Bad symptoms during first trimester – you are not alone!

Yes, if it wasn’t already clear, I am currently pregnant.

A little backstory:
I am overall an energetic person – I always like to be on the go. Given a choice, I would love to exercise daily. I remember over the major Covid lockdown periods, I could do home workouts for three consecutive weeks before I took a break. At work, I am constantly active and productive. It is basically second nature for me to spend my every waking moment thinking of ways to improve myself or my work.

Maybe I can share how much I love to exercise in another blogpost…

However, ever since the expansion of Welo, I began to experience this constantly building stress that would occasionally choke me. It got bad enough that at times I would feel nauseous whenever I felt like I had too much to handle on my plate. With the amount of stress that I was dealing with, I never expected that I could get pregnant. At that point, even my nausea seemed like a “normal” response to stress.

Decision fatigue moment – ‘shall we make it an inch bigger or smaller 🤯’

On top of that, my menstrual cycle started getting later and later. It went from a cycle of 30 days to 35 days and eventually even longer. Once again, I thought these were just my “normal” bodily responses to stress! I was not alarmed that I could be pregnant. I was so confident that even with my late periods, I probably wouldn’t have checked up until 60 days in between my cycles (HAHAHA).

How did I find out I was pregnant then?

When Dr Sarah had her menses that month, I commented that “I also want to have my period, come spread it to me”. She casually asked me if I was pregnant, then started asking if I have an increased core body temperature. TRUE ENOUGH, I was feeling warm every night even in my usual air-conditioned room that typically felt cold to me. Out of curiosity, I decided to take a pregnancy test, and…


How did I feel when I saw the result?

I remember thinking to myself: “what are the odds of it being a false positive?”…. Turns out, it is not that high. Regardless, I was in a lot of denial. I found it difficult to accept and started blaming myself for this pregnancy that came earlier than expected. A lot of my thoughts were directed to worrying about how it would affect my work – after expanding Welo, we had a lack of manpower and I could not also be down. I began planning work arrangements to try to manage my workload with the hopes of only reducing my patient care much later in my pregnancy.

I was definitely too optimistic, because what came after was… disastrous.

HELLO, MORNING SICKNESS. Why is it named “morning” sickness when it should be called “whole day” sickness?

I struggled with feeling more nauseous, accompanied with actual vomiting. I wouldn’t necessarily feel better after vomiting, either. On a bad day, I would have to rush to the toilet in between patients. I continued working because regardless of whether I rested or not, I still felt terrible. At this point in time, my good days were when I had ONE hour out of my full 24 hours where I did not feel nauseous.

Okay, what is next? After a week of nausea + vomiting, I started having gastric pain and excessive gastric juice production. I suspect that this caused some gastric reflux/heart burn, because every night I would get woken up by gastric pains behind my lower chest bone. This lasted for another two weeks.

So now I had nausea, vomiting, gastric pain, heart burn, constipation, headache, and pain in the chest, likely from excessive vomiting.

In between patients, the side that you did not see.

I was very frustrated. From my usual productive self, I was now down to someone who is constantly tired. I didn’t feel good about myself and my performance, especially for not being able to contribute to the team. I judged myself, and even felt like I was a lousy mother because I couldn’t deal with just morning sickness.

I eventually went to my gynecologist to seek for help. I thought that maybe if I could just sleep through my night, I can feel better. I was desperate to feel even just slightly better.

However, my gynecologist reacted in a way that I think no expecting mother should go through. When I told him about my symptoms and got emotional from all my pent-up frustrations, he questioned me.

He asked: “why are you so emotional?”

I answered: “because it has been tough.”

He continued: “then do you still want to continue?”

I furiously answered: “of course!”

He replied: “then you need to be positive!”

I don’t think anyone should be questioned for having it hard.

What was rewarding and made me feel that all the ‘suffering’ was worth it was seeing our baby grow from 0.3cm in week 6 to 2.7cm in week 9!

Peekaboo from baby 😏

That’s all the sharing for this post. Stay tuned for more updates!