Day 47… How to survive pregnancy at work (Teacher-style)

I’m a high school math teacher, so generally, I’m always annoyed at my students for saying random things in the middle of class, being disruptive, etc. It doesn’t really help matters when them come up to you to ask you a question and you’re wondering how you can politely ask them to step out of the way because you need to sprint to the bathroom and be sick.  Or when you’re in the middle of a sentence and you completely lose your train of thought.  (Like I just did right now).  My favorite is when I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open while grading papers, or when I’m so light-headed I see stars.  Well, here’s what’s worked for me so far:

For nausea:

  1. Ginger.  I went to Vietnam in 2011 and discovered this wonderful treat while battling motion sickness.  They pronounce it like “geen-ger” so that’s how I say it now.  Ginger is a very strong flavor and I understand that many people probably don’t like it, but it really works when nausea strikes. It doesn’t last forever, but when I have a bout of nausea, I can pop a candy and I feel a lot better. It comes dried and sugared, in a chewy candy form, in a gum, or you can buy the root straight up, and there is of course always ginger ale.  My mom found me these chewy candies at a local Asian food market and they’re wonderful.  They’re the consistency of dots candy, so if you chew it, it coats your teeth, and I don’t love that, so I just suck on it.  I think it lasts longer that way.  The dried and sugared kind is really good for fast-action relief, so I keep some of that stashed in my desk drawer.  I have never tried the gum, but I saw it with the motion sickness stuff in the drugstore.  The root itself you can use if it’s peeled and you definitely want to cook or heat it up.  So it’s good in stir-fry or you can shred it and steep it in your tea.  In my opinion, I think ginger ale is a waste of money and calories.  It doesn’t help nearly as well as the candy or the straight root.  It’s tasty, that’s for sure, but I just don’t really see the point in it other than yum. 
  2. Eat BEFORE you get nauseated!!!!  I have found that when I’m not feeling so great in the evening and I eat a bird’s dinner, I feel like total crap the next day.  When I eat a normal dinner and then maybe a very light snack before bed (crackers and cheese, popcorn, etc.) I feel a thousand times better.  Snacking halfway between meals helps too.  So I have breakfast around 5:30, snack at 10, lunch at 12, snack on my way home at 3, dinner around 7.  My teaching schedule doesn’t really let me snack that often (it’s not easy to teach and eat) but I do my best with bite-sized cereal, nuts, or anything that can be popped in. 
  3. Drink MORE than enough water.  I’ve had a lot of nausea but no ralphing – yet.  What I have had problems with is my bowels.  (I’m sorry… I can’t say it any other way.  Just trying to be PC and not totally gross.)  One minute I’m all stopped up for two days and the next I can’t leave the bathroom.  Water helps with this as well as sickness.  No matter which end liquids come out of, you’re losing them at an alarming rate.  We all know being hydrated is super important part of being healthy anyway!


For lost trains of thought (also works well for dizziness): 

  1. Make lists.  My iPhone has “reminders” and I’m sure that many other phones have a similar feature.  This is my 8th year teaching and I have taught pre-calculus for about 5 of those years, so usually I can teach my lessons with little or no lesson plan.  Well, now that my brain has left the building, I can hardly remember what period of the day it is and what section I’m teaching.  So I’m back to being a first-year teacher, writing out everything I need to tell them in grand detail.  Argh. 
  2. Have a schedule.  I’m the type of person that hates schedules and I don’t really abide by one, but it might work for you.  Try to do the same thing every day or put things in the same place and maybe you’re keys won’t get lost every time you get out of your car. 

For exhaustion:

  1. If anyone has any suggestions that are better than what I’m about to say, PLEASE pass them along!  I’m so tired and no coffee?!?!!  ARE! YOU! SERIOUS!?!?!
  2. Take a nap.  No joke.  If I feel so tired while I’m grading papers after lunch, I set an alarm on my phone for 10-15 minutes and put my head down student-style.  I don’t really fall asleep, but it gives my brain a chance to refill with blood and oxygen (I don’t think that’s technically correct, I’m no doc, but that’s how I feel.) and I can almost make it through the day.  Or sometimes I do that after school.  I have about a 45 minute very boring commute and if I feel like I’m going to fall asleep at the wheel, I’ll get a little shut-eye before I leave.  Remember, this is about you and your baby.  The groceries/dry-cleaner/mother-in-law’s visit/etc. can wait. 
  3. Keep your blood sugar up.  See also, #2 under nausea.
  4. Drink enough water.  See also, #3 under nausea.
  5. Go for a walk.  Yeah.  I hate it too.  Yeah, all I want to do is lay down.  But usually that just makes me feel physically worse and then guilty.  I like to listen to e-books that I check out of the library on my iPhone and it makes the time fly.  Right now, I’m listening to “Cujo” by Stephen King. 

Well, there it is.  I know it won’t fix everyone’s issues, because everyone is different, but I thought maybe someone out there feels one of my same symptoms and could use this. 


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