Prince William and Princess Catherine were forced to make their baby announcement early. Why? Because Kate is struggling with severe morning sickness and had to be admitted to the hospital. The technical term for her condition is HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM. In fact that’s what we should continue to call it because when you say morning sickness, even acute morning sickness, people dismiss the severity of the issue.
I get it. I had extreme nausea which escalated with each of my three pregnancies. When it happened with my first, I felt obliged to downplay it. I felt like I was a wimpy mom-to-be. I wasn’t hospitalized with my first because I didn’t know any better, and my OB was not the most attentive or compassionate. So, I just stayed in bed and suffered quietly, but suffered without a doubt. When I was pregnant with my second child, I tried to tough it out again, but after passing out more than once while alone with my barely two-year-old son, the people around me finally realized that a more aggressive intervention was necessary. As such, I headed off to the hospital to be treated for severe dehydration. Though I was in the hospital with a legitimate condition, I still secretly felt wimpy, like it was due to some inadequacy of mine that I couldn’t handle what I was made to feel, through media, acquaintances, and even family, was a typical pregnancy process. In fact I was so ashamed that I didn’t tell anyone outside of my immediate circle that I was in the hospital at all. With my third pregnancy the difficulties escalated so much that honestly, I thought I was going to die. I was hospitalized again and this time I was given intense medication including suppositories. (Just what you want to do when you are sick and uncomfortably pregnant, lie on your side and insert tablets in your backside.) It was awful! Plus I had two children under the age of five that, strangely enough, wanted their mother to parent them. (DUH!) It was painful, emotionally and physically.
I realize now that despite all of the difficulties I experienced, I had one good thing going for me: I was anonymous. I didn’t have the paparazzi dangling from trees outside my window, or TV pundits making my distress the butt of their jokes (as they did on The View), or women on social media questioning my resolve as a prospective mother. No, the judgement I experienced was subtle (and in some cases self-imposed). Thus watching Princess Kate suffer so publicly, I couldn’t be more thankful not to be royal. But what does that say about us as a society? Why are women, princess or commoners, made to feel inadequate or wimpy at all, be it privately or publicly, for something that they have zero control over… for a medical issue? Maybe that’s the problem; too many people take for granted that just because all it takes to get pregnant is a viable egg and a sperm, that pregnancy itself is simple, standard, dare I say, easy. We are hounded from the moment we announce our blessed news. We’re watched intensely as to what we eat and drink, berated about how much weight we gain, but then punished if we can’t keep anything down and have little energy to function normally. How can anyone win? Yet winning is what we should be doing during such a miraculous time. (Do I have to pay Charlie Sheen five cents for that insert?)
I get that most men will never, ever fully understand what it truly feels like to be pregnant and give birth to a human life (just birth to an idea). So, it is up to women. Women need to stand up for each other, not step on each other. We need to demand consideration and support, and give it freely, without judgement. Women need to tell the World to “back off of Kate” and all other pregnant women, because the work they are doing, even just sitting still, is vital and strenuous. It’s not easy in the least.
“So, back off, people!” Pregnancy is not for the wimpy. It takes a lot of courage, resolve and wherewithall to grow a baby, and doing so deserves our unconditional support and praise. Save your judgement for criminals and politicians…(as long as they aren’t pregnant at the time of your criticism).
“From one mother to another Princess Catherine, I have one little bit of advice that I can share with you: Spaghetti O’s. Not to be crass, but they taste the same going down as they do coming up.” Trust me folks, when you are throwing up as much as I was, and as much as it is reported that Princess Kate is, you get very concerned about what the reverse taste is of everything you bring to your mouth. (That and the cleanliness of the toilet bowls in your sphere.)
Well, Princess Catherine will get no judgement from me. In fact, I am going to go eat a bowl of Spaghetti O’s in support of her right now. “Hang in there Kate. You are strong even when you feel weak. Don’t let anybody convince you otherwise.”
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