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A Personal Compendium of Nausea-Related Policies, Coping Mechanisms, and Fun Facts

August 6, 2008

A Personal Compendium of Nausea-Related Policies, Coping Mechanisms, and Fun Facts
by Meredith Phillips

* During the weeks (or months) of morning sickness there is no reason–be it a chunk of food, a white furry coating, or a hygienic habit–that is compelling enough that you should attempt to floss your teeth or brush your tongue. These things are triggers. As I told my husband the other day, “if I were you I would get drunk, eat a lot of salami, and floss my teeth.” He looked slightly perplexed but I have always taken these activities for granted, and I wanted to make sure that someone out there was doing these things mindfully, and enjoying them.

* Never make eye contact with a prenatal vitamin! If you need to use your eyes to get it out of the bottle, or for good aim, look at it peripherally or with somewhat blurred vision. If you do let it into your range of vision, be sure not to be thinking about it simultaneously.

* During the attempt, it helps to be both eating a meal and taking sips of chocolate milk. (One could reasonably ask: what does chocolate milk NOT help?) In fact, try to have a hand in at least 3 other projects, which enables you to sort of sneak-take it. Reading an article, eating a meal, and planning out the next thing you’re going to do is a good strategy. If you can work a sudoku game in at the same time, go for it. At the moment that you pop it in, don’t stop reading, but do start holding your nose with one hand, while you grab the chocolate milk with the other. (You are allowed to look at the milk.) Swallow in a brisk yet non-panicky fashion, and act calm, like nothing terrible is happening. Keep drinking the chocolate milk slowly and taking tiny bites of food. Hopefully these instructions are complicated enough that you can forestall roiling in disgust — at least until the 16th minute (see below).

* A vitamin is assimilated within 15 minutes after you swallow it.

* My cousin the dr. suggests: on days when you can’t even think about the vitamin, take folate pills. Rather than being canoe-sized and saddled with a horrific stink, the tiny, benevolent folate pills are more like the seven spiders that we all purportedly swallow in our sleep every calendar year; you don’t even notice them going down. And apparently, other than the shame factor, there is no compelling reason not to take a Flintstones Chewable if worse comes to worst. (I have since amended this post to say — there is not compelling reason to take a prenatal at all, when you can take a Flintstones Sour Gummy Chewable.)

* We’ve grown up thinking vegetables are our friends but this is Communist Propaganda. Contrary to evolved adult belief, they are *extremely disgusting.* If you must approach something green with your mouth, consider pistachio ice cream.

* Some vegetation is less evil than others. For instance, spinach is far easier to digest than broccoli or carrots. Pickles must have no nutritional value, because they are really great. If you are going to eat vegetables, eat them at the time of day when your digestion seems to be working best. If you are sick in the morning, avoid them. Being sick in the evening, I would not make an attempt past 4pm.

* Fruit is good.

* Eggs rock, according to our baby. But our baby might just favor smooth round white things, because minty Mentos also rock.

* Don’t be afraid to shake up your mealtimes. If your nausea consistently strikes at night, try not eating dinner. Two little breakfasts then a nice lunch in the late afternoon works.

* A banana yogurt shake before leaving bed is the perfect first breakfast. Matthew has an extremely delicious recipe he could share, but the gist is: 5 cubes of ice, a glug of milk, 1.5 bananas, a quantity of yogurt. Flax seeds or berry aren’t a bad addition.

* One more thing that has helped me with nausea is sort of giving in to it. You can’t so much about it, fighting / worrying about can be nearly as stressful as feeling nauseous, and it does not make it go away. One perk of being literate is that you can hang out in the bathroom feeling sick and practice self-edification. For instance, I just finished East of Eden, which is 630 pages long. When else might I have found the time to get through this American classic?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lady Kathryn permalink
    April 25, 2010 9:18 pm

    I greatly enjoyed this post and just at my breaking point with my own nausea. You give me hope!

  2. anichols30 permalink
    May 13, 2010 3:14 pm

    Great advice. I’ve been feeling guilty for not eating vegetables, but you are right–communist propaganda. Thanks for making me laugh through the queasiness!

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