Why I Feel Sorry For Kate Middleton
I can’t stop thinking about Kate Middleton. I never thought I’d say this about a princess, but I feel sorry her. Surely, the Duchess of Cambridge didn’t imagine that news of her royal pregnancy would be so unceremoniously announced to the world because of her inability to keep food or water down. For most women, morning sickness is something that happens behind the bathroom door, not something broadcast by the media across the planet.
Granted, Kate is not suffering from run-of-the-mill morning sickness. Her condition, called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), is a severe form of morning sickness characterized by debilitating nausea and vomiting. During her hospitalization, Kate likely received fluids, nutrition and medication through an intravenous line.
The silver lining of all this chatter about Kate’s morning sickness is that women who have experienced HG are starting to come forward with their personal stories. I had never heard of hyperemesis gravidarum before last week; now my dealings with morning sickness seem like a walk in the park by comparison!
Although I was perpetually queasy throughout the first trimester, I don’t think I ever threw up. I did, however, spend most evenings on the couch sipping ginger ale through a straw and nibbling on Saltine crackers. (The “morning” part of morning sickness is such a misnomer.) I felt like I was seasick 24/7, but unlike the princess, I was able to keep my food down.
As horrified as Kate probably is knowing that the world knows she’s been puking her brains out, I would guess she’s also disappointed that the announcement of her pregnancy had to come before she hit the 12-week mark. For a variety of reasons—superstition, medical, work-related—many expectant mothers choose to wait until they reach the second trimester to share their happy news with friends. When I was pregnant, only my immediate family knew early on, and they were all sworn to secrecy. I actually waited until almost my third trimester to make my news public. (Working from home, it was easy to keep my baby bump under wraps!)
Of course, life is unpredictable, and the best-laid plans…well, you know. In light of what the Duchess of Cambridge is dealing with right now, I’m grateful I was allowed privacy during my pregnancy—and that news of my nausea was never discussed on daytime television.