I am in a bit of a predicament and feeling really stressed out about what to do. I've basically lost all perspective on this and desperate for a reasonable opinion I hope someone can help! I am about 11 weeks pregnant and have had severe morning sickness for the past 5 weeks. It's been really exhausting and have had days and days of throwing up or feeling intense nausea. I have to keep reminding myself that I haven't got a chronic illness it feels that awful. I am doing a PhD and I've been off sick but did attempt to go into the office on one day as I thought I might be able to manage. That did not go well and I was sick for the entire night afterwards and I think it was just the effort of being out of bed and moving around. Basically I only feel like I can keep anything down if I am resting and after a couple of days in bed I am finally feeling a little bit better.
I am scheduled to present at a conference next week. It's a really big one in the field and I feel like it's important for the work to be represented. I can't find anyone to cover me as my PhD supervisors are both busy and I just don't know how on earth I am going to be able to get through it. I am feeling pressure not to cancel it although this is my gut instinct. I am terrified of being sick at the podium or just not being able to think straight at the questions point. 5 weeks of sickness has taken it's toll and I basically look really wretched so that's putting me off as well. I just don't know what to do as I don't feel like it's acceptable to pull out of this and I know it will not look at all good to my supervisors. I find presentations pretty stressful anyway so I think the anxiety about whether I will be able to pull this off or not is probably making it worse. I have cyclizine to take but I find they just put me into a bit of a trance so I won't be able to think straight on them. Can anyone offer any advice? Is it acceptable to pull out of these things or am I going to be blacklisted by the academic community!? Is it worth just going and risking the relapse in vomiting? Sorry to waffle! Any help appreciated, I haven't really told many people about the pregnancy as waiting for the first scan so feel very alone in this.
OP, sympathies. Pregnancy nausea is awful and I'm not surprised you can't think straight. I basically took to my bed with mine!
Am not an academic but didn't want to read and run. My thoughts -
When is your first scan? How is your relationship with your supervisor/s, would you feel comfortable talking to them about the pregnancy now? If so, I'm sure that they will be empathetic.
It sounds as though you either need to cancel - and I highly doubt you'll be blacklisted, these things happen, you can say that you're not well (and that is true!) - or you could perhaps work out how to present with far less pressure - there may be someone else in your programme who can collaborate, or you could devise quite a structured set of slides...?