So far my entire pregnancy has felt like an ongoing series of small, daily battles, but Week 8 was the week it turned into all out WAR.
It’s me against my digestive system, folks. My body hates me. I’m convinced it secretly wants me to die – and when I was crouched next to the toilet on Monday afternoon, feeling like I would literally never stop throwing up, and that this would just be my life from now on, I almost wanted it to succeed in that mission. I was totally ready to hold up the white flag and say, “Sweet release of death, come take me now!” But I didn’t. And I’m getting ahead of myself here.
So, week 8 started suspiciously smoothly. Each new week begins on a Saturday for me, and this Saturday was a fairly uneventful one: in fact, I was feeling well enough to get dressed, run a comb through my hair (no makeup other than lipstick, though – that would’ve been WAY too ambitious…) and go out to take some outfit photos, after which Terry and I headed to our favourite cafe for some cake. (Which would normally have been coffee and cake, but coffee is the very LAST thing I want right now, so, in my case, it was cake and a carton of Capri Sun, which I promptly spilled all over the table. Hey, imagine me being in charge of a whole new life in just a few months time! Gulp.)
Anyway, having spent the past few days in PJs or sweat pants, with no makeup, and my hair scraped back in a scraggy pony tail (Which, by the way, does NOT look simple and elegant on me, like it does on other people. Why can’t I be a beautiful, fragile looking pregnant person? Why do I have to look like I just finished a three-day bender all the time?), this was a small victory, and I even indulged in some gentle, “Why do I have no symptoms today? There must be something wrong!” reasoning – much to the frustration of the long-suffering Terry, who SAYS that it’s totally normal for symptoms to come and go, but whose eyes light up with relief every time I tell him I feel nauseous. Or maybe he just secretly hates me?
The next day, however, was a different matter altogether. This was the day I didn’t get out of bed until 9pm, in fact, having felt SO nauseous all day that I ended up throwing up in the bathroom, and then lying in bed for the rest of the day, desperately hoping it wouldn’t happen again. And, I mean, I thought THAT was pretty bad – like, THE WORST, really. Then Monday arrived, and on Monday I threw up until my throat ached and there was nothing left to throw up, but my stupid body decided to keep on trying anyway: thanks, body! Hate you too!
By the time it was over, I was in tears, and telling Terry that I just couldn’t do this – absolutely not. In my mind, I kept hearing my mum cheerfully tell me about how she’d had “morning” sickness for the full 9 months when she was pregnant with me, and was still throwing up when she arrived at the hospital for the c-section. I knew beyond doubt that I would NOT cope with that – that I would LITERALLY DIE – so I was a sorry, sorry state that day, lying in bed eating ice lollies in a bid to get some fluids without having to drink them: for some reason, I can eat, but I can’t drink: I’m constantly thirsty – well, D’UH! – but the thought of all of that liquid sloshing around inside me makes me feel like… sorry, BRB, have to barf…
(Almost all of the photos from week 8 on my camera roll were taken from this exact angle. Not all of them are this blurry, but… well, most of them are, really.)
Where was I?
Oh yeah: that day I was sicker than I think I’ve ever been in my life. Nevertheless, I managed to get out of bed by 4pm, which was at least better than the day before. Terry described this as “a better day”. I described it as, “one of the worst days of my life so far” – an observation compounded by the fact that, as soon as I tried to go to sleep that night, I started feeling sick again: GAH.
Tuesday, however, actually WAS a better day. On Tuesday, we decided to try to tackle the nausea head on, by taking the advice everyone gives you to try to keep eating small amounts throughout the day, so your stomach is never totally empty. (Yeah, yeah, I know I SHOULD have taken this advice sooner, but YOU try choking down a ginger biscuit when a) You feel like you’re about to throw up, and, b) You freakin’ HATE ginger biscuits, and then get back to me, OK?) So I started the day with a slice of dry toast, which was every bit as unappetising as it sounds, and then continued with regular doses of fruit (mostly for fluid), salt and vinegar crisps, plus the dreaded ginger biscuits, which I honestly have no idea why I’m persisting with, because, YUCK.
[Edited to add: since making my announcement, I must have had at least 50 people advising me to try ginger biscuits: I’m actually surprised they don’t just give them out on the NHS – they seem to work for absolutely everyone but me! I’ve also worked my way through all of the other things other people swear by, but when it gets really bad I can’t eat ANYTHING at all, so…]
(Also, why does my toast have to be dry? Like, I’m eating dry toast just because the internet told me to, but would it kill the internet to let me have a touch of butter on it? Huh, INTERNET?)
Anyway, I’ve no idea whether this technique actually worked, or whether it was just coincidence, but I didn’t throw up that day, and I even felt well enough to wash my hair, get dressed (makeup still far beyond my capabilities: saving a fortune on products, here!), and head down to the local library to stock up on reading material. As is usual with me, reading is the only thing that’s been helping me stay vaguely calm, and it was getting quite expensive to keep on buying new books for my Kindle, so it’s back to the library I go, just like in the olden days. I’d say it was working out well for me, but I seem to have developed an uncanny knack of only picking books in which someone either has a miscarriage or dies in childbirth, so, yeah, not really.
On Wednesday, I decided to follow the same tactic as the day before, except I totally rebelled, and had some butter on my toast. Am renegade. But the toast tasted much better. This was another better day, and I even managed to take some more outfit photos: I don’t THINK it’s obvious in them that I was on the verge of throwing up the entire time, but, well, let’s just say I’m not sitting on that wall for NO reason…
Thursday was the day of my first midwife appointment, which I was worried about for various reasons, but mostly because it was a 2-hour appointment, and I seriously doubted my ability to keep my breakfast down for that entire time. Luckily, I managed it, and the midwife was lovely: I’ve written a separate post about the appointment, because, wordy, but it did help to put my mind at rest about some stuff, so that was good.
Unfortunately, the rest of the day was NOT so good, and having aced the 2-hour appointment without feeling too nauseous (I’ve been finding that distractions help, which makes me wonder if it’s partly psychosomatic, and, when I go for my next scan, they’ll be all, “LOL, of course you’re not pregnant: it’s all just in your head, woman!” I worry about that for EVERY scan, though…), I spent most of the rest of the day lying on my bed and feeling super-sick: yay! By evening, that headache I’ve had all week was back with a vengeance, and I was in so much pain I could hardly move. Terry managed to get me to drink some water, which helped a little, but I’m still really struggling to get enough fluids, which is making me feel like hell, basically.
On Friday morning, however, Terry offered me some of his decaf tea, and, much to my surprise, I managed to drink a full mug of it. I’ve sometimes thought I must be the only British person alive who doesn’t love tea: I can drink it, but it’s just never really appealed to me, and although it still doesn’t exactly appeal to me now (Like, I don’t find myself thinking, “God, I really fancy a nice cup of tea,” like a normal person…), it was comforting to hold the warm mug, and sip at the liquid, and the fact that I’ve finally found something I can drink without instantly wanting to throw up meant I was able to re-hydrate myself, and get rid of the headache – for now, at least!
So, overall, Week 8 has been by far the toughest week of pregnancy so far, but at least I’m ending this little pregnancy diary on a better note than I started it: long may it continue!
THINGS THAT HAVE MADE ME CRY THIS WEEK:
- Terry brought me watermelon and picked out all of the seeds. (Good tears)
- The story on the news of the zookeeper killed by a tiger. (bad tears)
- Terry brought me toast cut into “soldiers” and I thought about how my dad used to make me a boiled egg with toast soldiers when I was a little girl. (No idea)
- Writing the above sentence about the toast soldiers.
- Terry tried to make me eat a croissant. I did not want to eat a croissant.
- Throwing up. Throwing up makes me cry. I’ve done a LOT of crying this week. Roll on week 9…