Emesis Gravidarium (Or how I learned to relax and love corn chips)

Morning sickness. I didn’t think it would happen to me, mostly because my mother didn’t have any. Honestly I hadn’t thought much about it with the holiday unfolding around me and taking most of my attention.

Then it happened. On a long, stuffy bus ride to Naples. We hadn’t had time for a proper breakfast that morning due to the early departure but the hotel had packed us little breakfast bags. We were sitting in the back of the bus because it was mostly full when we got there, the aircon wasn’t working very well and I was feeling grumpy and out of sorts.

I thought I could fight the rising nausea, but apparently not. Craig heroically interpreted my desperate glance and grabbed the bag of snacks off me, upended it over the floor of the coach and handed the empty bag back just in the nick of time. He gathered up the food while I heaved into the (thankfully hole free) plastic bag. It was misery.

Soon afterwards we had a ‘technical’ (toilet) stop which gave me a chance to dispose of the evidence and wash my hands and face. I eventually found the tour guide and let her know I was unwell, the look on her face was priceless but she procured some more plastic bags for me.

The rest of the day is a bit of a blur in hindsight. I was fortunately able to eat lunch and Pompeii was amazing but the long bus rides were sheer hell and I was sick again on the bus before we arrived back to our hotel.

The next day we were catching a train from Rome to Milan. I was sick again in the morning  but managed to have a little breakfast. The next major problem was bags. We had two each, a huge backpack and a merely large backpack that we typically slung in front, plus the glass we had picked up in Venice. Now I couldn’t bear to have anything rubbing against my tummy and I wasn’t up to carrying much. It was a problem.

Fortunately our hotel was not far from the main train station. Craig was able to do two trips to get the bags there while I took just the boxes of glass. I survived the train trip in some misery but without actually vomiting. We’d planned to do some more sightseeing in Milan before catching our plane the next day, but all I could do when we got there was lie in bed and feel sorry for myself.

I called my mother and sister in misery to ask for advice. This was the first my sister had heard of the pregnancy so she was rather excited but she had experienced a little morning sickness herself. I’d done some online research and she confirmed what I’d heard about getting some snacks and grazing so that my stomach wouldn’t get empty to help with the nausea.

I was freaking out at this point because the next day we were due to get on two flights totalling 20 hours or so. The thought of being stuck in a small space for that length of time, being sick was just horrific.

After a while I was feeling well enough to go to some local grocery stores. We stocked up on dry crackers, ginger drinks, sour lollies, mints and corn chips. We also found a pharmacist who spoke a little English. I was desperate at this point so threw myself on his mercy. Even so, I said a firm no to the offer of homeopathic remedies. He did give me some stuff called Biochetazi. It specifically mentioned emesis gravidarium on the pack and I looked it up when I got back to the hotel. It was basically an electrolyte drink and perfectly safe. I felt so much better just having something!

By the day of the flight, I was starting to get the hang of the constant snacking. Corn chips were my new best friend (and I have to say, they have some really nice corn chips in Italy!) I was even waking up a few times in the middle of the night to have a few corn chips and stop my stomach from getting empty. It was working and I didn’t throw up that morning. The other thing that was helping was sniffing my migrastick (a roll on containing lavender and peppermint essential oils).

When we got to the airport, I confided my fears to the lady at the check in desk. To my eternal gratitude, she’d experienced morning sickness herself and was very understanding. She managed to change our seating reservation to a block of two seats at the end of a section. This meant we wouldn’t have another person sitting next to us for the long haul flight and made a huge difference to both of us.

I ended up telling flight attendants on both flights that I was pregnant and experiencing morning sickness. They were great and brought me ginger ale and made sure I got the meals I wanted (without seafood). I didn’t get sick on either flight which was a great relief. Having a bag full of my trusty corn chips and keeping the migrastick close to hand did the trick. We arrived in Brisbane feeling rather tired but incredibly relieved.

After this, regular snacking kept the morning sickness at bay until it subsided a few weeks later. I didn’t throw up at all after the first few days. Initially I was so miserable and scared, being in a strange place and facing a long flight feeling the way I did. I’m so glad it all worked out. Craig was an absolute trooper, carrying too many heavy bags and still managing to look after me. All in all it was a rather ‘interesting’ experience for us both.


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