I was one of those people who watched Princess Kate marry Prince William live (at 2 a.m. West Coast time) because I’m enamored with the fantasy of the royals. And, I was thrilled to hear this week that Kate is pregnant—but even the palace isn’t immune to the trappings of early pregnancy.
Poor Kate. Not only did she spend four days in the hospital for hyperemesis gravidarum, but she had to reveal her pregnancy to the world—quite possibly before she wanted to.
When I found out I was pregnant with my son in the month of March, I didn’t want to tell anyone until I was past the first trimester mark. I had a miscarriage with my first pregnancy, so I was a bit skittish about announcing the news until I felt confident that this one was going to stick. It wasn’t hard for me to keep a secret—I really didn’t want anyone else to know except my husband. But it was hard to act like nothing was going on because I had 24-hour morning sickness. It started around eight weeks and didn’t let up until I was well into my fourth month. I count myself lucky that I wasn’t throwing up on a daily basis, but I did have a few symptoms that made daily life unpredictable and difficult—especially because I was working full time.
I had copious amounts of saliva in my mouth and swallowing it made me feel nauseated. So I would wait until my mouth filled up and then I would spit it out. (This meant that I would open my door at stoplights and spit during my morning commute. I know—gross.) Once I got to work, it got a little trickier. I was initially going to the restroom, but I was going so often, and moving would sometimes make me queasy, so I started using my garbage can near my desk. I tried my best to do it discreetly, and it helped that I had an office
, rather than a cubicle. For the most part, I was able to keep my lunch down, but only a few things didn’t make my stomach turn: I had a steady diet of my husband’s grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, watermelon and grapes.
On one hand being at work gave me something else to concentrate on rather than my queasy stomach, but it was exhausting trying to focus at work while fighting nausea all day. On my way home each night, I passed a billboard for an upcoming movie with a release date of May 26. Every time I saw it, I would think, OK, by May 26 I’ll be past the first trimester and the morning sickness will be over. I started to get nervous when that date came and went and my next thought was, Oh no, am I going to be one of those women who are sick for nine months? I can’t do it.
I would sometimes cry when I got home because I was so physically tired and so tired of being sick. I remember one particularly bad night when I had dry heaved after trying to eat a grilled cheese, and then just stood bawling in the bathroom. My poor husband just stood there asking, “What can I do?” knowing he couldn’t really do anything. It got a little easier at work after I announced my pregnancy—at least I didn’t have to pretend that I felt fine when my stomach was reeling. (And, my co-workers could stop wondering why I was coming in later than usual and refusing their invitations to lunch.)
Luckily, the nausea didn’t last nine months. By mid-June, the all-day queasiness had lifted and I felt great. I had loads of energy and was back to eating whatever I wanted. That’s when I really started to enjoy being pregnant—I began to look forward to becoming a mom, rather than dreading getting through the day. (Get well soon, Kate!)