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Pregnancy Diary | Week 9 | Impostor Syndrome

Posted on 21 Comments 9 min read
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: my pregnancy diary
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.

Let’s hope week 10 is a little better…
My pregnancy diary:

Week 8


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  • Rebecca
    July 1, 2017

    I’ve only read the top disclaimer so far and I’m pissed! What the heck is wrong with people?

    Is it possible for you to maybe during this time hire/ask someone to screen the comments for you? Because it’s not worth it having to handle that extra anxiety!

    (This is my first comment on this blog btw!)

    • Amber
      July 1, 2017

      I will definitely have to consider doing that if it doesn’t stop – I’ve asked multiple times now, but this morning I’ve just woken up to a comment about how someone’s partner was made to leave right after a c-section (which is one of the things I’ve been worrying obsessively about…), and now I’m worrying even more 🙁

      • Rebecca
        July 1, 2017

        I think you should absolutely do it! Honestly, it’s not worth it!

      • Justina
        July 1, 2017

        I also had the thought that maybe you could have someone screen comments. I’m so frustrated that people won’t just be respectful of your request.

  • Samantha Louise
    July 1, 2017

    I empathise so much. Wishing you so much luck and joy.

  • Samantha
    July 1, 2017

    I absolutely know what you mean with impostor syndrome. I felt that too. Wishing you luck, and love xxx

  • Sarah Rooftops
    July 1, 2017

    I had a normal job but no morning sickness – I don’t know how people combine the two, either!

    Have you considered turning off comments for your pregnancy diary posts, at least until you hit one of the really reassuring milestones (20 week scan and loads of baby kicks are good ones!)? Obviously, you shouldn’t HAVE to but you’ve got enough on your plate without having to deal with any of us sticking our feet in our mouths! People care so much about our own pregnancy etc stories that it’s easy to forget that you don’t necessarily want to read them, no matter how much you say so!

    • Amber
      July 1, 2017

      I don’t want to turn off comments altogether, as I really love hearing from everyone (And I do want to hear other people’s stories, just maybe not the more traumatic bits, because I end up obsessing over them, and getting myself into a complete state, basically, where I’m convinced the same thing will obviously happen to me…), but I have considered switching on comment moderation for some of the posts if it keeps on happening. Quite a lot of it happens on social media, too, though, so it’s hard to totally avoid it: I’m hoping that as things progress, I’ll start feeling a bit more confident, and it won’t be so triggering for me, though!

  • Cat
    July 1, 2017

    I can’t believe people are posting scare stories in the comments section. I agree with the commenter above, maybe get someone to screen them for you for now. Have you thought about protein powders for getting nutrients while you’re feeling nauseous? I use them to get enough protein in my diet as a vegetarian who strength trains. But I also use them if I’m hungover and can’t stomach actual food 😊. I get the vanilla flavour natural whey from The Protein Works and mix it with blueberries, strawberries etc in the blender. Hope you’re feeling better soon x

  • Barbara Coventry High
    July 1, 2017

    All the very best to you and Terry!!!

  • Elaine
    July 1, 2017

    Hope you’re feeling a little better now Amber. People do seem to give a lot of advice to pregnant women, I’m sure most are well meaning, but I found that doing what feels right for yourself and your own family is nearly always the best thing to do. Hope the worst of the nausea is over. Sending good thoughts to you as always.

  • D
    July 1, 2017

    My sincere hope is that at some point you are able to shift your anxiety and actually enjoy your pregnancy…throwing up and all. It may seem like a long time, but it’s really just the blink of an eye. Wishing you continued infanticipating. ❤

    • D. Johnson
      July 4, 2017

      D., I LOVE that word: “infanticipating!” I’ve modified it for my situation (puppyticipating) and, while not as spot on as yours, it’s cute.

  • Mana
    July 1, 2017

    I had anxiety my whole pregnancy too, and one thing that helped once my midwife realized was she told us to go to Babies R Us and buy a heart rate monitor (they vary in price the one she recommended was $50) and bring it to the next appointment and they’d show us how to use it.

    It was hit and miss from week 8-13 for me to find the heartbeat but after that I had a pretty easy go finding it.

    Secondly, I highly recommend a bin and bin liners for the throwing up. It got worse for me before it got better though you’re probably already past that point. I bought a small bin and liners and carried it everywhere with me. Then if I threw up I could just throw it away. Gross a bit but easier than worrying for my floors.

  • Brenda
    July 1, 2017

    People definitely say the craziest, thoughtless and INACCURATE things to people while they are pregnant… I think at the very least you should have Terry do a quick scan of the comments (unless they bother him too)… Even though my “babies” are 15 and 17, I am loving reading these posts. I hope you start to feel a lot better — I do remember feeling like a million bucks in my second trimester!

  • Nora
    July 1, 2017

    Please have someone screen the comments! My little 8-months old son is sleeping next to me as I type and I was convinced the whole time that someone would burst in and yell ‘psych’ or something like that, so I know all about what you mean with imposter’s syndrome, especially after the history you had. Even now I sometimes marvel that everything went well and that he’s healthy and that we get to keep him and everything – it never stops it seems. It honestly makes me want to go back and get professional help, as I’d have liked to have enjoyed my pregnancy and baby more and without so much fear. I hope you get to enjoy all of it. I did a lot of meditation and still do and what helped a bit was telling myself again and again that no amount of worrying will change the outcome. All the best to you and Terry and also to his mum. xxx

    • D. Johnson
      July 4, 2017

      Nora, thank you. Me too. It helps reading that I’m not alone. I don’t mean to take over Amber’s followers, but it’s always been hard to talk about these things.

  • Heather Beers
    July 2, 2017

    Congratulations to you and Terry!

  • Deanna
    July 2, 2017

    Oh Amber I love reading your diary posts – remembering my pregnancy with my second child when my three year old would come in and say “Mommy, are you throwing up AGAIN???”😂😂. I’m so glad you’re feeling a bit better, but remember your body is doing something amazing and needs rest – don’t feel guilty about any lie-ins or working from your bed! We readers will still be here when you get your energy back!

  • D. Johnson
    July 4, 2017

    Yes, do not feel a bit guilty about the resting, even any pampering that comes your way. I just read one of your Instagram posts and I laughed out loud (the “… by eating a bowl of pasta…” remark.) Your loyal readers appreciate you, turned off comments or no. Thinking good thoughts for you and Terry. Wonderful to be able to share with his mum. 🙂

  • Jennie
    September 18, 2017

    What a wonderful blog, I realise I’m coming to this very late but I’m 9wks+3 at the moment so obviously doing all the Googling.
    I woke up on 9+0 feeling fine after nausea for a few weeks and it really freaked me out (I know exactly what you mean about wanting to feel ill). I’m so pleased that I’m not the only one! Its well and truly back now!

    I booked a private early scan this morning as its another 3.5 weeks until my first NHS scan and I cannot wait that long, maybe if I’d have read this post before booking it I would have had the nerve to wait 🙂
    All the best

A polka dot dress and a quick life update
Pregnancy Diary | Week 9 | Impostor Syndrome