Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Morning Sickness: My Dilemma

Warning to the reader: This post is a little graphic. I apologize before hand, I feel that there is merit in speaking of the facts as they are, at times, without a sugary coating. Please don't be offended.

I am a big advocate of eating a whole food diet. My husband and I spend extra every month on foods that are labeled organic, and not because it's trendy. We do it because, having researched, and having felt the differences in our own bodies, we really do feel that what we ingest has a profound impact on our lives, our health, our mental status, and our future children.

And now here I am expecting our second child! Woohoo!! The only downside to this is morning sickness.

As I was sitting the other day, dry heaving over my bowl of organic soaked oatmeal, (here's a great post with some insight into why I soak my grains), I realized, as I had when I was pregnant with my first child, all I really wanted to eat was a bowl of ramen noodles, aka death in a bag. Oh the irony of it! I choked down two bites of oatmeal, crawled to the bathroom and sat in front of the toilet. After napping with my son I choked down three more bites, and again proceeded to dry heave. This brought us to about 12:30, when my superhero husband got home for lunch (I'm lucky, huh? I get to see my husband everyday for lunch!). I cried to him that every healthy option I have in my kitchen sincerely made me want to vomit, and that all I'd been able to eat was 5 bites of oatmeal. He smiled at me and swept me off to the store where he insisted that we buy the first thing that sounded remotely palatable, which ended up being an egg-roll. What is with pregnancy and chinese food anyway? (Please note, I am not usually this much of a baby... I hope anyway. I was really tired, and felt rotten.)

Here is my question for you, and I sincerely want to know your thoughts: If you were in this situation, what would you do? Is it better to eat the ramen noodles, (or egg-roll as it were), because, at least it's something? Or is it better to maintain one's dietary integrity, (which I assure you I would if I really felt like I could), and choke down that detestable oatmeal for the sake of the unborn baby? Thoughts?


  1. I think you should follow your heart. Which may mean, follow the smell of the egg rolls. Your dietary integrity can return when you don't have to starve yourself and be miserable because of it. Of course, those words are coming from someone who commonly eats canned chili, pasta, and those individually wrapped cheeses. But I exercise and I'm happy and healthy! Haha. Good luck with your sickness love.

  2. I was having a similar discussion with Cameron tonight, Melissa! I have had a really hard time gaining weight in this pregnancy --- I'm 38 weeks now, and haven't gained even a single pound since Christmas, and only 8 in total the whole pregnancy. Part of the problem, I think, is that I eat darn healthy. Maybe if I ate more ramen noodles and ice cream and pizza I would have had more approvable weight gain!

    But then, I feel like I can't possibly go wrong by eating real food. After all, what alternative did anyone have 100 years ago?

    As for morning sickness, I thankfully didn't have to struggle too much with it. But there were many nauseous days. I admit that on some of those days, the only thing that sounded good to me was NOT organic or healthy, and I went ahead and ate it anyway. I think that if your general rule is healthy, organic food, it's okay to get yourself through a harder day with an egg roll or two. At least for me, the less I ate the sicker I felt. So it was better to eat and be happy than... not eat and be healthy?

    I'll be praying for you!

    1. I don't think you should feel bad about eating too healthy! :) Every woman is different. Maybe this is just your norm? Thanks for your prayers, and for your honest thoughts!

  3. p.s. I have only liked Oatmeal about three different days in my whole life. I completely sympathize.

  4. I would say eat the healthiest option you can. Take your prenatal vitamins, and the second something healthy sounds good, jump on it. Other than that, if a not so healthy option is all that you can stomach, treat your hard working, SAHM, pregnant body to it. You deserve it. :)

  5. I agree with kt. I ate peanut butter my first tri. Noe in moderation it's ok but one jar a week. But it was what kept me from vomiting every day. Babies gotta eat! So mby ur baby wnts to come out oriental. Just embrace the ramen!

  6. I was so ill for my entire pregnancy that all I could stomache was cold cereal (Frosted Flakes to be exact!) and cottage cheese. There were a few good days mixed in where I felt better and could eat more foods but for the most part, I couldn't even glance in the direction of meat, most dairy, corn, green onions, eggs, avacado, soups, sandwichs...these things all made me heave. I lost 25 pounds. It was so hard. My midwife told me that our cravings and aversions during pregnancy are all signals from our body telling us what it needs and that we should listen. Maybe a ramen craving means your body needs a little salt. :) Bottom line ... you should eat whatever your body will allow you to eat. Everything will turn out ok and you can go back to your regularly, scheduled organic diet when your body says so. Even if we aren't getting the best nutrition, it's ok. You do the best you can and take your vitamins.

  7. I barely survived three terrible pregnancies with morning sickness that lasted all nine months... and I say without remorse - eat what you can!! Do whatever it takes to survive the first trimester. When you're feeling semi-human again, start to take stock in your cravings. Are you craving the bag of death and egg rolls because you're not getting enough sodium? Potassium? Are you dehydrated? And best of luck to you!!

    (By the way, I only drank diet coke and gatorade for three months this last pregnancy. Water was too hard on my stomach. The first water I drank in the second trimester brought tears.)

  8. One option could be to make healthier versions of those things that you're craving... though I know when you have no energy/are feeling sick, cooking up a storm may be completely unappealing! I agree that oftentimes cravings help us to understand what nutrients we need. Congrats on the second pregnancy and hang in there! :) :)

  9. I say eat what you want to eat. A few weeks (or months) of nausea will abate and you can return to your whole foods. This is a time of survival!

  10. Amen to those earlier comments. I finally gave up eating veggies and other things I felt passionate about prior to pregnancy, around week 6. My new feeling is eat anything remotely healthy that sounds good to help balance any adverse effects of a temporary diet of mac and cheese, ramen, and frozen pizza. It's much better than throwing up, and our bodies recover quickly. (I really just feel bad for Mark and Jackson--pretty sure they're going to get too used to this new processed set up). Mark assures me, it's for the best.

  11. I wanted to thank everyone for your kind comments and support! This week has been a little harder than I expected. Such is the life of some pregnant women :)

    I feel better hearing the general thought of, of course, eat the healthiest you possibly are able -- but don't beat yourself up for those times when you just can't. I just feel so strongly about eating healthily, it's a hard one for me to get over. I truly do believe the idea that was expressed about our cravings pointing us in the direction of what our bodies need. If only I anticipated those needs a little better before I feel the need to reach for the death in a bag ha ha ha Thank heavens for healthy food that helps heal our bodies from all the other stuff we subject ourselves to -- whether for necessity or other wise.

  12. I'm sorry you're experiencing this, Melissa! Do you find that the more often you eat, the less prone you are to the horrible "morning" sickness? Maybe Joe could make you some toast right when he gets up for work. That might help you make it until breakfast is ready, etc. I've had a hard time stomaching sweet things this time around, including oatmeal (anything that'll turn to sugar in my body I guess), and the longer I go without eating, the less I want to eat and the less anything at all sounds appetizing.

    Your settling on an eggroll reminded me of a rule I read in Food Rules, that book I've been reading by Catherine Shanahan. It's #12: Want Your Umami. Here's what she writes:

    "As I've noted, umami is the fifth taste, and the Japanese word for "good flavor." The umami sensation is supposed to signal the presence of complex nutrients, so our craving for umami is a good thing. In fact, some of the healthiest foods and condiments you can buy are characterized by their umami flavor.

    "Get your umami from these healthy sources [rather than deceiving MSG-ridden foods]: fermented pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchee; real fermented tofu (if you can find it); artesanal sausage and cured meats (made with "lactic acid starter culture" and without nitrates or nitrites); raw milk cheeses; kikkoman and other authentic, naturally brewed soy sauces; fish sauce (as with soy sauces, the good brands will say "naturally brewed" or"fermented"); oyster sauce (the best brands list oysters as a top ingredient, the cheap ones, water)."

    I've been understanding why pregnant ladies are said to crave pickles and ice cream lately. We desperately need the enzymes, probiotics, etc. of fermented food and that unmatchable saturated fat!

    Good luck, Melissa Love!

  13. My feeling has been if you can get ANYTHING down and keep it down you can usually take the edge off. Once you are feeling a little better you can start adding in the healthy stuff. I had a really hard time with my first and the Dr. recommended carnation instant breakfast because it has vitamins you could try protein shakes. Just a thought. You also need to remember that if you look around most people eat way worse things then ramen or egg rolls. You are doing amazing!