The Pregnant Puker…at work

B-natal Lozenges for Morning Sickness, Green Apple, 28 eaWith LoveBug, I had morning sickness 24-hours a day for the entire 41 weeks and 4 days of being pregnant. I tried everything from Saltines in the morning to vitamin B6, papya, mangos, and B-Natal suckers (though they do taste really good). Nothing helped.
During the first half of my pregnancy, I was attending school full time and working ambulance full time. This led to a lot of traveling and a lot of interesting situations which promoted nausea. I didn’t want to use my state of being pregnant as an excuse to get out of anything, so when I was given the task (in the hospital) of inserting a nasogastric tube into an eldery lady’s nose so that we could draw out the feces that was backed up into her stomach, I did it. And I was doing okay until I saw the fecal material come up that clear plastic tube and into the bucket I was balencing on the patient. The head nurse asked me what was wrong and I simply uttered a meak “I’m pregnant” before she rolled her eyes, yelled at me for not telling her sooner, and had two aides whisk me outside into the fresh air.

On the ambulance, I didn’t have the opportunity to run outside into the fresh air when I was hit with something bad. The first time it happened, I was chatting with a patient who was the CEO and founder of a local nation-wide company that sold cutlery. It was a routine transport and he felt fine–even promising to send me a pair of scissors when he got back home. During our conversation, I felt the nausea creeping up, so I just gently said “excuse me one moment,” grabbed a puke basin, silently filled it behind him, and threw some drying chemicals and a towel over the bucket so no one would know what happened. Except for my partner who saw the whole thing and started laughing. He was male, obviously. I never got the scissors.

Other calls were worse, like the time I had a 16-year-old girl with a head injury who had made it all the way to the receiving hospital 1.5 hours away without puking. Then, as we’re just about to the parking lot and I’m giving a radio report, she starts in. The radio report quickly ended as I grabbed a bucket for her and I to share. I had never, ever, thought I would break the cardinal rule of sharing a bucket for bodily fluids with a patient. There is just something seriously wrong with that picture, but when you’re pregnant and it’s coming up…

This pregnancy, my nausea isn’t nearly as severe. Actually, none of my pregnancy symptoms are, and it’s quite heavenly. I have a desk job this time and a short commute, so the gallon ice-cream bucket I keep in my car for those pregnancy problems hasn’t even been used (I learned about the bucket after hitting my steering wheel and entire front dash one late night). I don’t have to hug a disgusting porcelain bowl while waiting for calls, and I haven’t had to throw up in front of anyone this time. No partner has had to hand me a towel after I’ve had to run to the side of a parking lot, and no one has laughed at me as I gag while cleaning up the back of a rig.

It’s a beautiful thing, working while you’re pregnant. The constant trips to the bathroom, trying to stay awake during boring meetings, finding clothing that allows you to go out into public…and the nausea and vomitting that can appear anywhere and everywhere. Thank God we can learn to laugh about these moments and catalog them away in our memory to share with our children when they’re teenagers, giving us a hard time about something (“you have no idea what I went through to have you…”). And thank God it’s women that have to go through this, because I don’t know too many men who could live through 40 weeks of gut wrenching symptoms!

Take courage, pregnant women who must brave the world. Those babies are worth it in the end, and you can always move your car to another parking spot so as to leave the evidence behind when you go grocery shopping (just in case you forgot your ice-cream bucket).

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2 thoughts on “The Pregnant Puker…at work

  1. Zofran is the greatest invention ever. $80 for a two week supply is kind of a pain, but on the other hand, I wouldn't be able to work at this point without it. Today the tones dropped, and the first thing I did was stick that little heavenly white tablet it my mouth.

    Like

  2. I've had so much this time…I've had to ask my DH to pull over for me twice. EVEN now i've thrown up in the last few weeks…and gagged many times.

    almost time to have my baby though!

    Like

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