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Morning Sickness: Can We Talk About How Bad It Can Be?

No one told me morning sickness would be like this. Or maybe they did and I didn’t listen. Maybe I was too hopeful it wouldn’t happen to me.

Or maybe not enough women share how it really is.

My intention with this post is not to scare anyone. Many women sail through the first trimester. Some have a few bad mornings, some a couple of bad weeks.

But for some of us the 1st trimester (and onwards) is a 24-hour challenge where we sleep, vomit, sleep, vomit and repeat.

I’m writing this post for women like me.

Because many of us suffer in silence during those anxious first weeks. We tell no one how bad our pregnancy sickness is because most people don’t even know we’re pregnant.

We struggle with the guilt of not being grateful we’re blessed with a baby and want desperately for the little one to be fine but at the same time spend all day and night wishing this torture would end.

It’s a lonely and isolating experience for these women and I was one of them.

I wanted to share how I struggled so others know they are not alone. I want to say it does pass (for some sooner rather than later) and we’ve got this. But let’s get real about how gross it really is.

(Update February 2020: This post is about pregnancy sickness – not HG – as I was very lucky that the symptoms mentioned below didn’t last my full pregnancy. I wrote this post in 2018 at 15 weeks pregnant when I was just starting to feel more normal. By 17 weeks I felt well enough to fly to a conference in Vegas. All your comments and support for each other on this post have been amazing. I hope the morning sickness passes for you as quickly as it did for me. I’ve got everything crossed for you.)

I did a lot of travel with my little bump in the end but I never would have believed you if you’d told me this in the early weeks!

Morning, Noon and Night Sickness

Whoever decided to call these symptoms morning sickness must be some kind of joker.

For me, morning sickness begun in week 6 with a little nausea in the morning. Great, I thought confidently, I can handle this. Then came the vomit in week 7, the 24-hr sickness in week 8 and eventually a non-stop yuckiness which lasted well into week 14.

I barely left the house for 7 weeks. I had to cancel work, social plans and a trip to Bali as most days I was too flat or nauseous to move further than the sofa.

If this all sounds a little dramatic let me share with you the one photo I have from this period. It was taken on the day of the Royal Wedding when – almost 8 weeks pregnant – I tried to ambitiously conquer the dual tasks of washing my hair and changing the bed sheets. (Just for Meghan and Harry!) At 3pm I managed 1 out of 2 things, by 3.45pm my husband found me here. I remained in this position for a further 2 hours.

Morning sickness in the 1st trimester

Weeks 7 to 9 is when morning sickness was the worst for me. During these weeks, I was lucky if I could swallow a rice cracker by 7pm and wash myself by 10pm. I spent a lot of that time staring at a blank wall or sleeping as this was the only relief. Looking at a screen gave me motion sickness, climbing the stairs made me retch, and watching the TV was fraught with issues such as adverts for KFC that had me spewing into the sink. (The same advert got me twice in 1 week!) In all honesty, I was miserable and didn’t know what to do with myself apart from hide away and wallow in it.

By week 10 I started to leave the house but only to go to Woolworths in the hope of finding something I hadn’t already vomited. Just walking the supermarket aisles was a precarious mission, often involving dry retching and not always ending with me coming home with shopping.

One particularly memorable morning I dragged myself all the way to Kmart for some maternity leggings – as despite losing weight from all the spewing the baby bloat was thriving – and found myself bent over a drain on the High Street dry heaving for all to see. After that I only went out for doctor’s appointments and even then I often puked in my mouth or burped so loudly in the street that old ladies gave me evils.

I’m all class, me!

For those of you who aren’t self-employed I honestly don’t know how you do it. I felt like a vile monster for weeks and couldn’t trust my body in public. When the frequency of my burping was in the double figures daily I didn’t even bother apologising. And don’t get me started on constipation….

morning sickness 1st trimester

Photo by Vítor de Matos on Unsplash

Food, Smell and House Aversions

The smell of my house still makes me feel sick. I think I spent so long in it puking that the once comforting smell of our home now brings on a bout of nausea. The open plan living/kitchen area is the worst offender, I cannot step in it without retching.

My poor patient husband is also on the aversion list – one time trying to comfort me with a hug only to be told, “I don’t like the smell of your head.” My sense of smell was so supersonic I could tell him what he ate for lunch as soon as he entered the room and when he had the audacity to eat garlic mayo with his chips one lunchtime I had to request he sleep in the spare room that evening. (He declined, quite fairly, but we slept facing opposite directions as the lingering odour made me heave.)

In all fairness, Justin has kindly stepped up in all sorts of ways, even when I made it less than easy. The ‘bread incident’ will forever more be a shining example of how much this man loves me. It’s a long story but in short, he was sent out for a loaf, came home with the one that wasn’t in my head and was greeted with an avalanche of tears and sobs that went something like ”I don’t want to be this person but it’s the wrong bread and now I can’t eat my sandwich.” Realising there was no sense to be seen by me, the legend went back out to the supermarket and Facetimed me from the bread aisle so I could choose the loaf I had imagined. How romantic.

Exceedingly British Cravings

I don’t know why I had cravings in the 1st trimester as the enjoyment receptors between my mouth and brain didn’t seem to be working  – I ate food and felt nothing.

For some reason though that didn’t stop me craving things, that rather awkwardly for someone who lives in Australia, were all my favourite things when I was little.

Suddenly, I wanted beans on toast, ham and cheese toasties and egg mayo sandwiches – but only how my mum makes them – hence the aforementioned sobbing. I dreamt of Pret, daydreamed about Angel Delight and at one desperate moment went onto the British Corner Shop website and put $150 worth of crisps in a basket. (I would have ordered them had it not occurred to me I risk puking it all up and putting my favourite foods on the aversion list.)

I think most husbands accept that they may have to make late night dashes for pregnant wives wanting ice-cream – I want my poor partner to fly to the other side of the world and buy everything I ate between 1990 and 2013! (Especially the Greggs sandwich I loved aged 16 nom nom nom.)

What Helped My Morning Sickness – Drugs & Time

I appreciate I am lucky I was never hospitalised with pregnancy sickness. I did become quite dehydrated during the worst of it but managed to keep just enough liquids down in order to not need medical intervention.

My doctor did prescribe me anti-nausea meds called Maxolon but they only worked on the days I didn’t puke them. Puking them was a spectacularly vile experience, not sure what’s in them but it tastes like pure acid coming back up, plus keeping them down caused me drowsiness. So I took them sparingly and mostly just tried to grit my teeth and not have my husband divorce me.

(I’ve read more positive reviews of Zofran wafers so ask your doctor for help – repeatedly –  if you’re struggling. I should have gone back and asked for something other than Maxolon – it’s just at the time I was living far from family in Oz and I couldn’t manage getting to the doctors!)

I write this now – at just over 15 weeks pregnant – and would say on a scale of 1 to vom I’m hovering at a 6. Yesterday was an 8 so there is light in the darkness. Eating is still a struggle but not eating makes things uglier. I’m taking little trips out of the house – coz it stinks! – and survived a whole hour in a café working on this. That, my friends, is pure progress.

What Didn’t Work – ALL Other Things

Over the last few weeks I’ve googled the sh*t out of morning sickness remedies and I’m sorry guys but I can’t say any of them helped me.

Every woman is different but I promise you I tried everything I read and still I remained the vomit sloth monster. (A self-appointed title.)

Seasickness bands, ginger tablets, ginger teas, ALL ginger things, vitamins, fresh air, eating dry crackers/biscuits first thing, eating small meals regularly… you get the drift.

Time really is the best medicine and, as each day I get a little less exhausted and the retching is a little less frequent, I see remnants of the old me and feel more positive about the whole thing.

Spoiler: He WAS totally worth it. Even though the sickness sucked!

I Know It Could Be Worse

I hope my whining does not offend those who would kill to be in this position – my intention is certainly not to hurt anyone by sharing my experience. I understand and acknowledge that as someone who has not suffered serious complications that I am one of the lucky ones in the grand scheme of things.

I also want to salute, as I did in my last post, all the women who suffer from severe morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). I cannot imagine what a mammoth feat getting through 9 months of sickness must be for these women. I hope they are getting the support and care they need.

If you are or have been suffering from non-stop morning sickness lets wallow with each other and celebrate the moment when it eases. Remember this mantra each time you vomit:

“This too will pass.”

Further reading:

HER Foundation for HG education and research

Pregnancy Sickness Support

The book I’m reading in the first pic is How To Grow A Baby & Push It Out!

And this post by Not Another Mummy Blog, which gave me the courage to share my experience. “Let’s start being more honest about how tough it can be. It’s possible to admit to feeling rancid, low, knackered and washed out but still be 100% grateful to be pregnant.”

You may also like:

My maternity wear must-haves

2nd trimester pregnancy diary – Scans, flights & a move overseas

Flying during pregnancy

Thoughts on becoming a first-time mum

Life with a newborn 

Newborn baby shopping list: Essentials for the first few months

About Author

Travel blogger and freelancer writer who loves boutique hotels and brunching. I've been blogging for 10 years, visited 60+ countries and called London, Sydney, Melbourne and (oh so briefly) New York home at various points during the last decade. Now travelling with a baby and trying to make it as stylish and stress-free as can be!

71 Comments

  • Bree
    July 12, 2018 at 9:16 am

    More post like this should exisit. I suffered HG for both of my pregnancies for the full 9 months. I lost friends cause i couldn’t live the house and I dragged my ass to work each day to make sure we got paid.

    Pregnancy sucks but I love my girls. I asked my husband if we could have a third the other week and he looked at me the other day and so are you stupid.

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      July 12, 2018 at 9:24 am

      Oh Bree! I’ve only had a taster the last few months of what you must have been through and can’t believe you’ve been champion enough to do it twice already! I actually started feeling guilty on my worse days as I didn’t think I would be strong enough to give this baby a sibling – which is pretty dark and getting way ahead of myself. I also think enough isn’t said about how hard partners struggle with feeling unable to help. I saw this beautiful photo on facebook the other day of a husband beaming at his wife after the birth of their son and him explaining that it had been 9 months since he saw his wife smile and that was what made the moment so special.

      Reply
    • Sabina
      August 15, 2019 at 12:40 am

      Honestly what sucks is when all of this makes you bae your eyes out and even that makes the nausea worse so you can’t even find comfort in crying. There are many times I just want to give up and really feel like I can’t go on. I don’t know how I’ve made it this far I’m almost 12 weeks. I know I’m going to love my baby but in terms of pregnancy itself, I hate it.

      Reply
      • Mallory
        August 17, 2019 at 5:37 pm

        Going through the same. I have the craziest aversions, but the worst one right now is the smell of the house (my bedroom being the smelliest), to the point where I want to leave, but where would I go?

        I 100% don’t think I could do this again, and my partner wants a 2-3 kids… I’m struggling with being grateful and happy because I’m in such agony. I’m only at the start of my 10th week and I hope I’m lucky and it stops soon because I can’t imagine doing this for even one more day.

        Reply
      • Kasia Manton
        October 29, 2019 at 6:02 pm

        Loved this! Made me laugh out loud in-between my lovely waves of nausea… thankfully I don’t have actual sickness just a feeling of being super hungover all day and night long but without any of the fun Xx

        Reply
  • Kristin
    July 21, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    There’s nothing less fun than nausea! So sorry you are going through this! You’re so right about the super smell, though – I busted out laughing at your “the smell of your head” comment. Right now I can’t stand the smell of my house slippers. My husband insists he doesn’t smell anything and I’m convinced that the smell of them should have everyone running from the room.

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      July 24, 2018 at 12:35 am

      Hahaha I am super sensitive to everything from my slippers to the sink so I completely understand how you feel. Hope this super power wears off soon!

      Reply
      • Julie
        July 8, 2019 at 12:04 pm

        I’m feeling like I can’t cope anymore. I’m so weak and drained from not eating . I’m in bed 24/7 . I’m 11 weeks and it just seems to be getting harder . I don’t spend time with my 5 year old anymore because I just can’t. I don’t have the strength. I’m totally lost and I feel I can’t do this anymore.

        Reply
        • Talisa
          July 11, 2019 at 11:59 am

          I’m 16weeks and still struggling with morning sickness, smells and throwing up.. It’s really hard

          Reply
        • Brooke
          July 27, 2019 at 8:08 am

          Hi Julie, I know how you feel. I’m 11 weeks & 1 day (not counting)! I have severe morning sickness at the moment too. I have a 3 year old son and I know exactly where you’re at. Everything is a complete struggle.

          Reply
        • Sabina
          August 15, 2019 at 1:46 am

          I feel like I can’t do this anymore either and I’m almost 12 weeks! It’s so hard. I miss myself!!

          Reply
          • Jayne Gorman
            August 17, 2019 at 8:29 am

            I remember that sentiment so clearly – you forget what it’s like to feel normal! Hope you wake up one day soon and discover the old you x

        • Mallory
          August 17, 2019 at 5:49 pm

          I’m sorry you’re going through this too. I’m selfishly crying reading these comments, because you’re all further along than I am and still sick and that really scares me. I don’t know how I can make it through the next day. I’ve lost muscle and can’t even go for a walk because I’m so nauseous. I hope it eases for everyone on here soon.

          Reply
          • Bec
            October 10, 2019 at 5:07 am

            Today going outside made me throw up. (the only reason i went outside was because i had to take my 5yr old to school.
            All i could smell was dog poo everywhere, i couldnt see it but i could smell it!! I was heaving in the gutters. Lucky i bought a water bottle.
            I have put all hubbies shoes in a box and sealed them. No onion is to be chopped in the house.
            I am living off hot chips, and dry crackers.
            8weeks along 4th pregnancy.
            Morning sickness struck at 5wks.
            My first pregnancy i could move off the couch, i couldnt go into my favourite grocery store at it would trigger me. I remember at 19weeks along coming home from my first day back at work and eating a delicious chicken soup. Only to throw it all back up in the sink. 🙁

    • Meghan
      June 27, 2019 at 7:02 am

      I feel your pain that’s what I’m dealing with does it ever end ??

      Reply
      • Jayne Gorman
        July 4, 2019 at 9:04 pm

        It does – the minute the baby comes out haha. In all honesty I felt much better by week 17 but not entirely quease-free until I gave birth. I’ve been making up for it with a voracious appetite ever since!

        Reply
    • Tasha
      November 4, 2019 at 1:37 pm

      Thank you so much for writing this. I’m currently 9 weeks and have been struggling since week 5. I have a couple of good days followed by a couple of bad days but the bad days are getting worse every time. Yesterday I didn’t get out of bed, eat or drink until 7pm. Fortunately I’m not being physically sick but the 24/7 nausea is really wearing me down, especially as only 2 people know we’re pregnant and I don’t want to just moan to them all the time. I am so grateful to have conceived easily, but I didn’t expect this to be so hard. Currently feel like a husk of my self…all my personality, enjoyment and motivation has gone and all that’s left is extreme nausea and fatigue. And agree with the self-employed part…I used to teach and I have no idea how I would do that job now, my husband has been amazing as we work together he’s picking up the slack, but I feel even he is starting to lose sympathy…the absence of vomit seems to make it much harder to empathise with. And don’t get me started on the smells of his cooking, almost enough to make me ask for a divorce while trying to nibble a dry jacobs cracker!! Counting down to second trimester, but like so many other comments I’m so scared this is going to last so much longer than the “average 12-14 weeks”.

      Reply
      • Tahyri
        January 13, 2020 at 2:09 am

        Hello,
        It was nice to read your experience and the replies from all the women that are or have been through this. It’s the 23 week for me and I still suffer from vomiting and feeling nauseated all day long. The good part is that since last week the vomiting is now coming every 2 days. Hopefully, this will eventually go, although I have been preparing mentally for having to endure this for the next 9 months.
        For me the worst part is that the nausea often comes with involuntary peeing. And that means that I had accidents in public bathrooms that I had to manage somehow and, gladly, have a husband that helps me through and takes me quickly back home to change.
        I completely understand the feeling of wanting this to end. It really can affect you to the point that there are days you feel so down, you really don’t know what to do. Nothing works for stopping it. I had Izofran, but my gynecologist told me that I should only have it on the worst days, which meant more than 3 times vomiting. It worked, but it is not something you could take every day.
        My husband and I wanted this baby for a long time. We even had to do an in vitro treatment for our baby to happen, so we are really happy. For that reason I can truly understand that loving your baby and enduring this symptoms are two completely separate set of feelings.
        For all the women our there that experience this and more (some of us get candida during the second trimester, so it could get really challenging to do anything if it means that you have to leave the house), I hope you get to read all the experiences you can and know that you are not alone, that pregnancy can be really shitty and that in spite of all that, you can not wait to have your baby in your arms and to look back at this experience and, hopefully, be able to share it so that we can help women that are going through this and give them strength on the days that emotionally and physically gets the worse of you.

        Reply
  • Linda McCormick
    July 26, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Oh my God, I hear ya!

    First off, congratulations… and just remember, at least there’s an end to it.
    Your account sounds just like my experience, although I had the joy of it all coming back at 24 weeks and had the voms till the end (along with every other bloody preggo ailment in the book). And even though I was self-employed I had a few clients and had to struggle through working until 36 weeks. After the second baby (yes, I thought it wouldn’t be so bad second time around… it was) I vowed never again!

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      July 27, 2018 at 3:19 am

      Oh no that does not sound like fun – that surprise return of the voms at 24 weeks would have done me in! Well done you for going back for round two 😀

      Reply
  • Hazel
    February 14, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Thank you for this article. It makes me feel that im not alone & what im going through is normal. Im 8 weeks into my pregnancy & every point that you mentioned was spot on. Looking at food adverts on TV, even the smell of my favourite blanket, room/house turns me off. Im hyper sensitive to any kind of smell/scent right now, struggling with my diet daily. Couldn’t get myself out to work nor out of my house door. Hope everything will pass soon for me. And i wish you all the best with your newborn.

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      February 16, 2019 at 3:36 pm

      Hi Hazel, I totally feel for you as those early weeks can be a real struggle! In my case the worst of the sickness did eventually pass and I hope it does real soon for you too. It all becomes a distant memory when you have a baby to cuddle. Best of the luck with the rest of your pregnancy. Take care of yourself x

      Reply
  • alina
    February 16, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    I’m so glad I read this. Although it may sound sadistic to find joy knowing others have suffered… I am 9 weeks pregnant after years of miscarriages and I know I should be overjoyed beyond belief but morning sickness has made it impossible.
    I have tried every thing under the sun. I am taking Zofran but it only works sometimes. When I’m not hugging the toilet I am crying, when I am not crying I am dispising the smell of everything and everyone!
    Thank you for your encouragement. I will remind myself that THIS WILL PASS!

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      February 17, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      Aw Alina, I wrote this precisely because I was looking for people in the same boat when I was struggling. I remember so well the tears, the toilet hugging, the way the smell of literally everything is repulsive. I hope it provides some comfort to you to know I feel your pain and that it does go away. Hold on in there and take it easy on yourself. Sending lots of nausea-free vibes xx

      Reply
      • Amanda Milleville
        October 27, 2019 at 7:13 pm

        I’m 6 weeks and have been feeling awful since 5 weeks. Helps a bit to know I am not alone. I just want to live in bed but I can’t….so hard. I want to feel like myself again.

        Reply
  • Bianca
    March 3, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Thank you so so so much for writing this article. To talking to friends and reading the stuff online made feel weak, like maybe i am over reacting and mostly disappointed in myself for not being able to cope as well as what (till now) felt like every women on the planet.
    I am 6.5 weeks and the last 8-10days have been a quick evolution of what you speak about. I am not vomiting but nausea to the nines, blood hounds smell reflexes and that quick heart beat and sweats simular that before throwing up but instead i do a number two:( … i am truly happy i am baking this lil nugget of joy. But, like you i am self employed and have stopped operations till I’m feeling better. Sending a massive hug to all you lovely ladies out there.
    Xx

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      March 4, 2019 at 9:00 am

      I completely understand where you are coming from! I was so surprised at how bad I felt as I didn’t know anyone else who had a similar experience. Hope you feel better soon. Sending lots of hugs and sick-free vibes 😀

      Reply
  • Zoe
    March 9, 2019 at 10:05 am

    I was so happy to find this post! Thank you for writing this. I’m really in the exact same situation as you with all that you’ve been feeling plus I am self employed and work from home. I’m currently ten weeks and just struggling hard. And I feel so guilty because I think of those women who have to go into work each day or even worse as you say, the poor women who suffer through with HG. While, I’m able to stay at home and work if I can, but mostly I’m too sick to move. I barely keep up with the house work. My husband is being so patient but I can’t help feeling useless and pathetic as I’m in a good situation to be dealing with this but I hate it and feel downright miserable. I was so excited to be pregnant, and can’t wait to meet my little one, but really did not expect this. It has been the longest 10 weeks of my life! Anyway reading this made me feel not alone, and has reminded me that this is not forever. I hope all is going well with your pregnancy, best of luck for your families future! For now I am just counting down the days till the second trimester!

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      March 11, 2019 at 6:32 pm

      Hang on in there Zoe! I felt so rough until about 16 weeks and at the time they felt like the longest 16 weeks of my life. Now I have a 9 week old son and can honestly say it was all totally worth if, even if certain foods still turn my stomach. I totally tested my husband’s patience too but perhaps we can call it training to be a parent haha. I hope you wake up sickness free soon 😀

      Reply
  • Janey
    March 11, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    I actually cried reading this article because a) hormones and b) that picture of you on the bed is EXACTLY me every time I try to wash my hair lol. I thought I was honestly going crazy or just being a super wimp with how awful I feel. People do pregnancies all the time and survive it and I don’t hear from them, right?! So thanks for being open and honest with how you felt, I really needed to hear it. Week 10 now and praying it doesn’t last much longer… Much love and I hope you’re enjoying all your time with your little one now!

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      March 11, 2019 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Janey. It’s nice to hear from people who feel the same as I did as at the time I knew no one else who got it so bad. It’s funny how time seems so slow when you’re struggling with morning sickness and yet seems to fly by so fast when the little one arrives. Go easy on yourself and keep reminding yourself it will end (through the tears – I had many of them too!).

      Reply
  • Mirie
    April 4, 2019 at 2:05 am

    UGH! The relevance in all these including my poor husband’s odor! I think there’s something about our house too that makes my nausea worse. I remember going to visit my family and not experiencing any of these morning sickness at all. Now I’m asking my husband if I could go back and stay there for a while but he can’t bear the thought of me leaving, even when I told him being beside him also makes me sick (no offense babe). Besides all this, it’s a three-hour drive away. He feels it’s his responsibility to take care and watch over me and that’s all right BUT I JUST WANT TO FEEL OKAY! I am so sick and over being so sick. I haven’t done a pregnancy test yet but I’m already experiencing everything and I just know I’m pregnant because I missed my period last month…so I’m probably around 5 weeks now. I’m praying it doesn’t get worse and the thought of going through this for another 8 weeks (56 days) is already driving me nuts.
    I can’t hold any food down and everything that goes in eventually comes out the next 5 minute. I’m hoping to test those sea bands and vitamin supplements to see if it works…and I HOPE IT WORKS ON ME. I can already feel I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight.
    This is my second pregnancy, the first having resulted in a miscarriage at 3 months, and I’m already missing classes in uni for a degree I’m pursuing and all of this including assignments I haven’t done and those I’ve missed is making things even more worse, especially when it’s my final year.
    All in all I can only salute mothers who’ve gone through this situation and still went on to have more children. I think I’m drawing my line with this one. No more! (But then hey, husband might have other plans. He’s told me he wanted to be like Abraham in the Bible who fathers a nation. Poor me. I can barely hold myself together for one. That is just a big NO, NO)

    Reply
  • Christie
    April 24, 2019 at 1:54 am

    I really appreciate this post! I’m in my second pregnancy and after having no morning sickness the first time, the severity and duration of morning sickness with this pregnancy has been very unexpected. Other than knowing of HG, I didn’t realize it could be so difficult! I agree that not enough people talk about the experience (and none of those traditional remedies help). I can relate to a lot of what you wrote, down to the smell of my house putting me off and craving foods I haven’t had since I was a kid. I’ll be in my 16th week tomorrow and while the nausea has been less severe since the 12th week, it’s still a 24/7 struggle. I feel guilty for being too sick to be very excited about the pregnancy and for my lack of productivity. I keep thinking that any week now I’ll feel better and it’s discouraging when it doesn’t come and worries me that it will last the whole 9 months. Anyway, misery loves company, so thanks for your post!

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      April 25, 2019 at 7:18 am

      Love your last line! ‘Misery loves company’ is exactly why I wrote this post, it def helps to have others to wallow with! It must have been quite a surprise to feel so ill second time around when you were ok with your first – perhaps it is better this way though as I’m quite apprehensive about going for a second round when I struggled so much first time! Hang in there though, week 17 was definitely the game changer for me and by week 20 the sickness was bearable enough for us to move house – from Australia to the UK. I can also tell you the satisfaction of having your first meal after giving birth – and actually enjoying it – is off the scale!

      Reply
  • Adriana Grisold
    May 11, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Thank you for this article! I’m 12 weeks into my first pregnancy and I never expected the mental struggle of severe nausea. Losing weight and having people give advice like ‘you’ve just got to try and eat’ like I’ve been purposefully starving myself or ‘have you tried toast?’. I have spent weeks scrolling online trying to find anything to help me feel even mild nausea so food and water wasn’t a constant battle. I don’t know what I would do without my amazing husband who is so patient as I struggle each day to leave bed or do any menial tasks for myself. It’s comforting at least to know I am not a failure, someone who is weak or just sooky compared to other pregnant mums who manage.

    Reply
    • Mallory
      August 17, 2019 at 6:23 pm

      How are you now Adriana?

      Reply
  • Janine Doughty
    May 29, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks so much for this article. I read it in a public place and wish to God I hadn’t as I was bawling throughout thinking “she knows, thank God someone knows…” The term morning sickness is so trivialising to what is an all day and all night experience of nausea, vomiting and general hideousness. I’ve developed an aversion to certain streets and hotels where I have stayed for work and can’t walk by them without retching in the street; the other day I had to jump out of a taxi mid-retch to avoid getting myself a fine! You really hit the nail on the head when you said how alone you felt. A baby is something made by two people and yet only one of you is going through the sickness, the bloating and the other distressing symptoms. It can be so isolating for the person carrying the baby and their helpless partner who has no idea what to do to get you feeling right again bar buying your favourite bread (white sourdough for me please) and doing crazy hunts for travel sickness bands! I have found a swimmers nose clip around the house to be very helpful in addition to the usual things plus medication.

    Reply
  • Elyse Lane
    June 1, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    This has given me life. 8 weeks – nothing helps. I am living on zooper doopers. Was so glad to read that someone else craved all the foods they ate as a child. For me the nausea started about a month ago and the vomiting ramped up about two weeks ago. I feel so emotionally exhausted that I’m not sure how I will find the energy to do another month and there are no guarantees it will start to ease up. Nevertheless, I guess I just have to persist. Thanks for the post, it was far more helpful than anything else I have read on the internet.

    Reply
    • Jean P
      June 4, 2019 at 3:14 pm

      Hi Elyse, I too am reading this quite recently and have all the struggles. I just want to say with tears in my eyes, you have got this!!

      Reply
  • Manju
    June 19, 2019 at 1:51 am

    This is exactly how I am feeling right now, I am 9 weeks 5 days now . Have been experiencing nausea and vomiting since week 6 . Everyone tells me it will ease once I reach the 3 month mark , but I feel like it won’t . Some days I wish I had at least 1 hr where I didn’t feel like what I am feeling right now . One hour to be in someone else’s shoes so that I can eat something solid finally , or look at the world differently.

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      June 20, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      I know exactly how that feels, the days are so long and the weeks even longer. I know some people feel a lot better around week 12, for me it was about week 17 that I just woke up one day and felt more like the old me. Hold on, you’ll get there too!

      Reply
    • Mallory
      August 17, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      How are you feeling now?

      Reply
  • Malz
    July 9, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    It is such a relief to read this! I’m finally feeling understood. It’s funny and ironic really (as I’m a psychotherapist) to think that I’d have plenty of people around me who are empathetic – erm, no! I think the prospect of seeing me so helpless, exhausted, fed up and out of control is so shocking to my friends, family (and clients!), that no one really knows what to do with me!

    So here is a term I picked up from Sex and the City. It’s definitely not morning sickness, but “mourning sickness.” You are mourning the life you used to have. I used to CrossFit 5 times a week, eat healthy, be super active and enjoy my life. I’ve kissed all that goodbye for now. I am 12 weeks pregnant and my symptoms don’t look like they are going away anytime soon. So I have had every pregnancy symptom known and apparently some new ones too! Apart from the nausea and throwing up 4 times a day, Food aversion, heartburn, metal mouth, supersonic smell and severe bloating – I developed symptoms where I would feel like I was running a high fever (but I didn’t and all my results were normal). I also knew it wasn’t psychological. My worst nightmare was when I had to run out in the middle of a session to throw up. My poor clients were so concerned! Another where I threw up before I could reach the bathroom, peed my pants as I was retching and attempted to stop my dog from licking all the vomit. I honestly sometimes feel like I have PTSD from the first trimester and I’m really hoping I will just be able to eat so I regain some energy.

    Thank you for writing this. Your post shower picture on the sheets is me everyday. I can’t stand and shower anymore as I am so tired. And to torture myself more, I’ve started watching the current season of Masterchef Australia. Haha, this is just to tell myself that the next time I get to go outside and enjoy a beautiful plate of food – to relish it, not take it for granted and never ever complain about it!

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      July 10, 2019 at 11:20 am

      Thanks so much for your honesty and believe me I totally feel your pain. If it makes you feel any better I had a cringe experience in a hotel in Vegas where I retched so hard I weed all over the bathroom floor! No mentions these might be the consequences of getting pregnant (I wonder why, ha!) but thankfully they do go away. You’re brave watching Masterchef 😛 On the upside I can promise you that the first meal you eat after giving birth – even if it’s horrible hospital food – will taste like the best things you’ve ever eaten!

      Reply
  • Jenna
    July 14, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    Wow. This article is genuinely the best thing I’ve read about pregnancy in general and nausea and day sickness (I refuse to call it morning sickness, that’s just mean) specifically. I laughed out loud through it all, especially the husband comment and the inability to do anything. I’m 8 weeks pregnant with my first, thank G-d, deliriously happy, scared and very very nauseous. I felt mildly nauseous from week 4, it intensified by week 5 and I vomited for the first time in week 6. Oh, just twice a week, I can handle that, I thought. But by week 7 it was already more than that and I’ve vomited yesterday and today. The annoying thing is I ordered Preggy Pop Drops because I’d heard they help (after trying toast, crackers, pretzels, rice cakes, applesauce, ginger, ginger tea, mint tea, ginger lemon tea with real grated ginger, candied ginger, ginger ale real and fake, seltzer, mint chewing gum and throwing in the towel and eating real food, which surprisingly does NOT always get vomited!) so I excitedly ate a pretty pop sucking candy, then nibbled on some pretzels with peanut butter, then sucked on another preggy pop drop. About an hour later it’s all out of my body including preggy pop juices – so much for that- and I’m too scared to consume anything but water. Although that makes me vomit as well. The worst is vomiting up stomach acid. I also stopped taking my prenatal as it makes me sick- I ordered a new one but I’m afraid it will also nauseate me so haven’t taken it yet. I read that preggy pops don’t have research backed evidence that they work so I’m disappointed. I didn’t think of researching them before because they said doctor approved and I was so hopeful! Oh well. Disappointing waste of $5 for some candy. So now I have to just get through the day.
    It’s so comforting to know there’s other women out there going through the same thing. My friend reminded me it’s not a disease (though it can feel like one!) and to focus and thank G-d because it is a beautiful miracle after all. And that helps give the suffering meaning.
    I just find it amusing- I started a new work from home job the week after I discovered I was pregnant and I literally vomited before a staff meeting, but it’s a Skype call so I just joined a few minutes later and no one noticed. I did have to leave a meeting- we started and I said hey I may have to step outside for a moment…thirty seconds later I felt it coming and I said, can I actually call you back in five? Ran to vomit and came back to the call, all, “sorry about that”. So yeah, it’s pretty crazy. I just chopped all my hair off last night because it was almost down to my waist and I couldn’t keep up with washing and brushing it as showering makes me feel a bit queasy, and I’m mostly sitting in bed working and not taking care of myself. Well last night hubby was in the bathroom and I had to vomit so I ran to the trash can and did it there and the whole kitchen smells so and now even though he took the trash out and we sprayed it a million times. (Could also be from the dishes that haven’t been washed in a week!) then I went into our room and bawled my brains out and he came and held me and said what’s wrong, is it because you vomited? And I didn’t even know I was so hysterical but I think it was also because I couldn’t find my eye makeup remover. And because my hair is so short I don’t recognize myself. I think I chopped it off as an extreme reaction to all these changes. Who knows. So yes. Working from home, 8 weeks pregnant, constiapted, swollen breasts, bloated, starving but nauseous, short haired and messy housed, but listen, I have the best husband in the world who has run out to purchase every food item listed here, who washes the disease when he has a minute in between his busy schedule so I guess it’s about counting our blessings.
    Thanks again for this article it’s such a good release to just read and write about it!

    Reply
  • Rhondie
    July 25, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    This is me, right now. I can’t function and I’m starting to lose my mind.
    Glad to know I’m not alone

    Reply
    • Pebbles
      August 3, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      This is completely me! I’ve done nothing but cry all day because the nausea just won’t go away, I don’t even get 5 minutes relief and u know I should eat but I can’t! I feel beyond desperate 🙁

      Reply
      • Mallory
        August 17, 2019 at 6:16 pm

        Are you any better? 🙁

        Reply
  • Blue
    August 11, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    I’m 10 weeks pregnant and I’m losing my mind. Doing anything is a struggle, half the time I’m lying on my bed thinking 9 months is a very long time to be pregnant. I actually hate being pregnant, I’m so miserable. I can’t keep any food down. I have sickness tablets, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. I feel like I’m going insane from the constant nausea and throwing up. I hope this passes cos I can’t imagine feeling this way for 9 months.

    Reply
  • Mallory
    August 17, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    I feel for you, Blue! I’ve been couch ridden, lost my job, can’t help around at home. Showering is so hard. I’ve somehow put on weight though despite all the vomiting… probably because all I can stomach is carbs, and I feel momentarily better during eating. Has anyone’s nausea stopped? I’m feeling so desperate and need hope that this will end soon.

    Reply
  • Bethanie
    September 6, 2019 at 11:15 am

    Totally agree, I feel this is the same thing with everyone
    I went through the same thing with my second pregnancy and the only thing that seemed to help was squeezing real lemon juice on a damp paper towel and holding up to my nose. The freshness of the lemon tea made all the other “smells” go away and took away the urge to throw up every time I smelled food etc. I tried so many tea brands and tea actually helped me a lot specially the “No To Morning Sickness Lemon Ginger Tea” which was really magic for an organic tea product .Also, sip very slowly on sprite and eat a few soda crackers. Anticipate when you are going to be in a situation that will trigger the nausea (like someone’s kitchen when they are cooking, tell your husband not to wear perfume for a while, etc. and have that lemon ready so you can avoid becoming nauseous before you even get a whiff) Get as much rest as you can and believe me, as much as it sucks, it gets to a point that I would be having a conversation with my husband and I would tell him “hold that thought” and go throw up and then come back and go “you where saying?” Take comfort knowing that this stage does not last forever, once you are past the first trimester or sometimes a couple of weeks before, nausea magically disappears and you can start looking forward to more pleasant things like shopping for your baby.

    Reply
  • Rachel
    September 8, 2019 at 6:12 am

    OMG, i can relate to every single thing you mentioned in your article. I have really bad morning sickness to a point that i couldn’t work, walk, shower, brush teeth, eat, and drink water. Yes, I can’t even drink a sip of water – i drink 1 sip, 10x water will come back out in less than 5 min. I ended up being more dehydrated than before after drinking (or trying to drink) water. People thought i must be resting peacefully at home when I took time off work for 2 months – but in reality, i was suffering each day. I was lying on the couch and unable to do anything else other than lying there. Watching tv/listening to radio/checking cellphone give me a headache – i mean REAL bad headache. The hardest questions of each day is “what can I eat? “, “what will stay in my stomach”. Vomiting an avg 3 times in 4.5 hours – the entire esophagus was BURNING – yes burning. It hurts so much when you eat – sometimes it hurts so much that it makes you throw up again. The worst part of this is: there is a lot of people out there don’t understand how miserable it truly is. They thought that we are making a big deal outta it. I am in week 15 now and it’s only today i started feeling i can do something again (and that’s why i can write a comment here). GIRLS, it will pass – and you will feel like a functional human being once again. I know it’s tough – hang in there girls!

    Reply
  • Shell
    September 13, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Hi Jayne, love reading your posts – can I ask – in the photo above – the one of the book with the bit about Morning Sickness – can I ask what book this is?

    Thanks
    Shell

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      September 17, 2019 at 8:11 am

      Of course! It’s a really great book by a British midwife called How To Grow A Baby (And Push It Out!). I loved all the anecdotes from other mums. It’s available on Amazon https://amzn.to/32MK2y8

      Reply
  • Samera
    September 21, 2019 at 12:20 am

    This thread is the only thing online that’s REAL about pregnancy sickness. My sickness is peaking at 11 weeks with child 3 and just reading this article and posts gave me comfort. No one tells it like it really is. The online articles telling women to cope with a lemon candy or ginger ale are so aggravating. Thank you for writing this.

    Reply
  • Jackie Sanchez
    September 21, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Wow I finally found something I can relate to. This is my 4th pregnancy and I’ve been sick with all but I have pretty big gaps between my kids so I guess time makes me forget how awful it is. This is definitely the last! I despise showers but eventually my own stink makes me feel so sick I have to take one. I threw up multiple times a day until week twelve when I started Zofran. It stopped the throwing up but I still felt bad and constipated. Diclegius didn’t do much for me. I laid so still so I wouldn’t throw up and so many weeks in bed without moving caused me to develop a blood clot in my leg. Now I have to have 2 shots a day for rest of pregnancy and be really careful about not getting dehydrated. Drinking is so hard though bc I have terrible reflux and it all comes back in painful reflux burps. It feels like there is always something nasty in my throat. I am almost 15 weeks it is definitely better than it was but I still don’t feel good ever and am terribly cranky and take it out on my kids. I can’t wait to feel like me again. Hopefully soon

    Reply
  • Kiki Busari
    September 30, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Thanks for this post. I’m currently going through this and am so depressed. Can’t leave sofa. My body feels like it has been invaded.

    Reply
  • Sally Curtis
    October 7, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for writing this…i feel everything you’ve said! I feel very alone and depressed as my morning sickness started at 6 weeks and is unrelenting still at 18 weeks. Been in and out of hospital on the iv drip and on so many meds to try and help. Many days i feel i cant cope anymore and somehow i get through…its been the toughest time both physically and mentally. I’ve tried every single tip or trick but nothing really works. After the drip i get a days relief but it then comes back with a vengeance! I am trying to remain positive as they all say worth it in the end! Its certainly taken a toll on me, my life and my relationship so its great to read this from someone who clearly gets it…thanks for sharing, gives me hope. Xo

    Reply
  • Jena
    October 8, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Thank you for posting such an honest account of your experience. I have gone through the exact same thing, although it’s eased a bit now that I’m 15 weeks. I cried and laughed reading your post as it’s totally relatable. I don’t think people who’ve not experienced it really understand how bad it can get and how it wrecks us emotionally, mentally and physically at the time. Thanks again for sharing this, makes me feel not so alone. xx

    Reply
  • Court
    October 9, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    I also cried when I read this article. And when I read the comments. I’m around 10-12 weeks and I can’t fathom the next while being sick like this. Everyone gushes about their pregnancies, “I only threw up once!” And then no one can understand why I’m so sick – or maybe can’t possibly relate? I feel very alone because it often feels like women have to suck it up and just try and get through the nausea and vomiting.

    Zofran works wonders but it’s so expensive (around $500 a month). I just started a new job, so benefits haven’t kicked in and I’m stuck with either paying or literally being so sick and confined to bed.

    I feel so guilty wishing my pregnancy would end. I’m heartbroken that women have to suffer silently as my dr told me he was stumped with what else to give me or do.

    Excuse me while I go cry again

    Reply
  • Dina
    October 10, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you Jayne, this is realest post I’ve read on pregnancy. I’ve laughed and cried reading all the posts and I can totally relate. Currently 11 weeks, can’t wait to feel like a person again.

    Reply
  • Aimee
    October 11, 2019 at 12:28 am

    I was lying in bed crying googling anything for morning sickness. I’m 9 weeks and 4 days and haven’t left the house in 2 weeks! My husband is a savior for putting up with me. This post made me laugh and cry. I can’t wait till it passes so I can be excited and start to look at cute baby things.

    Reply
  • Lisa
    October 15, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    This echos a lot of my experiences over the last 4 weeks for me too. Every day a huge effort and full of worry:
    -why am I being sick so much
    – what does it mean if I can’t keep the anti sickness in, the folic acid in, the vitamins in
    – how damaging is it to live off ice lollies and boiled sweets
    – why do the things people tell me that work, not work for me
    – are my hormones ok- maybe it’s because somethings wrong
    -What’s that crippling pain, oh no it’s gone
    -Why am I crying again, I can’t do it
    – if I stay still I feel less sick, so should I stay still- I might get a clot from not moving
    – what’s that in the vomit- is it blood, is it a tablet, should I retake the anti sickness, maybe I’m throwing up my stomach lining
    – what’s happening at work, I should be there, people are going to think I’m exaggerating
    – my husband must be cursing me, I’m doing nothing and he’s having to do everything
    – oh no do I have to brush my teeth again, I can’t stand it
    – no I can’t leave the house, I can’t do anything, no I don’t need any fresh air, leave me alone…. oh I’m so alone, i can’t do this
    -Why is everything irritating me?
    – I should cut my hair short shouldn’t I, it’ll make me less sick, brushing it and washing it makes me worse.

    I have spent hours googling what will make the vomiting/nausea and exhaustion end. I’m 10 weeks now, and after 4 weeks of being unable to function, with all of these thoughts, and so many visits to the docs, I have had a couple of better days, a bad day and now a better day… hoping that I’m coming out of the worst of it.

    Thinking of everyone going through tough days too, I know many have it far worse xxx

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      February 26, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      You have echoed everything I thought during early pregnancy – several times a day! I’m so sorry it’s taking me this long to reply, Hopefully you’re feeling great now!

      Reply
  • Alex
    November 6, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this post! Just this morning I had a tearful breakdown to my husband where I was barely getting out the words “I don’t want to feel like this”! Everyone I’ve talked to pretty much has made me feel like I’m over-exaggerating this 24 hour constant debilitating nausea. Reading your post makes me feel like I’m not alone : )

    Reply
  • Krystal
    November 7, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Third pregnancy third lot of HG! I’m currently 6 weeks and just trying to take it day by day. It does pass and it does get better and even though I say time after time (I will never do this again) I’m back. Things I think do help as you learn third time around. Eating very regularly icy poles apples a heat pack on your stomach ZOFRAN wafers only 2 a day. Sleep and time. Try stay positive this to will pass….

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      February 26, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      Third time with HG? You are a superwoman!!!

      Reply
  • Jane
    December 16, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you for writing this. 10 weeks pregnant w my second at present and reaching the end of my ability to cope emotionally/mentally with the constant nausea and exhaustion. Limited to eating carbs + high fat /high salt food as the only thing that eases the nausea (for a while anyway) so gaining massive amounts of weight while finding no joy in eating. All liquids make the nausea worse so perpetually dehydrated esp with the high sodium intake. Housework piling up around me, have no energy to be a good mum to my 2.5 year old which breaks my heart, everything falling to my amazing husband who is already really stressed at work, and I’m still working part time as well which is a real struggle. Feel like a piece of crap every time I ring in sick or lean on family and friends for support, feel like I “should” be doing better. Just want to sleep all the time. I had this the first time around but I think it’s so much worse this time because having another child you never really get any rest time and there’s so much more housework and life admin. It didn’t get better until 20 weeks last time. Feeling like a failure because I’m off to the Dr today to beg for drugs to help. Equally terrified that the drugs might harm my unborn child or that they won’t work. But this post has made me feel so much less alone. Reading it and all the comments has had me in floods of tears (interspersed with retching). It’s so good to hear from people suffering from “mere” NVP who are also having a hard time, and that you don’t have to have full blown HG to be worthy of empathy and support (although believe me my heart goes out to those with HG you ladies deserve so much more support than you get). But yeah my MIL is my main support for childcare but my sister in law is pregnant right now too and she has HG (and another toddler) so I feel like a total weak piece of crap along for help when there’s another person in the family who has a greater need. Like since I don’t have HG I should be totally fine and on my game and I’m just not. Having been through it all before you’d think I’d be reassured by the first hand knowledge that it will be over soon and that it will all be worth it in the end but to be honest right now that’s just not the case. Thank God for your article. To everyone here, wishing you an end to your pregnancy related sufferings soon, straightforward childbirths and lovely healthy baby cuddles. X

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      February 26, 2020 at 2:26 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story and your kind words for others even while you’re suffering. I hope you got the help & support you needed and are feeling more like the old you now.

      Reply
  • Bonnie
    December 25, 2019 at 5:43 am

    Thank you so much for this, I’m in the same boat as all these other ladies, I have googled pregnancy nausea a million times and all it does is result in cookie cutter descriptions and basic advice that hasn’t helped at all. I also tend to feel even more nauseous when reading other accounts because it’s frustrating and triggering but your post really resonated with me and made me feel not alone. I didn’t realise I was preg when wk 3-5 I was just a bit dizzy and not ever hungry, then wk5 hit and I was so horrendously I’ll all at once, no gradual creep. Only Zofran, sleep, husband help, regular forced feeding (only very select foods and only possible with Zofran) have I managed to feel alive (not well, but alive). Thank you for telling your story xx

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      February 26, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story too. I hope you feel well as well as alive now 😀 x

      Reply

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