Confession: I'm a pregnant pill popper

Egads!  But alas, not as sensationalist as the title implied.

I’m now almost 18 weeks pregnant. 18! And despite being in the supposedly awesome second trimester, I still feel icky most of the time.  On the bright side, I’m getting used to feeling icky – most days.  On the realistic side, I do sometimes wallow in the misery of just feeling so icky.

I know, pathetic.

After two nights of pathetic misery, I called my mom to whine.  Yes, at 31, I call to whine. Do you not do that?  And she confided that she took a little anti-nausea pill for the duration of each of her three pregnancies.  With the first (me), she was admitted to the hospital before getting the prescription. With the next two, she took it beginning to end.

And then I remembered: I have these pills already sitting on my nightstand! Duh.

I’m reminded of the studies that show that people who need medication to live good lives (schizophrenics, for one) will get better while taking their pills and then suddenly stop taking them. It defies logic, but happens time after time.  They get better, decide the pills aren’t the cause, and stop taking the pills. Then (lo and behold) they get worse.

That one glorious week of awesomeness when I thought I’d conquered the misery of indigestion?  Not so much. I was taking an anti-nausea pill and a B6 vitamin every night.  And then I stopped. Because I’m human (and therefore slightly crazy).

So now I’m taking the anti-nausea pill again and feeling oddly defeated for it.  Why is that? I take a prenatal vitamin most days, believe in the power of Tylenol to kill a headache, rely on Theraflu to survive the flu (when not pregnant). Perhaps it’s because I drink tons of water before reaching for Tylenol, am very careful to adhere to the dosing guidelines when taking Theraflu, and only take the prenatal because I know my diet is getting me all the vitamins I need what with being limited to cheese, Frosted Mini Wheats and Subway sandwiches (but only for lunch).

I tend to prefer more “normal” human ways of getting what I need than industrialized options.  That said, I eat McDonald’s sometimes.

Side note: there was an article about Taco Bell pleading their case against some government agency that wouldn’t allow them to use the word “beef” (or “meat”) for their tacos because they were under the 40% real beef threshold for using the term. Um, what? So if they had 41% beef, they’d be good to go?  Since then, I can’t stomach the thought of most fast food and I am very sad, because I love me a Wendy’s burger and (yes, I’ll admit it) a Taco Bell taco sometimes.  But if only 40% is beef, what’s the rest? Wait, don’t answer that. Please.

So I’m taking an anti-nausea pill and for the first time in weeks, I am sleeping more regularly and not spending each evening pathetically miserable.  If this makes me a wimp or a loser, so be it.  With slightly more than half a pregnancy to go, something needed to change or this kid would be sleeping in a pile of unfolded clean clothes I never put away because I was laying very still and trying not to puke.  And that pile of clothes would be made OH so much more comfy by the tumbleweeds of animal fur that would undoubtedly have floated by and decided to hang on. Ew.

Oh, right, and for those folks who remember that I’m signed up to spawn this kid at a birth center (read: no epidural option), I get the concern you might have that someone so wimpy she can’t handle nausea will be able to give birth naturally.  I share that concern.  But I remind myself of two things: 1) my mom – who took anti-nausea meds for each pregnancy – gave birth three times without epidurals, once while under heavy doses of Pitocin, and 2) I could deal with the nausea if I didn’t have regular life to live and an endless to-do list, both of which get put aside while one is pushing a child out of one’s hoo-ha.

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10 thoughts on “Confession: I'm a pregnant pill popper

  1. Not that it’s any of my business, but what anti-nausea medication do you take? (I used to read your Weddingbee blog, and I just found you over here – yay!)

    • @Heather, Phenergan. I started taking it to combat this sudden vertigo I had in September, then stopped when I found out I was pregnant. My OB said it was safe to take while pregnant, as did two midwives, and yet I still tried not to just because.

      But then I did, and now I have some hope of eating healthy things again, whereas before everything had to be easily digestible carbs (read: bread) or wouldn’t stay down (so not much nutrition in that!).

  2. I hope for the best, but am prepared for the worst after having a mother who spent her entire 8.5 months entirely unable to function due to the nausea she experienced. And I can tell you, I will take an antinausea pill (or more than one) EVERY SINGLE DAY of my pregnancy (when I have one) if that’s what it takes. Because like you, life isn’t going to stop just because I don’t feel well. And even though going ‘natural’ is probably the best option for the baby, it’s a quality of life line I’m not willing to cross unless said pill was actually proven to *harm* the baby.

  3. Dude. I took Tums for heartburn–heartburn!!–just about every day of my pregnancy, but did labor & delivery without an epidural. Before giving birth, natural birth folks would explain to me that birthing-discomfort/pain is different because it’s productive and purposeful. I found that to be very true. Like I cuss up a storm if I stub my toe (or over less, let’s be honest), but my only near-swear during labor and delivery was when my ob said, “you’re almost done!” She went on to say, “only about 20 more minutes of pushing!” To which I responded, “Sweet baby Jesus!” but by then, baby Cora was positioned in such a way that I welcomed pushing her out.

    Which is the unnecessarily long way of saying, “Yes! You can totally hate nausea and take meds for it, but still go epidural-free!” Hope you get to feeling better, one way or another!

  4. um nausea totally sucks and my mom always said that i have spent 80% of my life being nauseous. growing up with ibs and lactose intolerance and a perpetual post nasal drip, its not really surprising. but its awful and when its really bad, its distracting from everything else in the world. so its pretty miserable. i say take the pill… its not like you can have willpower over nausea! you will have enough going on, might as well be a little more comfortable!

  5. I don’t think that not “handling” nausea makes you wimpy or unable to handle natural childbirth for that matter. Nausea and vomiting totally interrupts your entire day and makes it impossible to function. Yeah, maybe if it was only going to last a week or two or three, you’d find ways to cope and power through it, but to go a whole 9 months with daily nausea/vomiting, that’s just too much.

  6. I suffered through all-day-all-night nausea and vomiting throughout the first 14 weeks of my pregnancy, trying a lengthy list of things to try and get it to stop, or at least not be so constant. (So much it being “morning sickness”!) When I couldn’t even keep down a glass of water–water!!–nor could I think straight, I started taking an anti-nauseau med my doctor prescribed. I held onto that prescription for 2 weeks before actually filling it, hoping, praying, begging the universe to make the crappiness stop. It did — when I took the pill! Still, I felt like I had to keep quiet to friends and colleagues about taking it, lest judgement be passed. Thank you for blogging about this topic and putting it out there.

  7. I read somewhere that the pain threshold goes up right before birth. Either way, nausea is so much worse to me than pain. It’s horrible, dizzy nastiness. Meanwhile, are you having any trouble with Phenergan side effects? That stuff knocks me out.

    • @Sarah S, Yup! Headaches that don’t go away despite all the water drinking I can manage. I’m on the fence about which situation is worse – constant headache or constant nausea.

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