This morning we awoke to the joyous news that Prince William and Duchess Catherine are expecting a child. Congrats, England! Your long succession nightmare is over. But the announcement of the couple’s impending royal bundle also came with some less-stellar news: the Duchess has been hospitalized with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Hyperemesis Gravidarum, for those of you not in the know, is extreme vomiting and nausea while pregnant. It can cause dehydration, weight loss, toxin build-up in the blood, headaches, low blood pressure, etc, etc. Too long; didn’t read: HG is bad news (royal) tennis shoes. I am currently dealing with HG, and I have some advice for Duchess Catherine.
~Tell everyone to sod off.
People will roll their eyes at you. “Oh, I had morning sickness too, but I never needed to be in hospital.” Yeah, that’s because they had typical morning sickness, and HG is NOT TYPICAL MORNING SICKNESS. Eating crackers, drinking ginger ale, and all the other morning sickness tricks will not work. You’re probably too polite and proper to actually tell someone to sod off, but I know you’ll be thinking it. There will be times you will want to SCREAM IT but won’t, because Duchesses don’t scream, and also your throat will be raw from all the vomiting.
~Keep one of your toilets impeccably clean.
This is pretty self-explanatory, yet insanely necessary.
~Always know where the closest bathroom is.
This is probably not going to be a problem for you, since you’re in palaces and such that have a bazillion water closets. But on the days you feel like you can venture out of the friendly confines of Kensington, immediately locate the closest loo. Trust me on this one.
~Be sure to eat bland food.
Score! You’re in Great Britain! But seriously, you are likely forcing yourself to eat, and the easier food goes down…the reverse is also true. Spicy foods? Ouch. Crunchy foods? Ouch. Ice cream sounds perfect but it, um, curdles. I suggest lots of mash, hold the bangers.
~That being said, eat whatever you can.
A common HG side effect is zero appetite. So if something sounds good to you, eat it. If that means you only eat sweets for nine months, cool. Some calories are better than none.
~Treat William like a servant.
Or, treat your servants like servants. I don’t know, you have servants, right? I just married a regular American dude and all of my knowledge of royal life comes from Disney movies. Ask for help. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Have William rub your hands, feet, head, whatever. He likely feels wretched and helpless about what you’re going through. You don’t have to be strong for him – tell him how you’re feeling and how miserable you are. He really wants to help, so let him.
~ Be honest about HG.
This one is kind of a favor for me. Someday, when you’re no longer pregnant, please talk about HG. Not a lot is known about it and it’s very misunderstood. Do your fellow commoners a solid and tell people how awful it is. You are (unfortunately) our most high-profile spokeswoman, and maybe you will bring valuable research to an affliction that most women silently suffer through.
And finally, congratulations to you both. I know this isn’t the way either of you wanted pregnancy to go, but take heart in knowing it’s all going to be so incredibly worth it when you birth the Commonwealth’s adorable future Constitutional Monarch.