Including tips on surviving teaching with morning (or all day) sickness!
This is my second pregnancy while teaching. I was still at home with Arthur on maternity leave when we decided to try for our second so I was at home while pregnant with Eirlys. As with most pregnancies each was very different and my experience teaching through each was very different.
My first trimester with my first pregnancy was fairly straightforward and came with few side-effects. I had to inform the head teacher a little earlier than ideal that I was pregnant. I had a small bleed a needed an appointment to check that all was ok. As, luckily, everything was fine, my pregnancy wasn’t really mentioned again until I decided to tell everyone at around 11 weeks. Aside from being a little more tired and needing to nibble biscuits at intervals all was well during early pregnancy.
I was expecting everything to be similar this time around. Then pretty much my first day at work after getting a positive pregnancy test (yay!), I woke up feeling a little nauseous… and threw up all over myself in the car on the way to work. Tom dropped the kids into school, informed all relevant people I would be off sick and drove me straight back home. Showered and in clean clothes I lay on the sofa feeling horrendous and googling all the possible remedies for morning sickness.
Luckily I didn’t need to miss another day of work. I always feel so guilty leaving my class normally and especially as I had no idea when I might feel better, I wanted to be back at school. This required preparation though.
These are my tips for teaching through the nausea!
- Inform your leadership team and people working near you. I told my deputy head and head teacher, plus the primary school PA about the baby. They were so excited for us and really supportive. The deputy head had recently had a baby too, so gave her own tips for dealing with feeling sick. I also told my learning assistant and the teacher in the classroom next door, so that they were on hand if I was running back and for to the loo!
- Wake up slowly. This was tricky as all four of us need to be dressed and fed and in the car by 6.30am. I still jumped straight out of bed but got a drink and toast immediately before doing anything else, which really helped.
- Drink and snack regularly. Sipping plenty of water and eating small portions of healthy (or whatever you can stomach) food throughout the day does help keep the nausea at a manageable level. It also helps with the exhaustion levels!
- Rest when you can. Again, easier said than done, especially depending on your work hours and number of existing children! Work finishes early so are usually home by 2.15 and Tom has the same hours so is there for the kids too. This meant I could grab a quick afternoon nap if I really needed one.
- Avoid triggers. Try to work out what makes you feel worse. It took me a while to figure out that the pre-natal vitamins were making me physically sick instead of just the usual nausea. The smell of certain foods didn’t help either.
- Find a quick fix. Have a look online and try out some remedies. Ginger biscuits worked wonders for my first pregnancy. This time I couldn’t bear eating and a Bahraini lady suggested salt under the tongue and sucking on lemon. Now, this sounded like a way less fun tequila shot, but did work. The lemon alone helped at school if I needed to get a wave of nausea under control.
- Keep your fingers crossed it passes soon!!
The only other thing that was different this time was how quickly I looked pregnant. By week 7 I looked like I was in my second trimester and there was no hiding it. So, we started telling people much sooner for that reason too! Honestly, I thought everyone would be a little underwhelmed as it is baby number three, but we are surrounded by fabulous people who were full of excitement for us. And the nausea has passed. Here’s to a happy, healthy second trimester!