Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Morning Sickness: A Good or Bad Thing? And Random Ramblings from My Pregnant Brain

One thing has struck me as odd over the course of the first few weeks of this pregnancy and the fourteen weeks of the last one.

When I was pregnant last time I didn't get sick.  I wasn't exhausted.  It didn't hurt to nurse at all.  I had very few pregnancy symptoms.  And every single thing I read said that that was fine.  It didn't mean anything at all.  A few books suggested that it was a blessing to be thankful for.

With Sadie my pregnancy was moderately difficult in the first trimester (I say moderate because I wasn't hospitalized, although the doctor said that if my stomach got worse they would scope it without any sort of anasthesia... and I wanted to say:  "Like I'm doing this on purpose!!!!" since it kind of sounded like a punishment.).

With Mae I pretty much sailed through the pregnancy with very minor discomforts and mild morning sickness (exhaustion was definitely a part of the first trimester though).

I'll admit that last time I thought that the lack of morning sickness might mean we were having a boy.  And the books said not to worry, and so I didn't.

However I noticed something when I went to see the dozen or so people in various hospitals and doctors offices over the past seven months.  Nurses and doctors asked over and over again if I was having morning sickness or other pregnancy complaints and for the last pregnancy I said no.  And their responses, across the board, were that that was not a good sign.

I'd think it was a problem with HCG, but when I went to the hospital with my miscarriage, my HCG was still very high (it was actually when it dropped and stayed low that I ended up being very sick, although I imagine that was the other complications causing the nausea).

This time the same questions were asked at the hospital and I said "yes, morning sickness, exhaustion, ect..." and the response was:  "Well that's a good thing!"

Experienced moms who I talk to often say the same thing.  "Are you feeling sick?  Well that's a good thing!"  And I find myself thinking the same thing when I hear a friend is expecting as we pray for "sticky" babies.

I'm sure there must be women out there who don't have any symptoms, who do have healthy pregnancies.  But I also find myself hearing more and more stories from women who have miscarried who experienced the same thing that I did with their first trimester pregnancy symptoms.

So I'll admit I'm relieved this time when I wake up and feel nauseous.  It helps that this time around the nausea has been mild, but still makes an appearance pretty much every day.  On the few mornings when I haven't felt sick at all I do feel a little panicky and am always relieved when it returns.

It does make me wonder how common it is though for women who miscarry to have no symptoms whatsoever, or at least far fewer symptoms.  I'm sure that the many books that I've read that say "no symptoms are a wonderful thing!" don't want anyone to worry unnecessarily.  I just can't help but question how accurate, however, statistically that ends up being.  

Have any of you noticed or experienced this?  Or have you noticed or experienced a difference between your pregnancies with boys or girls?  Sadie remains adamant that the baby is a girl.  I guess time will tell if she's right!

I also find myself wondering, after writing this post and picking out pregnancy pictures to go with it, if this will be another gigantic 9lb baby.  What would a 7 lber be like?!?!?!  When I see more average size babies I always feel like they're so tiny!  

And aren't boys usually bigger than girl?  (Were your boys bigger than your girls?)  Would that mean a 10lb boy would be likely!  Yikes!  Paul came home yesterday and the first words he heard when he walked through the door were me saying to a friend:  "I blame Paul entirely."  "Yup."  I repeated so he could hear what we were talking about:  "I blame you entirely for our gigantic babies."  Although it seems to me he thinks that's pretty cool and I'll find myself reminding him come anatomy scan time that it's "a baby!  Not a turkey!"  There's no award for breaking ten pounds (which I think he's secretly hoping happens).

A few weeks ago I went through our baby stuff and basically gave away 99% of the newborn outfits.  So maybe this baby will be smaller (just because I gave it away!  Isn't that how it works!).  We've never had a baby that really fits into "newborn."  And they barely fit in 0-3.

Wow, I've almost written a second post, inside my first post.  This is how my rambling pregnancy hormone laden brain now works.  I better stop before I start to tell you about the reactions I got wearing my shirt yesterday!


  1. I've heard, but have no idea if it's true, that having lots of progesterone is the cause of morning sickness, and obviously low progesterone is a likely cause of miscarriage... who knows if that's true though!

  2. I didn't have what you'd call really bad morning sickness with either of my two full term pregnancies, but I definitely had nausea that lasted until 12-14 weeks. With the ectopic pregnancy I had virtually no nausea at all. My daughter also had less nausea with her recent miscarriage. However, I've known people who've had the same sort of nausea regardless. What most of us have noticed is that the worst nausea was with our first full term pregnancy and that with later pregnancies it's slightly less debilitating. I wonder whether that isn't because with later pregnancies we're so busy running after little people that we don't have the time to pay attention to the nausea quite as much. However it's possible that our bodies get more used to pregnancy hormones, or that we're actually eating better with later pregnancies.

    I know some people say that you're sicker with either boys or girls, I had one of each and I was slightly less nauseous with my daughter, but she came second, so I might have been less nauseous anyway. My sister-in-law was sicker the first time around and her first was a girl. Same thing with my across the street neighbor from that era: sicker first time with a daughter, less sick second time with a son.

    I think that the reason medical people think that moderate nausea is a good sign is that they've seen all of the pregnancies with essentially no symptoms so frequently go on to result in a miscarriage. While there are women out there who have relatively few pregnancy symptoms (all of those I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant stories demonstrate that fact), I think that they are the exception rather than the rule. After all our bodies are supposed to be adapting and changing to this little one inside, and it only stands to reason that there would be some symptoms of that adaptation and change.

    I think we frequently try to reassure people who don't have nausea only so they won't be overly concerned. However, despite the fact that nausea is no guarantee, it always does seem like a good symptom. It isn't necessarily so, my daughter's nausea actually increased around the time the baby died, and the doctor said it was because the placenta was still growing. That's the sort of thing that feels like a kick in the teeth. I do think that if I were you right now I'd probably rejoice in every wave of nausea, though all the while I was sipping lemon juice and water, or making sure that I kept my blood sugar high in order to actually feel better.

    Praying that things go well, and that a healthy baby makes his or her appearance right on schedule.

  3. With this pregnancy I didn't really have any morning sickness (and I was on a progesterone supplement the ENTIRE first trimester).

    I had some food aversions, some things sounded way tastier than others, but I didn't get nauseous unless 7pm rolled around and I hadn't eaten dinner yet. (And I'm the type of person who starts to feel sick if I haven't eaten too long even when I'm not pregnant.)

    I was, however very very tired (2 hr nap each day and early bedtime), and got a little car sick.

    I have several friends (sister included) who didn't get much morning sickness either. I think perhaps each woman is different? If you are a woman who normally gets morning sickness, and then suddenly has a pregnancy where you don't I would think that's more cause for concern than a woman who has had a baby or two without it.

    One of the pregnancy books I'm reading talks about nutrition being a contributing factor to morning sickness (the better your nutrition, the less morning sickness). Who knows if that's true. I know that my first trimester the thought of anything sugary really made me turn up my nose (and I'm basically a sugar addict) and all I wanted was protein (meat, eggs, cheese) which is supposed to aid morning sickness.

    All that said, I didn't really have morning sickness with the babies I miscarried either...though dare I say that I actually has slightly worse morning sickness with my very first pregnancy, however brief?

    Sorry for the really long comment. I didn't mean to make it a blog post. You just got me thinking.

  4. What's ironic is that no one has any real idea what causes morning sickness! Everyone has their own theories, but no one actually knows! Since that's the case, I'd just take it one day at a time and not worry - you can't really know what your symptoms do or don't mean.

    I actually heard it floated by someone that prenatal vitamins cause morning sickness these days, and I found that interesting - because I've stopped taking mine and my ms has gotten notably better. I'm still tired, but I'm almost not at all nauseated (although I still just don't enjoy being around food...doesn't make me sick, I just find it unappealing).

    Still praying your baby is plenty sticky!!

  5. My daughter just miscarried at 9 weeks. She had absolutely no pregnancy symptoms whatsoever She said she would sometimes wonder if she were really pregnant Being her first pregnancy she didn't know what to expect

    So happy for you!! And yes my one boy was bigger than my 3 girls:)

    Kim Chrisman

  6. I'm one of those people who has had healthy pregnancies w/o really having morning sickness. I did have slight feeling of queasiness at certain times (usually if I had gone too long w/o eating, ate too much at or were in a car on an empty stomach), but certainly nothing severe and nothing that wasn't controlled by regular eating. This pregnancy, has actually been the worst as far as those nausea feelings go, but it has still been really mild compared to other people.

    I also did have more tiredness, sore breasts and sore nipples and mild food aversions. Nothing really severe.

    I can't say that I have noticed much of a difference between my girl and boy pregnancies. My boy pregnancy was harder towards the end, but I attribute that to the fact that I was older.

    As far as size goes, my boy was bigger. My girls were 6-12 and 7-14 and my boy was 8-2.

    I've only had 1 m/c (so far) at 6 1/2 weeks so really too early to tell as far as symptoms go, although I'm pretty sure I didn't really have any symptoms..but again it happened really early.

    Anyway to answer your question about what is normal...I think some, mild symptoms are normal. I think severe, debilitating ones are not. I think some tiredness is normal, but total exhaustion could be due to anemia or low iron. (I noticed that once I started taking Floradix (an iron supplement) I had a bit more energy. I think mild nausea/queasiness and food aversions is normal. I think severe, where you are debilitated is not. Pregnancy is a normal condition and people weren't meant to be totally laid up for weeks at a time with it.

    Also as far as what doctors say about morning sickness and symptoms, I think no matter what doctors are going to say it is fine. No doctor is going to say to a pregnant woman "oh, you should get worried and stressed because you don't have morning sickness." It is natural to want to reassure someone and feeling stressed isn't helpful either, so a doctor is going to naturally say everything is fine unless there is a real indication that it isn't.

  7. I've had varying degrees of morning sickness with all of my pregnancies. This last one (#6) I didn't have much ms per se, but oh the exhaustion and total emotional breakdown.

    As far as baby size goes. Here's what I say. Expect a baby. Yup, it's that simple. Mine have ranged all over the board and it was my third that threw me for a loop. A quick break down:
    #1: induced 2 wks early 7 lbs 14 oz
    #2: natural labor 4 days late 8lbs 11 oz
    #3: induced 4 days late 6lbs 15oz
    #4: induced 1wk early 9lbs 5 oz
    #5: water broke 1 wk early 10lbs 2oz

    I was totally expecting to get bigger, but then with #3 she was so tiny I couldn't believe it! I had to learn how to hold such a tiny thing.

  8. I really didn't have much morning sickness with my first pregnancy but because my daughter died at 2 days old, I found myself embracing every bit of morning sickness this time around as a sign that this little one was doing well.
    I have found that I have less sickness if I eat protein often enough and get enough sleep. Extra B vitamins help as well.

  9. My grandmother swears she never had m/s with any of her (7) pregnancies... only lost one and that was at the end, rh disease. I have an inlaw due a week from me who's had none and so far her pg seems to be going well...

    But... overall I hear the same thing as you. Its a good sign. I've also heard that it means a healthier baby (not sure how that's figured but does make you feel a bit better when you're bent over a toilet lol).

    So far across the board, boy & girl I've had it... My son was 3 lbs bigger than my girl but I'm not sure how much I put that to gender and how much I put that to God knowing we needed a miracle and over 10lb baby made one. I'm very curious to see if this next will be small like his/her sister or big like his/her brother.

  10. In our family, the lack of morning sickness seems to be genetic. My mother was never sick with any of the nine she had. My two sisters and I with a total of 22 kids have also never had morning sickness. We have all had plenty of tiredness, heartburn, aversion to certain smells and other normal pregnancy symptoms, but no morning sickness. I have also miscarried twice and felt no different with either of those pregnancies than with any of the others. I know this puts us in the minority, I just wanted to let you know that it is possible to have no morning sickness and a healthy full term baby.

    As for boys being bigger, I only have 1 boy (7 girls) and he was definitely my biggest at 10lb 8oz, 24in. He also came out in just 2 pushes so it was not the nightmare you think of when you think 10lb baby. I think it helped that he was not first!

    So, congratulations on the new little life inside of you! Try to relax and not stress too much and know that he or she and you are in God's hands. Submit yourself entirely to His Divine will and remind yourself that He is control and that no matter what happens He will give you the graces you need. A partial quote from St. Francis de Sales, "Do well what you can and the rest leave to God." You and your family will be in our prayers.

  11. This is true for me. I get sicker with each pregnancy. I was sick with the baby I miscarried for the first 3 months just as usual... but suddenly, everything stopped. (Incidentally, this followed a bad intestinal virus and I've always wondered if there was a connection.) No soreness, rapidly decreasing nausea, increasing energy, etc. My husband suggested at the time that maybe I was just over the sickness hump. I reminded him that I have never been free from sickness that early... and that I was convinced the pregnancy was over. I was right. No heartbeat and bleeding and delivery of our tiny baby 2 weeks later.

    I do think that my sickness is a problem because it lasts for most of the length of my pregnancies now. It's like having the flu all day, every day for months and months and is incapacitating. I believe there is some imbalance that goes beyond nutrition. But the only time I have been free of it is when I lost my baby... so I try to equate the presence of sickness with baby health and press on.

    I do have trouble keeping my blood sugar up during pregnancy and think it's related to the sickness. A very high protein diet and frequent eating help. High sugar diet just causes crashes and makes things worse. I have set my alarm to get up in the middle of the night to eat because the night time fast is too long and by the morning, my blood sugar has tanked and my sickness out of control.

  12. I remember some food aversions with my two full-term pregnancies (both girls, one 7lb. 6 oz., the second 8 lbs. 5 oz.) but was never actually "sick" (threw up) with either.

    I would occasionally gag while brushing my teeth, but I also remember devouring an entire sausage pizza (yuk) when pregnant with my first daughter.

    I had breast tenderness with the full-term and the 3 early miscarriages, but actual "sickness" was not a big factor. My biggest problem was awful nasal stuffiness in my first full-term pregnancy... awful.


  13. Well, I had a lot of morning sickness with my first pregnancy, that ended in a miscarriage. Same amount of sickness with the next two pregnancies, and they turned out fine. So, who knows....

  14. Sorry to be comment again, but I think whether the presence of absence of morning sickness is related to the incidence of m/c depends a lot on the reason for the m/c. A m/c that is due to a specific situation that happens to the mother during an otherwise normal pregnancy (ie. food-borne illness like listeria, severe trauma, incompetent cervix, blood clot in the mother, etc.)is probably going to have morning sickness if the mother otherwise would have because the pregnancy was normal until that incident occurred. However, a m/c that is due to a hormonal imbalance in the mother or a genetic defect in the baby is more likely to feel less like a "normal" pregnancy and have less symptoms because the normal levels of hormones (produced by the mother or the baby/placenta) are not produced.

  15. I've had one boy and one girl, and the only thing different about the pregnancies was the pelvic pain I experienced with my second preg -- it was so uncomfortable to lay down for any length of time. I had pretty much no morning sickness for either one (maybe two or three days of nausea for the whole pregnancy), but was always very tired in the first and third trimesters.

    On weight:
    My boy was 1 week late: 7lb 4oz
    My girl was 4 days early: 7lb 10 oz

    So I wouldn't hold your breath on the boys being bigger bit! : )

  16. lol, I don't think gender matters much for size of babies. My 2 were 8.13 and 7.11 respectively. I was the sickest with my first, and it seems that it gets a little better each time. But first trimester is awful every time. But instead of throwing up every morning for the entire pregnancy, I get weeks and even a few months of being barf free. (It always seems to come back in the third trimester for me, after going away in the middle of the second). But it is not too bad, just some dry heaving (stomach acid) in the mornings and heartburn at night.

    Otherwise, my body actually seemed to adjust better to the pregnancies. My hips were a wreck with my first, but I did not have those problems with either my second or this current pregnancy so far. This third pregnancy has been much like my second, except in weight gain. (My second was a boy, and this is a girl). I started out heavier this time, lost 10 lbs in both pregnancies, but this time I didn't gain any weight until 24 weeks or so. (With my first I just gained and gained to 40+ pounds), Number 2 I lost a bit but still gained almost 40 pounds. So we will see how this one turns out.

  17. I have been out of town, so I am just catching up with your blogs. Congrats on the pregnancy!

  18. My mom had no morning sickness at all with me, and I was as healthy as they come, her only pregnancy.

  19. My mother says she never had ANY morning sickness with any of her 4 kids. I suffered from terrible morning sickness as well as my sisters and she just couldn't understand how it felt.

    My midwife says that we should be thankful for big babies as with her experience most of the moms that she has helped deliver who have big babies have an easier and faster labor than moms with smaller babies! She also says that the average size of a big babies head vs. a small babies head is about the same and it is not that much harder to push out.

  20. Morning sickness is a curse and a blessing at the same time. 2 pregnancies I had severe morning sickness within days of finding out I was pregnant. Those were the healthy pregnancies. The other 2 I had no morning sickness whatsoever and felt great... we ended up miscarrying those. I am pregnant now and just found out a few days ago... I can eat everything and have no aversions, no sickness, so unfortunately, this one will most likely be a miscarriage too. It is tough to realize this so early on, and to have to keep experiencing this. Also, does progesterone help keep away those little hairs on the chinny chin chin. I don't think mine grew any or much at all during my healthy pregnancies. They sure are growing now!


I love comments and I read every single comment that comes in (and I try to respond when the little ones aren't distracting me to the point that it's impossible!). Please show kindness to each other and our family in the comment box. After all, we're all real people on the other side of the screen!