Friday, March 13, 2009

How are you feeling?

I know how to do sick pregnancies agonizingly well. This time around, I've learned more about my body and how it handles food and I feel much better than I did during Emma's and Mandy's pregnancies. I can rate how I feel on a scholastic scale of "A+" being skipping around in a field of daisies and sliding down rainbows and an "F" would find me with my head in the perpetually dirty toilet bowl. Lately, I've been at about a "C+," not failing, but not skipping through daisies either.

I would never presume to say that my pregnancy diet would work for all women. On the contrary, I believe a woman's body tells her exactly what she need during pregnancy and she should listen to it. I felt like punching well-meaning nurses who tried to tell me to suck on hard candies and eat ginger in bulk when I felt nauseous. Severe nausea really doesn't make a lady very pleasant. 

I don't eat sugar. No desserts. No dried fruit. No juice. No Pepsi. No sugar in my tea. (*Insert tears*). I try to eat less than 5g of sugar per day. To put that in perspective, a slice of wheat bread has 2g of sugar.  I limit white carbs and only indulge in things that have lots of whole grains. I haven't had any large quantity of sugar in about a month, except for the other night when I honestly couldn't resist my favorite pear cobbler. I paid for it dearly the entire next day with nausea and vomiting. 

Another thing that throws me completely out of whack are high fat foods. As good as they taste going down, my blood sugars can't handle the extra fat and calories (most likely because they turn into sugars in the body). On Wednesday I had a Chicken Cordon Blue sandwich from Arby's. It has 473 calories, 6g saturated fat, and 7g of sugar which I found out just now when I looked it up online. Plus I ate curly fries. Delicious. It was so yummy, but I spent Thursday very, very ill.

I've made a diagram to show you what I mean. I am a nerd. There is no avoiding the truth any longer....

When my blood sugars are off, I feel very nauseous, which leads to vomiting which depletes my nutritional balance even more making me feel gross and perpetuating the cycle. With careful eating and rest, I can pull myself out of the vortex, but it takes about 24 hours. It makes dessert and high fat foods seem really unappealing. 

So, to feel at a good "C+" grade, I eat plenty of protein, grains, and greens. Green bean casserole made with hamburger is my favorite. I wanted to eat that for breakfast this morning, but for the sake of my family and their nausea, I ate eggs instead.

To maintain balance, I also take this homeopathic herb supplement from Alternative Health and Herbs ( It includes Alfalfa Leaf, Catnip, Peppermint Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Ginger Root, and Lobelia. I take it 3 times a day. It doesn't cure severe nausea at all, but it does seem to help with the mild yucky feeling I get before meals.

You may be sorry you asked how I was feeling, but maybe something that helps me could help you. You never know. Thanks for asking. Today I am very thankful to be feeling pretty good.


Annie said...

I found that exact same thing in my first trimester as well. The less sugar and carbs I ate - the better I felt. I;m twenty five weeks now and am on the tail end of the ravenously hungry stage. I gained 15 pounds. My midwife told me that things should level off weight wise pretty soon. I sure hope so!!! I like your diagram!

Lindsay said...

I am so glad this is helping you feel a little better!

I have been doing a similar diet in effort to control my migraines and the other problems I've had with my nervous system. I saw an acupuncturist in the fall and she recommened it to me saying that sugar and foods on the acidic side, basically fry your nervous system. It took me while to buy into it, but then I began to realize how addicted to sugar I really was. It is true that I feel so much better when I work hard to eliminate sugar, and all my symptoms are gone! And another plus is that I've lost about 6 pounds.

So, this plan may be good for a variety of ailments!

I hope things will get even better for you as you progress in this pregnancy!

Kellie said...

At least you have a plan to get to feeling like a C+ which is better then having no plan and feeling like an F. What gets me the most when I deal with m/s is the excess saliva. For that I carried a washcloth with me at all times to spit into. Yes it's gross but the alternative was dry heaving into a kitchen towel. Another thing that did help mildly the first time I was pregnant was Seabands. Not sure if you've tried it but I have a pair somewhere around here I can give you. I wore them at all times except in the shower and it took a year for the indention marks to disappear but they made it possible for me to get to work and pretend I wasn't suffering from severe nausea.

Ratzlaff Reflections said...

Okay, that really IS gross, Kellie!

Alysun, I'm so glad that you are finding something that works!! I know that I should be cutting out the sugar, too, just for general health. This post is motivating!!

John and Kelly and our lambs: Joshua, Jacob, Josiah said...

I've used a lot of different stuff from this company before over the years(ear drops, anitbiotic, ect.) I'm glad you are finding luck with it, it doesn't seem to do much for our family.

Choco Girl said...

Our bodies are so awesome! Thank you for telling your story. Though I have a desire to be pregnant when I get married but the nausea and alot of things accompanied with pregnancy that nobody really tells you makes me think again..
But I wish you a happy learning filled pregnancy!