This is not the first time for me. I’ve been stuck at home and unable to go out for an extended period of time three times before. Each with pregnancy sickness that rendered me unable to get out of bed for weeks and weeks. About 20 weeks at a time, or thereabouts. I’m not sure which time was the hardest.

There are those who know, having been through it; hi to you. We’re in a strange, secret club. A brief conversation and we recognise one another. The horrific taste in the mouth, the trips to the toilet bowl every 20 minutes (minimum) and the isolation. And the teeth cleaning issue. Still not quite sure what that was about.

There was one big difference.

I’m not sure which pregnancy was the hardest. With the first, the sickness was the most violent. The second it went on the longest, and I had a toddler to look after. The third was a surprise, which took a while to get used to. Drugs helped with that one though.

The difference was that I knew when the sickness would end. If not before, it would end with giving birth. And that would make it all worthwhile as well as providing a goal to aim for. At the beginning of each pregnancy, it seemed like such a long time to wait. Lying at the ceiling, making patterns out of the knots of the wood in the mirror frame. But I had some idea when it would end. I remember thinking about how for people with chronic health issues there was no end to look forward to.

This time around, there’s a good reason for this isolation (as good as a baby? I’m undecided on that), but we don’t know how long it will go on for. I suspect when it comes to an end we might feel had we known the length beforehand we might have found it easier, having something to aim for and knowing when the end would come. On the other hand, this is good practice for life. We don’t know how long, and we have to keep going either way.

And I don’t have to stay in bed vomiting the whole time. That’s definitely a bonus.