The Royal Baby


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are apparently expecting a baby; Kate Middleton has been admitted to hospital with “acute morning sickness”. I wasn’t going to post, ’cause everyone’s talking about it at the minute and I’m not one to jump on moving bandwagon generally, but it’s a subject close to my heart: hyperemesis that is, not pregnancy.

When I saw the news I was happy to chuckle at the mock outrage tweets… “woman in pregnancy shock” etc. Yes yes, another woman having another baby. But the more I think about it, the more I really feel for the woman.

Hyperemesis typically hits at 6 weeks and is constant. If you’ve not been through a hyperemesis pregnancy, imagine having food poisoning. Then imagine having it every day for nearly 9 months. Anyway, because of this early attack, it’s likely that she is less than 12 weeks (when the risk of miscarriage is higher). When I was hospitalised with my first pregnancy, I was only 8 weeks. When I lost it, the sense of letting people down (even people who didn’t even know I was pregnant) was there in the background. I can’t imagine worrying about worst case scenario and the potential feeling of letting down a whole nation.

Then there’s the barfing. Vomiting is not classy. It’s not befitting of a lady like Kate. I can’t imagine her slumped on the sofa, tweeting to her followers (is she even on twitter?) that hot chocolate and sugar puffs don’t taste too bad coming back up like I did. I had to barf in public on a couple of occasions, and did so without worrying that there was a photographer about to spread my puke across the front page of newspapers (figuratively speaking, of course).

I often joke that the best thing to come out of hyperemesis (apart from my kids, obviously) was the weight loss. I weighed less after having Izz than I did before I got pregnant, despite having carried a baby and waters etc for 9 months. Kate… well, she’s not exactly got extra weight to burn, has she?

I don’t know. I get that she’s a royal now. She’s got servants and nannies and probably private healthcare too, but that shit ain’t pretty for anyone; I certainly wouldn’t wish HG on an enemy let alone a woman unfortunate enough(?) to have married into the royal family.

I can only (selfishly) hope that her high profile raises awareness of hyperemesis gravidarum and how damaging it can be. Maybe then I can get through another pregnancy (hahahaha) without being told to stop bitching because it’s just a bit of morning sickness.

Jem Turner +44(0)7521056376

12 comments so far

  1. Meggan said:
    On December 3, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I’m glad you posted about this. I have utter and complete sympathy for her having to endure a HG pregnancy in the public eye. Like you said, I hope it will give some awareness to the condition. (As in, it’s not solved by eating some crackers once in a while – good grief.)

    • Jem said:
      On December 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      I just wish people would stop making jibes about her getting treatment because she’s a royal. Irrespective of the fact that she’s a royal now, and the fact that many of us with HG don’t get taken seriously, she still bloody well deserves treatment!

  2. mumblies said:
    On December 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Although I also had HG during the full 9 months of my first pregnancy which thankfully stopped the day after I gave birth. All further pregnancies I had no sickness at all and for that I was extremely grateful. I have seen first hand just how bad it was for you Jem and it made me want to cry every time I saw how poorly you were and the knowledge that there was nothing I could do to stop it or to help you made me so frustrated.

    I too hope that this Royal baby might possibly raise more awareness of HG and the suffering that so many women go through because of course the Duchess will be taken seriously whereas so many ordinary women don’t

  3. Aisling said:
    On December 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I definitely feel bad for her if she is sick. Because, yeah, there’s enough people who feel like they own any pregnant lady they encounter, offering advice and touching them without asking and stuff. I can’t imagine that plus having the press after you for photos. Part of me hopes they move her far away from it all and let her just have a peaceful year or so, with lots of doctors and nutritionists on call. Being pregnant seems stressful enough, I can’t imagine how high the stakes would be if you’re birthing the potential future king or queen of the commonwealth!

  4. Stephanie said:
    On December 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I was talking about this with my friends today and brought up your pregnancy. We all agreed anyone who endured HG wouldn’t gleefully laugh the way some people are about Kate’s suffering. Although I must ask why you’d laugh at anyone experiencing morning sickness. All the servants in the world won’t make it anymore pleasant. And I would imagine if we had the resources Kate has, we’d take advantage of them. Though I do not know if I would be willing to pay the price of being followed around and the press analyzing my every meal and whether it’s good for Baby and if I am gaining too much or not enough weight, etc. It’s bad enough being pregnant as a normal person with all the “advice” people have to offer; I cannot imagine how shitty it will be for her, where the whole world will be happy to offer up what they think is best!

  5. Gina @ Oaxacaborn said:
    On December 3, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Having been sick for my entire pregnancy, I really feel for her, too!

  6. Jessica said:
    On December 4, 2012 at 6:56 am

    HG is so seriously hellish I wanted to die each time I barfed many times a day. I hope that her having HG will indeed raise awareness and those who have it who aren’t taken seriously aren’t told to shut up anymore. Or like in my case swear you’re bulemic and say ‘if you don’t take this anti depressant we will call child protective services & make sure you won’t have your kids’. I ended up with pnuemonia 8 months of my pregnancy from puking so much.

    While I hate the fact she’s plastered all over everything when she does something I hope they leave her alone. I don’t know if they will let her have a bowl in the bathroom while she’s in there peeing… And well that is the only way you can puke without having to smell like pee. Especially the 3rd trimester.

  7. Amelie said:
    On December 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I also had HG – this time last year I had just got out of hospital after being admitted with severe dehydration. I had to fight to be taken seriously as I was continuously told to “stop being silly”, “it’s just a bit of morning sickness”. I collapsed in the hospital and they still didn’t think there was anything wrong until 3 weeks later.

    Mine got better after 6 months or so. I really hope that Kate’s clears up soon, and that people start taking HG seriously now.

  8. Manda said:
    On December 6, 2012 at 12:13 am

    God, I feel awful for her. HG sounds terrible without the entire world scrutinizing your every move and your uterus.

  9. Echo S. said:
    On December 17, 2012 at 5:13 am

    I think it’s almost unreasonably difficult for people to understand how miserable a hyperemesis pregnancy can be. There are worse things, but yikes- I remember throwing up -at- my 35 week prenatal appointment. I remember making it through work days then jumping out of the car on arriving home and throwing up behind the house. Really glad there were no cameras! With effort I gained a whopping 9 pounds during my pregnancy and 3 weeks after had lost about 18 (wasn’t weighed before that).

    As much help and money as she might have, there really doesn’t seem to be any cure for ‘morning sickness’. She can’t buy what just isn’t out there :(