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Friday, December 14th, 2012
Parents.com blogger Kristen Kemp’s husband, Johan Svenson, recounts the helplessness he felt watching his wife endure hyperemesis gravidarum—the same condition Kate Middleton is famously suffering—through two pregnancies.
Reading articles and blog posts about Kate Middleton’s medical situation—and the comments in response to those stories—brings back painful memories for me. But it also irritates me.
Seven years ago and several weeks into her first pregnancy, my wife Kristen was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). I didn’t know about HG then, but I quickly learned. It’s an illness taken seriously by exactly three people: the doctor, the patient, and her spouse. HG only affects 2 percent of pregnant women, so I don’t expect everyone to know about it, but comments I’ve read on the Internet—including my wife’s story on Parents.com—infuriate me. Commenters who suggest organic ginger tea as a solution are naïve; their comments should be prefaced with ‘I have never experienced hyperemesis; I have never known anyone who has; nor do I have any medical experience whatsoever.’ People who say things like “suck it up,” and “you should be happy you were able to get pregnant at all,” should try telling a schizophrenic that she’s lucky to hear voices in her head all day long. People have no comprehension of how serious this illness is.
I do. I remember being on my cell phone in a hurry to catch a flight. It was one of those moments I remember in crystal clear, high-definition detail. One of those moments that changes your life forever. Kristen, who’d just been to the doctor, called with news: “There are two of them.” “Two of what?” I asked. It was April 1, 2005, but this was no April Fool’s joke. Kristen was carrying twins.
While that was a shock, nothing would prepare us for what came next: the most trying period in her life, when she got hyperemesis gravidarum. The doctor told us the severity of the HG was likely due to carrying twins. Double the babies, double the hormones, double the nausea. Makes sense.
Nope. By Christmas 2006 we were pregnant again. The morning sickness arrived overnight, accompanied by the fear of having another set of twins. While we were relieved to find we were only having a singleton, we were equally surprised the HG seemed to be worse this time around. And it got a lot worse.
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
If your kid still has Tangled on repeat and made you take her to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D just to see the Tangled short, beware – she’s about to fall in love all over again. Out today is a limited edition Rapunzel doll from Tangled Ever After. Unlike the other Rapunzel dolls on sale, it features the Princess as a brunette in her wedding dress. The doll really is just stunning: It’s not your typical Barbie. For starters, she’s 17 inches tall, and the details on the dress are out of this world. I’m pretty sure it’s nicer than most wedding dresses I’ve seen in real life.
Disney Stores will only be releasing 8,000 copies of the doll so you’ve got to grab her quick!
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
Just one last post about the Disney Princess event in London that my daughter and I attended this weekend. I got this photo from Disney that I think is really incredible. Madelyn and I were on the inside of the palace gates so we didn’t see all the people who were watching the procession of the princesses outside through Kensington Gardens. Disney says that more than 25,000 were there — little girls dressed up in their princess costumes and crowns, waving their Rapunzel flags. Even if you aren’t a Disney fan, it’s pretty incredible I think.
Missed my earlier posts? Click here.
Monday, October 3rd, 2011
Wow. What a trip! Madelyn, my nearly 5-year-old daughter, and I are on our way home from an amazing adventure. Yesterday, we arrived at Kensington Gardens in London for the Disney Rapunzel party. (Click here to read my previous posts explaining the event). The park was swarming with families: It was 80 degrees and sunny (in October!) At The Princess Diana Memorial Playground–the most extraordinary playground I’ve ever seen, btw. Madelyn spotted little girls carrying little blue flags with a simple sun decal. “Rapunzel flags!” Madelyn squealed. Ah, the sun emblem was from Tangled; it was an insidery nod that you were here for Rapunzel. As we left the playground, we saw more flags and more little girls dressed up as princesses. Hundreds were standing along the park road where all 10 Disney princesses proceed by carriage to Rapunzel’s party at Kensington Palace. Madelyn and I went through the palace gates to watch from the entrance. Madelyn squealed at every announcement as each arrived in order of their Disney debuts: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, and finally, Rapunzel. (Check back later for video of some of the princesses arriving–even Max, Rapunzel’s horse, made a special appearance).
We spent the afternoon sipping lemonade, eating tea cakes, and other dainty apps. Madelyn got a Rapunzel hair extension that was so long it grazed the ground and a butterfly face paint. Nicole Richie’s little girl got her face painted in the chair next to her (other celebs like two of the Spice Girls and some international celebs I couldn’t spot were also supposedly there).
Due to a scheduling snafu, we missed the musical performance, but because Madelyn was only one of five girls shut out, they let her in to have a private meeting with all 10 princesses. Madelyn was bummed to miss the singing (and an appearance by Flynn Rider), but felt pretty special to get to meet the living dolls. (Rapunzel especially looked like she was off the shelf–take a look at the pic). When Madelyn walked on stage Jasmine took her hand. She was starstruck! When we left she said, “Mommy, this was the best day EVER!” Ah. It was worth it.
Friday, September 30th, 2011
Madelyn and I have arrived in London for the Disney event honoring Rapunzel. Oddly Madelyn is less jet lagged than I am. When I wanted to nap today, she pulled me up saying she wanted to go to the park. So we took the tube a couple stops to Hyde Park, where we found horses, gorgeous gardens and a nice playground. At the playground, there was a flier posting the celebration for Rapunzel’s party and inviting London families to attend! The flier said the best place to stand to watch the procession — wow, can’t imagine it’ll be that packed. But maybe? In any case, it got Madelyn even more worked up!
Here, she is playing on the new app (made especially for Rapunzel’s big day) at a little Italian restaurant off Oxford street. Meanwhile, Rapunzel was further downtown at Big Ben. Tomorrow we hope to hit the Tower of London and Hampton Court for even more Princess mania.
Thursday, September 29th, 2011
If you’ve been following along, you know that my nearly-5-year-old daughter, Madelyn and I are leaving for London tonight to attend Rapunzel’s coronation at Kensington Palace (yes, you read that right). Rapunzel is already there. (Where she was before is unclear — does she live at the Disney theme park in Florida? On the Disney cruise ship? Couch surfs from birthday party to birthday party? Perplexing.) ANYWAY. Today she was spotted in Trafalgar Square.
According to Disney:
Rapunzel enjoys the view of Trafalgar Square and poses for a photo in front of Nelson’s Column. Disney will officially welcome Rapunzel as the 10th Disney Princess character at a celebration at Kensington Palace, to take place in front of a global audience on October 2, 2011. For more information visit http://www.disney.co.uk/rapunzel
And we’ll be there soon enough. Leaving the office soon to take the red-eye. Madelyn hasn’t been on a red-eye since she was 1, restless and unable to sleep, with a terrible cold. Swore I’d never do that again. And yet …. Ah, the things we’ll do for our children.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Ok; so now we actually get a look at the to-be crowned princess and not just her hair (see previous posts). Amazingly, she looks like she came right off the screen in Tangled. (Is she human?!). Guess I’ll find out this weekend.
Here’s today’s official report from Disney:
Today Rapunzel stopped at the Thames riverside to admire the beautiful Tower Bridge in the glorious late September sunshine. The future princess arrived in London to do some sightseeing before she is officially welcomed as the 10th Disney Princess character at a high profile, star-studded celebration that will take place in front of a global audience on October 2, 2011. Rapunzel will be visiting famous London landmarks every day this week (September 26-30) and taking pictures along her journey.
For her celebration, little princesses from across the globe will watch Rapunzel be welcomed into the Disney Princess royal court by Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, Snow White and Tiana. As an official member of the Disney Princess court, she will be celebrated and recognized as such across Disney, and will be included in all Disney Princess products featuring multiple characters, in addition to her own merchandise line.
Madelyn’s counting down the hours. We’ve already packed her Trunki with her full Rapunzel costume!
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
So my daughter Madelyn and I are going to be attending this Disney princess event in London this weekend inducting Rapunzel into the Royal Princess Court, where she’ll be officially crowned. If you remember from the Disney-version of her story, Rapunzel never got her actual crown. It was snatched away by Flynn Rider. You’d think after she saved his life she could get it back? (Ungrateful little thief!). But maybe they are saving that for the sequel. In any case, the hype about her coronation already begun. Just got an email today from Disney saying Rapunzel has been spotted in the Tower of London. Look closely at the pic below and you’ll see her golden hair hanging out the tower window. Wonder if they still charged her the $25 entry fee?
Click here to read this blog series from the beginning.