August 3 – August 9: 7 Weeks 0 Days – 7 Weeks 6 Days.
I love teaching yoga, but I had been so relentlessly nauseated that by week eight that I was just counting down the classes until Richard and I left on Wednesday for our road trip to Vancouver, Canada to visit my family. The teaching itself wasn’t so bad—the light movement and warmth actually relieved many of my symptoms—but having to put on real clothes and leave my apartment where I could nap and snack whenever I wanted to was arduous when I was feeling so uncomfortable.
I think nausea is my body’s way of preparing me psychologically for a baby. Just as a baby communicates it’s diverse needs in one way—crying—my body now speaks primarily in nausea. Hunger—nausea. Overly full—nausea. Exerted too hard—nausea. Too sedentary—nausea. Thirsty—nausea. Too hot—nausea. Too cold—nausea. Sleepy—nausea. Before I was pregnant, I could get up, take my dog Foxy on a 45-minute walk on Bernal Hill, and teach a yoga class—all before breakfast. During the walk and the yoga class my body may have whispered to me that I should have eaten sooner, and maybe by the time I finally grabbed a protein pack from Starbucks my body’s tone would have risen from whispering to sternly chastising. The nausea augments my body’s whispering to yelling. If I take Foxy out on even her 5-minute pee-walk before eating my morning apple or boiled egg, my body revolts. I wish I could say that I use my refined yoga skills to listen and respond to the subtle cues from my body, but the cues are so blatant and intrusive that it really doesn’t take honed senses or self-discipline to modify my lifestyle. It’s a necessity.
Informed by the booklet my doctor gave me and my friend, Jacqueline’s, blog I found that eating frequently helped attenuate my queasiness. For the first time in my life I started getting up for midnight snacks when my body woke me up with nausea. You’re not supposed to gain too much weight in the first trimester (yet another thing for pregnant women to stress about), so I broke up my meals into smaller sub meals (like a hobbit, I’ve got second breakfast and elevensies), ate more slowly, and got an arsenal of naturally low-calorie snacks. On our road trip to Vancouver, I munched on a steady stream of popcorn, grapes, and carrots. Luckily, I don’t get motion sickness, so the car ride didn’t bother me.
In Oregon, Richard and I went on a twenty or thirty minute hike to check out the sand dunes. I’ve been a fitness fanatic since I was fifteen, and normally I’m the one with stamina and Richard is the one telling me to stop trying to have a conversation with him while we’re hiking up a hill. This time I was the one huffing and puffing along, complaining that my shoes were full of sand, and stopping for frequent water breaks. I had the fleeting (and pretentious) thought, This must be how normal people all the time. The effort of the hike was totally worth the play time we had on the dunes though.
I insisted we continue to drive up the scenic route along the coast, even though it would add a couple hours to our trip. Then with Richard behind the wheel, the pregnant-lady fatigue set in and I fell asleep for most of it.