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.)

live the dream | Pregnancy diary, week 8Anyway, 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…

ice lolly(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!

  1. Terry brought me watermelon and picked out all of the seeds. (Good tears)
  2. The story on the news of the zookeeper killed by a tiger. (bad tears)
  3. 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)
  4. Writing the above sentence about the toast soldiers.
  5. Terry tried to make me eat a croissant. I did not want to eat a croissant.
  6. Throwing up. Throwing up makes me cry. I’ve done a LOT of  crying this week. Roll on week 9…
  1. The nausea is soooo horrible. I can really sympathise. I actually lost quite a bit of weight on my first pregnancy I puked so much but it abated at week 13 and was gone by 17. That won’t cheer you up too much now bit I found that every week you check off lifts you psychologically to be able
    to cope better. I also hate ginger (tastes soapy to me) but I drank lemon and ginger herbal tea and I *think* it helped. I found oat cakes with peanut butter was a life saver but that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

    Anyway – good luck. Hope you are feeling better now.

    1. It’s definitely starting to ease off a bit now – I still have days when it’s pretty much constant (and it also returns like clockwork every day at dinner time – awesome!), but it’s a lot more manageable now, thankfully! I have lost a few pounds so far, though, which Terry has been obsessing over a bit – I keep telling him it’s not uncommon in the first trimester, but he’s determined to fatten me up!

  2. Oh hon! Ginger biscuits didn’t work for me either, and I like ginger biscuits! Neither did salty crackers or bananas before I got out of bed or those wrist bands that are supposed to stop travel sickness… I spent the whole of last summer lying in bed, throwing up if I so much as turned my head and getting up in the evening when i started to finally feel normal, just long enough to drive to Waitrose to buy boxes of their mandarin and yuzu ice lollies – because they were, bizarrely, the only thing I could hold down.

    All I kept thinking was “how do people who are not self-employed keep the first 12 weeks secret?” Seriously, I could not have coped with going to work!!

    1. Ah, I’m really sorry you went through that, but bizarrely comforted to know it’s not just me! I was genuinely wondering why morning sickness even exists if the ginger biscuits work as well as everyone says! Ice lollies were one of the only things I could stomach at this point – oh, and watermelon! Once it kicked in, I just couldn’t face the thought of trying to eat anything 🤢

    2. I also wonder how people manage to keep the first weeks secret… I had to go into work, but I normally handle dangerous chemicals for work, so I had to tell my boss I was pregnant before I even told my mother. So the whole world knew why I was racing to the bathroom (down a flight of steps! The joy!) at odd moments…

  3. My mother has the exact same story regarding morning sickness and me. In fact she loves to tell me how she threw up while getting her epidural for her c-section.

    Luckily although my nausea hit me worst from week 8-9 I was rarely sick. It was mostly bad nausea and a lot of gagging/reaching (lovely!)

    Hope you’re past the worst of the sickness now though!

  4. Oh and also I tried the whole ginger thing and it sort of worked but I’ve found sugar free polos far far better at counteracting nausea. (Well those and a daily dose of cyclizine)…

    1. I eventually got prescribed cyclizine too – it does mostly work for me, but it makes me soooooo sleepy: anything’s better than the nausea, though!

      1. I think when I was on 3x a day it probably made me a bit sleepy, but that’s still infinitely preferable to the nausea! Still taking it once most days at 35 weeks, and I don’t think it’s having any effect at that level.

    1. It’s definitely not hyperemesis – this post was written over a month ago now (I waited until everyone knew before publishing this diary), and it’s much better now, thankfully!

  5. No ginger biscuits for me – fizzy juice like coke or irn bru which I never really drank before… sips of that all day long and fruit pastilles. I think the sugar helped balance things. When I was in hospital having my baby all I could manage was capri suns and a couple of percy pigs.

    1. Ah, it’s funny you should mention fruit pastilles – I’m currently addicted! I can’t drink fizzy juice, though, it just makes me feel so bloated, although flat coke is sometimes OK. Almost all soft drinks are far too sweet for me now, though, which is odd, because I used to love them before!

  6. Hi Amber, I know exactly how you feel. My vomiting started at 7 weeks and I had a break from about 17 weeks for it to start again at 22 weeks. It was like one massive hangover. Travelling to works was great (vomiting in the car a good few times ) and my biggest peeve vomiting in public toilets. I carried a few plastic bags everywhere I went and just prayed I didn’t vomit on anyone (Thanks goodness that never happened). Luckily for me I managed to keep hydrated and didn’t lose weight so only had a couple of trips to the Drs. After a really bad spell I did try anti sickness tablets, but I didn’t really want to take them and they made me feel fuzzy so stopped after a day. Here is a few things I remember trying if they help: ice lollies (which I see you’ve tried. I lived off them at one point), ginger biscuits, tea and ale (not sure how you will feel about the tea if your not keen on the biscuits), water crackers (you can literally eat these everywhere), dry toast (which you’ve tried), boiled sweets (just sucking on them), anti sickness travel bands, eating all the time and eating before I got out of bed in the morning. Unfortunately none of these worked but the good news is once Ruairidh was here I forgot all about it and it’s only when I’m asked about it or read your post that I remember it and even then I think about all the positives of my pregnancy, like feeling Ruairidh move for the first time, his constant moving, my bump keeping me company everywhere I went, watching my body change to create our wee miracle, the excitement of our next chapter…..I could keep going. If you ever need a pick me up or a moan with someone who’s had the struggle just give me a shout. Even in the rough days just remember what a fab job your doing growing your own wee miracle and amazing your body is dealing with all these changes x

    1. Wow, Lee, that sounds horrendous! I honestly have no ides how people with “real” jobs cope – I’m lucky in that I can stay in bed all day if I really need to, and I still felt like death most days! Starting to feel a lot better now, though (13 weeks today!), so I’m really hoping I’ll be able to get a bit of a break from it in the 2nd trimester – fingers crossed, anyway! Unfortunately most of the things that work for other people didn’t really seem to have much of an effect on me – typical! I’ve been the same as you with the tablets – the doctor prescribed cyclizine, but I feel guilty about taking it even although I know it’s safe, and it just makes me feel really groggy and sleepy!

    2. In some ways going to work gives a bit of a distraction, I just hated using public toliets all the time 🙈 it’s tough, but you’ve come through so much and this will also make you stronger and ready for baby spit up 😂. I know what you mean about the tablets, I just felt fuzzy and foggy in the head. Just give yourself plenty of rest and I know it’s hard at times but keep trying to enjoy all the positives with your pregnancy. Writing your diary will give you a good outlet and some day you will read it all back and hardly believe it was you and your body going through it. Hopefully it will stop or at least you will get a break from it and as I said once bump is here you move on to the next stage and forget how it was and mostly remember all the positives. That’s if you have time to reflect back 😂 Ruairidh definitely keeps me on my toes. He’s currently napping 🙌 x

    3. Jennifer Drenning Kemberling I bought some ‘Poorly Pouches’ (cutesy name for sick bags!) from eBay, plus a plastic bowl to keep next to my bed – I haven’t had to use any of them (always made it the bathroom just in time!) but it comforts me to have them on hand – I’ve been so paranoid about throwing up in public, or in someone’s else’s house!

  7. I know exactly how you feel. Hang in there it’s really tough. They say that girls make you more nauseous because they have more estrogen which screws with your body. That was true in my case I don’t know if you’re hoping for a girl…

    1. I was pretty hopeful that was the reason for mine – I was more sick this time with 1 baby than with my twin boys. But no, another boy for me! Maybe next time I’ll get a pink one… (And that last sentence is proof that once the baby arrives you forget just how horrible pregnancy was -or at least arrive at the conclusion it was worth every vomit!!) 🙂

  8. I used to want to carry out dark deeds against all those recommending ginger biscuits! I puked for 20 weeks solidly and there was no gingernut in the world up to the job. I ended up eating tinned apricots day in, day out because they cleaned up the bad taste in my mouth, helped my fluid intake, provided a little nutrition, but mostly because they look similar on the way out as they looked on the way in and the sight of my own vomit made me… well… vomit.

    1. Haha, I so relate to this -you do start looking at food and thinking, ‘that’s going to look terrible on the way back up!’ I’m mildly phobic about vomiting (until now, I could probably count on both hands the number of times I’d thrown up, because I will do absolutely anything to avoid it, even if it means sitting in the bathroom all night gagging…) so I have to close my eyes when it happens: if I see it, I won’t be able to stop 🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢

  9. Oh, I hear you on that… I had so much trouble drinking when nauseous. I figured out juice with salty mineral water worked best. I definitely did less throwing up than you but in this last pregnancy my nausea was present 24/7. Thinking of you! Good luck
    And yes, everyone keeps recommending ginger but I couldn’t stomach it.

  10. Been there! Even dry toast and tea was too much for me in the early weeks of my first pregnancy, so I started my day with a hot cup of water with lemon squeezed into it and dry Cheerios, which I ate one by one! Apparently sour flavors help with nausea, so try the lemon water, or sucking on sour lollipops! I hope you’ll get to the end of it soon! This past pregnancy I got a prescription for anti nausea that was a godsend.

  11. Aw Amber…. that made me laugh, but I am also in total sympathy – I felt sick the whole of both of my pregnancies…… but will be forgotten once that wee baby is in your arms. Looking forward to seeing your maternity look! Take care of your wee self. xxxxx

  12. If the only way to combat pregnancy sickness (let’s not pretend it’s morning sickness, eh?) is ginger biscuits… That’s my moment of saying oh GOD I can’t do this because I’m with you on that one – they are VIIIIIIIILLLLE. You have my every sympathy for trying to eat those things. Oh and also a week of vomiting hell, of course.

    1. Also ginger tea, and basically anything else with ginger in it, apparently – I’ve spent the last few weeks cursing the fact that the miracle cure WOULD have to be something I can’t stand! (With that said, I honestly can’t understand how people can eat ANYTHING when they feel sick – it just seems impossible to me when it gets really bad 🤢)

  13. This made me queasy just reading it!! Sounds like a non-stop hangover but without the good preceding partying bit. I noticed the baby adverts have begun on your page too! Normally its fashion ads but I just saw a ‘babypack’ ad (what’s in it I wonder? I hope it has treats in for Mum too…) xx

    1. It’s actually been almost exactly like a hangover – I even had a couple of weeks of really bad headaches, which is apparently quite common: at least with a hangover you get to drink all the wine first, though!

  14. I can really relate to your post, I am currently 8 weeks pregnant and am suffering with dreadful sickness! I have been trying to hide it from my children when they are at home which I have so far managed, however whilst they are not home or in bed I’m being sick constantly. Perhaps you have a point in thinking that it is psychosomatic! Anyhow, good luck and try to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy, it’s all very exciting!

  15. I don’t know why they call it morning sickness either because I was sick morning, noon and night. It does get better though, as I hope you are discovering. You’ve also got to look forward to the glowing skin and lustrous hair, which is lovely. Enjoy

  16. Congratulations! I’ll be different and not recommend ginger biscuits, they didn’t work for me, and once I threw one up, I couldn’t eat anymore. I had awful sickness for 18 weeks and almost ended up on a drip for dehydration. I would recommend ice lollies and jelly, I lived on them for weeks. Occasionally managing some soup. Also look into sickness bands. You can get them from boots and they help with the feeling of sickness. They really helped me. I hope your sickness passes soon.

  17. I hope you ended every one of these posts with the things that made you cry, because it just melts my heart!

  18. I was having chemo at the same time my friend was pregnant and when we compared symptoms they were identical. What helped my nausea, as well as fizzy drinks which you’ve said you’re not keen on, was Wotsits and Mini Cheddars! Absolutely the last thing you would think would help but bodies are peculiar things. I hope the nausea passes very soon and the rest of your pregnancy proceeds smoothly x

  19. Just reading through all these comments bring back the many, many memories of barfing and worrying about barfing. We really deserve medals for getting through it. Medals and lots of nice things. Lots.

  20. Argh, sounds rough! But mostly I want to go “me, too!” to the writing and deleting a diary first time round and to the incredible ability to pick books/films/TV shows in which people lose their baby (“Is it a sign?!”); it feels a bit weird to do the whole coincidences-are-so-exciting! thing under the circumstances, though…

  21. Terry is wonderful! 🙂 And congratulations on the midwife visit. I am not sure if that is an “extra” that is not covered by most insurances in America and must be paid for out-of-pocket. It seems she will be able to alleviate much anxiety for you.

  22. Oh god I feel you! I felt absolutely terrible for the first 13 weeks, then it slowly got better and now at 16 weeks I’m feeling great and have almost forgotten how bad it was… I had the same problem with fluids, I found everything liquid disgusting. So weird! It was completely different in my first pregnancy, I was nauseaous too but it got better when I ate, so I just kept on eating 😀
    Glad you’re feeling better now! Fiona

  23. I felt a little sick during the first 12 weeks when I was pg with Felix but you know what made it worse? GINGER. Ginger tea, ginger biscuits, even cake. Yuck. I don’t like ginger either, I don’t blame you for choking them down x (urgh just thinking about ginger tea is bringing me out in a sweat)

  24. Sorry if I’m repeating what others have said but please please see a Dr. There a lots of anti-emetics that can help with hyper-emesis, and if needed some IV fluids to get you hydrated again. If your GP won’t help then speak to the midwife about getting seen at the hospital (I know you hate the hospital but it really might help). I had horrendous sickness with mine 10 and 19 years ago and there wasn’t the understanding there is now.

    1. This post is actually over a month old (I wrote these diary entries at the time, but waited until after I announced the pregnancy to publish them!) so I’m not still going through this, thankfully! (What I had also wasn’t hyper-emesis, so I didn’t require an IV or anything like that!)

  25. So sorry to hear about all the morning sickness. Glad it’s subsided some by now. I’m one of those that was blessed with an easy pregnancy and delivery – not much nausea compared to most mommies I know. I sometimes wonder had I had more than one child, what would the others have been like. My mom had it easy with me, and I have heard that can be part of it. Anyway, hang in there; it’s all worth it in the end. 😊
    I’m reading your pregnancy updates via email notifications. I usually catch up on your blog posts through the ‘All Posts’ link, but I didn’t find these there. Do you have them only available through email? Just curious. Love the updates; I’m reliving my pregnant days all over again. ❤️

    1. I haven’t had time to add the new category to the ‘all posts’ page, but there should be a direct link to each post in the email alert, and they’re also all on the homepage of the site, under the ‘latest posts’ heading!

      1. Thanks! I see them in the homepage now. I don’t know why I couldn’t find them last time. 😊 They were probably there the whole time too.

  26. Im doing a Child Development GCSE and this blog is really useful for information so thanks lol.

    Question: Has the sickness/ nausea got better over the months? Also what food would u recommend for sickness?

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