Posts Tagged ‘ treatment for morning sickness ’

My Own Princess: What It Was Like to Watch My Wife Suffer From “Extreme Morning Sickness”

Friday, December 14th, 2012

William and 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—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.


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More About Kate Middleton’s Severe Morning Sickness…

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

The future heir to the English throne is already causing trouble—Kate Middleton has reportedly been hospitalized with severe morning sickness (also called hyperemesis gravidarum). While most pregnant women experience some of the nausea and vomiting that are thought to be associated with the surges in levels of the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the first trimester, women who experience hyperemesis gravidarum far exceed the standard morning sickness that most women experience.

A diagnosis of hyperemesis gravidarum usually means that the pregnancy has brought on serious vomiting and nausea that doesn’t improve with changes to the diet and continues beyond the 12th week of pregnancy. It can cause severe dehydration and an inability to keep any food down—a serious issue when you’re trying to eat for two.

Likely, Kate’s been hospitalized so they can give her IV fluids to treat dehydration, and medications that can quell the nausea and vomiting. That’s the standard of treatment for any woman who gets this diagnosis.

Hopefully, with a little time and TLC, Kate’ll be on the mend soon—many women who develop severe morning sickness often find that it disappears on its own later in the pregnancy.

Photo: Kate Middleton by Featureflash /

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