The good news and the bad news for the Duchess of Cambridge

A couple of weeks ago, I said to my sister, “Kate’s pregnant,” referring to the Duchess of Cambridge.

“How do you know?” she asked.

“Because,” I told her, “the British press was filled with daily stories about her, showing her going her and there, and always talking about her perfect style.  Suddenly, though, she’s vanished.  She’s not showing up anywhere.  so I’m betting that she’s pregnant and suffering from morning sickness.”

I was right, not only about the pregnancy, but also about the morning sickness:

The acute morning sickness suffered by the Duchess of Cambridge causes nausea and vomiting for up to five months of pregnancy – or, in rare cases, until the baby is born.

Known as hyperemesis gravidarum, it  afflicts one pregnancy in 50 and is much more serious than the nausea commonly experienced by expectant mothers.

The condition can lead to severe dehydration and puts both mother and baby at risk of being deprived of essential nutrients.


Sufferers can be left vomiting up to 30 times a day, with exhausting and hazardous consequences. They cannot eat or drink without retching and may lose up to 10 per cent of their body weight, which can trigger a build-up of toxins in the blood or urine known as ketosis as the body tries to compensate for lack of food by mouth.

Hospital treatment for these women is essential, as without intravenous feeding and fluids they are at risk of becoming dangerously dehydrated.

That was me during both my pregnancies.  As I would tell anyone who would listen, Charlotte Bronte died from hyperemesis gravidarum.  Fortunately for my pregnancies and my health, I was able to benefit from Zofran, a medicine created for people undergoing chemo and radiation.  While I was beyond miserable 24/7, for more than nine months, I didn’t throw up so much that I had to be hospitalized.

Sadly, this misery was nothing new to me.  As a young woman on the Pill, I also suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, since the Pill tricks your body into thinking it’s pregnant.  It took over a year for the doctors to stop telling me I was neurotic and start connecting my 24/7 vomiting to the Pill’s toxic effect on my body.  I therefore never got any medicine to treat the nausea. During that very long year, I lost over 20 pounds off an already small frame, and my cumulative GPA plummeted by 12 points.  That same year, one of my friends almost died from a blood clot brought about by the Pill.

You can understand, therefore, why I view the Pill with deep, deep suspicion and think it’s unconscionable the way the Leftists in government and in the medical establishment want to give it to young women like candy.  The same people who rant against cigarettes are totally copacetic about something that has the potential to be just as, if not more, harmful than tobacco.

I got one more side-effect from hyperemesis gravidarum — it wore me out.  I was younger the three times I was so sick, and had fairly good physical and emotional reserves.  I never missed a day of school or a day of work despite the fact that I was driving the porcelain school bus between five and twenty times a day (and night).  I had goals and I had my pride.  Now, though, when I’m old enough that I should have deeply engrained discipline, I don’t.  If I like it, I do it.  If if I must do it, I will do it.  And otherwise, I find it hard to motivate myself.  This is especially so when I get sick to my stomach.  I can power through pain, but I can no longer power through nausea.

I wish Kate much luck.  She’ll need it.

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  • Caped Crusader

    Hard to believe that I am older than modern IV (intravenous) therapy, for those will a short perspective tend to view the world as they saw it after stepping on the carousel of life, and the age at when they first began to pay attention. A condition such as this, or any other causing marked fluid loss and attendant electrolyte disturbance, proved fatal if not corrected. And such was not possible less than 80 years ago. We are so spoiled today with easy correction of conditions that proved fatal, within the span of one persons life. Looking back in my family tree, my physician grandfather died of a GI hemorrhage that would be a routine medical/surgical problem today because safe anesthesia, modern surgical techniques, IV fluids, blood transfusions, endoscopy, blood chemistry and electrolyte evaluation, etc. simply did not exist. Body fluid loss and concurrent electrolyte imbalances still have a high mortality rate if not recognized and treated promptly. Below is a time link that is interesting.

  • notomarx

    Not ever being married or pregnant I can not say I have shared any of your symptoms which sound terrible.  But during the first of this year I was so sick I could hardly walk.  I was hospitalized, recovered somewhat but could not explain my complete weakness and very low heart beat etc.  I started doing research and found out many things.  One being my thyroid, which was completely mistreated by “main Stream medicine”.  So I can share with you, your justified distrust of the solutions and the pills given.  I started a web-site to help others understand.  This one article about Thyroid, I hope show the plight of not being understood by the liberal or group think medical world.  Many, Many women and men must have these same problem. I am 90% better now and am back to work.  I am taking Iodine on my own.
    “It’s Not in Your Head, It’s In Your Thyroid!”


  • Ellen

    My grandparents lost two babies to dysentery that could be controlled today with pedialyte.  Best of luck to the duchess – I know that she will have good care.  I can’t imagine a skinny little thing like her losing 10%  of her weight.