This week I have come to further appreciate the many different levels of sickness experienced during pregnancy and how hard it is to try to put yourself into a category.
Some women experience no nausea or sickness at all. Ironically, they often wish for it during early stages of pregnancy, especially prior to first scan dates as it helps validate the pregnancy. This may sound odd, but the strange thing about being pregnant is that you’re unlikely to have it verified by an independent adjudicator until weeks 10-12 when you have your “booking in” appointment, blood tests and first ultrasound. I am embarrassed to admit that when I first went to the doctors to tell her I was pregnant, I’d brought along my two positive tests in case she didn’t believe me!
There’s then a huge swathe of women who suffer with intermittent or mild nausea and/or vomiting between weeks 7-12ish (when hCG is surging through their bodies) who usually get on with it with a brilliant British stiff upper lip, determined not to let the baby-shaped cat out of the figurative amniotic sack until the end of the first trimester (which annoyingly tends to be when the sickness dies down-and any potential sympathy with it!).
The other group we sometimes hear about (thankyouprincessmiddleton) is those suffering with severe NVP (technical term that, and the real name for “morning sickness”- Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy), called Hypermesis Gravitas. These are women who have become severely dehydrated as a result of their NVP and have been hospitalised to replace fluids, to try antiemetic medication and to generally get them well again. This can last for a whole pregnancy and is a very serious physical condition.
Inbetween are infinite shades of grey- which is what I’ve been learning about this week. I am a shade. Let’s call it “accountant grey”- darkish, possibly with a dull pinstripe.
I’ve lost over 2.5kg whilst trying to nourish my tiny pea-foetus over the last two weeks. I am very nauseous 24/7 and unable to concentrate, travel or even sit or stand for too long. I am sick 2-3 times a day (and hold it back many more times), I’ve also had a slightly elevated temperature of 99.8 for 4 days. I am however able to keep enough fluids down to still be ‘well’- my urine is dark and I measured my ketosis at 0.5 (which is ok). I am keeping some food down.
I can’t really leave the house or tell anyone why. I can’t go to work (I will have to tell them why soon).
This is sadly why I am going to need some medication. It seems it can be (understandably) hard to convince GPs to prescribe medicines (especially in the first trimester), and I’ve had two
GP appointments since finding out I was pregnant and neither doctor was keen to prescribe. I will need to be a little more forceful (and maybe cry less) to get hold of some of the drugs that can be prescribed for NVP during the first trimester as they do exist! Please keep your fingers crossed for Monday’s gp visit for a miracle cure (or cyclazine).
Looks like we might be pressured into telling people sooner than we are comfy with, but it is very hard to hide a normally busy outgoing person behind a “sickness bug” without genuinely worrying friends and family. We also hate lying (and are pretty bad at it) so I think we’re going to make plans to tell the family this coming week.
On the upside…. I’ve accidentally convinced my lovely wonderful husband that we should go for an early scan! Unless you have some specific health reasons, you don’t get pre-12 week ultrasound scans on the NHS, but can pay to have them privately. I originally saw these as a pointless waste of money and emotion, as you’re still not out of the sensitive 1st trimester until 12 weeks. However, my increasing irrational fear of twins (strong early morning sickness being one of many possible signs) and general impatience to see the little pea-foetus thats causing all this ill has got the better of me…. Roll on Tuesday for my 7+1 scan!
That’ll do for now. I wish I could enjoy a cup of tea.
Oh and briefly, if you meet a womn with severe morning sickness, for the love of anything please do not ask her if she has tried ginger. Do you not think, thy if she were feeling that awful, thant she has probably tried everything in her power to feel well again? That includes sodding biscuits!