I knew my husband loved me the day he began wearing Secret deodorant. Yes, the “strong enough for a man, but made for a woman” powder fresh variety.

Why exactly was my hard workin’ farmer, who wrestles bulls and MMA fights for fun, wearing women’s deodorant? Because the aroma of masculinity and the smell of him fresh out of the shower made me gag.

For real.

Like dry heave uncontrollably.

And end up at the porcelain throne.

That’s why.

It’s called morning sickness. But the truth is this all-day nausea is far from “morning sickness.” It’s straight up the tenth circle of Dante’s Inferno. And if you are reading this thinking, “Oh, it’s not THAT bad.” then you clearly haven’t had the variety of morning sickness that many of us face. Some women even experience the most severe form: Hyperemesis gravidarum. This occurs in up to 3% of pregnancies. ACOG says, “This condition may be diagnosed when a woman has lost 5% of her pre pregnancy weight and has other problems related to dehydration.” And although it’s never harmful for the child, it can do great harm to the mother.

(DISCLAIMER): Before I continue I need to say that I know some of you are reading this who have experienced pregnancy loss and would give your right arm for the opportunity to experience morning sickness. I understand, and I am so sorry for the loss of your precious child. I’m also a mom who has experienced loss. And I’ll address that later. So please don’t stop reading. I want to be sensitive to you as well.

Now let’s continue. I’ve been to the morning sickness rodeo three times in my life. It held me hostage for 12 weeks each time and by the end I am confident I could have been diagnosed with clinical depression. The whole world seemed dark and bleak. That’s what happens when you feel like you are seasick on a rickety-boat for 24 hours a day while having the flu. You get depressed and if you are on meds all you can think of is your next “fix” that doesn’t really fix anything but just takes the edge off. Last year, after I ran to the toilet for the upteenth time, my son asked, “Mom do you feel like you have a rotten egg in your stomach?” My response, “Yes, son. I do.” And then I wanted to cry.

So here are my five tips for dealing with it:  

1) Give into your cravings. I’m a healthy eater. My go-to snacks are carrots, cucumbers, and green peppers. But those items did little to squelch the beast. Instead I needed food. Real food. Like canned biscuits. French bread. And with my third pregnancy—Zaxby’s buffalo chicken. I have no idea why that last one helped me. But for a brief moment, while ingesting buffalo sauce or hot wings, I felt ok. We live thirty-minutes from the closest Zaxbys, but when the urge hit I loaded up my posse and we took off. The same went for Gatorade, Totinos’ pizza, and Golden Graham cereal. If you ever wonder why I gained 100 pounds with each pregnancy there is the evidence. The only food that made me remotely feel ok was bad food. Food I don’t even normally like.Try your best to eat healthy, but sometimes the only thing you might be able to keep down is a box of Wheat Thins. Just do it.

2) Picture the end result. While lying in bed I would scroll through my social media feeds looking for infants. Weird and stalkerish? Perhaps. But looking at pictures of newborns and seeing the “end result” and constantly praising God that he’d given me a baby in my womb helped me to stop thinking of the little invader in my stomach as a fire-breathing dragon sent to poison me. So keep the end in mind.

Plus, your child might end up smarter. One study found “the kiddos whose moms really struggled to keep things down, had a higher I.Q., a greater grasp of language, and were just better behaved over all.” I’m not even sure if this panned out to be true, but it is one nice possible pay-off, right?

3). Realize you can’t “remedy” it away. Ginger Ale, crackers, sea bands, small meals, pickle juice, peppermint essential oil, more crackers, ginger drops, ginger root, ginger tea. Sweet Jesus if I never see ginger again in my life I’ll be a happy woman. I tried every.single.remedy on the web. Nothing helped. Go ahead and try all the tricks, but don’t be disappointed if they do little to help. Sometimes the strangest things can help (see tip 1) and just rid your house of offenders that make you barf. Coffee suddenly became on my “hide it” list. I had to even move the coffee maker to the garage so I couldn’t see it. The vision of it made me gag. But since I couldn’t move my husband out of my house, he just had to start smelling a bit more feminine.

4). Get a perspective and find people with whom you can vent. 1 in 4 women experience miscarriage. 1 in 160 women will give birth to a stillborn child. Couples battle infertility. So please realize there is a large segment of the population that can’t stand to hear you rant about your problem. You shouldn’t lie and act like everything is fine (when it clearly is not) but you also shouldn’t publically go on a rampage (i.e. social media post). Find a few people with whom you can vent. A few of my poor friends were my go-to complaint boxes. I held nothing back. However, around people I didn’t really know I would say I was facing all-day nausea, but I didn’t become hysterical or talk about how I wished I was never even pregnant. Try to focus on the fact that you have a living child in your belly and this is a short-term inconvenience for a long-term joy.


5) Give yourself grace. To take the darned meds. To let your toddler binge watch Sesame Street. To tell your family to fend for themselves on meals by throwing out a box of cereal on the counter. To eat the whole pile of biscuits at Cracker Barrel. To crawl in your bed at 5pm and binge watch a mindless show. To do all you are required at work and not overachieve.

My first batch with morning sickness hit a month or so after I began working on my PhD and working at the same university. The hour-commute to and from Knoxville each day became a much-longer trip because I would have to stop at exits to throw-up and dispose of the paper bags I kept in my lap to barf in while driving. It was hard. I’m naturally a perfectionist, but all I could do at the time was merely survive. I did what I had to and nothing more. And I had to give myself grace to accept that fact. And know you’ll laugh about some of it later. Our legacy as a couple includes the romantic-fail of a night when my husband rolled over in bed and made a sassy (and inappropriately funny) pick-up line. Before the phrase got all the way out of his mouth I was throwing up. In bed. So yeah, I’ve actually vomited at my husband’s advances. Bless.

So mama, if you are in the throes of this battle please know it will end. And at the end you’ll get a glorious gift. But right now I know you are in the middle of purgatory. All I can say is that this too shall pass (hopefully by the second-trimester, right?). Take care, mama.



So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Sarah Philpott

Sarah Philpott Ph.D lives in the south east on a sprawling cattle farm where she raises her two mischievous children (with one on the way!) and is farm wife to her high school sweetheart. A former teacher, she now spends this season of her life cleaning peanut butter & jelly off the counter, dreaming of traveling the world, hosting “get-togethers” for her family & friends, and chasing her kids around the farm. Sarah is represented by The Blythe Daniel Literary Agency. You can visit with Sarah at her http://allamericanmom.net/ blog where she writes about cultivating a life of down-home simplicity. She also has a passion for helping women cope with pregnancy loss.

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

To the Mother of My Son’s Future Wife

In: Grown Children, Inspiration, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
marriage, wife, husband, grown children, www.herviewfromhome.com

To the mother of my son’s future wife, I’m in the midst of dirty diapers and temper tantrums, but I do have days where I think about the future and what it will look like for my son. I wonder who he will be, what he will do and probably most of all, who he will love. I wonder about the type of woman he will bring home to meet us one day. I have my own thoughts on the type of person I wish my son would fall in love with, but we all know that the heart wants...

Keep Reading

Trading Fleeting Moments of Fame for Unshakeable Faith

In: Faith, Inspiration, Relationships
Trading Fleeting Moments of Fame for Unshakeable Faith www.herviewfromhome.com

The string quartet began playing Pachelbel, as my dad and I took our first steps down the aisle. I began to lose my composure as we proceeded to the altar. Hundreds of guests had their eyes on me as tears streamed down my face. Struggling to look my future in the eyes, I looked to the ground for reprieve. God, everything around me looks perfect, so why doesn’t this feel right? I’m not sure how I got here. The flame once dancing inside of me, has extinguished. Lord, I need you. Dad squeezed my hand gently, “Are you OK sweetie?”...

Keep Reading

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger www.herviewfromhome.com

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

This North Dakota Homecoming Queen is Capturing Hearts Everywhere

In: Inspiration, Kids, School, Teen
This North Dakota Homecoming Queen is Capturing Hearts Everywhere www.herviewfromhome.com

When Paula and Kevin Burckard’s third child was born, she arrived with a little something extra the North Dakota couple never saw coming.  Newborn Grace had Down syndrome, and the diagnosis initially left the young parents devastated. “When Grace was born, I thought all my dreams for my daughter had basically been dashed,” Paula said.  But it didn’t take long for those fears to subside.  As Grace grew, not only did she meet and surpass milestones, her infectious joy, inspirational grit, and deep love of all things Michael Jackson transformed the family—and countless hearts. The Burckhards went on to adopt...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, When I Forget What It’s Like To Be Little

In: Child, Inspiration, Kids, Motherhood
Hey Mom, Don't Forget—You Were a Kid Once, Too www.herviewfromhome.com

The kids were squealing in the backseat. For the five minutes prior they were begging me to spill the beans on where we were going as I had only told them to get their shoes, get in the car and buckle up. It’s one of the ways I’ve learned to make a simple trip out of the house one that is a mysterious adventure to them. As we took left and right turns away from our house, they were trying to guess where we were going . . . and when we finally pulled up to a brand new playground...

Keep Reading

My Children Deserve To See the Whole Me, Not Just the Mom Me

In: Inspiration, Journal, Motherhood
My Children Deserve To See the Whole Me, Not Just the Mom Me www.herviewfromhome.com

Before I was a mother, I was a human being. A human being with life experiences, passions, fears, talents, hobbies, goals, friends and aspirations that I cherished and tried to honor. Even though I went through a variety of seasons of life . . . from school-age days, to working adult, to wife . . . those things always stayed with me. I stayed open to evolving, but never let go of who I inherently was. Then came motherhood. And suddenly I found myself abandoning my commitment to remain true to me, and leaving any semblance of myself in the...

Keep Reading

My Mother-in-Law’s Legacy: Simplicity

In: Inspiration, Journal
My Mother-in-Law's Legacy: Simplicity www.herviewfromhome.com

The memories of my mother-in-law spilled to the forefront of my mind, just as the contents of his jacket pocket fell onto our dresser. It was Proverbs 31, written on hotel stationery, in my neatest block print. Holding the small papers in my hand brought me right back to her graveside, on a hot summer morning, seven years ago. “Her children arise and call her blessed.” (verse 28) As my second daughter gave a mighty kick from the womb, visible to every mourner present that day, I couldn’t help but to allow my mind to wander. Were my values apparent...

Keep Reading

A Car Accident Left My Teenager Paralyzed—and Incredibly Fierce

In: Inspiration, Journal
A Car Accident Left My Teenager Paralyzed—and Incredibly Fierce www.herviewfromhome.com

I drove back from my son’s college concert near midnight. Exhausted, I glanced at my 14-year-old daughter, Beth, asleep in the passenger seat. We were only 10 minutes from home. I thought I could make it until I heard a road sign flatten on concrete. As the car flipped three times across a bare Ohio field, we left behind an ordinary life. I escaped with cuts, bruises, and blood-matted hair. Beth was another story. The car was cut open and a helicopter rushed her to Toledo. A doctor told my husband John that she was paralyzed. When John broke the news...

Keep Reading

Dear Mama, You’re Allowed To Not Be There

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Dear Mama, You're Allowed To Not Be There www.herviewfromhome.com

Friday afternoon was not much crazier than most afternoons. My husband was mowing the lawn, my daughter was hangry and my youngest son was due to be in a talent show in twenty minutes. I stood in the kitchen—where it seemed like I’d been for an hour—trying to motivate my family to eat dinner and get ready to go. “Get dressed, Jude. Make sure you eat something.” “Dean, do you want a slice of pizza before we leave?” I screamed over the lawn mower. “Maeve, are you going to the optional soccer practice or the talent show? You need to...

Keep Reading