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Work and pregnancy sickness/exhaustion

27 replies

crochetcircle · 01/11/2010 09:59

How do you all cope with working full time and early pregnancy sickness and exhaustion?

I'm 8 weeks and am feeling like I can't cope with work at the moment. I've got a pretty stressful job. I've called in sick today as I was so tired on the tube I couldn't keep my eyes open, it felt like I was about to get Flu, and I felt like I was going to chuck up every 5 mins or so.

I'll probably feel better later on if I have a good rest now, but I'm not sure I can just call in sick for the mornings and then work in the afternoon.

This could go on for weeks (fx'd not!), but I can't keep phoning in sick every day so I can sleep - what should I do? I already spend every hour outside of work resting, its not as if I'm prioritising doing anything else over going to work.

I don't want to tell all my colleagues as my last pregnancy ended in mc at 11 weeks - I'd rather they didn't know until they have to.

Grateful for any advice.

Having re-read my post it sounds like I'm just moaning! Its not meant to be a moan, just asking for advice...

OP posts:
yellowmo · 01/11/2010 10:15

Hi crochetcircle... I'm sorry you're feeling so down. I know how you feel - I'm around the same way along and feel exhausted! I'm lucky that my commute doesn't involve the tube but lovely national rail instead!
It is tough but I'm finding the middle of the day my worst time... I just want to crawl into bed and sleep... I think having small amounts to eat every so often rather than big meals helps to keep the blood sugar at a fairly stable level which can help combat some of the tiredness... going for walk at lunchtime in the fresh (I know in London that's an optimistic word) air helps to liven you up a bit too...
I've found ginger biscuits help with sickness so far.
Good luck and stick with it - we all know it has to be worth it in the end! Don't forget you aren't alone! :)

BelieveInLife · 01/11/2010 10:27

The first trimester is really hard with the exhaustion and no-one knowing.

I don't know what to suggest really, you do just get through it in the end, one way or another.

Is there anyway you could just tell your manager and ask for a bit of flexibility without all of your work colleagues finding out or becoming suspiscious?

japhrimel · 01/11/2010 11:36

Unfortunately, you will need to tell your manager because the laws protecting pregnancy related illness only kick in once you have informed your work of the pregnancy, so if they don't know they could penalise you for excessive sick leave.

Is there any way you could work from home some of the time so that if you're not well enough to get on the Tube (without risking fainting/puking/etc) you could still do something?

bumperella · 01/11/2010 13:51

I coped pretty badly with the first 12 wks or so.... I was absolutely bone tired, every day, and very sicky. Lunchtime walks did help a bit, as did eating a little and very often.
I think the thing I found hardest to deal with was knowing that I would feel the same way for (what felt at the time) AGES. If it helps any, try reminding yourself that it really isn't a permanent state!
I would second telling your HR dept or boss (or boss's boss if you prefer). I did this really early on, made sure they wouldn't tell anyone else, and felt way more relaxed as a result.
Hang on in there.

PGWomble · 01/11/2010 14:00

I recommend telling someone too, but having also lost a pregnancy understand not wanting too. I found confiding in a colleague helped ease my guilt at what I felt was 'underperforming'due to my extreme tiredness. Re. tube travel, I got a 'Baby on Board' badge pretty early from TFL. It meant I was a little paranoid about bumping into someone I know or forgetting to take it off before getting to the office, but in reality getting a seat was a godsend in the arly days- and I did find people were very kind about giving up seats even before I was showing thanks to the badge.

Good luck!

crochetcircle · 01/11/2010 15:37

Thanks ladies - very supportive and understanding - its nice to know i'm not alone, or suffering unique punishment! I think I had a serious case of Monday morning blues today, heightened by the hormones and tiredness.

I probably do need to tell some people at work (I totally KWYM PGWomble about 'underperforming'). Actually I don't work for my line manager (we have a funny set-up) so I can tell him without having to share with work colleagues. Its probably the right time to tell HR too. I think at the back of my mind is the fear that when I tell people, then something will happen and I'll have to un-tell them all again, and as I'm working for a new team now I don't want them to think I'm not committed to the project (or something!)

I think also I'm weirded out - this pregnancy is much worse than the last, and I wasn't really prepared for it to be so hard. Having already had two months of medium strength morning sickness earlier this year, its probably taking its toll on me that I'm suffering again, and in the full knowledge that there are no guarantees.

I've had the day off today (sleep, wonderful sleep!). I've finally convinced myself that being pregnant-ill is just as legitimate as being non-pregnant-ill, so I damn well should take time off if I need it. I won't feel so bad if I need to take more time off this week.

I also like the suggestion about working from home japhrimel - its not a bad idea if I can work it out.

Congrats yellowmo on your pregnancy - maybe i'll see you on a June thread at some point. I'm not ready to join one yet.

OP posts:
victoriah3 · 01/11/2010 15:40

I was sick the whole way through and I was the kaughing stock of my office as I spent more time in the loo than at my desk.... Not really fummy though - I actually lost over a stone in weight dring my pregnancy and felt rotten for none months. My colleagues guessed more or less straight away and I couldn't really keep it quiet

Mmmaa · 01/11/2010 15:56

I'm having the exact same problem at the moment.
I'm really exhausted, can barely bring myself to go to work some mornings.
I didn't think I should be feeling like this so I went to see my doctor and he's sending me for blood tests to check for anemia etc which could be a cause, even if you are taking vitamins etc, you might just need that bit more.
Also, he said he would have no problems with signing me off work with a note for a while, if I felt I needed it. I declined at the time, but feel much better knowing that if I don't pick up and need a break, he will be there to help me out.

It will be much better to get a doctor's note than to just keep ringing in sick every day.

Hope you feel better soon.

chocolatestar · 01/11/2010 21:19

I second getting signed off. I had to do that. Don't feel bad, your health comes first.

20thJune · 03/11/2010 18:37

Try travel bands. Have never suffered from travel sickness at all but these have really helped with MS, wear them all day and night, just don't forget to take them off at work if wearing a short-sleeved top. Also knocking back packets of plain crisps and crackers all morning!

hairytriangle · 03/11/2010 19:07

Hi crochetcircle I feel for you.

I'm nine weeks three days, and have felt totally exhausted and generally nauseous. I've taken things as easy as possible, and I've let one person in HR know (she's also my PA - and I've told her in strict confidence) so that if I am taking a few hours off here and there, she knows why.

We have a time off in lieu system and I am lucky that I can also work at home, so I'm taking advantage of both - and I have booked a day and a half holidays already due to feeling so tired.

I have considered getting signed off for a week or so - but I'm hoping it won't come to that.

duke748 · 03/11/2010 19:30

When I was in the early stages of pregnancy I told people at work that I had a tooth infection and felt rotten.

That meant that I had an excuse for the underperformance. I said that I wasn't able to get a dentist appointment and that's why it lasted so long.

When I eventually told them I was pregnant, no one was upset that I had lied as they understood my reasons for wanting to keep it quiet for a time.

It might work for you ladies?

I am currently 32 weeks pregnant and waddling round the office moaning about other pregnancy symptoms - I think they will all be happy once I go on maternity leave at the end of the month!!!

EdnaBump · 03/11/2010 19:44

Hi - I'm also 8 weeks and need to agree with you on the tiredness....right up till Monday there. Not sure what's changed, but I have been quite chirpy this week....and still no sickness, although I do have an empty stomach / sick feeling if I don't eat every hour - 2hours. Surely someone is going to realise I'm having 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches every day lol??

Re tiredness, I take my car to work and actually drove around the corner at lunchtime and took a nap for an hour - my eyes were closing at my desk - was started to wonder if deficient in something, but I seem to be better the last few days so I hope it's over. I have been going to bed at 8:30 for weeks now, and lying in sat / sun - my priority was sleep i was like a zombie....

I hope yours lifts too very little and often, and drink lots of water

ilovecorey · 03/11/2010 20:37

im having the same problem so much nausea and then the tiredness hits in about lunch time. im at college and falling asleep in class :/ no sickness for me yet though! :D

Danilou22 · 03/11/2010 21:51

Hello ladies,

I am six weeks pregnant and feel terrible! I am being sick in the morning, feeling really sick all day ( I seem to have a problem with the guinea pigs in my classroom, I can't even think about them!)and then I was sick tonight when I got home as well.

I have had to tell my teaching assistant as I am just useless and keep reaching everytime i pass the guinea pigs Confused

I really am not sure what to do! I hope it doesn't get any worse!!

crochetcircle · 04/11/2010 10:32

So, I'm definitely not alone! What a pleasure early pregnancy is...

I ended up going to A&E to get checked out on Tuesday after I near fainted on the tube - vainly trying to get to work, silly girl!

They checked lots of things but the only possible cause of the debilitating tiredness/dizziness I've been experiencing - apart from being pregnant - was high white blood cells (indicating a possible infection).

I'm still off work feeling weak and dizzy. I'm not planning to go back until Monday at the earliest. Given that I can't avoid the tube I'm going to have to travel outside of rush-hour whilst this wears off. I think I'd be able to work from home like hairy triangle, but when I did that last week I spent half the day asleep! At least when I'm at work I have to be awake!!!

Now my boss knows (but he works in a separate team), and HR too, but I think I will invent a mystery virus for my colleagues as I'm really not ready to tell people who don't 'need to know' yet.

Hope you ladies are all feeling a bit better. I remembered how good porridge was at this stage of my last pregnancy, it seemed to sort me out in the mornings, so have had a nice big bowl this morning.

OP posts:
catherineps · 04/11/2010 17:07

I'm glad you're having some time off crochetgirl. I am 6 weeks today and have been sleeping for England and feeling sick though not been sick yet. The trouble is, I started a new job this week and I really don't want to start by being rubbish and taking time off! So I really hope I don't get as bad as you . . . Good luck!

EdnaBump · 04/11/2010 21:32

Yeah, this is defo the time to use up the remaining holiday days and just sleep - I have 4 days off and plan to do just that!

I am watching an old episode of How to Good Look Naked and it's about a girl who put on 4 stone in pregnancy - I can't believe the difference in her body - stretch marks etc - I hadn't really thought of all that - I'm away to do some sit ups and take the dog a long walk in an attempt to minimise the forthcoming 'damage'!!!!!

MrsMogwai · 04/11/2010 22:14

High hormone levels contribute to all these not so nice pregnancy symptoms but are also all about keeping that pregnancy going strong!

Hope you start to feel better soon. I ended up telling my boss at 8 weeks (well, she kind of figured it out and asked me) as I was really struggling. She's been really supportive too.

CiaraL98 · 20/10/2018 11:19

I’m just over 7 weeks now and have been extremely exhausted for the past week or so, actual morning sickness hasn’t been too bad but I feel nauseous 24/7. I also just started a new job and have already had to call in sick twice, I ended up handing my notice in so that I am not letting them down all the time. My other half has been making me feel really guilty about my decisions and I don’t think he understands how I feel. I think the fact that I don’t have a bump yet means that he isn’t taking it seriously and probably presumes I am just over exaggerating. I don’t know what to do because I’m sick of being made to feel guilty about it but I also can’t help the way I feel. I had 3 naps yesterday and that was following a decent night sleep - I just can’t seem to find any energy or motivation. Is anyone else in a similar situation? What would you do?

WhirlingTurkey · 20/10/2018 12:39

I got signed off under similar circumstances. I had three weeks signed off by the GP, went back to work for a week, totally overdid it and felt terrible again, so self certified for another week off. I literally couldn't cope! By the time I returned to work I was passed 12 weeks so was able to tell my wider team, which meant that it was easier to be at work and feeling so poorly.

I'm not a fan of taking time off work willy nilly, but I do think early pregnancy is a time when it is worth being cautious and putting yourself first. GP will generally not have an issue signing off a pregnant woman who genuinely isn't coping, I think it's quite common.

CiaraL98 · 20/10/2018 14:03

It’s not the taking time off work that is frustrating me. I would rather look after my health and the baby than stress my self out by over exerting myself at work. However my other half has said he is done with me and can’t support me if I’m not going to support myself. I am not ready to be a single mum and especially in early pregnancy I know that emotional support and intimacy is particularly important. I’m just really not sure what to do because I’m too sick to go to work but then if I don’t go to work my other half said he is ‘done with me’. What would you do?

artemis2 · 21/10/2018 05:46

@CiaraL98 your other half sounds emotionally abusive. If you are too I'll to go to work, then you need to stay home.

If he cared about you and your baby, he would put you first and not add stress to your life or leave you for being ill! Think about how uncaring and selfish he is being.

I think you would be better off without him! Best of luck and sorry that you're going through that.

CiaraL98 · 21/10/2018 09:18

Thank you. It’s so hard because I feel my head is well and truly f**d at this point and I’m so confused about everything. But yeah I think I’m better off without him too, it’s just going to be hard to adjust I suppose.

artemis2 · 21/10/2018 09:30

@CiaraL98 Do you have anyone you can stay with? Parents, siblings, friends? The best way to start is to go stay with them - your hormones are probably not helping and making you vulnerable, so support will be very important!

Hope it all goes well for you and baby :)

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