February 3rd, 2005

A Pocket Full of Murder

Beating "morning sickness" (in the afternoon and evening)

Recently I've been forcibly reminded of why the first trimester of pregnancy, for many women including myself, really stinks. Sure, your clothes still fit and you have no difficulty moving around, but you feel so rotten you don't care.

With my first two pregnancies I suffered through eight weeks of nausea, fatigue and a nasty metallic taste in the mouth, grimly convinced all the while that there was nothing I could do about it -- aside from taking prescription medication that was iffy at best. Oh, I'd heard the usual suggestions about dry crackers, small frequent meals, and exercise, but none of those things seemed to make me feel one whit better.

A couple of weeks ago, with this third pregnancy, I was at my wits' end. Morning was actually the only time I felt decent: from noon until midnight, however, I was miserable. And with my Dad's 80th birthday coming up in just a few days and my whole family coming over for a home-cooked meal, I knew I had to take action of some sort to fight this pregnancy sickness, or we'd all end up eating Chinese takeout.

A quick look at the Internet for home remedies gave me two new ideas: acupressure bands (which, as I'd learned to my surprise when my husband and I went whale-watching on our honeymoon, actually do work to control nausea), and ginger root capsules. I'd heard good things about ginger tea and ginger candies before, but I just couldn't bear the thought of having the taste of ginger in my mouth when I was feeling ill. Taking ground ginger in capsule form a couple of times a day, however, seemed pretty workable. So I decided to give it a try.

Within 24 hours of taking the ginger capsules first thing every morning and last thing at night, and putting on my "sea bands" just before the time when I would normally start to feel nauseated, I felt 50% better than I had before. Within a couple of days I was able not only to prepare my Dad's birthday dinner, but actually enjoy eating it.

This week I refined the process further by discovering that if I take the ginger capsule later in the morning, closer to the time that I would normally start to feel sick, it works even better. For the last three days I've felt pretty decent all day, and I'm now convinced that the ginger, not just the sea bands, is making the difference. I can tell my pregnancy sickness is still there because I have that metallic taste in my mouth from noon onward, and after about eight o'clock at night I start to feel like it's really catching up to me -- but on the whole I just feel so much better. Who would have thought that something so simple could make such a difference?

Man, I wish I'd known this with my last two pregnancies.