Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has left the hospital and was all smiles as she got into a vehicle with Prince William on Thursday.
But women who have suffered the same form of acute morning sickness will tell you she was putting on a brave face and this is only the beginning.
“For me, the nausea started probably around six weeks. Vomiting and dry heaving started I think just before eight weeks. I saw my OB for the first time at just over 10 weeks and that was when it started getting out of control for me. I went in to her office because I wasn’t able to even keep water down and everything made me sick. The worst part I would say lasted up til about 25 weeks,” says Christa, a woman who had Hyperemesis Gravidarum and who I know through an online forum where I go for parenting tips.
After 25 weeks, Christa was able to start gaining weight and lowered the amount of some medications she took. But the dry heaving and vomiting continued for the rest of her pregnancy.
Like Kate, Christa was hospitalized for four days.
“I was so dehydrated from all the puking I was on IVs and meds the whole time in the hospital. I still couldn’t stop getting sick. Thought I was going to be in the hospital for my whole pregnancy at the time,” she said.
Most women who get morning sickness are happy at the end of their first trimester because that’s when things get better.
Kate won’t likely be so lucky.
For Marie, vomiting at least a couple of times a week lasted until her 34th week of pregnancy. Early on, she went to the emergency room to be given fluids.
“My morning sickness started at about seven weeks. It was violent, body-shaking vomiting I felt queasy and weak all the time, and I couldn’t eat anything but smoothies. I probably threw up about 80% of what I ate for the first five months and most days I threw up between five and nine times a day. I drank smoothies because that was the only thing that didn’t hurt/feel as gross throwing up,” Marie said.
“I had a few days where I could not drink or keep down even a few sips of water so the IV was necessary. Having that IV was wonderful. I felt so much better afterwards and it helped me feel better for a few days after as well.”
It should be noted there was speculation Kate could be carrying twins as the condition is more common when there are multiple babies. Neither Christa or Marie had twins.
“I didn’t have twins, but I did have a healthy, beautiful, and pretty good sized baby girl! She was almost eight lbs and is perfect. Everyone was amazed that such an awful pregnancy was able to produce such a healthy baby,” Marie said.
Christa’s advice for Kate and other women going through this: “Take it one day at a time! Take the help when offered. It will get better.”
Marie echoed that.
“I think people don’t understand how debilitating it is and I often felt that people thought I was just not ‘tough’ enough,” Marie said.
“I found it hard to explain to people how unwell I felt and that I really didn’t want to go out or accept invitations,” she said. “In order to survive this you need to accept help and just focus on yourself. Don’t feel badly about just isolating yourself and resting.”
And, the good news Marie says: “The best part is that the sickness disappeared immediately after birth. As in, five minutes after birth I was hungry again and I felt like myself once again.”