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3 weeks in bed with morning sickness - fair enough or milking it?

(213 Posts)
redstripeyelephant Mon 21-Mar-11 09:21:28

My friend is 10 weeks pregnant and having morning sickness, as you do! It sounds pretty normal - feels nauseous most of the day, throws up every now and then (not every day). She has been either off work sick or working from home for the last 3 weeks. I'm a SAHM and have tried popping round or inviting her over or to the park with me and DD (we live 5 mins away) but it's no good, she wants to stay in bed. Fair enough, I thought.

DH went to the pub with her DH last night and came back saying her DH is 'sick of it', thinks she is 'milking it' and wants me to talk to her and convince her she is 'not ill, just pregnant'!

He says she literally does not get out of bed, just lies there watching tv and waiting for him to bring her food. They recently bought a new house that needs lots of work and he is doing everything on his own. My DH went round there the other day to help with some DIY and said she just shouted hello from the bedroom. When he made some sarky comment about getting out of bed she said 'I am actually on medication you know' (antibiotics for a uti).

My feeling is I'm keeping well out of it! Plus, I do sympathise with her, it does feel shit. But most people do get on with it and don't stay in bed all day, but then different people cope with things differently, right? I threw up pretty much every day with DD2, and had to go to work and look after a toddler. But then I guess you have a better threshold for getting on with things when you're already a mum.

I thought I'd throw it open to the MN jury - is it normal to be so absolutely flattened by morning sickness that you literally can't get out of bed? (We're not talking hyperemesis by the way - she can keep food down, and has been to the doctor several times who says it'a just morning sickness).

?

compo Mon 21-Mar-11 09:23:56

People do seem to have different coping levels
my friend said hers was really bad, was off work sick, but never admitted to hospital
but I had a toddler to watch so you just have to cope!

GastonTheLadybird Mon 21-Mar-11 09:27:08

Doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks really, if she feels so rough that she wants to stay in bed and she is in a position to do so then why not! If her dh can't get her up and about then I suspect you have no hope.

Some people do get very severe hyperemesis, do you know if she is really being very sick? If so, I think good on her for properly resting! Keep well out of it.

Fernie3 Mon 21-Mar-11 09:27:38

Depends on the level of the sickness, with three of my children I was sick maybe twice a day which was ok I could still keep going with my fourth I was sick god knows how many times, enough to be dehydrated but the worst part was feeling so Ill. I already had three children so I am fairly confident I wasn't just being pathetic it was bloody awful. I remember just crying to the midwife in the hospital. I was either in bed or laying on the couch for probably 8 weeks I just couldn't cope at all with anything.

BalloonSlayer Mon 21-Mar-11 09:27:56

Um well maybe she is someone who is terrified of vomiting (emetophobia?) and is trying to do anything she can not to puke?

Or maybe she's a bit of a princess. My sister had a friend who's husband would have to take a day off work to look after her because she'd had "a bad night," which appeared to my sister to mean that she hadn't slept very well.

GastonTheLadybird Mon 21-Mar-11 09:28:10

Sorry, didn't see the end bit of your post, does she have a job?

Fernie3 Mon 21-Mar-11 09:28:55

Btw I was told it wasn't hyperemesis as well because I was able to keep smalls sips of water down, didn't help how I felt.

JuicyLips Mon 21-Mar-11 09:30:52

When I was pregnant with my first I was really ill. I knwo people say "You're pregnant not sick" but for me it was the same thing, I felt awful, dizzy, unbalanced, throwing up all the time, couldnt eat couldnt drink. couldnt even get out of bed for the first two trimesters and the last I still wasnt brilliant. Dont judge, just give sympathy.

FloreatEtonia Mon 21-Mar-11 09:32:03

I was so unwell with morning sickness when I was pregnant. 30 times a day for nine months. Even on the very rare day that I wasn't sick I could barely sit upright for more than five minutes. I lost my job and it was the worst experience of my life. Bubba popped out and I was instantly better. No one believes the symptoms because "it is the most natural thing in the world" hmm

And it wasn't about coping thresholds. I genuinely could not sit upright without nearly fainting!

Tisallafaff Mon 21-Mar-11 09:33:02

I felt dreadful with DD2. I just couldnt focus on anything and I did have time off from work. I was sick a lot but not hyperemisis. It was awful because I knew that many people share the opinion of her DH and the guilt doesn't help. I must admit that I probably felt the same way until I experienced it myself. And I had morning sickness with DD1, which was bad but manageable, so I understand that morning sickness can vary massively. Imagine trying to do anything when you feel severley sick. Until you have experienced it I think it is easy to dismiss.

butterpieify Mon 21-Mar-11 09:34:35

Tbh, I felt much worse at the beginning when I couldn't be sick (and UTIs can be horrible - I ended up in hospital, weeing blood, when I was pg the first time). Once I started being able to be sick, the worst bit was over, because I would start to feel better after I was sick.

I literally couldn't roll over in bed without retching, but was hardly ever sick at the beginning. Much worse than the odd running to the toilet to be sick during my normal routine that I had later on.

And I still had the same pattern with my second (although didn't get as ill because I was fatter to start with, so I had more leeway, iyswim) I ended up having to have the toddler in bed next to me while I threw up - up to then she hadn't been allowed tv, but she got hour upon hour of iplayer, and learned to put the next programme on herself was she was only just two, as I was too busy retching.

The worst bit was the idiots telling me I wasn't ill, just pregnant, and the people who just wanted to measure it by how much I actually vomited. Oh, and the people who told me how they worked right up to having the baby, and were back at work the day the milk came in. Like they wanted some kind of prize for happening to have had a better time of it. hmm

Pregnancy is like periods. Some people get it worse than others. It isn't a moral judgement on anyone, it just happens.

And frankly, if the DH got her pregnant, he can damn well bring her food in bed. She is building a human being in her body that is equally related to both of them, the least he can do is let her have a rest. If she was building a shed she would get a rest!

PrivetDancer Mon 21-Mar-11 09:34:39

I think you're definitely right to stay out of it! She does sound a bit princessy though.

scotsgirl23 Mon 21-Mar-11 09:35:52

I would leave her be - it's perfectly possible to feel that awful! I had hyperemesis, but even when the drugs brought the actual vomiting under control the constant nausea was just awful. If I moved, I felt like I was going to vomit.

I ended up signed off work for 3 months. I was that flattened by it.

And hyperemesis is hugely under-diagnosed, I was lucky that I had a good doctor but many are not.

BalloonSlayer Mon 21-Mar-11 09:36:51

I must add that I had very mild nausea with all my pregnancies and was never sick, but nevertheless I do feel I would have preferred actual pain to the feeling of constant nausea, it is the very pits.

Needaname Mon 21-Mar-11 09:37:31

I felt dreadful and barely moved from the sofa but only threw up once or twice. Her husband sounds like he's going to be wonderfully supportive once the baby arrives. Not. Tell him to suck it up and have a bit of female solidarity!

PrivetDancer Mon 21-Mar-11 09:37:57

Oops, cross post with a few people who sound like they were really ill rather than princessy

susall Mon 21-Mar-11 09:39:26

I feel for her as everybodys experience is so very different. My twins drained me of so much energy that I only just managed to eat enough to keep me going for the 33 weeks I carried them, I was in bed by 7.30 each night, I felt sick every waking moment and without my DH to support me and DS1 we would have been stuffed. My twins were a great weight for being prem and what more could I ask for than two healthy, all be it small, babies.
If this is what her DH is like now then whats he going to be like when she sleeps at the same time as the baby? He should be supporting her more, even if he thinks she is milking it as she is having his child.

fastedwina Mon 21-Mar-11 09:39:37

I was very lucky with my pregnancies and really had no morning sickness so don't want to judge. But, often the feeling of being sick is actually worse than the puking and if she is feeling constantly sick and queasy etc, that can be horrible and really affect your ability to function normally - or she could be just a princess but you have no way of knowing just how shitty she really feels.

BlackSwan Mon 21-Mar-11 09:40:46

If men had babies time in bed in the early part of pregnancy would be mandatory.

I think she's entitled to be a bit of a princess about it, if that's what it is. No one ever knows how crap you're feeling when you're ill or pregnant - it's subjective. If her DH is being unsupportive about it, she's may be digging her heels in & rightly so perhaps. Stay out of it.

LoveBeingKnockedUp Mon 21-Mar-11 09:41:21

Some people are more ill than others, her dh needs to get a grip what's he gonna be like later on?

nethunsreject Mon 21-Mar-11 09:41:48

Yes, you can be utterly flattened by early pg symptoms, of course you can!

babyapplejack Mon 21-Mar-11 09:42:32

Difficult.

Pregnancy isn't an illness in itself, but it can cause illness and even death. As I was so ill when I was pregnant, I don't really like to see people dismissing illnesses of pregnancy.

I was severely ill whilst pregnant with both mine (hyperemesis) and I had to stay in bed and honestly felt like I was dying. I had other complications as well and both the chunks of my life when I was pregnant, I did nothing at all. I had help with my DS when I was pregnant with DD but when I had to look after him myself, my mum would put him in the playpen with the TV on and I would lay on the floor next to the playpen vomiting and attempting to stay conscious.

Hyperemesis can actually cause severe nausea but with not much vomiting so I wouldn't dismiss her illness out of hand. The distinction between morning sickness and hyperemesis is not the amount of vomit that comes up, it's a question of whether the patient is totally debilitated (hyp) or not (morning sickness). I would actually try and keep out of it because she could be pretty ill, but she could be milking it and it's hard for anyone to say, even the doctor.

MrsTittleMouse Mon 21-Mar-11 09:43:51

I wish I could have gone to bed for both of my pregnancies. I felt so awful all the time, and everything was such an effort. It was like coming around from sedation 24/7 plus the constant nausea. I often wished that I could just be sick and be over with it.

Surely staying in bed would be really boring for 3 whole weeks, if she was actually feeling well?

CuppaTeaJanice Mon 21-Mar-11 09:44:24

It's not just the sickness though, early pregnancy can bring with it absolute debilitating tiredness, exhaustion, dizziness and a zombie-like feeling. Plus it can bring to the surface emotional effects of previous traumas, for example your friend may have had a miscarriage in the past that perhaps you don't know about, or maybe she's been having cramps or bleeding and is really scared, and her bed is the only place she feels safe. Sarky comments and un unsympathetic DH aren't going to help her at all.

lostinwales Mon 21-Mar-11 09:44:49

No female solidarity here, I'm evil grin. I hate this as I have had vile morning sickness with all three of mine and have never missed a days work (although the time I grabbed two sick bowls one for the patient and one for me was possibly a less professional moment!).

With DS3 I had raised HCG (?) levels and threw up constantly for 9 months (I would hear my boys behind me saying 'oh she's being sick again' in resigned voices.) I always want to say 'oh for FFS suck it up' to people like your friend (fortunately I can keep it in my head)

Mind you people whose mums/dh's help out all the time with the childcare because they are tired bug the hell out of me too, I am well aware I have a jealousy problem as my mum and DH generally wouldn't raise a finger to help me!

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