Pregnancy and sickness

I’m writing this from my sister’s sofa, which makes a change from my sofa, which is where I’ve spent most of my time for the past six weeks or so. I found out I was pregnant at the beginning of October – in fact, a few days before I headed down to Swindon Poetry Festival and I’m now 12 weeks and have had the first scan. I even saw the baby stretching and yawning which was pretty amazing. I look back now on that first week when I found out I was pregnant with fondness now – although it was a lot to get my head around, I had no idea how quickly my life was going to change. I naively thought that I would gradually slow down as I got bigger, that I would have to gradually start not rushing around as much. However my body and the baby had other ideas.

From about week six I’ve really suffered with morning sickness and extreme fatigue. I had no idea how debilitating morning sickness could be. And the tiredness – about ten years ago I had tonsilitis and because I didn’t rest properly I developed post-viral fatigue syndrome afterwards, and I feel exactly the same as I did then. For much of the time between week six and now I’ve had to lie down on the sofa or in bed. I’ve been unable to read or concentrate on anything other than bad television. I’ve felt sick 24 hours a day, although at the moment I’m mostly being sick in the morning.

I went on a holiday with two friends to Spain in about week 8 or 9 which was a huge mistake. I spent the whole long weekend in bed and couldn’t keep any food down, which then progressed to not being able to keep any fluids down, so I ended up having to call the doctor out and then being sent to hospital and put on various drips – severely dehydrated for the second time in as many months. I nearly missed my flights home because I was too ill to be discharged – it was possibly the most stressful thing that has happened to me. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum or extreme morning sickness.

Since I got back from Spain, I am a lot better. I’m still being sick but not constantly sick. Just before the first scan there was an unfortunate projectile vomiting incident in the hospital canteen, where I managed to throw up not just on the floor but on my own shoes, and the deep cleaning team had to come out to clean it up, which was possibly one of the most humiliating experiences ever. But in general, I am managing to keep food down now and I’m managing to drink and stay hydrated. I am managing to get out and do some readings and teaching but I’m having to take it very easy, which anyone who knows me will know how much I will be struggling with this concept.

I’m blogging about this because I’m currently lying on the sofa feeling extremely sorry for myself! I only went public with being pregnant a few days ago on social media, and whilst it has been lovely to read everybody’s congratulations, part of me can’t feel any of it at the moment because I feel so bloody ill. So if you’re waiting for a reply to something and it’s been a while, please give me a nudge. It’s not that I’m ignoring you or don’t care, it’s just that I’m really struggling at the moment with the simplest things, and keeping up with emails etc has been hard.

My conclusions from the whole experience of pregnancy so far (all 12 weeks of it) is that women are really hardcore! I can’t believe the stuff they put up with – I know not everybody gets extreme morning sickness, but even the regular kind is pretty awful, and yet they go to work, look after other children etc etc.

I’ve also realised that I measure a lot of my self worth by what I ‘achieve’ each day – and having not been able to achieve anything (apart from making a baby of course) I’ve found it really hard to stay positive – that’s a bit of an understatement. I’ve felt pretty terrible, but I’ve also realised that measuring my self worth in that way probably isn’t the healthiest thing to do either. I wouldn’t say I’ve completely shaken this habit off, but I’m trying to change the way I think.

So, for now, I’ll sign off but I will say before I go, that if one more person tells me to try ginger biscuits, I will not be responsible for my actions!

18 comments on “Pregnancy and sickness

  1. Many congratulations Kim (and to your hubby). I hope your sickness and fatigue ease somewhat in the second trimester. Living with chronic fatigue and regular sickness myself, all I can offer is that it takes practice being unwell & inactive 😉 Much love, Peter x

    1. Thanks Peter – yes, it’s given me a small insight into how tough people are who live with ongoing health conditions – I know it’s not the same as this will pass but I’ve found it really awful. Thanks for commenting x

  2. Ah Kim, sorry you’re having such a rough ride, although the news is exciting and lovely! I hope your days of sickness are over soon and you can enjoy the new life ahead of you…thank goodness you have such a wonderful husband! They are precious aren’t they? Take care, love to you both, Maggie

  3. Oh Kim! I so sympathise with you. When I was expecting my second baby I couldn’t move from the setttee for nearly 6 months because of the sickness. I managed to feed and dress my toddler and that was about it. I felt like death. It did pass and I went on to have 3 more without repeating the dreadful sickness. Hang in there girl. This too shall pass. It will all be worth it eventually

  4. I had it, though from memory of 30 years ago, not as bad. By week 14 it had largely subsided. So I fully sympathise with the physical and mental feelings. I’ll cross all digits that it does go soon so you can enjoy the pregnancy more. No, certain cookies will not be mentioned. I think I got a bit of relief from crackers (eg Jacob’s). Midwife got any remedies to try? Anyway Kim, I’m sure there’s lots of us out there thinking about your news and wishing you all the best ☺🌞. When you’re able keep us updated. MoiraG

  5. Hello Kim and blessings to you and Chris and little Moore what a joy xxxx. I really feel for you sweetie, such luck to have extreme sickness. I do remember the utter yuckiness of it all, my third pregnancy was the worst and yes I felt sick for months and its just so bloody weird how certain things set it off! I really hope in time you pick up, I’m sure you will. I love how honest you are with measuring your self worth and having the balls to want to change and just be okay with who you are, Ah! our shadow sides are such teachers. Much love to you Kim and look after yourself and baby xxx

  6. All the best and congratulations, Kim. I had morning sickness with all my three although it eased off by about weeks 12/13 so I hope yours does too. I remember it was like a horrible sort of car sickness that lasted all day… It will get better! Ali x

  7. Sorry to hear you’re suffering so much. I’m sending big huggy thoughts. This will pass and you’ll soon be back to your usual glowing self. Meanwhile look after both yourselves xx

  8. Hi dear, I like your post very much, thanks for the good information, well I will love if you check out my blog about Ultrasound on pregnancy, a lot of good information on the topic as well, I will link down below my page, I am a new blogger and my purpose is to inform and help women about ultrasounds and pregnancy, please give me your feedback and like if you don’t mind, and a follow will be much appreciated, thanks

  9. Thanks for the news and congrats to both of you. I think watching bad TV is a sign you’re progressing through the illness. I collected projectile vomit into a waste paper basket when I had a drunk student in my office, I counted that as a unique experience, but yours is even better. Hang on to your sense of humour and don’t read “This is going to hurt” by Adam Kay a doctor/ gynecologist for the inside story.

  10. Today in the Guardian 19/12/08 in the G2 section there is an article (page 3) about hyperemesis gravidarum and how this horrible condition is not taken seriously enough. Worth a read.

      1. They say once the placenta starts taking over more it usually has less of a toll on your body as hormones start leveling out. Mine couldn’t have happened at a better time because the boost of energy I’ve had is very helpful in moving into the house we just bought.
        I’m glad you’re feeling better. Nothing is worse than morning sickness and IVs.

  11. I completely agree with you, I have had a rough first trimester and still being sick at times. I have constantly thought to myself; how do other women do it?! But we do, every day brings us one day closer to meeting our little ones xx

    1. Hi am so sorry to hear you’re being sick still. Mine suddenly cleared up at around 13 weeks, and now (at 24) weeks, I’m starting to feel a lot better, and more comfortable in my ‘new’ body. I think I’m getting used to the constant changes, rather than feeling upset by them! I hope you start to feel better soon x

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