I am 15 weeks pregnant with awful, constant 'morning' sickness. I'm doing what I can to manage it (including taking medication) but it looks like it's going to be around for a while. So what I'm looking for is suggestions on how to deal with the psychological impact it's having on me, and the limitations it's putting on my life, because the thought of another week/month/trimester of being this ill is really getting me down.
posted by Catseye to health & fitness (28 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(Please note: I am not looking for tips on reducing or curing the morning sickness itself. I would love for ginger/crackers/peppermint/acupressure wristbands/small frequent snacks/toast/boiled sweets/ice and all the other eight hundred remedies I've tried to work for me, but they just don't, and I can't even tell you how frustrating it's getting to hear the same suggestions over and over again from my friends and medical professionals. Ginger is now referred to only as "the G word" in my house.)
The morning sickness started before 4 weeks and got worse quickly. Not much actual throwing up, maybe only 2/3 times a day, but a lot of retching and constant terrible debilitating nausea, like seasickness every waking minute. At 8 weeks, after I'd eaten and drunk close to nothing for several days, my GP finally prescribed me medicine (cyclizine) - and it worked! The vomiting stopped, the nausea was reduced to bad-but-tolerable levels, and I could actually manage food and drink without retching at the thought.
However. After a few weeks of relief, the sickness started getting worse again. Now, at 15 weeks, I'm back to dealing with terrible endless nausea and throwing up about half of what I eat. I was so looking forward to this promised second trimester where I could eat healthily and get back to exercising and live my life and enjoy my pregnancy... and yet here I am, vomiting in hotel bathrooms on a much-anticipated weekend away and spending hours upon hours in bed or on the sofa because lying flat sometimes seems to help. And oh, I am miserable.
I feel like I'm failing at pregnancy, for one thing. I still cook when I can, but mostly I've gone from healthy home-cooked meals to cereal and whatever else I can manage on a given day. I know the baby's getting what it needs - and it's fine, growing fine, wriggling around as I type this - but 9 months of cereal wasn't the plan! Mostly my husband sorts out food buying, preparing, washing up etc. now, which he's happy to do. I really could not manage without him at this point - but then I feel crap about this too, because I'm used to being so self-reliant, and really, really not used to feeling this ill.
I miss being active. I'm determined to keep getting outside for a run or a decent-length walk whenever the nausea eases up enough to let me. Right now that's maybe a couple of times a week and usually involves me stopping to lean against a tree and dry-heave at least once, but it's one of the few times I feel normal and like myself again, if only for a little while. And then I see other pregnant women zip past me looking great, and feel miserable and sorry for myself again. I was looking forward to taking a pregnancy yoga class, but if I'm just going to be retching or sprinting out to throw up half the time... it doesn't seem like such a good idea any more.
I feel like a failure at work. I'm managing, but only just; quite often I need to work from home so I can lie down for a while in the middle of the day. There's loads of stuff I should be doing but haven't had the energy to tackle yet, and the deadlines are looming closer. I can take sick leave if I need it but the thought of loads of time off just makes me feel more useless, and besides it won't help me do the stiff I really need to do for my career prospects when this contract ends (I'm a postdoc).
I am tired of banging my head off the wall trying to get hell and support from the medical system. I'm in the UK, and my antenatal care is mainly midwives plus my GP. I haven't seen the same midwife twice, I've had to go through the same "have you tried ginger?" routine with every single one because nobody's thought the sickness was relevant enough to put it in my notes, and most of them just haven't seemed to understand how truly bad this has been no matter what I say. It feels like I'm trying to describe a migraine and getting advice for a mild headache. The last one strongly recommended I stop the cyclizine altogether ("I don't like any drugs in pregnancy") and just go to hospital for fluids if I got dehydrated- so now I have to persuade my GP to prescribe me more cyclizine (or something else), knowing that she won't like going against the midwives' advice, and I only have 8 days of pills left.
The morning sickness could clear up tomorrow, or it could go on for the rest of the pregnancy. The thought of another 25 weeks of this just makes me want to cry and cry and cry.
So, how do I cope with this, for however long it lasts? How do I deal with the feelings of being useless at pregnancy, useless at my job, bored and sick and fed up on the sofa, missing out on all the things I wanted to do? I really don't want to be sunk into depression by the time the baby gets here, or to end up resenting it or something. I can accept that there's nothing I can do to fix the sickness, but I really want to find some ways of dealing with it better while it's here.