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.