As you all know the Duchess was discharged from King Edward VII hospital last Thursday after spending three nights being treated for hyperemesis gravidarum. Kate returned to Nottingham Cottage, William and Kate's home in Kensington Palace and her condition worsened over the weekend and by lunchtime Sunday, William cancelled his plans to attend the British Military Tournament to stay by Kate's side.
St James's Palace released a statement confirming this and noted we shouldn't expect to hear many updates on Kate's condition:
'It is well known that hyperemesis gravidarum often recurs and, until further notice, to allow the Duchess a degree of privacy during her pregnancy, we do not intend to offer regular condition checks or advise of routine developments associated with it'.
The Palace have officially announced Kate will not be attending the premiere of 'The Hobbit' tomorrow evening and will continue to rest privately. Prince William is still scheduled to attend.
|BBC Peter Hunt Twitter|
Many mistake hyperemesis gravidarum for morning sickness when it is in fact much more serious. Yesterday morning I was intrigued when I saw a tweet by @HG Husband, a man whose wife suffered from HG during her pregnancies, sharing his experiences.
|HG Husband Twitter|
Philip Newton (@HG Husband) is in fact a trustee for Pregnancy Sickness Support, a UK based charity that helps women and their partners suffering from the effects of severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and hyperemisis gravidarum.
|Pregnancy Sickness Support|
More about the condition from the website:
'Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and hyperemesis gravidarum are particularly isolating conditions and women are very often left feeling misunderstood and alone for months on end when housebound'.
Pregnancy Sickness Support runs a support network across the UK. To search for a location near you please click here. You will also find coping strategies and information on treatment, eating advice and support for carers on the network. The Facebook Page is here. Readers from the US suffering with HG can find support at Help Her.
Pregnancy Sickness Support is run almost entirely by volunteers and relies on donations to keep the charity running on a year-to-year basis. If you wish to support this worthy charity please click here. To help raise awareness you can simply add the charity's logo to your Facebook or Twitter page. I added the badge to my own Twitter page.
Philip very kindly agreed to share his story with us:
'My wife Jayne suffered Hyperemesis twice, the first time was with my daughter April now nearly age 4.
Jayne and I were married in April and I always thought it very romantic to aim to have a baby girl called April, born in April. The pregnancy was planned as such and of course we became very excited.
Then Jayne started to become very sick, I thought this was "normal" and the so called medical professionals seemed to reassure us that this was in fact normal. A misunderstanding that I now know is fairly rife within the medical profession.
When this sickness didn't go away and my wife started to miss work, I worried for us financially, what if she lost her job? She did mange to return to work but looking back this would just put her back on bed rest as soon as things took a turn. Rest was the essential need.
We were in the dark and Jayne was in an even darker place and few people understood us.
Offering the usual advice "Try ginger, It's all in your head..." All of which I now realise are not helpful and actually quite unsympathetic, but often meant with the best intentions.
This was not normal and my wife was made to feel she was doing something wrong, all the concern was for the baby and never her.
I continued my life the best I could as she lay in bed staring at the ceiling, her mind in a different world. She listened to William Fitzsimmons, a darkly depressing musician, we had a tough time talking to one another as neither understood what this illness was.
Incidentally we met William after at a gig in Brighton and he signed a poster for to all of us including April, this is now framed on our living room wall.
My friends and family couldn't understand where Jayne had gone to and if she was even in my life anymore.
Everything would set her off and we were offered no help in terms of medication. Doctors are fearful as to any unwanted effects on the baby, however most have been proven perfectly safe, and that without them the baby and mother will be less likely to thrive.
In fact we only realised it was Hyperemesis once we saw medical notes.
Fortunately the Duke and Duchess will likely have the best advice and information available so may understand that this isn't normal and have a better outlook early on and much needed support from the outset.
We knew we wanted April to have a brother or sister but the trauma was still fresh in our minds, many women will never choose to extend their family as a result of a Hyperemetic pregnancy.
We decided to seek advice and arranged a pre pregnancy session with a "specialist". On the day the specialist was not available and after a long wait were sat in front of a Gentleman doctor who offered no help other than that each pregnancy would be different. We asked him to provide a letter advising on the best course of action in the event that Jayne was to suffer once again.
We left in tears.
Jayne fell pregnant in November last year and by Christmas hell had begun once again. This time it was worse, we had April to care for, I had to work we had limited support and it nearly broke me.
The doctor had indeed kept his word and provided a treatment protocol offering Ondansetron, a drug normally reserved for Cancer sufferers, although our local GP still had to seek approval to issue a prescription, not because of risk but because it was an "expensive" drug.
Not only did Jayne have to worry about her own deteriorating health but that she was unable to be the mother she had always been and wanted to be to April, this tore her heart out and added to the emotional distress that Hyperemesis was already causing.
Hyperemesis opens your eyes to the importance of support and it was the little things that I learned from the awful experience that have changed me forever.
Friends, new and old, were there for every little thing such as a load of washing to picking up groceries, I thanked them then and will do anything for them at anytime.
Sadly it also opens your eyes to those who don't wish to understand or show any level of compassion in your time of need. It is hard to reconnect with these people, made even worse if they are family.
I now look back on my Twitter feed at the time Jayne was suffering and see how I got so frustrated as my wife spent yet another day in bed and I had to be mother, father and housekeeper all at once, or those times I was able to take a break and spend times with friends, wishing my wife were with me.
I lost 18 months of my life to this dreadful illness and vow that those that are left will be spent making sure no one has to suffer through this alone.
Many women and their partners are not simply cured once they have a baby in their arms, yes their efforts are rewarded, but the scars still remain. Much like the stretch marks that many women are left with, a reminder of their earned motherhood, HG can stay with you for a lifetime.
Throughout the pregnancy my wife and I reffered to one of our faviourite albums for the strength and affirmation we needed.
"August and Everything After."
Esmé (Meaning "To Love") was born in August and we are now enjoying the everything after'.
I would like to thank Philip for taking the time to write such an insightful account of his own experience. It gives a chance to truly understand what Kate is going through at the moment and what a challenging time it is for William. Wishing Philip, Jayne, April and Esmé Newton all the best in the future and I sincerely hope Pregnancy Sickness Support gains the backing they need to help as many people as possible.
Another Hello! Magazine cover for William and Kate this week.
We all send Kate positive thoughts and our best wishes at this difficult time.