Pregnancy Diary | Week 9 | Impostor Syndrome
9 Weeks Pregnant | Day 0 – Saturday
Today I woke up feeling suspiciously normal: so much so, in fact, that I’ve basically spent the entire day freaking out and worrying that something MUST be wrong. I know from my own reading, and from Dr. Terry’s repeated assurances (Oh yeah, Terry is basically a doctor now: did I mention that? He’s read every single thing he can get his hands on about pregnancy, and now I’m worried that he’ll try to tell the REAL doctors what to do during the birth. IF, of course, we get that far…), that HCG normally peaks in week 8, and then starts to tail off after that, at which point some women start to feel a little better: hell, my pregnancy app even confirmed this to me this morning.
All the same, though, I’m still worried: I mean, I know it’s all well and good in theory (and we also know that my HCG was very high early on, which might mean it would peak even earlier), but it seems to be pretty unusual in practice for women to start feeling better this early: as I keep on saying, my own mum had morning sickness for the full 9 months, and I was fully expecting to be the same, so while I’m relieved not to have thrown up today, I’m also worried that there’s a really, really bad reason for that.
Isn’t that so unfair, though? I mean, seriously: this must be the only time in my life I’ve actively WANTED to feel ill – and I know that, if I WAS, I’d just as strongly want it to STOP, ALREADY. I actually feel super-guilty about this: I haven’t wished I wasn’t pregnant, but I HAVE wished I didn’t have to feel so sick all the time, and now I’m worried that if something bad DOES happen, I’ll almost have wished it upon myself. I know how crazy that sounds, but the guilt is incredible, and I feel like I must be a terrible person to have wished the sickness would stop, just for a little while, at least.
With that said, I do still have SOME nausea. I’m still trying to manage it by snacking throughout the day, and doing my best to stay hydrated (still drinking that decaffeinated tea!), so maybe that’s why it’s not nearly as bad today, who knows? I’m also still exhausted: and guilty about feeling exhausted. I feel like I should be taking advantage of the lack of sickness to do some cleaning, or catch up with work, but I had to have a “quick lie down” after my shower this morning (Yeah, I know, I sound like an absolute PRINCESS, don’t I? Also, supervising the staff is just so EXHAUSTING, isn’t it?), and that “quick” lie down turned into a 2-hour lie down, so, yeah, not much work got done, needless to say. And by “not much”, I mean “NONE”.
Because of the lack of symptoms, I’ve also started to really worry about the next ultrasound, which is happening this Wednesday. Terry is confident everything will be fine, but I just can’t help feel that it really won’t be, and we’ll have gone through all of this worry and hope for absolutely nothing – AGAIN. And honestly, I’m not even sure what’s worse: the worry or the hope. All I know is that today I feel much more “normal” than I did yesterday – and I just can’t imagine a scenario in which that turns out to be a good thing…
9 Weeks Pregnant | Day 2 – Monday
Yeah, hold that result: a few hours after writing that last diary entry, in which I was endlessly wringing my hands over the lack of nausea, the sickness kicked in with a vengeance, and basically hasn’t really left since. Be careful what you wish for, huh?
Thankfully, I haven’t actually thrown up again (so far) but it’s been so bad that my usual “eat little and often” trick hasn’t been working, which means I haven’t been able to each much at all. Last night, Terry made me a ham sandwich, in a bid to get some protein into me, but I could barely even look at it, so he ended up having to make another late-night trip to the local Chinese takeaway for some fried rice. This morning, I’d happily never eat anything ever again: I’d say I’d be happy to just get all of my nutrients delivered in capsule form, but, then again, I’m even having trouble choking down my prenatal vitamins (Why do those things have to be so HUGE?!), so maybe not.
It’s hard to know how to deal with all of this, or what level of nausea is an “acceptable” level to have to live with, before asking for help. At my appointment last week, the midwife told me it’s better to see the GP and ask for some anti-nausea medication, than to make myself ill/miserable by just trying to deal with it, but I’m well aware that I don’t cope well with illness at the best of time, so what seems to be an almost intolerable level of nausea to me might be what “normal” people would consider mild. I suspect the fact that I AM managing to keep the little I am eating down would lead the doctor to just dismiss me as the hypochondriac he knows I am (My GP is the one who always tries to treat my health anxiety, and ignores any physical symptoms, so I’m reluctant to see him anyway, especially given that, the last time I was in his office, I’d just been told my pregnancy was possibly ectopic, and he tried to treat me by getting me to stare at a stick for 15 seconds: true story…), so I guess I just keep struggling on, even although it’s getting harder by the day.
I also think I might have to leave the Facebook support group I joined for women who are pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy. They’re a lovely bunch of women, but there are just SO many horror stories of people miscarrying, and having other complications, and it’s reached the stage now where it’s scaring me, rather than helping me. (Also, I feel like a complete imposter in these groups: even after seeing the heartbeat on the ultrasound at 7.5 weeks, I still can’t allow myself to feel like I’m actually pregnant, and even in the brief moments when I DO feel pregnant, my next thought is always, “Yeah, but for how long?”) Two days until the next ultrasound: it feels more like two months, though…
9 Weeks Pregnant | Day 5 : Thursday
Yesterday I had my third ultrasound: this one was mostly needed to date the pregnancy, so I can book the Harmony blood test for next week (It can only be done after 10 weeks), but, for me, it was mostly about reassurance. Over the past few days I’d once again managed to convince myself that something had gone wrong (For no reason other than that “bad feeling” I always get. Terry keeps trying to point out that if I ALWAYS get that feeling, then it can’t actually be trusted, but, of course, that way of thinking is way too logical for me, and no amount of logic will talk me out of a “feeling”), so I was, as usual, absolutely terrified going into this appointment – even more so this time, because this was the first ultrasound I’d had since the nausea got bad, and I was really worried about having to drink a pint of water and then have someone press down on my stomach: I mean, seriously?
At the hospital, we had a longer wait than usual, during which I saw quite a few pregnant women go in, and then re-emerge clutching scan photos. Because I’m me, the more of this I saw, the more convinced I became that I wouldn’t get to be one of them: I was almost sick with nerves by the time I lay down on the couch, but thankfully the sonographer took only a few seconds to locate the baby, and find the heartbeat – at which point I obviously burst into tears.
We left with our own set of scan photos, in a little cardboard wallet with ‘HELLO BABY’ – which I was still staring at 20 minutes later in the pharmacy waiting room when two friends of Terry’s mum walked in and looked right at it: so much for secrecy, huh?
At any other time, I think I’d have been quite worried about this in case one of them bumped into her, and spilled the beans, but, as it happened, we’d already decided that, if everything was OK, we’d go straight to Terry’s mum’s house from the hospital and tell her. She’s been quite unwell lately, and is waiting on some medical results of her own right now, so we thought it might be good for her to have some happy news to focus on for a while. I was really glad we told her, too – we obviously had to try to temper her excitement a little and explain that it’s still very early, but she was absolutely thrilled, and had a bit of a cry (a good one, obviously!) when we told her, so it was nice to see her so happy and excited after everything she’s been through. Now we just have to hope that everything continues to go well…
On that note, we were at the pharmacy because when I went to see the nurse at the Early Pregnancy Unit after my scan (They always want us to just check in with them afterwards), I mentioned the nausea, and she went and got me a prescription for Cyclizine, which I can take if it gets really bad. With that said, yesterday wasn’t too bad a day, nausea-wise, so I’m REALLY hoping I’m past the worst of it now. Things can only get better, right?
9 Weeks Pregnant | Day 6 – Friday
“Things can only get better, right?”
LOLOLOL! Oh, you sweet summer child: why’d you have to go and tempt fate like that?
So, the final day of week 9 ended with me running gagging down the hall (vaguely worried that I might be about to throw up on my precious new floor, but also not really caring if I did…), and making it to the downstairs loo just in time to throw up extravagantly in the toilet: so, yeah, I’d say that, on balance, things did NOT, in fact, “get better”, although I WISH.
I did feel a bit better after I’d thrown up (Having said that, I’ve just this second realised that I’m now one of THOSE bloggers who just writes about bodily functions all the time, and that’s made me want to throw up all over again…), and today’s craving was for potato salad/cold pasta salad, which I decided to go with Terry to pick up, just to get out of the house for a little while: I’m starting to get a serious case of cabin fever from being basically confined to my room all the time.
Had a few dodgy moments in the car and supermarket when I sure I was going to throw up again, but managed to make it home, and then eat an honestly quite obscene amount of pasta salad, so at least I managed to get in some calories – although, for how long remains to be seen.
So, overall, week 9 has been rough in a lot of ways, but not QUITE as bad as week 8 was, nausea-wise at least. I still feel like the nausea has basically taken over my life, though, and rather than living, I’m really just existing right now, with almost all of my time and energy having to be spent on trying to stay reasonably hydrated/nourished, while battling a constant wave of nausea. It’s pretty miserable, to be honest, but I’m just SO grateful to be able to stay at home right now, and not have to get up every day and go to work: yes, I’m getting increasingly worried about the effect all of this is having on my blog, because I really haven’t felt well enough to give it more than the most cursory level of attention for weeks now, but at least I have a job I can do from my bed, if I need to. I honestly have NO idea how women with “normal” jobs cope, and, if it was up to me, I’d give them all medals, seriously.