Symptoms

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Jane Yee: Poor princess

Jane Yee
Supplied
JANE AND VICTOR

So Kate's pregnant. You know Kate, married to the Prince. Kate thingymebob. Used to be Middleton but now she's Kate... um... (*does a quick wiki*) well, apparently as a royal she doesn't require a surname, but if I insisted on using one - which I do - then she's Kate Mountbatten-Windsor. So yay! There's a little baby Mountbatten-Windsor on the way!

There hasn't been an official word on when the baby will be making his or her grand entrance, but experts reckon Kate is about two months pregnant. Under different circumstances I'd imagine the royals would have held off spilling the baby beans for as long as possible, because the invasion of privacy is going to be out of control as bump watch 2012/2013 kicks in. I can only assume they've gone public at this early stage purely to beat everyone else to it because with Kate being holed up in hospital with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (a rare form of incredibly severe morning sickness) the good news wasn't likely to stay secret for long.

Of course there's been much discussion in the media about this exciting announcement and yesterday I heard some fella on the radio discussing Kate's morning sickness. He said something along the lines of the following: when his wife was pregnant with his sons she had morning sickness but she just got on with it. Not Kate though, no, she has to have special treatment in hospital. Such are the perks of being a princess.

I'm sure he was just looking for something to say between songs, and I'm sure the Princess doesn't give a toss what a radio announcer in New Zealand thinks, but his comments struck a nerve with me. So listen here radio dude, I highly doubt you've had enough personal experience on the matter to be making such mocking and judgmental statements. The severity of morning sickness can vary hugely from woman to woman - did it occur to you that perhaps your wife was able to muddle through her morning sickness because it wasn't of the horrific variety?

My morning sickness didn't even come close to what Kate is experiencing, but I still really struggled with it. I was sick from the sixth to the sixteenth week of my pregnancy, and while I only threw up twice, I spent most of those ten weeks feeling nauseas twenty-four hours a day and it was awful. I remember thinking 'this better be worth it' a lot (fortunately it was). 

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I was constantly hungry, but at the same time couldn't bear the thought of food. Conundrum! We had a bed set up in the lounge, and when I got home from work I'd get straight into my PJs and then collapse onto that bed where I'd suck on lemons and watch TV in an effort to distract myself. It didn't work.

I cried a lot during those early months. I was prescribed anti-nausea medication, but that made little difference. I remember my GP saying "it should only last another six or seven weeks" and I wanted to punch her in the face. Another six or seven weeks of constant nausea doesn't sound like an 'only' kind of thing when you're in the middle of it.

Looking back I have no idea how I managed to go to work each day. Feeling endlessly woozy meant I didn't want to deal with anyone face to face, so I'd sit in my office feeling miserable and rather sorry for myself, only leaving for bathroom breaks or to get some fresh air. It could have been this hermit-like behavior, or the striking shade of grey my skin took on, or perhaps the seasickness wristbands that I wore for ten weeks straight that tipped off my colleagues. Whatever it was, I don't think they were very surprised when I made my announcement.

From what I can gather my morning sickness was pretty standard stuff, and I found it just about unbearable, so I feel really sorry for the Princess. She's experiencing the worst kind of morning sickness imaginable, ten times more severe than what I experienced. With her condition she'll be badly dehydrated from the constant vomiting, and likely unable to properly enjoy what should be one of the most exciting times of her life.

Yes she's a princess, and yes she has the very best medical care available to her, but I doubt that will be of much comfort when she finds herself throwing up for the fiftieth time this week. She may be royalty, but at the moment Kate's just like any woman who's recently found out she's going to be a mum. She will be feeling excited, scared vulnerable, and as it turns out, incredibly ill to boot. Right now, she's one of us.

So radio guy, know this, Kate Mountbatten-Windsor is genuinely suffering at the moment. Being a princess might mean she gets superior hospital food, but I'm pretty sure even the most gourmet of meals doesn't taste any better coming up than, say, a bowl of Weetbix. Morning sickness does not discriminate, and in this case our fair princess is enduring more than most, with the added burden of public scrutiny thrown in. While many media types will no doubt relish in the opportunity to take her down a peg or two, I'll be sucking on a lemon in solidarity.

What was your experience with morning sickness? Maybe you managed to escape it altogether? Perhaps you are going through it right now? In which case, this lemon's for you too.

- Essential Mums

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symptoms em small pregnancy 2

Morning sickness

Up to 80 per cent of pregnant women get morning sickness - and not just in the mornings.