My first second pregnancy
I feel like I’m pregnant for the first time, although this will be my second child.
With my first son, I wasn’t “pregnant” if I’m being honest.
My belly and my boobs grew a bit but that was basically it. I had the same level of energy, the same happy mood and no eating issues.
But this time, it’s not that easy.
I feel like I’m really pregnant and I’m enjoying all the “good” stuff – vomiting, mood swings, constant tiredness, and fatigue on top of everything else.
If I had known it was going to be like this… well, I don’t think any woman in her right mind would choose to be pregnant
My three enemies: sleepiness, tiredness, vomiting
Sleepiness – once I fell asleep right at my PC, and, a couple of days later, in a restaurant on my husband’s shoulder. Perhaps I had an excuse – it was a rainy, gray day outside? Hmm..a waitress didn’t think so I tweeted to see if maybe anyone knew about some good vitamins, as I seem to have spring low-vitamin syndrome, but one of my friends answered that I’d better take a pregnancy test:-DD
Fatigue – constant. Now I know what it feels like to be elderly.
All my life, I’ve been running around, back and forth, God knows how many miles a day.
Now I’m more or less fine only until around midday. After that, I need breaks after every thing I do: washed my hair – need to lie down. Cooked a quick dinner – need to lie down. Grocery shopping – again, I need a rest, because I’m so tired. My husband says that I’m constantly tired. Yeah, all I want to do is lie down! In the evening, I want to lie down by 7 pm. 9.p.m. is a late night for me! No partying, no going out, no reading and no TV shows.
Vomiting – I throw up all the time, either after I eat something, or, if I avoid food, I throw up from hunger.
Typically I have to run to the bathroom several times a day. I have already refurbished it, as, since I’m spending so much time there, I want it to be a nice cozy place: I bought aromatic sticks, a puffy mat and fresh flowers. Good!
I can eat dry bread, although I want something better than a cookie or a slice of banana. The worst thing was that usually after you throw up, you feel better. But nope, not this time – I still felt like I was being poisoned for the rest of the day and even throughout the night – I kept retching even though my stomach was completely empty. It was a terrible experience..
What Ayurveda says
Traditional medicine says to take pills for these symptoms, which I kind of hate doing, so I dived into the world of alternative medicine. I read some Ayurveda articles about feeling rough during pregnancy and there were some interesting suggestions:
Pregnant women can throw up as a result of tiredness, and feel sleepy because of the toxins caused by eating the wrong food.
All of the above can cause grumpiness (which I felt constantly!). Alright, I said – I won’t be doing my daily miles, I will lie down more, do breathing exercises to calm down and I won’t sleep during the day, because it’s a vicious circle.
As Ayurveda says: if you start to nap during the day, you will be sleepy again the next day. So it would be better to review your food, do relaxation exercises and stay awake during the day.
No sports, no worries, no napping
My sports – since I got pregnant, I’ve felt like my feet are made of iron, so I can’t walk.
Still, I’m kind of stubborn so I decided not to give up. However, my usual 3 miles daily quickly turned into 1.5 miles, and only every second day.
I could really feel that I’d had my walk – so the next day all I could do was just hang around at home and perhaps walk to the grocery store.
I preferred elevators to staircases, the car to walking and a lie down to sitting up. For goodness sake, I wondered, what am I going to be like when I’m seven months pregnant?!
A little break had no results
Once, I spent four days without going for a walk – hoping to get rid of the tiredness and, as a result, the vomiting. On the first day I was lucky – no toilet run – but on the other days, it was the same thing, I felt like throwing up, I was sleepy, and everything else.
In addition, I felt that there was something missing from my life – that kind of great after-walk feeling that I normally get, and the extra energy.
I became dissatisfied with myself and even angrier because I had stayed away from something I passionately love – moving.
Clearly my exercise was not the cause of my bad feelings.
So I ditched the idea of avoiding sports and I started walking every second morning, and then later in the day, biking instead of walking, followed by a day of rest.
Each time I feel like I’m anxious or angry about something, I tried to understand why and to calm myself down with deep breathing.
As Ayurveda says – anxiety makes the nausea even worse, so I had to take myself in hand. In addition, I started to do Kriya yoga daily and for longer. Kriya is a set of five breathing exercises designed to: remove psychological tiredness, normalize breathing, clear your mind and calm your nerves.
Attention! Always consult your doctor before undertaking any new form of exercise. Do not try to do yoga or Kriya breathing techniques by yourself without the supervision of your yoga teacher. These techniques are quite strenuous, even if you only do a little. I’ve been doing my short simple routine for more than a decade – I also consulted a yoga teacher who specializes in yoga for pregnant women before I started doing any breathing exercises this time.
All good, it helped, but during some exercises, I felt like I wanted to throw up right in the middle of breathing, because intense inhaling and exhaling prompted vomiting. Now I’m just doing around 15-20 minutes’ breathing daily and I feel very calm and relaxed.
No day nap
When I felt like falling asleep, I tried to lie down on the yoga mat and do relaxing yoga poses. It always ended with just the one pose – a Shavasana, which is basically just lying like a dead man Still it’s hard to fall asleep like this All you get is deep relaxation. I went to bed at 9pm, and woke up at 8am. So it helped me to stay awake during the day. Still, I don’t know what I’d have done if I’d had to go to an office – I work from home and can afford luxuries like lying down on a yoga mat during the day.
I avoided a day nap and escaped from this vicious circle of sleeping during the day and feeling sleepy the rest of the time.
How it all changed
I said I felt crappy and it was all my fault.
I examined how I felt and found the cause. It was all about the food I’d been eating. After I figured out what caused the vomiting, I got all of my energy and my life back again! I can’t express how happy I felt! My tiredness, my sleepiness and, most importantly, the vomiting, were completely gone.
I was advised by my doctor to eat more protein during my first trimester – to help the baby’s muscles and brain develop. It was a great suggestion. I didn’t worry, as I eat lots of meat (every day) and dairy products.
In addition, I love rich, cheesy/creamy meals and usually pour a lot of oil over my meals, so I eat veggies with olive/sunflower oil, lots of good French cheese, rich cottage cheese, some good meat every day – either poultry or lamb, turkey or beef and I don’t mind pork either.
Fat and oils caused my vomiting
As I’ve said, I always started to feel bad in the afternoons; I felt fine in the mornings. Not your typical pregnancy, right? Once, I had my breakfast omelette and then I had a fresh home-made cottage cheese donut. And I ran to the toilet shortly after that. Wait I said…wait.
For dinner I prepared chicken breasts – I vomited. The next day I tried beef soup – with the same result. Any meat caused me to throw up – I was not just vomiting, I felt poisoned the rest of the day. Clearly, it was meat that was causing my vomiting. But I still craved it.
Alright I said – no meat. Fine. I’ll try a veggie salad – and I felt worse than after eating a plain tomato salad with a slice of a dry bread. Because I’d topped the salad with olive oil.
Lean and veggie food, fish and mushrooms
After I figured it out, I stopped eating meat, fatty dairy products, and oil too.
Thank God I could eat fish. Still, not fish like salmon or trout – just all kinds of white fish plus sea food. Low fat dairy, of course, but I switched to hard cheeses instead of my beloved brie or camembert.
Eggs – I started to make all kinds of egg dishes, as boy did I need those proteins!
To get more protein, I started with mushrooms – portobello and chanterelles, as well as champignons (veggie pizza usually comes with champignons) and I ate fish every second day. Nuts were my pocket snack.
It feels good being an unwilling (almost) vegetarian
I can’t describe how great it was to feel like a normal human being again!
You may say that it should have been obvious what was causing my vomiting – fat, in this case – but you’re wrong.
It’s widely accepted that if a pregnant woman feels bad, if they vomit, then the only thing they can do is tolerate it or take some anti-nausea medicine.
My doctor even said I could come to her office to have anti-nausea injections every time I felt bad. So it’s taken for granted that being pregnant isn’t easy.
In addition, I felt like I wanted meat and fatty/oily stuff. Plus my doctor advised me to eat more meat – as a result, you would never realize that was what was making you feel ill.
Still, my vomiting wasn’t temporary – I’m now in my 6th month and I still can’t eat meat or oils. When I try to eat some, I still feel terrible.
So, the conclusion is, try to figure out what’s causing you to be sick and don’t eat it!
My sleepiness and tiredness vanished
By avoiding what caused my vomiting, the sleepiness and tiredness disappeared, too – Juhuu! So Ayurveda was totally right – the sleepiness and tiredness were caused by toxins, undigested food that my liver basically couldn’t handle.
Even now, if I eat just a little oil, this sleepiness washes over me again. So I still have to watch my food intake to avoid anything that makes me feel ill.
I would rather be an unwilling vegetarian, than take anti-nausea drugs and still feel sleepy and tired.
Feeling good is in our hands – it really is!
In my next post, I’ll write about my second trimester – it’s all about sports!