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Early pregnancy symptoms -Is it "normally" this terrible?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm horrified with pregnancy, and I'm only at four weeks. I have been around several pregnant women, and they've always seemed to be functional. Either every mother I know has been trained to lie to me until I got pregnant, or it's affecting me a lot harder than it hit them!
I keep reading how much these things vary, but I'm so frustrated, and tired of hearing "yep, that's how it is!" If this is how every pregnant woman was, I'd think I'd notice that they spend all day in the bed or bathroom!
For the last two weeks, I've had moderate menstrual-like cramps, and my breasts are so sore, I wake up multiple times when I'm sleeping because I've laid wrong. I've also been exhausted. I make it two hours laying in bed, about 20 minutes of active walking, then I have to rest for a good hour. I'm 24, healthy, and I usually walk 3 or 4 miles a day, in addition to my job which requires me to be on my feet, carrying things, and actively walking back and forth. I was only this tired once, when I had the flu. Everything also smelled. Terrible.
Then suddenly (last Tuesday at 12:30pm to be exact) the smells made me sick, and I've been vomiting about 10 times a day since then.
I had to call off of work for the entire week, and I'm sitting here, terribly frustrated! All I keep hearing is "it's normal", as if I'm supposed to just not complain and suck it up! My bosses (women, I'd think they would be sympathetic!) Just said - okay, but you can make it in tomorrow right??

So, to my question, is this normal? The symptoms and the frustration? People just keep treating me like I need to just deal with it, go to work, come home, then clean house. Am I just being a wimp, or can these things be debilitating? I'd just like to hear from someone who can sympathize a little bit! I feel like I'm already failing at this. I'm just being told to push through this, but at the same time, I don't want to push too hard (I'm very easily stressed out!)
post #2 of 29

Sounds like you're having a really rough time of it!

First, can I clarify - are you four weeks past conception? I.e., officially 6 weeks along, likely found out 2 weeks ago around when symptoms started? The counting is bizarre (you're not actually pregnant for the first two weeks of "pregnancy"), but I want to make sure that I understand. If you're really at 6 weeks, then it's definitely all pregnancy related and not something else. If it started before you could've had symptoms, then I'd be concerned about other possibilities - kwim?

With the assumption that you're really about 6 weeks... I will say that everyone experiences pregnancy differently. And, different pregnancies affect the same person differently, too. (So don't be too worried about the future!) The types of symptoms you're describing ARE perfectly normal - excessive fatigue, nausea, vomiting - but it sounds like you're probably experiencing them all more intensely than many do.

The excessive vomiting could be what's called hyperemesis gravidarum, which is not uncommon but not "normal," either. There are things you can take, including B6, to try to help. Some women with HG can't keep *anything* down (even water) and risk becoming severely dehydrated. Those women may end up hospitalized on IV fluids. For others, being vigilant about eating frequent, small meals, taking B6 or B6 and Unisom (which is a combination in prescription form in Canada), and other "home remedies" are enough. Still others find enough relief from anti-nausea meds that can be gotten from an OB. I would definitely *not* simply call being non-functional and throwing up that much "normal" and would seek out ways to help control it.

The fatigue in pregnancy is often called "sleeping for two," and being tired very easily and very early is pretty normal. I'm normally a night owl, and when pregnant am easily ready for bed at 8pm - at least in the 1st trimester. (Be encouraged that these symptoms generally lessen or abate during the 2nd trimester!) In my first pregnancy, I did have a time when I was SO utterly exhausted that it was literally difficult to walk across a 20-foot or so patio.

Crampiness is generally caused by the uterus growing and stretching and is pretty standard in early pregnancy, but tapers off. And the sore breasts are really hit or miss - I know in my first pregnancy, it was one of my earliest symptoms (seat belts on a cross-country trip were awful!). But, obviously it's a "normal" type symptom and it's not too unusual to find sleeping more difficult, especially if you're by nature a stomach sleeper.

So, my thoughts on WHY you might be experiencing exacerbated symptoms...

All of these symptoms are caused by hormones and hormonal changes. If you have very high levels of the hormones that trigger the symptoms, you may experience really strong symptoms. There is a range of normal, healthy levels, and that's why some women experience only a little, and some, a lot. If you are taking progesterone, you will have more symptoms. If you are carrying a multiple pregnancy, you will have more symptoms. If you have other underlying health issues that are being exacerbated by pregnancy, you may also have more issues. And, if your body just happens to be more sensitive to the hormones of pregnancy, that can also explain it.

I would definitely talk to your care provider (if you have one yet) about help for the vomiting. DO get as much rest as you can, and listen to your body's demands as much as possible. You *will* start feeling better soon! I know even in this, my 4th pregnancy, I felt like I was hit by a truck. I couldn't even think about the "baby" part of the pregnancy - only trying to survive each day. It was a far cry from when I first found out and was very excited about welcoming a new baby to our family. But, in the 2nd trimester, it really does get better - earlier or later for some. It may all well stop as quickly as it started.

So, do what you need to do for you. Slack off of things you can afford to; sleep as much as possible; eat high-protein, nutrient-dense foods a LOT; take supplements and/or meds if you need them; remember that it will all pass and will all be worth it!
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
My lmp started on the 8th of June. We had intercourse the 19th and the 20th, and I ovulated on the 21st. So, I think that would be four weeks?
post #4 of 29
You're right - 2w conceptional age. When did you get a positive test? While it's not impossible to have such early symptoms, I would consider it unusual. Typically, most symptoms start right around implantation, around which time you can get a positive test.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
The first postive test was on Tuesday the 29th, first thing in the morning. By Thursday the 01st, it was showing up at all times of the day, and on Saturday morning, the 03rd, it was positive at the doctors office.

It's sounding like it's not normal to have symptoms that early? My mom just told me I shouldn't be sick this early, but never said when would be normal! I thought it was a bit odd too, but the date of everything, except ovulation I'm 100% on.
post #6 of 29
My mom told me she knew she was pregnant with my sister when she was throwing up before she had even missed her period. So yes, you can get symptoms very early but I don't think it's very common.

Sorry you're dealing with all of this
post #7 of 29
Yep that's how it was for me with DS2. I found out at 3 weeks (very very early like you) and my hyperemesis started a week later. I also was exhausted but thats par for the course in the 1st trimester. Figure out what your food triggers are and try to stay hydrated. REST as MUCH as possible.
post #8 of 29
I starting throwing up 15-20 times a day the day after I got my BFP. The whole week before I was complaining to everybody in sight that I felt like I had the flu, only much much worse.

I was eventually diagnosed with HG, for that pregnancy and this one, and have been on zofran both times. Don't let anyone tell you it's not possible to feel symptoms early. I was walking around sick as a dog at least a week before I even tested, not even thinking I was pregnant. I figured it was deathly ill and had cancer or something, and it was other people who convinced me to take the test.

You can very easily be dehydrated and hospitalized for HG. I would suggest calling a doctor ASAP to prevent that and get on medication. Don't tell listen to people to tell you to tough it out. I had a "friend" tell me it was just negative thinking. She is no longer my friend, I realized that she had no clue had sick some women can get.

Last pregnancy I never lost weight, but this one I have, you can lose a lot of weight, so in my experience, it's something I would call a doctor about and let them know what you are experiencing. It can lead to a lot of complications if you leave it alone.
post #9 of 29
With my son (my oldest) I had HG so bad I swore I would never have children again. I spent almost 2 months unable to eat at all and barely even able to leave the house. Just when I was about to be admitted to the hospital it finally lifted!

Luckily, with my daughter (second oldest) I got HG but was still functional. I still threw up all the time, but I was able to work in between bouts of it.

This time... I got sick.... but not quite HG.

So at the very least, you can have hope that having it once does not mean having it every time!
post #10 of 29
My first trimester was a lot like what you're describing, and the sickness started very early for me too. I really feel for you. I spent a couple months stuck in bed and lost 15% of my body weight. Zofran is what finally saved me... I wish I'd gotten my hands on it sooner! Call your care provider ASAP. Best of luck getting some relief.
post #11 of 29
I too had HG with my first, which started at 4w pretty much on the dot. I was on the sofa most of my pregnancy, and hardly left the house. Don't let anyone tell you to "buck it up". It's awful. You have some great advice here- you may need to get on medication to make it through. Look HERE for some MDC support. for you- I know how you feel.
post #12 of 29
I've been through the first trimester, to varying degrees, about 7 times. I had a bit of nausea with DD, then a few weeks of awful nausea with my 2nd to last miscarriage, but was never completely and utterly incapacited until this one. They're all different. Thank GOD it all went away by 15 weeks or so. Try the Zofran, try the unisom and b6, try to keep hydrated.
post #13 of 29
Oh, I had horrible menstrual like cramps as well but I had to thin of it in a different way than painful. I often thought of it as reassurance (previous miscarriage) and since I was not bleeding I felt like the cramps which are commonly attriibuted to your uterus stretching and prepping were my baby's way of reminding me that she was down there, growing stronger every day. YOU ARE NOT FAILING AT THIS. Instead please feel free to share your anxieties with people who really feel for you, or continue to do so on a supportive board like this one. Yes, 1st trimester is really that bad for some women, however it does not mean that the woman going through it does not need extra support and sympathy.
Hang in there. Breast pain goes away for a bit, cramps diminish, nausea comes and goes, but in my opinion the beginning is the roughest. (Water helped with the cramps)
Best of luck
post #14 of 29
I took a pg test with DS (hadn't even gotten to where I would be expecting AF yet) because we were at a fair, I walked by the food and thought I was going to vomit on the spot from the smell. I managed not to (that time) came home and tested, so yes it can start that early. The beginning and the end of pg sucks for me. While I might be out and about, lying on the couch may be what I really need to do, but isn't an option, I might be sitting there nodding my head but really thinking where is the nearest place I can puke.
post #15 of 29
The first trimester is rough. I saw you said you were walking 3 or 4 miles regularly? Well if it makes you feel any better, with both pregnancies I was trail running half marathons but soon into the first trimester I can barely run at all. It is very frustrating and makes me feel like a total wimp. I am exhausted and very nauseated too in the first tri.

As far as pregnant women "lying" I have to admit I have to put up a good front at work to get through since unfortunately, I manage to get pregnant at the busiest times of my career! Especially if women wait until the 2nd trimester to reveal their pregnancy many women try to hide obvious symptoms at first.

All I can say is it really does get better in the 2nd tri. If you are really struggling, to be afraid to ask for help! Not only from others (spouse or partner, friends, relatives, co-workers) but sometimes your care provider can help with supplements or other methods to ease the first tri discomforts.
post #16 of 29

The reason you don't see pregnant ladies like us is because we feel so horrible at the time we rarely get out.

But there's tons of us out there! You really are not alone in it.

The good part is rarely does it last the whole pregnancy!

Mine lasts a long time (I was still getting sick at about 25 weeks this time around, but I was functional) but still goes away eventually
post #17 of 29
Originally Posted by MaerynPearl View Post

The reason you don't see pregnant ladies like us is because we feel so horrible at the time we rarely get out.
So true. I only go out when I am foraging for food! I don't think I have left the house for longer periods since May. Certainly not to do anything enjoyable, just food and groceries and doctors appointments.

Last time I was working full time, and I did call out of work a lot. My boss called me at home a lot. I didn't expect a lot of sympathy from her, and she did in fact call me 2 days after my c-section asking when I would be able to work again.

Last time I felt better around 20 weeks, and stopped taking zofran at 26 weeks. This time, I am already starting to have decent days and I am 13 weeks.
post #18 of 29
I think last time, I had to work, so I had to make it work, ya know? I know I was not very productive, but I put on a good front. Zofran really helped with that. And lots of tea.

This time, I am at home, so I felt like I could sit on the couch if I needed to with no one fussing at me (except a toddler who wanted to get out . At 6 weeks, I started feeling AWFUL. Thought it was pregnancy related until I started having severe diarrhea and so did DS (we had a food borne bacterial infection). We spent 3 weeks on the coach barely moving and I TOTALLY felt like I was failing at pregnancy. All anyone could tell me was to stay hydrated. DS's poops smelled so bad that I would take off his diaper, buckle him into the changing table and go puke. Then come back and change him. Thank goodness he didn't feel good either and would wait on me! And he was pooping 3 times a night so I wasn't getting much sleep either. It sucked.

My cousin (with her 4th!), did not find out she was pregnant until she was about 12 weeks. Because she thought she caught a nasty flu. She thought that was the reason she did not have a period too. When it would not go away, she went to the doctor and they told her she was pregnant. So, yeah, I think you can feel awful.

I am still trying to figure out why our population levels are increasing so much when I feel so terrible pregnant.

But, honestly, most women feel so much better once they get into the 2nd tri. May not happen the first few weeks, but it does get better.

Big hugs to you!
post #19 of 29
yes, it's perfectly normal. all of what you're describing hit me HARD with my pregnancies. some people get off easy, some are worse off. unfortunately i happen to be in the latter category. big hugs!
post #20 of 29
I found out I was pregnant 6 days before my next period. About 6 days later I was hit very hard by M/S (all day sickness).

I am now 33 weeks and I can say that I describe the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy as a time when I "Questioned my own existence." As a -very- active working woman and also full-time PhD candidate, I couldn't do -anything.- I felt worthless and SO sick.

I'm still not too over it yet that I could say I would have another without thinking about how hard it was....
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