Now here is a topic that is near to my heart. I wrote about pregnancy nausea insanity a while back and got a lot of response from fellow sickness sufferers. I also shared that I was having signs of pregnancy with an iud paragard. Here is something a recent emailer wrote:
How do you cope with pregnancy sickness and take care of your little ones? My husband and son have been subjected to Campbell’s soups, Chef Boyardee, and a house that hasn’t been cleaned in weeks because I spend a lot of time lying on the couch waiting for nausea and gagging sensations to pass. I’ve managed to wash dishes and do laundry and that’s about it. And there’s a LOT of television on.
Despite the wealth of well-intentioned advice out there, my firm belief is that for many women, pregnancy sickness really is one of those things for which there is no magic solution. It’s just one of those horrible things and one of those horrible times in your life (months even!) that you just have to get through. In whatever way you can. To the writer of this email I responded:
Please take all the rest you need. I know it is hard to believe right now while you are in the midst of it, but this really is a passing phase in your family life, and one from which you will all benefit in the long run. Sometimes the hardest thing is to just accept that God wills us to do NOTHING right now. Especially for women who are perfectionists, do-ers, and controllers, the biggest sacrifice can be in just letting things go. Just lying on the couch. Just turning on the TV. Just opening cans for dinner or letting someone else handle meals.
It wounds our pride to admit we are helpless and we grow weary of relying on the charity of others, but sometimes we simply cannot do otherwise. What’s more, when mothers are sick, their husbands, children, and friends have a great opportunity to practice patience and charity.
I know, I know, these thoughts are small comfort when your head is stuck in the toilet or your rear end is stuck on the couch. It might be helpful to bear in mind, however, that the sick have tremendous power in their suffering. Think of the many saints who spent their final years in prolonged illness on their death beds. Why would God allow it? Because He knows what value there can be for all souls in suffering.
On the practical side, I would urge sick mothers to rest as much as possible- the sickness seems to intesify if you exert yourself, physically or emotionally, in any way. Eat small portions of whatever you can and whatever you want, even if it is “terrible” for the baby. You can make up for nutritional deficiencies later on when you are feeling better. I lived on chocolate covered Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls for the first three months of my pregnancy with Stephen. He survived.
So what do you all think? What survival tips or words of encouragement can you offer sick and tired, long-suffering pregnant women everywhere?