It was the Friday before Easter (Good Friday for all the Christians out there) and my husband Joe and I were planning on heading down to my parents place in Bucks County, PA for the Easter weekend as soon as I got home from work. Being a guy that loves the random surprises, Joe had an Easter basket waiting for me when I walked in the door filled with chocolate, Cadbury Eggs and of course the Easter staple -- Peeps! It was after I started digging into all the treats while packing my suitcase that he told me he had another surprise for me. Excited thinking I was getting flowers, or heck even better, more candy, he whipped something else out of the plastic CVS bag. Now, to give you a fair shot at a guess here, I should probably tell you I randomly got sick at work the day before. No fever. No chills or sweats. Just a desperate dash off set to make it to the bathroom just in time to see breakfast come up.
Now... I'm sure you can guess what the surprise in the CVS bag was. Without going into too much detail, we anxiously waited the 60 seconds it takes for the front panel indicator to display the highly anticipated/nerve racking truth. After a bottle of Gatorade, three tests, a trip to the doctor and a whole lot of hand holding, life as we knew it was officially about to change. We were eight and a half weeks pregnant.
I don't know if morning sickness kicks into high gear around week eight or nine, or if it was just my body giving into the pregnancy now that it was known, but from the day I returned to work after the Easter holiday I didn't make it more than a few hours without getting as sick as a dog.
It would be one thing if I worked behind a desk and could nonchalantly slip away a couple of times an hour to get sick in the bathroom, but anchoring a four hour morning show and trying to keep the pregnancy quiet from work is a whole other story. I liked to call it my disappearing act, but having such a heavy conscience and afraid my co-workers would think I was "slacking," I became really good at timing my sick episodes to less than 90 seconds so they would fit perfectly during commercial breaks or weather hits. I was able to keep my pregnancy quiet with this self-learned trick for another two months or so.
Two of the most memorable times (as in the worst memories I have) happened at about week 13. By the way, if you are an expectant mother wondering when your morning sickness will finally subside, don't believe the whole "12 week/second trimester" fluff doctors, websites and blogs try to feed you. I just hit my sixth month mark (24 wks.) Friday and had my first puke-free week last week. Sorry to burst your bubble, but just remember I do feel your pain. Anyway, memorable moment numero uno took place while I was live during the morning show for four hours in Albany's Washington Park previewing the annual Tulip Festival. Again no one being aware that I was pregnant, after pretty much every live hit, I would dart out of view behind the live truck to do my "thing" then have a few minutes to collect myself and slap on the perky "I feel great!" face to do it all over again. Not fun. Not fun at all especially because the city's gardeners in charge of making the park gorgeous watched in horror each and every time I ducked out of view from my camera man to get sick. But as my parents always told me, "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." That's why I can now bench 350 pounds. Just kidding.
Memorable moment numero dos happened on my way home from work. I felt sick per usual driving up the Northway and didn't really think twice about it. It was when I was driving on Route 146 in Clifton Park stuck in an absurd amount of traffic that I knew I was going to blow and had nowhere to turn or stop. Frantically I reached for the one and only plastic bag I just happened to have in my car from taking our dog Rileigh for a walk the day before (yes, it was a doggy do-do bag) and did what I'm guessing only pregnant women and extremely hung over people have done -- held the steering wheel with one hand, bag in the other and my face somewhere in between. I can honestly tell you as unsafe as this sounds, it was a million times scarier. Let's just say the folks in the cars next to me unfortunately saw something I'm sure they never want to witness again. Believe me, neither do I.
For some women, morning sickness is never an issue. For others, it plagues them throughout their entire pregnancy and it can vary child to child. Even though I am now entering my 25th week of pregnancy, I still have bouts of feeling horrible or as I like to say "feeling like I just got run over by a MACK truck." My best advice for anyone dealing with morning sickness and the unbelievable fatigue that comes along with, be patient. I know its frustrating. I know its disheartening especially in the beginning when you are not showing yet, can't feel the baby move and all you want to do is crawl into a little ball and go to sleep. I've tried every old wives trick in the book to help ease my morning sickness -- ginger ale, crackers, morning sickness ginger-infused tea, pregnancy pops, vitamin B-6, mints, eating little bits at a time, eating all the time, donut holes, lemonade, coca-cola, etc. Nothing worked for me, but I do wish you the best of luck and some women swear by some of the tricks. Just know you are not alone. Many women, just like I have, go through the not-so-pretty perils of pregnancy, but in the end it will all be worth it when you see the face of your little one looking back at you. I can't wait for that moment and everyday it gets closer and closer.