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.

Making Baby v2?

If you’re following me on twitter or facepoop you’ve probably seen my recent posts about my new nephew, baby Jack. “Unfortunately” this has thrown an already very broody me into the deep end of omg-another-baby thoughts.

My original plan was to wait until Isabel hit 2 as a minimum. This is a) because I want to meet the WHO recommendations for breastfeeding as a minimum (and many kids wean when mama is pregnant) and b) because the idea of herding two kids under 2 fills me with nightmares.

In addition to those two minor factors, there’s one major thing playing on my mind… hyperemesis.

For new readers, or those forgetful sorts, I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum during my pregnancy with Isabel. From week 6 until the day I gave birth, I vomited. I would vomit anything up to 8-10 times a day. Bear in mind that one ‘severe hyperemesis’ symptom is described as losing 5% of your pre-pregnancy body weight… well, just to give you an inkling of the kind of effect this had on my body: I lost 21% (and 3 dress sizes in the process).

It’s funny really, when I was pregnant in 2009, someone left this comment on Karl’s blog:

Jem is going to be fat. Muahaha.

Irony was, I was anything but; the day I gave birth, my pre-pregnancy jeans not only FIT but were falling off.

Hyperemesis suffers commonly suffer with each pregnancy, and generally it gets worse each time. The very thought terrifies me to my core. Constant reflux, bright red face from broken blood vessels because of the force of the vomit-retch-vomit cycle, complete inability to eat anything with any semblance of taste. Gah, I don’t know how I got through it, just thinking back right now.

And if I survive the constant stream of bile rapidly exiting my mouth, I get to deal with the incessant questions and suggestions from people: “have you tried ginger?” / “wear sea sickness bands” / “eat before you get out of bed” / “overdose on vitamin b12” / “eat X food at X o’clock whilst hanging upside down” … you get the picture.

And if I get through that, and assuming Isabel DOESN’T wean during pregnancy, I have to balance the weight loss and my nutritional/physical needs with hers. Plenty of mamas nurse through HG but not all of them lose over 40lbs in weight.

But of course, all of this is irrelevant at the minute. Why? Because I’m scheduled for gallbladder removal surgery on November 21st. The removal of on organ which, aside from one attack, has been problem free my entire life. Which isn’t bothering me now. Which might not bother me again. (Can you tell I’m not convinced about this?)

And what about potty training during pregnancy? Co-sleeping with 2? Tandom nursing? Isabel getting jealous? Juggling 2 while I’m on maternity leave? Affording childcare for 2 when I’m not? Work? My next course module in October?