Life After Birth: Phantom Nausea

Life After Birth: Phantom Nausea

If there’s one thing to know about me it’s that pregnancy and I are NOT friends. From about 6 weeks to the day I deliver I am non-stop nauseous, non-stop throwing up, and I have a very hard time gaining weight. The thought of being pregnant again scares the daylights out of me, and thanks to a little something I like to call “phantom nausea”, I get an occasional reminder of just how horrible those pregnancy days were. 

When I was pregnant with my first kid, two very specific things took place: I binge watched a lot of TV and I worked a whole bunch while listening to popular hits on my headphones. The show I watched the most during that time was Dawson’s Creek and a song I listened to a lot was "All of Me" by John Legend. And to this day I cannot listen to the introduction song of that television show or that popular love song by JL without feeling incredibly queasy. 

With my second pregnancy, I spent a whole lot of time with my young toddler watching YouTube videos on my phone. You know, cuz I wasn’t fully capable of properly raising him in my state, so screen time it was. One of the commonly watched YouTube Kids channels we would watch videos from was Dave and Ava. And three years later, if one of my kids happens upon one of their videos or songs, I feel instantly sick.

Because I haven’t been pregnant in nearly three years, this has definitely become less of a problem than it was when I was fresh from pregnancy. I don’t get entirely nauseous any more, just queasy and very uncomfortable. And I assume as the years go by it’ll become less and less of a thing.

Music has a way of triggering memories, in a variety of situations, to the extent that we’ll remember very specific things about where we were or who we were with while listening to a particular song. My memories with these three tunes just happen to be associated with a sick and uncomfortable timeframe, so it brings back those nauseous feelings even though I’m now perfectly healthy. 

I have a friend who says some songs do the exact same thing to her from when she was pregnant and very sick too, and she also says that there is a certain color of periwinkle purple that she absolutely cannot look at because she gets totally sick. Ha! So I’m not alone and I’m not the only crazy one out there! 

Is there anyone else out there like my friend and I? If so, what is the song, color, or object that makes you experience phantom nausea?

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Haha oh man, I’m relieved that I’m not crazy! Each pregnancy that I’ve had has been MISERABLE! I still can’t watch the tv show Friends, listen to certain songs, eat certain foods, and look at certain images (yes, even images). Pregnancy and I don’t go well together – nauseous until my 8th month…no thank you

Darya P

I’m so glad to hear that someone else went through the same thing I thought it was just me. Music in particular is quite triggering especially remembering being sick around those times and listening to certain songs still gives me nausea triggers from seven years ago.

Mary Gibsey

I looked this up because I recently experienced this! I was pregnant with my second child last fall. It was during COVID quarantine and my job was editing videos for my church. When summer ended this year and fall was approaching, the idea is fall starting made me feel sick! Then Facebook reminded me of one of the music videos I put together during that time. I basically laid in bed, sick as a dog editing that video at the time. I watched the video and had turn it off because I felt incredibly. nauseous! Fall is my favorite time of year so I’m truly hoping this feeling doesnt come back year after year. Lol


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