I thought I was on top of my acid indigestion. I thought that chewing gum had saved me. After dreading the social engagements of the weekend for fear that all the food provided would set it off and then some and discovering that the chewing kept me sane, I thought that I had found the panacea. Then last night happened.

Hubs had had a bad day at work and, unusually for him, chose to talk it out which I was very pleased about. We went to the local pub. They were out of dandelion and burdock, which has become my tipple of choice since rose lemonade became a recipe for disaster. I figured ginger beer would be a good plan. I was wrong.

The heartburn started in the car. It wasn’t too bad at first and when I got home and started to empty the dishwasher in preparation for cooking the dinner. The bending set me off. The acid rushed up and I started coughing. I reached for some chewing gum, hoping that that would settle me down but it must have been too little too late. My stomach turned over and I was sick. There wasn’t much food in there and most of the fluid must have been absorbed already, it felt like I was bringing up chunky acid. My throat was on fire.

I gulped down water which, after what I’d been subjected to, tasted sweet. I stuck some gum in my mouth and got on with cooking the dinner. As the time ticked by I became fairly sure that I wouldn’t be able to eat it. I crunched through four gaviscon tablets. They dealt with the worst of the burning and, at first, brought my appetite back but within half an hour, the acid had started to come back. I ate as much as I could.

By bedtime water and chewing gum had brought the acid mostly under control and has become habit, I slept propped up. This morning I woke up feeling a little bruised and sorry for myself. I went on line.

Sometimes my husband has threatened to turn off the internet. I have a habit of researching. I can see why he would think that’s a bad thing. We know too much and it does make pregnancy more stressful than it needs to be.

Knowledge can however be useful. Yes, I discover scary stuff sometimes but very often I find that I am reassured by what I find out. The unlikelihood of disaster is comforting and I am fully equipped with reams of statistics. What really helps however is discovering how alone I’m not. I lay in bed this morning reading women’s accounts of their experiences, so similar to mine. Symptoms that leave them scared to eat and feeling miserable. I had tears of sympathy in my eyes and tears of relief that it’s not just me.

Women are often told that they should enjoy being pregnant. An exciting time of anticipation just ahead of the full responsibility of parenthood. A calm before the storm. It’s just not that easy for everyone. Some women breeze through pregnancy with barely a symptom of morning sickness. That is the image we like to picture: glowing, happy pregnancy. Some women, however, vomit all the way through. Some women suffer with headaches and backaches and problems with their hips. Some women become incredibly depressed.

Pregnancy is very hard on the body and it exposes us to a whole world of worry that we may not have fully anticipated. Pregnancy can be very, very hard. While the cultural perception is steadfast in viewing pregnancy in a certain light you can begin to feel like a bad mother and a bad person for not loving every minute of it. It’s at times like that, that you really need the Internet.

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