truly stuck with whatever hand she has been dealt and there is no way to escape.
So prepare yourself from some brutal honesty from me about what lengths my morning sickness has taken me to. It is unlike any form of sickness I have ever experienced in my entire life. When it comes on there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it - as a consequence of this I have thrown up:
On myself on numerous occasions
In my handbag (luckily it was fabric and could be washed)
All over my landing, kitchen floor and bed on several occasions
Down my dry clean only coat sleeve (it went in the wash because I was too embarrassed to take it to the dry cleaners - luckily it survived)
On the recreation ground in Stamford at 5pm on a Sunday afternoon - while Mr Jones walked off in disgust and people looked as me as if I was some kind of drunk.
In a lay-by on the A1
On the verge by my Grandma's house
In the car park at work
Very nearly on a woman who got in the way of my trip to the office loos ..... you get the picture.
One day you manage to keep down a certain food and think that it's going to be your cure all - the very next day that same food has you running hell for leather for the nearest loo. You begin to eat things based on how they taste on the way back up - cheese and pineapple tastes like pizza, cake still tastes sweet. Anything with garlic, onions, tomatoes or chilli is like bringing up a ferocious, bubbling, burning lava.
You worry constantly that if you retch much more you'll do untold damage to your unborn child and that the lack of nutrients entering your body means that the little bean inside you isn't growing in the way it should.
But perhaps the worst thing is that momentary period of bliss - post vomit - when you get to enjoy what amounts to a few seconds of not feeling a wave of nausea. It literally lasts seconds before it starts all over again.
My sickness started at six weeks and two days, by week 10 I was at the doctors because I was being sick eight times a day and unable to keep even water down. I was threatened with hospital and a drip and given tablets to tuck under my upper lip that fiddle with my brain and "take away" the nausea. They work - but not for long. By week 12 I was unable to function, threatened with hospital again and forced to spend the next five weeks at home and unable to do anything remotely useful.
It's only once you're in the full swing of this barrel of laughs that all of a sudden people start confessing. My grandma was sick until 20 weeks in all FOUR of her pregnancies, my aunt vomited through three. This morning I had an email from a friend of my mum's who was hideously ill with both her girls.
I can't help but wonder why no one ever talks about this - why no one warns you - and the simple fact is that it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference. And that's because when all is said and done, when you feel those first tiny, fluttery little movements inside you and when they graduate into full-on kicks you know that all that hell is going to be worth it.
I have tried - even in my worst moments to remain stoical about my sickness - and it's been hard. At times I've wanted to break down and sob, beg for mercy and plead to someone, anyone to take it all away. But I haven't because every time I felt that way I had to remind myself how damn lucky I am to be having a baby. So this isn't a whinge - but an honest account of the trials and tribulations of something that is a little bit more than morning sickness.
I am now 21 weeks and 1 day - I retch every morning when I get up and feel queer in the evenings, but I don't feel sick during the day. I haven't been properly sick since last Thursday! Hurrah. And if this lasts until Baby Jones appears I can cope with it. If you're just starting out being pregnant then cross your fingers, hope, pray, plead and beg to the powers that be that you get Jules Oliver type sickness - but remember if you don't - it might be hellish but it must be worth it.
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