In the Waiting

Anyone who has walked the road of foster care knows how unpredictable it can be.

Little Miss has been in our home just over 8 months now, and in those 8 months we have had several different “plans” for her future. These plans seem set in stone until, suddenly, I get a call or a text that the plan has changed.

For a Type A person who LOVES to be organized, this has been rather difficult for me. But thanks to my growing up years, I usually end up being pretty flexible about it all, especially after I have a day or two to think about it.

And, besides, usually the change in case plans hasn’t affected The Hines in the least. The goal might change, but having Little Miss in our home has remained the same.

Until now.

Two weeks ago, the plan changed suddenly again. This time, the plan changed to Little Miss leaving our home. They told us that was the official plan and the only thing we were waiting on was some paperwork. I asked how long the paperwork would take, and of course no one knew the answer. The most direct answer I got was “it could be a few days, a few weeks or a few months.” Great. That was the week before we went on our vacation to Texas, and it was overwhelming to leave Little Miss in the face of that. I made everyone involved PROMISE that even if all the paperwork went through while we were gone, that they would let her stay in the area until we had the chance to say goodbye.

We returned from our trip and have begun the waiting game.

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I think this might be the hardest part for me.

Here is this precious child. The one that knows me and I know her. The one that has become another child to us, a sister to Tera and a part of our family. And now she’s leaving.

But we don’t know when. And that part is killing me. I know that it will hard to say goodbye. I know that it will hard to let her go, but it’s even harder to know all that is going to happen, and then to have to wait for it to happen. My heart knows I will need to let her go, so I want to begin that process now. But my head tells me that I still have to hold onto her, love her, bond with her…right up until the very last second.

This waiting is so hard. I just want to say goodbye, I want to begin the grief process, I want to pull away. I want to stop dragging it out. I want to stop thinking about it, to stop knowing that it’s going to happen. I want to know the exact day and time so I can know how many days, hours and minutes we have left with her. I want to know how to prepare Tera for this goodbye, how to explain to her that Little Miss has left and is not coming back. In some ways, I want Tera to stop loving Little Miss NOW, so that when she does leave Tera won’t experience any hurt. I want Little Miss to be ready to go, but of course she has no clue what is going on.

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Its not that I want her to leave. That’s not it at all. Obviously, we love this child and have invested so much into her little life. But it’s the idea that she is leaving, and now we sit here and wait. It feels like we dragging it out and that is so incredibly painful to me.

Last night while we were on our way to our anniversary dinner, I got a text that all the paperwork has been signed, stamped and delivered. She’s free to go.

And yet…we still don’t know exactly when. We know that there is no reason for anyone to delay her leaving, so we are assuming that it will be within the next week. (Honestly, we don’t know for sure, and as I mentioned above, things change like crazy around here…so we just don’t know.)

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I’ve (obviously) been a wreck since hearing that news. And I’ve been thinking through it all in my head. Do you want to know the number 1 reason is that people don’t want to do foster care?

It’s this moment right here. The one that we are currently living. It’s the moment that they find out that the child they have bonded with and attached to is leaving their home. And I’m not going to lie: these next few weeks are going to be HARD for us.

But I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it is 100% worth it.

That little life that we have had the privelage of caring for? So worth it. The caseworkers and birth parents and relatives that we have come into contact with? So worth it. The ups and downs of a broken foster care system? It doesn’t matter. So worth it.

It’s worth it because Little Miss is worth it. Even though it has cost us a lot (mostly emotionally), she will be better off because of the sacrifice we made in being willing to take for her and then say goodbye to her.

And now? I am spending the days working on her lifebook, a scrapbook of her months with us, to pass onto her as she moves to a new home. I’m pouring over all the pictures of her from the very beginning of her time with us, and while I’m weeping, I’m also rejoicing.

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It’s a bittersweet thing, this goodbye that is coming. Your prayers are appreciated as we wait with heavy hearts.

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Please pray:

  • That the process would not be drawn out. Everyone in this situation is reading to be out of the waiting period and actually letting the moving process happen
  • For our heavy and hurting hearts as her foster family
  • For Little Miss as she goes through a huge transition
  • For Tera as she loses her sister and doesn’t yet have the comprehension to understand
  • For Little Miss’ new family as they adjust to having her

 

 

 

Place of Significance: “O”

Last week I talked about my childhood home, the place that I grew up and that I still carry around with me.

This week I’m talking about the place I currently live: Ohio.

If you had told me six years ago that my life would consist of a husband, a child, a foster child, a pregnancy, a house, and living in Ohio…I would have been shocked. But mostly I would have been shocked by those last two things: owning a house and living in Ohio.

Although I am an American citizen, I never felt like I could call the States home. I came back to Ohio in 2009 to attend Cedarville University. Thankfully, I adjusted fairly well and made some friends who really helped me pull through the waves of culture shock. I met Theo halfway through our freshman year, and by the end of our sophomore year we knew we were going to get married. Our life was wide open before us, and we weren’t sure what types of things we wanted to pursue. Missions was at the top of our list, but we knew we didn’t want to go straight to the field right out of college. Not because we didn’t want to, but because we truly believe that we didn’t have the right training to go overseas and disciple other believers.

Theo was a year ahead of me at Cedarville, and we debated whether we should get married after he graduated (2012) or after I graduated (2013). We finally decided to go ahead and get married in 2012, and stay in Ohio until I was finished. That year turned into a job for Theo and here we are…four years later, still in Ohio!

I will admit that I’ve grown to like it here. I started out being anti-Patriotic. I know that a lot of MKs struggle with being patriotic, and I am no exception. We often miss our mission culture so much that we resent our “passport” culture. Thankfully, I have learned that while there are so many wonderful things about Niger, America also has fabulous aspects as well.

I’ve lived in Ohio for seven years now and here are some of my favorite things about it:

  • Seasons. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter are all in full force in Ohio!
  • The landscape is beautiful, in different ways in all of those seasons!
  • The people, so many different nationalities and languages and perspectives and economic standings.
  • Our church, so full of people who have made an effort to include us, and who strive to follow Christ in all that they do
  • The restaurants and coffee shops, electricity and running water…little luxuries that I often take for granted!
  • The health care system and the relative ease with which I get to raise my children
  • Cedarville University- the friends that it gave me, the opportunities it provided to me and the spiritual growth that I received from my years there

  • The foster care system and the fact that our nation cares enough about these children to create a system (although not perfect!) to help them. I’m thankful that I get to be a part of it!
  • Street fairs and state fairs!

 

Ohio, I’m thankful that you have given me so many beautiful years here, and I’m excited to see what else is going to come!

4 Years

4 years ago today…

 

Happy 4th Anniversary, my love!!!

Outside the Frame: Teaching Edition

Hello there!

Today is Outside the Frame, and I’m excited to share with you today! Today’s prompt is to write about something that you have taught someone. I realize that this could go several different ways, especially since I have spent a few years in a classroom, but I decided to focus on my marriage.

Tomorrow is Theo and I’s 4th anniversary! That means we have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in marriage!

Anyone who is married knows that the learning curve on marriage is STEEP. I know that I have learned so much throughout this marriage journey, but today I want to focus on something a little bit different: what I have taught Theo through our marriage.

  • I’ve taught Theo patience. I mean, every day he learns to deal with me.
  • I’ve taught Theo the difference between a dress and a skirt. Yes, my husband did not know the difference until after we were married.
  • I’ve taught Theo how to be the most incredible labor couch. I have a serious doula-man over here on my hands.
  • I’ve taught Theo the difference between a dish cloth and a rag. One time I caught him using my dish cloth on THE FLOOR. I taught him that lesson real quick.
  • I’ve taught Theo how to raise daughters by providing him with a couple.
  • I’ve taught Theo about the female anatomy (I don’t think he minds that one so much.)
  • I’ve taught Theo how to take care of a woman, sacrificially . Basically, Theo has had to give up some dreams in order to take care of his wife and family. I’ve had to teach him all the ins and outs of this hard and tricky part of marriage.
  • I’ve taught Theo what commitment means. I mean, he did say “I do” for forever to me, so I think I can take credit for that one, right?
  • I’ve taught Theo how to take pictures of me #instagramhusband. We’ve come a long ways since we had to take those first pregnancy pictures!
  • I’ve taught Theo how to navigate the tricky waters of driving with a stressed-out wife. I’m really good at this one. I grip the hand rail with one hand, the dash board with the other, and stomp my foot on the imaginary passenger brake peddle to make sure he knows when he needs to hit the brakes. If it wasn’t for me, he would not have the skill of listening to the passenger.
  • I’ve taught Theo how to be a pretty darn great husband. Oh, wait…can I take credit for that? I guess I’m just a SUPER blessed woman (and an excellent teacher).

Really, though, I am so thankful for everything that Theo has taught me, and everything that I have learned on this journey of marriage so far. I’m thankful for all the lessons we have learned and what we have gone through so far. I’m thankful that we have each other to sharpen one another and to go through life with.

And I’m sorry, Theo, for all the things that I have taught you that you might not have wanted to learn 🙂

*Photo taken at our wedding rehearsal exactly four years ago!

 

I’d love to have you join us next time for Outside the Frame! Our June 8th prompt is write about a time that you feel you messed up. Let’s be real…we have all done it, and I’d love to see some other people chime in! And don’t worry…the following week is write about a personal success story! My heart behind this is to be REAL! We all have successes, but we also have failures!

Shop Feature: Designs Entwined

 

Happy MONDAY! Yesterday was my birthday and it was…not so fabulous. I turned a quarter of a century old, and getting old just isn’t as fun as it used to be. I think next year I need to switch it up by carrying around a tray of cupcakes or something so that I can celebrate! Today I’ve teamed up with Jessica of Designs Entwined//Trash to Treasures Creations! She has generously offered to do a giveaway in honor of my birthday, so make sure you stick around long enough to enter it!!!

 

 

 

 

My name is Jessica and I started Designs Entwined in 2012 while still a student at The Ohio State University. After graduation, I began working full time at Nationwide Insurance where I still am today.

Besides work, I have been married just over a year and currently live in Hilliard, Ohio where we recently purchased a house. I am an avid fitness enthusiast and you can find me in the gym or jogging around town nearly every day of the week. But perhaps what I am most passionate about is creating, which led me to begin building a business based off my desire and enthusiasm for crafting.

MADE TO ORDER Custom State String Art, Ohio String Art, String Art, State Decor

Designs Entwined was started in 2012 as Trash to Treasure Creations. Originally, it focused solely on crafts made from upcycled materials, but string art began to take off in popularity. After creating a string art piece for my home and posting it on social media, I had requests for custom orders which eventually led to selling these pieces at a local mall.

MADE TO ORDER: Rainbow String Art, Nursery Decor, Designs Entwined Nail and String Art

MADE TO ORDER Owl String Art, Nursery Decor, Nursery String Art, Baby Shower Gift

The Etsy shop followed in 2013 where I now focus solely on unique and customizable string art designs. These have ranged from states and countries to names, sports teams, nursery décor, animals, and even custom logos. String art continues to be a popular gift for birthdays, house warmings, and graduations. You can find us online as well as in 15 shops around Ohio.

MADE TO ORDER Ohio State String Art, Ohio State Football String Art, Any State String Art

You can find Designs Entwined on social media:

Instagram: designsentwinedllc

Facebook: facebook.com/designsentwinedllc

Etsy: designsentwinedllc.etsy.com

 

And now for the giveaway!!!

Jessica has graciously offered to give away one of her most popular pieces: the string arrow collection set!!

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You do not want to miss this giveaway!!!

To enter, just leave a comment below!

You can also head over to my Instagram (@thegloriousmundane) to earn a few more entries! I cannot wait to see this gorgeous piece in it’s new home!!!

Thanks SO MUCH, Jessica!!

 

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If you would like your shop or small business featured on The Glorious Mundane, please email me at [email protected]

To see other featured shops and small businesses, click here: Shop Local//Shop Small

 

 

18 weeks

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How Far Along: 18 weeks

Size of Baby: The size of a bell pepper or a sweet potato. MMmmmm both of those things sound really good! Baby is 5 1/2 inches long and weighs around 7 ounces!

Total Weight Gain: 2 pounds. I’m not really sure how I didn’t gain more after all the amazing food we ate in Houston!

How I’m Feeling/Symptoms: This past week was so good for me pregnancy-wise! I was able to spend more time thinking about this baby and feeling him/her move. I’m mostly over the nausea and feeling great, although I still struggle around dinnertime and into the evenings. Its crazy how different this pregnancy has been from my first.

After spending 30 hours in the car on the way to Houston, and 30 hours in the car on the way back, my restless legs have really kicked in. I’m hoping that it will wear away after a few days of returning to regular activity, but its been a little rough! I’ve also had hip pain and I for sure feel weight on my spine when I lay on my back now. I’ve started sleeping mostly on my side (which is really difficult to do in a car, just fyi).

I’m excited and nervous to find out the gender of this little babe in just a few weeks! Honestly, I think that I will be happy either way, but I’m hoping for a boy. However, if it’s a girl I’ll be happy and much better prepared as it is! Haha!

What I’m Wearing: I’m actually surprised that I’m still able to fit into most of my regular clothes, although they are starting to get a little tight/small in certain areas. My maternity clothes still look a little big and floofy, so I’m stuck in that really awkward in-between. I got a chance to wear lots of different outfits while we were in Houston! That was fun!

Movement: I’m feeling movement all the time now, and we can even feel movement from the outside! Yes, Theo felt the baby move for the first time this past week! It was so sweet and I’m so glad it happened when we were on our little vacation! I can’t wait for Tera to feel the baby move!

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Sleep: Sleep this week was AMAZING! Hotel. No kids. So relaxing. I slept great, and every morning I would just naturally wake up around 8 and feel like I slept for SO LONG. It was so nice to be able to sleep through the night, too.

Unfortunately, we book-ended this amazing vacation of sleep with some awful nights in the car on our road trip. We spent Saturday night and Thursday night sleeping in our car at a rest stop, and it was not the most fun, relaxing or restful time. Not at all.

What I’m Craving: Flavor. Anything with tons of flavor. That was my favorite part about Houston!

Also, salad. I’ve never been a salad person, but now they just sound so fresh and crispy and delicious!

 

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Food Aversions: No aversion this week, although I told Theo if he ate banana in the car he had to roll the window down. I also hated the smell of food in the car and we would have to pull over at a rest stop just to throw out the food that we had eaten in the car. I couldn’t handle the smell!

Worst Moment this Week: Leaving my girlies. I wont’ lie…it was really hard! But I’m also really glad we did. It ended up being SO good for us!

Best Moment this Week: Vacation in Houston with my husband.

What I’m Looking Forward To: Finding out the gender, doing more traveling this summer, seeing the bond form between Tera and this babe (she still has no idea what’s going on)

Exercise this Week: On Monday, Theo had to do a physical fitness test. He had to run 1.5 miles in under 17 minutes, so I wanted to see if I could pass that part of the test. So I went for a little run on the hotel treadmill. It took me 15 minutes, but I did it! After that, I didn’t do any intentional working out this past week, but we did do a ton of walking all around Houston.

 

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17 weeks (Pregnancy #2)

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I’m a few days late on this, as we were traveling and last week was a whirlwind week!

17 weeks on May 14th.

Size of Baby: 5 inches from head to foot this week! Apparently we are going through a growth spurt! I love thinking of this little babe just growing away in my belly. He/She is about the size of an onion or a small sweet potato and weighs as much as a turnip! I don’t know if I’ve ever actually held a turnip, so that’s not helping me out very much haha.

Total Weight Gain: 2 pounds. I’m only a few weeks behind my first pregnancy, and I’m hoping to not gain as much this time around, so even though 2 pounds seems really small, I’m staying on track!

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How I’m Feeling/Symptoms: I’m feeling good. I love the second trimester! I still struggle with the nausea way more than with Tera, but I’m so glad that first trimester is over. On Sunday (Mother’s Day), I went upstairs to get Tera up from her nap. I found that Little Miss was also awake, so I grabbed both of them to head downstairs. When I got to the bottom of stairs, my brother in law declared, “Hey! You are carrying THREE babies right now!” That really stuck with me, because I usually just get super stressed out about the dynamics of three under two, but it really encouraged me this week that I am in fact taking care of three babies. I don’t always do awesome at it, but I do it every day!

What I’m Wearing: I’m officially in maternity clothes, mostly, so I thought I’d start doing a better job of documenting what I’m wearing at least once a week. I’m for sure in that stage where people aren’t sure if I’m fat or pregnant. When I go out, I try to wear a baggy t-shirt to hide it, or a shirt that makes it obvious that that is a baby, not a burger.

Here is my “fancy” Mother’s Day outfit:

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Gender: NO CLUE! But we find out on June 6th!!! I’m super excited, mostly because I honestly don’t have a clue what it is!

Movement: Oh yes! For sure!!! Feeling it all the time now! I think I’ve even felt the baby from the outside, but Theo has yet to feel it.

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Sleep: This week was the best for sleep! Little Miss figured out that she can sleep through the night! Well, mostly. She will usually wake up around 5 for a bottle, but I’ll take that any day over the 3-4 times she was waking up a night just a few weeks ago. Even if Little Miss doesn’t wake up at 5, my bladder will wake me up anyways, so it looks like it’s waking up at least once a night from here on out. Still, it’s actually an improvement, so I’m not complaining!

Food Cravings: Flavor!! It doesn’t matter what it is, it needs flavor. Except maybe carrot sticks and cucumbers. I eat those allllllll the time. Crunching on a cold, juicy carrot seems to be the trick to curb my nausea, and I’m going through a bag of baby carrots every other day. Ha!

Food Aversions: There doesn’t seem to be any particular food that I have an aversion to anymore, but there are still certain times of the day that I struggle with an aversion to ALL foods. Namely: dinner time. Which is unfortunate.

Worst Moment This Week: Finding out some really tough news about Little Miss and her case. In the end, it will be good news, but it’s really hard news for us as a family. I will admit that I spent a lot of time crying and just having a heavy heart this week.

Best Moment This Week: Little Miss deciding she actually can sleep (mostly) through the night! It’s a total game-changer!!!! We also had a fabulous Mother’s Day with Ethan and Kindrea. Our children are such blessings! Little Miss is behind Theo 🙂

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What I’m Looking Forward To: Our vacation next week! And finding out the gender on June 6th!

Exercise This Week: Nada. Zilch. Nothing. I ran a 5k last Saturday and I haven’t done a thing since then!

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Place of Significance: “N”

You might notice that I switched it up a little bit this week. Instead of doing a person of significance, I’m going to take a while ride back to the place of my childhood: Niger.

I could quote some Wikipedia facts about Niger and call it a day.

  • landlocked
  • predominantly Muslim
  • lowest ranked country in the United Nations Human Development Index (meaning it’s the poorest country in the world in education, environment, health care and even women’s rights).
  • hot and dry, over 80% is Sahara dessert

Basically, it’s a hot, dry, poor country located exactly in the middle of nowhere that appears to be in no way attractive.

 

And yet I call this place home.

Because what Wikipedia didn’t mention is what I know about the country.

It’s hot and dry and dusty and poor, but it’s so much more.

It’s people who greet each other on the street and strike up a conversation, even if they did have somewhere to go.

It’s people who are resourceful and creative, making the most out of what they have been giving.

It’s a shoes-off-at-the-door, respect-your-elders, serve-your-best-meal, and help-your-neighbors kind of culture.

It’s simplicity and being laid-back and people first, over anything.

It’s the many languages that roll of the tongues of the people, often switching from one language to another before our ears have even caught up.

It’s a strikingly bleak landscape that breathes harsh beauty.

It’s a bright blue sky dotted with one tiny cloud that rises up into a huge, glorious rainstorm.

It’s the smells of cooking fires and market spices and nem leaves.

It’s the people who helped raise me, taught me the language and treated me as one of their own…

It’s Sahel Academy and the place that I lived and schooled and learned how to handle the ups and downs of relationships and the foundation of my spiritual life.

It’s churches that know what it may mean to chose to follow Christ, and yet they do it anyways.

It’s home. And it’s beautiful.

 

Niger, tu me manques!

 

 

Foster Care/Adoption Books and Blogs

I’ve gotten lots of emails throughout the last few months from people who are interested in looking more into foster care but aren’t even sure where to start.
If you stick around here for any period of time, you will learn that I love to read. If there is a book on the topic, I will find it and I will devour it, boring or not.
Since I get asked this question frequently, I decided I would compile a list of books that I’ve read (and even some ones that I want to read!). I will probably be frequently editing this blog post as I find more books and blogs to read, but if you are just starting out, this will give you plenty of things to read!
But first, some FAQ’s:
Where do I find all these books?
Mostly, at the library. I usually just look up one book on adoption/foster care, and then find the entire adoption/foster care section. I then select one or two books from that section each time I go. I also read a lot of blogs (listed below), and when one of those bloggers mentions reading a book, I add it to my list.
Do you only read one certain genre?
NO! I have read (and recommend) books on foster care/adoption from a Christian perspective, from a secular perspective, from a neutral perspective, novels and biographies. All of this information adds up to help me form a clear picture of our system and to understand other foster/adoptive parents who may have a different perspective. I highly recommend that you read books on this topic from different perspectives!
What books/blogs do you recommend?
Books with a Christian Perspective on FC/Adoption:
The first book we ever read that started us on this whole journey is called “Orhpanology” by Tony Merida. Such a great read.
I have this one on my list, but actually haven’t read it yet: “Adopted for Life” by Russell D. Moore.
Books (Informational):
I loved reading these informational-type books (think: Adoption is for Dummies type book), because they seemed to give such a great overview from lots of different perspectives).
Success as a Foster Parent (Rachel Green)
The Complete Adoption Book (Laura Godwin)
Adoption Nation (Adam Pertman)
 
Books:
To the End of June (Chris Beam) (super boring, but really informational about older youth who age out of the foster care system. Very secular perspective)
A Child Called “It”, A Man named Dave (super hard and heavy read. You will weep. A very detailed memoir into the abuses that a child suffered under his biological Mom, and then his next 12 years in the foster care system. Since he was in the system in the 80s, things have changed a lot since then and it isn’t necessarily an accurate view of what foster care looks like now, but it is a good read to open your eyes to the abuses that children suffer both before entering the system and while in the system).
Garbage Bag Suitcase
 
 
Blogs:
As you know, I read a lot of blogs! These are some of my favorites, and are very informational and give some great glimpses into the foster care world.
http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com/ (Kristen adopted her two boys from the foster care system. She also has two biological children and blogs A LOT about race and other controversial/hot topics in the media. She posts about a lot of other things, too!)
http://mamamem.blogspot.com/ (She doesn’t post very often, but when she does, it’s really informational)
https://droppinganchorsblog.com/ (One of the best foster care blogs you will find. It’s written by several different foster Moms who compile blog posts. Super helpful!)
http://www.laurencasper.com/ (A beautiful blog that chronicles infertility, overseas adoption and all the ups and downs in between!)
http://www.nobohnsaboutit.com/ (My FAVORITE. She’s hilarious. She adopted her two oldest from foster care, and always has an amazing perspective on the situation)
https://fosterthefamilyblog.com/ (So good. She writes A LOT and is a huge wealth of information into the world of foster care)
 
 
Websites:

First Trimester Remedies

When I was pregnant with Tera, I experienced a small rough patch between weeks 6-10. I had slight nausea and I was pretty exhausted. At the time, I thought it was pretty bad.

Until this pregnancy rolled around.

You guys. With this pregnancy, it hit. And it didn’t go away. I would be driving down the road and have to barf. I would have to barf while just laying on the couch. I would have to barf in the evening, in the morning, in the night. Thankfully, I actually only threw up occasionally. But I literally carried a trash can around because I was pretty sure it was going to happen more than that. So I realize that even though I felt like it couldn’t be any worse, there are women who struggle so much more with the first trimester than I do.

As soon as most people found out about my pregnancy, they asked how I was feeling. And since I’m such an honest person, I would usually respond, “Awful”.

To which they would respond: “Oh, have you tried _________? That worked for me!”

Guys, I tried to take it all with a grain of salt. I really did. I tried to listen and nod my head and most of the time, I really appreciated the advice and tried it! I thought I would write up a quick little post for morning sickness remedies, and also write a little bit about what worked for me.

  • Preggo Pops. (Yay and Nay). These didn’t really help me feel any better, but I did love them! I would throw a few in my purse whenever I had to be out in public. While they didn’t curb the nausea, it did help me keep it down and took away some of my fear of being in public.

  • Exercise. (Nay).  I was told that if I got up and did some light exercise, I would feel better. Well, let me tell you…I would nearly barf on my sneakers tie-ing them. And I do actually enjoy walking and running, so it wasn’t that I didn’t want to!
  • Ginger Tea, Ginger Drops or Ginger Seasoning (Nay). I’ve always hated ginger, so I was especially wary of even trying this one. It didn’t work. One time I was feeling so sick and I finally asked Theo to make me some ginger and lemon tea, hoping it would make me feel better. The moment Theo walked into the room with that cup of tea, I told him to go dump it out.
  • Sea Bands. (Yay). I ordered these off Amazon just because I was so desperate to find something that worked. The day they arrived in the mail I tried them on and that was the best day I had in the pregnancy so far. I’ve worn them pretty much 24/7 since I got them at 7 weeks. I am still wearing them as I type this post at 16 weeks. I highly recommend them!!!

 

  • Gum. (Yay!). My first pregnancy, chewing gum was the only trick I needed to stay sane through the first trimester. This certainly helped this time, too, but it wasn’t the cure-all I was hoping it was. A lot of people recommend mint or ginger gum, but I hate both of those flavors when I’m not in my first trimester, so even the thought of that didn’t work for me. So I just stuck with my regular ‘ol fruit gum, and it did the trick (mostly).
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. (Nay). I tried to drink some water with ACV in it, and I literally had to run to the bathroom after taking a sip. Nope. Nope, nope, nope.
  • Vitamin B6. (Nay-ish). I heard somewhere that Vitamin B6 was supposed to help curb nausea. What I didn’t realize was that the winning combination is Vitamin B6 with Unisom (both are available over the counter). The problem is that Unisom is a “drowsy drug” and somehow the two work together if you take them at the correct times.
  • Eat protein. (Yay). I think this piece of advice made my the grumpiest. I wanted to say, “I CAN’T EAT ANYTHING, WHY WOULD I PICK CHICKEN/CHEESE/PROTEIN????” But I tried it. And it helped. It really did. I found that even if I felt sick right after eating, I was always able to keep it down and I could feel better for longer.
  • Eat every 2 hours. (Yay.). I also thought this was the ridiculous piece of advice. I wanted a pill, a shot, ANYTHING that would make me feel better that didn’t involve ingesting anything into my upset stomach. Eating every two hours sounded awful. But I tried it one day…and it was magic! The trick is that my stomach didn’t get empty, so it didn’t have a chance to feel sick, either. And the extra trick was to combine this point with the one above. Eat protein every two hours.
  • Keep crackers/water by your bed and eat something before getting out of bed. (Yay). I guess this one worked, but I have found that my “morning” sickness is actually more “evening” sickness. I don’t struggle that much with feeling sick in the morning, but I kept the crackers by the bed and ate a few in the evening and in the night when I was up with Little Miss.
  • Diclegis. (YAYYYY!). Finally, after trying all of the above things, I turned to a prescription med. Diclegis is actually Vitamin B6 and Unisom in a delayed-release capsule. I had a friend give me some and when it worked, I asked my OB for a prescription. This was the final trick that actually worked for me. Except the drowsy factor. It made me SO drowsy. I would have to take 2-3 hour naps during the day when I took the pill. Naps that length are not always possible, so that was a little rough. I finally got to the point where I could wean off of it and only take it at night, which really helped with the drowsiness. Now I’m taking it every other night and hoping to stop taking it completely soon! Woot woot!

Another piece of advice that I really appreciated was to not worry about my health or the baby’s health during the rough patches of the first trimester. I’m an overachiever, and I felt like I need to be healthy and continue with an awesome exercise routine. But someone told me to just not worry about it for the time being. While I don’t encourage eating unhealthy and giving up exercise if you feel alright, I do encourage letting yourself off the hook in those super rough first 10-15 weeks. If you can only keep down a pack of Ramen noodles, keep down a pack of Ramen noodles. If you can’t work out, don’t work out. Once you hit the second trimester you can re-evaluate if you feel better, or if you need to push through. Try your hardest to be healthy, but don’t be ashamed of spending the first 12 weeks on the couch with a trash can next to you.

I know I sure did.

 

 

***Please note: there is a difference between morning sickness and hyperemesis, so please don’t confuse the two. I had bad morning sickness this time around.