I had zero sickness when I was pregnant with my daughter. I wasn't even nauseous. So when I was about 7 weeks pregnant with my son, and the fatigue train knocked me on my rear, I was not prepared.
I couldn't even move from my couch. The nausea was truly awful, and all day.
My sweet little 2-year-old was so confused by all this because up until then we had enjoyed a lovely little routine of bopping all over town visiting friends and libraries and doing all the tender and memorable things first time moms do with their little darlings.
Now? No way. I wasn't even cleaning or cooking, let alone going OUT. And after a while, she began to act out because of the change in my demeanor. I knew I had to act fast or we would both be really miserable if these patterns continued.
I usually felt ok between 5pm and 8pm, and so I got some things together in the evenings and put them near our chair. Books, puzzles, activities, new videos awaited her almost daily. I set it all up and I set up a bowl of snacks and then I did something I swore I would never ever do.
I gave myself permission to be a couch-potato parent.
I knew that this was temporary and completely out of my control, but I also knew that my daughter needed me to be as present as I could be, and she needed to be connected to me. So I had to find a way to do it. There were days when I couldn't even read books to her I was so tired. So I just focused every ounce of my body and energy on smiling at her and telling her I loved her and giving her hugs.
We watched TV. A lot of TV. And I'm not sorry about it. Because we used that time to talk about the things we saw and felt and I let her show me what she saw and felt. That was my way into her heart, and a way for me to make sure we were nestling close and staying connected.
We found a way to make it work through those months until the sickness eased and I started to feel a whole lot better. Then we got back to our special little routine. I had to let a lot of my expectations of myself go during that time, but I found ways to treat her well and parent her with my whole heart, and I believe that was what saved us from having a whole lot more disruptions in our peaceful relationship and behavior issues than we were already having.
So if you are struggling with crippling morning sickness, let your expectations go and just try to focus on little things to build connection. This is a blip in the radar and it will soon be over. Do your best, and that will always, always be enough. It has to be.
Lauren is resides in Oklahoma with her husband and two children. She is a birth worker and an aspiring writer. In her spare time she loves to work out and spend time perusing old and new bookstores.