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Time off work for 1st trimester symptoms. am I just being lazy?!

(25 Posts)
Flingmoo Wed 19-Oct-16 12:42:17

I am 8+5 and constantly tired and nauseous although I haven't actually been sick. I told my boss I'm pregnant last week and then called the GP who signed me off for 2 weeks as I feel I can't cope.

In my first pregnancy I just ploughed on at work despite feeling crap, as I was a temporary employee in the middle of applying for a permanent role and didn't want anyone to know about the pregnancy. This time that's not an issue and I just couldn't bear the thought of going to work like this, especially as I've been having a hard time at work recently with low confidence and low motivation.

I do have a 2.5 year old DS so I do still have to do some things round the house but since I've been off work I've spent the last week just flumping around the house in my pyjamas, feeling crap, tired and nauseous, and not really leaving the house. I go to bed early and have naps if I can. I feel like I've got worse, not better, and I'm worried that I'm making the fatigue worse by being 'lazy'... I feel guilty and worried that I'll get so used to lazing round all day that the tiredness will never go away sad

I can't bear the thought of going back to work yet though, as I have to get up at 6.30am and be a passenger in a car for a 1 hour bumpy car journey to get to work. (DH and I both work in the same office miles away)


Pretty sure the GP will sign me off for another 2 weeks if I ask him as he seemed more than happy to do so. I just don't know what's best anymore sad

SquedgieBeckenheim Wed 19-Oct-16 12:45:20

The first trimester is ROUGH for some. I dragged myself to work as I didn't want to tell them yet, but I'd have much preferred to flop around at home in my pj's. Although i was sicker the first time, i found it harder to cope this time due to having DD to look after too. The most important bit is to look after yourself.
Congratulations and hope you feel better soon.

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 19-Oct-16 12:58:19

Sorry you're feeling so grim Mamushka sad If the GP is happy to sign you off then probably best to do that and hope you'll feel better soon.

Do you remember when your symptoms started to ease with your first pregnancy?

I've been exhausted but the nausea's been off and on and I've only vomited a couple of times so count myself lucky. We have an accommodating sick room so when I've really struggled to get through the day I've slept through lunch which has helped.

As this is my first pregnancy I have no idea what to expect as the months go by so I've dragged myself in as I didn't want to take time off unless I was absolutely desperate. But I'm not saying that's the most sensible approach! And I don't have a toddler to look after so can sleep when I need to in the evenings and weekends.

The main thing is to look after yourself. Your GP doesn't think you're being lazy, and everyone's symptoms are different.

Flingmoo Wed 19-Oct-16 13:03:02

Thanks flowers With my first pregnancy I know it didn't go away by 12 weeks but I think it stopped a couple of weeks after that. Maybe around 14 weeks.

Second trimester onwards I felt great in my first pregnancy and I really enjoyed it, so I'm hoping this time will be the same. Although I now have to protect my tummy from a naughty little 2 year old who thinks it's funny to kick me when he's having his nappy changed hmm

I don't know why I'm just getting so paranoid that by resting I'm going to get myself into a vicious cycle of tiredness. Yet I know for a fact that pushing myself to do too much will not help either. I guess after a few weeks of nausea and fatigue you start to worry that it will never end!

Flingmoo Wed 19-Oct-16 13:05:09

I haven't actually vomited either which was the same in my first pregnancy. I would say it feels just like travel sickness but all day long envy It's so stupid that we've evolved to feel like this, I know it's healthy and normal etc but it's hard to see how it's beneficial in any way!

SquedgieBeckenheim Wed 19-Oct-16 13:11:34

I find nausea worse than vomiting. Do you have help with your toddler?
I've always said pregnancy and childbirth was thought up by a man! It goes so much against evolution and "survival of the fittest". I'm not religious in any way, I just am not sure how the human race survived given historical mortality rates in childbirth! I believe the nausea is a defence mechanism against poisoning, which makes sense before today's levels of food hygiene. Can see no evolutionary use for the fatigue though...

No1KnowsWhatTheyreGettingInto Wed 19-Oct-16 13:11:54

I was a hero at work during my first pregnancy. I don't think I missed a single day of work and I left it until the very last minute to go on maternity leave.

With my second pregnancy I spent as much time off work as possible! Was signed off for a month with anaemia, worked from home as much as possible. When I felt rough, I just didn't go in.

I think it was a combination of things. 1. That my 'heroism' and presenteeism during my first pregnancy went completely unacknowledged or rewarded with any kind of job satisfaction or fulfilment when I went back. 2. Second pregnancy is harder because you're older and have a small child to look after as well as a house to run and a job to hold down. 3. No company is more important than your health or the health of your unborn child. If, God forbid, anything were to have gone wrong in my last pregnancy due to me working too hard or being exhausted, I kkkw I would never have got over it or forgiven myself. I doubt my superiors would have felt the same way.

So, in short, fuck it. Stay home and look after you and the wee ones. Growing a human in your body is a big deal.

notinagreatplace Wed 19-Oct-16 13:15:06

Honestly, I think it will get harder to go back to work if you keep getting signed off, you'll get used to being at home and the barriers to going back will feel bigger and bigger. I think you should at least try going back before getting signed off for another couple of weeks.

Assuming that you want to go back to this job after maternity leave, I think it's worth showing willing and demonstrating that you are trying to keep going.

I also slightly wonder whether you may be a bit depressed?

jel2014 Wed 19-Oct-16 13:21:40

hello OP, i'm going through this too, 2nd pregnancy and nausea and extreme tiredness. I'm now 15 weeks and its easing off a little. I have dragged myself into work (work p/t) and there have been so many days where I would have loved to have rested but I've found the nausea is so much worse when i'm not doing much, not busy, over thinking it. Could you try a day at work and it is terrible then get signed off again? I do find I feel worse before I go to work but when I'm there i'm okish.

If you don't feel like you can then don't feel guilty let the dr sign you off. you get no prizes for being a trooper and unfortunately no one will give you any recognition!

idontlikealdi Wed 19-Oct-16 13:28:11

I think notina might have a point - low confidence and low motivation coupled with feeling like shit isn't going to motivate you. DO you think ou could be depressed?

FWIW my frst pregnancy I didnt tell anyone, was working stupid hours in a very stressy environment and ended up having a miscarriage at nine weeks. I am sure the stress contributed to that although obviously I have nothing to base it on.

Second pregnancy I told them straight way, no working late, no over comitting myself and all was fine until I got signed off at 21 weeks when my pelvis gave up.

Flingmoo Wed 19-Oct-16 14:15:36

notinagreatplace That's what I'm a bit worried about - the longer I have off the less I'll feel like going back, especially as I've been unhappy at work recently at the best of times.

I'm not sure if I'm depressed. I feel really happy with certain things - I love my life, my house, my family, and I feel lucky that we don't have any money troubles or health problems. It's just recently I've been having a bit of an internal crisis in the last couple of months about what I'm actually good at in life, and where I want to be in say 10 years time. Basically I've realised I'm not very good at my job and I hate the commute, but I can't do anything else that pays as well. Oh, and I'm not exactly the best mother in the world either. sad

Thinking about it I guess I am feeling a bit worthless. I don't know what I can really do about that though... I've been hoping that DH will allow me to hand my notice in and be a SAHM after this baby... but to be honest I don't know if that's even a good idea, as I remember being quite happy to go back to work after DS1 - I was bored at home! Maybe this time round having two kids I'll be less bored though and I'll want to stay at home. Not sure why I'm now thinking so far ahead, I guess I should just be taking each day as it comes.

Someone shared this cartoon on FB earlier and I think it sums it up!

RasperryInAMelon Wed 19-Oct-16 14:31:28

Mamushka I'm in the same boat 8+5 today! Utterly, crazy, jaw droppingly, insanely, unbelievably tired! Still trundling through work but did take 10 mins to sit in the loos and have a nap earlier!...

Flingmoo Wed 19-Oct-16 14:42:18

I have been known to do that at work Rasperry... It feels kind of degrading! I wish workplaces were more set-up to cater for pregnant ladies etc. If there was a workplace culture where it's fine to take a nap or a lie-down for a bit when you need one, I think I'd be more likely to be at work still.

Flingmoo Wed 19-Oct-16 14:44:20

Also I saw your scan on the antenatal threat Rasperry - it's so exciting I can't believe how it looks like an actual baby and not a blob, and you're at the same stage as me! I think our 12 week scans are on the same day too - 15th Nov? I'm not getting a private one so unfortunately got to wait sad

mouldycheesefan Wed 19-Oct-16 14:50:39

Op I was signed off for the whole first trimester and I wasn't even sick just anxious about mc. I am still glad I did it. Sympathetic go and boss help.

INeedNewShoes Wed 19-Oct-16 14:51:35

I feel worse when I'm just lounging around so for me being off work definitely wouldn't be the answer. Having said that, some of my days in the office I have been pretty useless due to feeling so disgusting (nausea and tiredness).

I'm looking forward to the magical 2nd trimester when apparently I'll feel much better!

Flingmoo Wed 19-Oct-16 14:59:41

Hmm, yes, I feel like if I'm at work and I struggle to get things done, it's going to look bad, and I'm going to look really unproductive, especially when it comes to performance reviews etc. Whereas if I'm literally signed off sick my performance can't (well, shouldn't) be judged.

GreyBird84 Wed 19-Oct-16 15:05:38

God OP you could be me.
I'm not actually vomiting with this pregnancy but the nausea, hormonal headaches & tiredness are unreal. My carpal tunnel from my 1st pregnancy never disappeared & is getting really difficult again.

I keep thinking about going to the doctor to get signed off but I'm part time & am just trying to trundle through. But it's so hard with a toddler & a house! Like you I have an hr commute each way (train) and an up at 6am which I think is the real killer on my working days. Working from home isn't an option Unfortunately.

So sympathy from me OP. If the only time your off sick is due to pregnancy i wouldn't be worrying about taking time off.

Flingmoo Wed 19-Oct-16 15:14:24

GreyBird I'm part time too - 3 days a week - but it still feels like a lot because they're full days and long commutes, and obviously with a toddler your days off are not really 'days off' but still just as hard work as the actual work is!

I've still kept up my usual childcare arrangements so DS has been looked after on the days I'd usually work which has given me the chance to switch off and rest a bit.

If you do decide to go to the doctor, well for me it was very easy I just called up and spoke to him on the phone, and he immediately wrote me a note, not too many questions asked! I think like No1Knows said above, I didn't gain anything much from suffering through the first time round so this time round my attitude has changed a lot and now I just think "sod work, my wellbeing is more important" blush

RasperryInAMelon Wed 19-Oct-16 15:17:46

Mamushka thanks so much! I didn't have a private scan. Stupid midwife wouldn't listen to me when I told her hubby and I had only stopped using condoms just before the wedding, because I'd come off the pill and my periods were up the creek, I'd not had once since June so she was adamant that I was 15-18 weeks so it was just an early scan. But it was so nice to see after my little wobble this morning!

It is terrible, I especially hate that I work in a hotel and can't just go have a little lie down! Haha!

I'm noticing my performance slip... sadly I'm in payroll and HR and nearly completely cocked up everyone's October pay which is worrying! Thankfully my boss picked up on the issue though!

herewegoagain4749 Wed 19-Oct-16 15:29:54

Sorry you're feeling rough OP :-(.

I'm just out of my first trimester with DC2 - MUCH worse sickness this time round, combined with starting a new demanding FT job. I've taken a number of days off due to sickness/exhaustion/migraines, and lounged around at home. But I've noticed that I definitely feel worse with no distractions and no fresh air (SO hard to stop thinking about being sick when you're doing nothing!), and also, my mind now seems to associate the smells of my house with being sick, so I hate being at home now!

I have a toddler, a dog, and a smelly hubby, so generally the house can pong, and I have lots of scented candles, reed diffusers etc, but both the yuck smells AND the 'nice' ones now turn my stomach, I think because I spent so long feeling rough surrounded by them!

Days when I made myself go to work, I generally felt a bit less sick, but a bit more tired. Could you go in for a few hours? Or if not, I'd really suggest not staying in the house, but getting outside for some fresh air as much as possible, and a bit of distraction!

Best of luck!!

notinagreatplace Wed 19-Oct-16 16:15:07

It sort of sounds to me as though the real issue is that you're not very happy with your job and that the pregnancy is, in some ways, a bit of an excuse not to have to go in? Perhaps you're even subconsciously hoping that it will lead to that becoming the status quo and so it being easier to move into being a SAHM.

I don't mean this in a harsh way - it's rubbish feeling miserable and unfulfilled at work - but I'm just not sure that being signed off again will actually really help with the actual problem, y'know?

I don't think it's too early to start thinking about what you might do after this baby - but I really wouldn't become a SAHM just because your current job/career isn't working out, you should only do it if you actually really want to be a SAHM and if your DH is fully on board.

In the short-term, I do think you should try and get back to work at least to see how it goes - particularly given that you're already working part-time and so giving it a go for a week would only be three days.

notinagreatplace Wed 19-Oct-16 16:16:10

Sorry, I meant to add - I don't think you should be just considering current job Vs SAHM, you should have a think about a change in direction and that wouldn't necessarily have to wait until after the baby, e.g. you could think about retraining to do something else.

hopeful31yrs Wed 19-Oct-16 16:42:37

My pregnancy the second time around is much more exhausting. I seriously worked all hours in my first pregnancy - nights long days the lot and went off the day before I went into labour at 39 weeks. I just ploughed on. This pregnancy with a 2.9 yr old has been awful. Despite wanting to go to 38 weeks I had to go off at 34 weeks as I was having early contractions and needed steroids. The first trimester I had a major bleed and so ended off for 2 weeks - I was exhausted then and I am now. Be kind to yourself- look after you, your family and baby.

McBaby Wed 19-Oct-16 16:59:20

I think it something you ne X to decide for your self. Every pregnancy is different and everyone feels differently. First time around I worked through the first Trimester and felt ok, was sick occasionally and tired when I came home from work. Second pregnancy I was a sahm and carried on with my daughter as if I wasn't pregnant. This time round the first trimester has floored me I feel so sick and exhausted I'm an struggling to get through each day. I only go out to do school and nursery runs. And th kids have watched far to much TVs. But I feel so much worse this time I just can't carry on as normal.

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