So Kate Middleton is pregnant, which is lovely news in such dour times. And yet, the backlash begins with news stories, twitter rants and Facebook comments scorning her being hospitalised for severe morning sickness better known as hyperemesis gravidarum. So far this morning I’ve read ‘Man up Kate’, ‘Pull yourself together Kate’ and ‘How pathetic is Kate?’.
Firstly as anyone who has had or witnessed hyperemesis gravidarum knows, it really has little to do with morning sickness. It affects 1 in 50 pregnant women and is a violent and severe case of continuous nausea and vomiting. That’s vomiting where you’re unable to do anything but be sick, and as a result it leaves you dehydrated to the point of needing to be on an intravenous drip. The conditon is caused by a severe reaction to the pregnancy hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) and has very little to do with ‘pulling yourself together’.
Even if Kate has a bad case of morning sickness I feel for her. I suffered from morning sickness for 6 months in my first pregnancy. And though I could get on with my daily life, the constant nausea and vomiting left me feeling exhausted and not very joyful about being pregnant. Lots of people were very understanding about it, but a few ‘friends’ suggested I ‘stop complaining’ because they had had it worse, and one woman I worked with said ‘If women want to get pregnant they should be quiet and get on with it’ (she had two kids by the way).
Which leads me on to a bigger question of why some mums feel they have to be so competitive and nasty to other women experiencing difficult pregnancies. A bit of compassion wouldn’t go amiss I think because whether it’s severe sickness or not, morning sickness is a pretty horrible start to any pregnancy.
But what do you think? Let me know.