How Hyperemesis Disrupted My Pregnancy
5 months ago
Kate Middleton’s rare condition can make pregnancy a less-than-joyful time
I’m not what you would call a fan of the whole royal family thing. I don’t care what President Barack Obama said during his Diamond Jubilee toast to the Queen, didn’t wake up before dawn to watch Prince William lose his bachelor status, and didn’t jump for joy when Kate Middleton confirmed that she was indeed pregnant.
I did, however, send up a special prayer when I heard that Kate was in the hospital with hyperemesis gravidarum. It’s a little known condition that is suddenly all over the news, now that it has invaded the royal family.
But I know it well. Early one morning in 2010, my hubby and I found out we were pregnant after just two months of trying. We were hype; we couldn’t call our parents and closest friends quickly enough to tell them the news. But just two weeks later, joy was the last thing on my mind. It was a Sunday night, and I knew something was wrong when it literally took me an hour to change the sheets on our bed. I had to lie down every time I tucked a corner. By the next morning, the toilet and I were having a torrid affair. As I sat on the floor, draped around the bowl, a huge part of me was glad that I had recently cleaned it.
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It was my first baby, so I figured it was just the onset of morning sickness. But as the week went on, I realized this was something more. My mommy friends all had advice, and I took it all, sipping peppermint and homemade ginger teas, tippling on warm ginger ale, nibbling the corners off saltine crackers, even hunting down motion sickness bracelets for each wrist. Nothing worked. I was spending more and more time on the bathroom floor. By Saturday, I could do nothing but lie in bed, curtains drawn, television off, door closed tight to block out the smells of the kitchen, praying for the relief of sleep. I only got up to crawl to visit my new lover, the toilet. When it became clear that I could no longer keep down water—the only thing that was sustaining me at that point—my husband carried me to the car and drove, very carefully, to the emergency room.