There’s been a whole lot of chitchat about a certain Duchess and her pregnancy-induced vomiting. As if barfing around the clock isn’t humiliating enough, pregnant Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge (you know, have to optimize for SEO), is the topic of dramatic headlines, obnoxious tweets, and parenting blogs around the world. The nerve of some people!
Well, like the million other people writing about this topic at this very moment, I have my personal experience to draw from. And it ain’t pretty. Blood vessels in my face and eyes popping from violent fits of nausea. Having to practically crawl out of work mid-day claiming food poisoning since I couldn’t tell anyone what I was going through. People telling me how thin I looked, when all I wanted to do was grow a healthy baby bump. Trying everything from lollypops to saltine crackers to motion sickness bracelets, before finally giving in and realizing that taking Zofran — the same medication my dad was taking for chemo nausea — was the only way I was going to be able to function while pregnant.
Yeah. That happened. Three times.
I’m not comparing myself to Princess Kate (for oh so many reasons). From what I’ve read and heard from people who have experienced her specific condition (which I’ve seen referred to as hyperemesis gravidarum), it sounds more horrible than even I can imagine.
But the attention this story is getting has me thinking about a few things.
My first thought is that pregnancy is the ultimate humbling experience. Another human being quite literally takes over your body. You suddenly have to start sharing your food, your blood, your energy, and your belly. You ache in muscles you didn’t know you had. You rub creams all over your body (which you hated just weeks ago), in hopes that it will look like it used to (which is suddenly good enough). You find yourself sound asleep drooling on your keyboard at work, missing yet another deadline. (No? Just me?)
It’s hard, hard work growing a baby. And, assuming your lady parts are all a-go and you don’t have to use a surrogate, you can’t outsource pregnancy. Everyone from little ol’ me to royalty has to endure the outrageous battle that a rush of hormones wages on your body. (That’s right, even Marissa Mayer couldn’t hire someone to pump her umbilical cord while she climbed her way to the top on swollen feet. Wait, her pregnancy was as “easy” as her baby? Ok, there’s always the exception. But let me say here and now, you don’t score any points with the average mom by bragging about these things. Seriously, Marissa.)
The other thing that’s obvious here is that pregnancy doesn’t just mean you’re making a human. It means you’ve sent an open invitation to the world to hear every imaginable horror story and piece of advice. (And if I had one piece of advice for Kate, it would be to
read my blog hire an extra man in a fancy hat to ensure no wandering hands touch her previously perfect pooch. Not that she asked, but, you know, I know things.)
Lastly, I can’t help but think, “Yay, Kate! Sure, it’s horribly horrible right now. And it’s seriously hard to imagine that you’ll ever forget how you feel right this very second—head hung low (not in shame, of course, but to ensure you get it all in the toilet). But here’s the craziest part of it all. In a matter of months, you’ll be replacing that IV in your arm with a baby. A real living, breathing, barfing (hey, she probably learned it from watching you), cooing, yawning, crying, fist-making, itty-bitty toe wiggling miracle. You’ll graduate from the honorable club of Pregnant Chick into the high society of Motherhood (where pretty much everyone is royalty, as far as I’m concerned). And if you think this—what you’re going through now—is as crazy as it gets (and you do, because how could you know any different), hang on to your barf bowl. Your head will be spinning in so many directions, chances are you’ll actually forget how terrible pregnancy was. You’ll see long baby lashes, hear words like “pweeesss!”, admire your dimples in her reflection, and think, ‘I need another one of these.’ And you do. Because a few blood vessels bursting is absolutely nothing compared to that heart-bursting feeling of being a mom. Hang in there. And if you ever need to talk, keep in mind that babies make me sick, too. But once they’re out (and, let’s face it, getting them out is another topic entirely), they’re a little piece of heaven on earth. Most of the time.” (Ok, maybe I’d be a bit more formal if I were actually talking to the Duchess, but you get the gist.)
What was your morning sickness cure? (Please do tell…I plan to write a Disney Baby post on the topic and I’d love to share! Plus I’m actually asking for advice. So show Kate how it’s done and mom up. Or should I say mum up?)