Product Placement


Hotsling
I am wearing this fabulous baby sling from Hotslings right now.  With my baby in it; I am typing with two hands. 

Note: this is NOT a picture of me.  I am neither dark, slender, nor possessed of this particular baby.

Anyway, this sling is so fantastic.  I can walk around the house when the baby is "hold me for no reason" fussy.  I can sit & work at the computer (obviously).  I can eat, and heaven knows I NEED to.  I don't need to leave the "sorry I did this with one hand and can't clean up the clothes on the floor / spills on the counter / trash near but not in the trashcan / et cetera" trail of messiness that carrying the baby around all day causes.  

I still leave the messes half the time, I just don't need to. 

And can I just say that porky old Daniel is now just at or over nine pounds and I can feel it as I lug his cute little Buddha-faced self around.  Heaven help me when he gets to be 20 or 30 lbs. but more about that later.

Instead of dreading our trips out, which I am starting to get the hang of, I look forward to walking around the grocery store with him peeping out of the sling in all his cuteness.  There is a whole blog post that needs to be written about how much attention I get, or rather he gets, when we are out.  I love it even as it adds to my survivor guilt.  People seem to act like I actually did something to merit this incredibly cute baby when actually God just dropped him into our lives for no good reason (other than never-ending, whiny persistence). 

Anyway. Love.The.Sling.  Anyone I know who is pregnant is so getting one of these for a shower gift.

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I'm done, after this.  I will talk about something else. 

But my conclusion is that this thing works.  Since the nausea has been less, I've had opportunity to notice the difference between nausea and heartburn / reflux.  The reflux can be a show-stopper and isn't quite as bad as the nausea, and Morningwell doesn't really do much for that.  But I'm not complaining (very much).  With reflux I can at least eat something that is halfway good for me, just not very much of it.  And for me that isn't a bad thing anyway.

I had some challenges with the Morningwell "programme" because I was on an outlet mall expedition and everywhere I went there was already music playing.  Every store in the mall, the restaurant, the car.  I just left it playing, hoping my ears would hear it before they heard anything else, and occasionally turned it up a bit louder if I didn't need to talk to anyone.  I wasn't sure if it would be as effective but it was effective enough.  I had a good day, ate at least a little bit of a good lunch, and didn't feel that depressed feeling I get when the nausea crowds out any positive thought or activity.

So that's my conclusion.  When my nausea is 7 or 8 out of 10, Morningwell can dial it down to about 3.  Since I've been nauseated for five solid months now, that's basically my baseline and I can live with it.  It doesn't get rid of it completely, but it's a vast improvement.  I am also happy that the improvement usually lasts into the afternoon and evening, when I generally start to feel worse, even when I stop listening to the CD.

Yesterday I went on a day-long shopping trip with my neighbors.  It was an eye-opener to see how much gear and effort goes into taking a 16-month-old anywhere and this particular toddler is mellower than most I have known.  He was pretty happy being in the stroller for about three hours after lunch and I was impressed.  But oh, the sippy cups, the changes of clothes, the snacks, the diapers, the wipes, the baby food, the toys.  The gigantic stroller that was probably worth the money and effort. 

It was nice, though.  Between the toddler, the sort-of stressed mom and grandma and pregnant me, we were all on the same page with regard to pace, energy levels, and quality of sleep we've been getting lately.  It's like finding the right running partner – priceless.  We left the house at 8 am, were ready for lunch at 11, and were proud of ourselves for making it until 3:00 (and got home completely exhausted).

Pace is something I understand, because pace is what made my first marathon possible, overweight and 38 as I was the first time.  It's easy to freak out about running all 26 miles in one day, unless I know how slowly I can run them, one at a time.  It's scary to think about all that goes into dealing with the newborn or the toddler who is too big to lift but too young to walk more than ten feet in a straight line – but we'll just take it one day (one hour) at a time. 

This thing rocks.  Yesterday started out iffy and turned out great.  I only listened in the morning, went to the gym, came home and ate a huge lunch, and didn't feel the need to listen again.  The night-time backlash of nausea didn't come.  Today I'm going to the mountains with my neighbors so I'm up early, usually not a good thing for nausea, but I'm 20 minutes into my first listen and feeling pretty good.  I think I'm going to have at least a decent morning and maybe another really good day.  I'm almost ready for a cheesy endorsement like "Thank you, Morningwell!" 

But let's give it a few more days.

Yesterday turned out to be a good day.  I listened to the CD some in the morning and then for a long stretch in the afternoon while I went grocery shopping.  I had a good evening, was able to eat dinner and felt good when I went to bed. 

I got a message from Walgreen's that my Zofran prescription was ready, and it turns out somebody from my midwife's office called it in on Friday.  Nobody told me.  So I was able to take one yesterday afternoon.  My opinion of the Zofran is that it helps – some.  I'm afraid to go without it completely to see just how much it helps, so I figure it does.

Today I woke up feeling nauseated, about a 6 on a scale of 10.  I didn't think I would since last night was so good, but whatever.  I have listened to the CD for a few hours off and on this morning.  One of the things about listening to this thing is that I can keep it at a really low volume, but I can't really listen to anything else. 

One of my least favorite pregnant things is that I get sleepy about an hour and a half after I get up and for some reason I just think it would be ridiculous to take a nap so early in the day.  So I don't.  I don't know how people with real jobs or important things to do handle being pregnant.  I suppose it's a good thing that I have neverending nausea, rather than somebody who actually does an important job.  I dread pregnancy #2, if there is one, because if I feel like this it'll be really hard.  I understand that every pregnancy is different (I might feel even WORSE ha ha ha). 

Anyway, I think the CD is helping a little bit now and hopefully will improve the end of the day as it has done Sunday and Saturday. 

I suppose this is boring for y'all who aren't pregnant or didn't get too sick when you were, but if you ever run across anyone who needs this product at least you'll have heard of it.

MorningwellLast week I wrote that I was trying a  new morning sickness remedy and it finally came in the mail.  It's a UK product called Morningwell, and it took some desperation and some suspension of disbelief for me to pay the $39.95 and order it. 

The Morningwell product is a CD you listen to through headphones.  According to the manufacturers:

"the MorningWell programme is conveyed to the vestibular system and we believe works by interrupting the passage of signals between the brain and gut that would normally cause emesis."

Ordinarily I would be all "vestibular WHO?" but a friend of mine did a big research project on the vestibular system, and bored me for many months on the subject.  The vestibular system is closely connected with hearing (it senses balance and movement) and can contribute nice feelings to our brain when we hear certain sounds, particularly loud music and singing.  The vestibular system is the reason why singing can have an analgesic, mood-lifting, and hello, anti-emetic (i.e. barf-preventing) effect.

So it wasn't too nuts to think that sounds could influence the brain – nausea – hearing connection.

I read up on the Morningwell product, which is a recording of tones or sounds that are designed to disengage the brain's nausea pathways from our vestibular system and remove the nauseated feeling.  I was skeptical, but then I saw on iVillage UK where five women had tried and rated the product.  Enough of them said it worked so I ordered it.

I have never seen this product mentioned on any blogs, although I am only recently a reader of pregnant / baby blogs, and only a small percentage of women stay sick past the first trimester anyway.   Has anybody out there ever heard of this thing?

To recap…. I'm in my 21st week of pregnancy and my nausea has receded some but I still have plenty of bad days.  I never throw up but I feel wretched.  I always tell myself that I should just get on with my day, knowing that I probably won't puke, but the nausea just debilitates me and I waste hours and days trying to feel better, or not doing much because I feel so ill.  I have been taking Zofran and I believe it helps, but nothing takes the nausea away completely.  I've had some degree of nausea constantly since about my sixth week.

It just so happens that I ran out of Zofran this weekend, despite my frantic phone calls to my health care providers and despite the fact that I started calling Thursday, when I had a few days' worth left.  Apparently it takes 2-3 phone calls to get a message through.  But that is a rant for another day.

So when the CD arrived yesterday it was perfect timing.  The "programme," as it is called, is about 30 minutes of music that I'm supposed to listen to at low volume.   The music was described as soothing, and some of it is, sort of.  It's very synthy and in my opinion cheesy, and there are a few bits at the beginning which are atonal and not very pleasant.  But none of that matters since I'm supposed to keep it at low volume, so I'm not having to listen too closely.

I was feeling pretty crappy by about 4:00 yesterday when I got it going in my headphones.  Usually my nausea gets worse at night, so when late afternoon feels like that I know that I'm probably having a popsicle for dinner, if anything.

I set the "programme" to repeat itself on my Ipod and did some housework.  I felt slightly better immediately, and then heartburn/reflux kicked in as it sometimes does, just to make sure I don't get too cocky from the nausea relief.  I probably listened to the recording for about two hours, and then went downstairs to watch TV.  I definitely felt better.  I also felt extremely tired and sleepy, but that's very likely a pregnant thing that would have happened anyway.  My husband showed up a bit later with his dinner, which started smelling really good to me.  I ended up eating a small portion of dinner myself, and aside from the reflux, I was surprised to find myself having any appetite, much less late-evening relief from nausea. 

I slept amazingly deeply and when I woke a few times in the night I continued to feel very little nausea, and in the morning today I feel pretty good too.  I listened to the CD once this morning.  Some of the comments I read about the CD said that one shouldn't listen to the CD when feeling okay, even though that doesn't show up in any directions I have.  I sometimes feel sort-of okay but want to make sure it stays that way, so I'm not sure if I should listen or not.

So far, I think it's working.

Reeds I was so naive.  I didn’t consciously think that pregnancy was going to be all sunshine and bunnies.  But I also had no idea.  Who does? 


I hesitate to tell you about the diarrhea that I am having on top of nausea (actually technically I suppose it is underneath it).  Someone will comment breezily: “oh, I had diarrhea every day until Caitlin went to kindergarten” and really… I don’t want to hear that.


Yes I am drinking fluids.


Yes I am eating bananas rice toast etcetera.  Well, not bananas, since I abhor bananas at the moment and just typing the word makes me want to hurl.


Anyway, it is my honor and my pleasure to have nausea and diarrhea and all that goes along with being pregnant.  And this too shall pass.  ha aha h ahhh ahhahah ha.    Yeah.  Any minute now.


My Bioband came today, so I can temporarily retire my “sometimes you feel like a nut” duct-tape contraption.  This is good because the white duct tape was maybe looking like some kind of suicide wound.  Just when things are going so well.  My friend K. brought me a cute sequined bracelet to cover the wristband up, so I don’t even need the Pauly Bleeker sweatbands, another plus since it’s 92 degrees.


When things get difficult, I generally make them worse by worrying about when they will get worse, or how long they will last.  This isn’t helped by books and websites that say the horrendous thing that is happening all day today “usually peaks in the ninth week” – peaks? – or “generally tapers off after three months” or “may last the entire pregnancy.”  I am reminded of the scene in “Cocoon” where Steve Guttenberg’s character is in the indoor pool with the sexy space alien and he says “If this is foreplay, I’m a dead man.”


The truth is it’s only as bad as it is today, and I keep telling myself it is “doable,” and tomorrow will take care of itself.  Besides which, I asked for this, and I’m happy I have it, even the icky parts.


Since I can’t leave the house much, I am reading, some pregnancy books.  My husband, bless his heart, went out and got himself an expectant father book.  I read a bit of it until I got to the part that says: “It’s okay.  She’s pregnant too.”  By whom I think they mean, uh, me.  I think the book is kidding at that part. 


I’ve never been a big fan of the “We’re pregnant” convention.  I understand why people say it but … come on.  “We’re having a baby” makes some sense, but only one of us is pregnant and it’s not hard to tell which one.


The book is a little on the paranoid side about the terrible dangers of things like nail polish and sliced turkey, which will inspire more debate around the house about Dangerous Things, but that’s inevitable anyway. The book also suggests that at this point in my pregnancy I should consume 45 grams of protein, right now today, (how about some turkey?) and 6-7 servings of fruits and vegetables, with only a nod to the possibility that “your partner may be experiencing some food aversions right about now.”  Ya think?  There is no way that all that food is going into me today unless we can count Reed’s Ginger Brew and Trader Joe’s Lemon Soda as fruit servings.


It’s very ironic that sugar, my life’s enemy, is now my friend in controlling nausea.  Most of the foods that I can stand to eat have some sugar, although I can’t stand very much and I think there are cookies in my cabinet going stale.


We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore.

Reeds I was so naive.  I didn’t consciously think that pregnancy was going to be all sunshine and bunnies.  But I also had no idea.  Who does? 


I hesitate to tell you about the diarrhea that I am having on top of nausea (actually technically I suppose it is underneath it).  Someone will comment breezily: “oh, I had diarrhea every day until Caitlin went to kindergarten” and really… I don’t want to hear that.


Yes I am drinking fluids.


Yes I am eating bananas rice toast etcetera.  Well, not bananas, since I abhor bananas at the moment and just typing the word makes me want to hurl.


Anyway, it is my honor and my pleasure to have nausea and diarrhea and all that goes along with being pregnant.  And this too shall pass.  ha aha h ahhh ahhahah ha.    Yeah.  Any minute now.


My Bioband came today, so I can temporarily retire my “sometimes you feel like a nut” duct-tape contraption.  This is good because the white duct tape was maybe looking like some kind of suicide wound.  Just when things are going so well.  My friend K. brought me a cute sequined bracelet to cover the wristband up, so I don’t even need the Pauly Bleeker sweatbands, another plus since it’s 92 degrees.


When things get difficult, I generally make them worse by worrying about when they will get worse, or how long they will last.  This isn’t helped by books and websites that say the horrendous thing that is happening all day today “usually peaks in the ninth week” – peaks? – or “generally tapers off after three months” or “may last the entire pregnancy.”  I am reminded of the scene in “Cocoon” where Steve Guttenberg’s character is in the indoor pool with the sexy space alien and he says “If this is foreplay, I’m a dead man.”


The truth is it’s only as bad as it is today, and I keep telling myself it is “doable,” and tomorrow will take care of itself.  Besides which, I asked for this, and I’m happy I have it, even the icky parts.


Since I can’t leave the house much, I am reading, some pregnancy books.  My husband, bless his heart, went out and got himself an expectant father book.  I read a bit of it until I got to the part that says: “It’s okay.  She’s pregnant too.”  By whom I think they mean, uh, me.  I think the book is kidding at that part. 


I’ve never been a big fan of the “We’re pregnant” convention.  I understand why people say it but … come on.  “We’re having a baby” makes some sense, but only one of us is pregnant and it’s not hard to tell which one.


The book is a little on the paranoid side about the terrible dangers of things like nail polish and sliced turkey, which will inspire more debate around the house about Dangerous Things, but that’s inevitable anyway. The book also suggests that at this point in my pregnancy I should consume 45 grams of protein, right now today, (how about some turkey?) and 6-7 servings of fruits and vegetables, with only a nod to the possibility that “your partner may be experiencing some food aversions right about now.”  Ya think?  There is no way that all that food is going into me today unless we can count Reed’s Ginger Brew and Trader Joe’s Lemon Soda as fruit servings.


It’s very ironic that sugar, my life’s enemy, is now my friend in controlling nausea.  Most of the foods that I can stand to eat have some sugar, although I can’t stand very much and I think there are cookies in my cabinet going stale.


We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore.

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