Thursday, 18 September 2014

Kate Will Not Travel to Malta, Erdem Styles & An Insightful Account of HG

This morning, Kensington Palace announced the Duchess of Cambridge will not be travelling to Malta, for her first solo overseas trip. Instead Prince William will make the trip. The Palace said William is "honoured" to represent Her Majesty.


The announcement was made a day later than expected, indicative of how difficult a decision it was.

Sky News Royal

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The couple met with doctors last night and following much thought and discussion decided Kate is still too unwell to make the two-day trip given the travelling and hectic schedule. Royal reporters stressed how important this was to the Duchess and how much she desperately wanted to go, however, her health needs to be the main priority and with hyperemesis gravidarum I personally never thought the visit really a viable option for Kate. No doubt William will do a wonderful job representing the Queen in his wife's stead. The itinerary for the visit remains unchanged.

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Moving on to our fashion corner for the day. As you know fashion month has been underway, with a number of Kate's designers showcasing their Spring/Summer offerings. Canadian designer Erdem drew inspiration from Katherine Hepburn in The African Queen for his collection "a proper woman, unhinged by the jungle".

Erdem

Erdem joined other designers in his use of botanical prints, lace and dramatic dresses. The collection has been largely applauded by fashion critics and hailed as a great success.

Erdem

When glancing through the above pieces, the Duchess of Cambridge doesn't exactly spring to mind. Certainly we will not be seeing Her Royal Highness in crop tops and sheer gowns. When this collection hits stores the pieces will be much more wearable and functional. Let's take a look at the current collection available from Erdem beginning with the lace Cherise and Elizabeth dresses.

Erdem

There are so many looks to choose from which one could easily envisage Kate wearing for an official engagement. Erdem's use of lace and floral prints is beautiful and his attention to detail is evident in each garment. Below we see the crystal embellished Rayna Dress, the Armel in floral print and black and the Merete metallic broderie anglaise dress.

Erdem

The Lace Illusion Dress, Lace Yoke Crepe Dress, Silk Georgette Shirtdress and Print Ponte Dress are great versatile pieces all currently available at Nordstrom.

Erdem

Finally, we take a look at the Kent floral-lace satin dress, the burgundy Aubrey, the embellished Brenton and the Valma lace and brocade gown.

Erdem

There are so many elegant styles to choose from, we have no doubt Kate will continue to be a fan of Erdem :)

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The news of Kate's illness prompted an enormous response from mothers who have endured hyperemesis gravidarum, Indeed, one of our readers, Shanon, was able to realise she was suffering HG because she's a fan of Kate and took the time to write her experience down in insightful detail and shared it on our Facebook Page. Those who have already read Shanon's story were moved, amazed and, for many, educated about the reality of the illness which is all too often misunderstood as 'merely morning sickness'.


 I thought I would share it with you all, and I'm sure you'll find it to be as fascinating a read as I did.

'I owe Kate Middleton my life.
 Those who know me are probably rolling their eyes because I’ve been a lifelong fan of all things royal. As a fan, when the Duchess of Cambridge’s first pregnancy was announced in December 2012, I was ecstatic! Of course, the announcement came as the Duchess was hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum. It was this – the royal family’s decision to reveal Kate Middleton’s illness – that saved my life.
 My husband and I were overjoyed to find out in April 2013, that we were expecting our first child. We were thrilled to share the news with close family and friends and eagerly looked forward to this joyous new adventure. At about six weeks of pregnancy, things started to change. Nausea crept in and my appetite disappeared. Ah, morning sickness. Then afternoon. Then evening. Then morning again. At my first OB appointment, everything seemed normal. My doctor told me what she probably tells everyone “Drink ginger ale and eat crackers.” It didn’t work. I started spending hours sprawled on the bathroom floor wanting to die. I vomited up nothing, relentlessly. Even looking at a glass of water made me cry. I couldn’t eat or drink anything, but I needed to provide nutrition for the baby, and for me.
Phone calls to the doctor were always the same – “It will stop after a few weeks.” “Eat crackers.” “You have to drink water.” I couldn’t. It simply wasn’t possible. Finally, in late May, dehydration forced my first trip to the ER. Several hours of IV fluids and my first experience with Zofran later, I went back home. A couple days later I followed up with my OB. Diagnosis? Morning sickness. Treatment? Eat crackers. Drink water. I cried in the doctor’s office.
 Then I remembered Kate. I learned everything I could about hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). HG is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening pregnancy disease marked by rapid weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration due to unrelenting nausea and/or vomiting with potential adverse consequences for the mom-to-be and the newborn(s). I spent a great deal of time reading personal stories of HG moms on the HER Foundation Forum (www.helpher.org). One of the happiest moments of the whole pregnancy was discovering the term “crackered”. Apparently all HG moms have “crackered” stories – how someone tells them that “it’s just morning sickness” and they should “eat crackers”. I found my people.
I was absolutely convinced I had HG. The person I couldn’t convince was my doctor.
 Meanwhile, I was mixing sick days with working from home because I could barely function. (I am so thankful for the flexibility to work from home, though I know the quality of my work suffered.) My husband had to do everything for me. There were days he would have to help me get dressed or take a shower or even just pick me up off the bathroom floor. At this point I was so sick I was beginning to hallucinate. I would lie in front of the toilet and see flames around me. There was also a silhouette of a man with a hat who would always stand there watching.
While all of this was happening, I had to start telling people I was pregnant because it was obvious something was wrong, and I was missing so much work. Of course everyone wants to share in the joy of a pregnancy. Are you excited? Have you gone shopping yet? Do you have a name? For me, there was no joy. Dante had forgotten a Circle of Hell.
 Again, I turned to the HG forums because no one else understood and I was so scared. What was happening to me? Why wasn’t I happy? Was this normal? Was I killing my baby? Thankfully, these amazing women all experienced the same things I was going through and they were sympathetic, funny, and so very courageous.
At the beginning of July I had another doctor appointment. Again, I was unsuccessful at convincing my doctor that I had any problem other than typical morning sickness. Five days later I was in the ER again for more fluids. In those five days I had lost eight pounds. At my next doctor’s appointment, I put my foot down and said that I knew I had HG and I needed IV treatment. I got my HG diagnosis, and I started on IV fluids and nausea medicine the next day. (I’m still waiting to receive my honorary medical degree.)
 A nurse came to my house to place a midline IV (just above the elbow) to be connected to a pump 24 hours a day. I would have to change the bag every 12 hours. I also became my own nurse! I learned how to do Zofran injections straight into my IV every 6 hours and Phenergan every 4 hours. Our dining table became a clinic – vials of medicine, gauze, bags of fluids, gloves, antiseptic, medical tape, syringes, and saline. In a matter of days, I could function again. I had learned one lesson though. On the HG forums I found a recommendation for a doctor that was familiar with HG, and I was thankfully accepted as a new patient. A doctor who listens changes everything.
 A couple weeks into using the pump, the midline stopped working. My vein had collapsed, and I was in excruciating pain in my left shoulder. A nurse came to the house and put a temporary line in my right hand, so I couldn’t use my left arm or my right hand – and my husband was out of town. It was a great time. The next morning my friend took me to the hospital to get a PICC line inserted; this goes up through the arm and into a vein above the heart. The pump was hooked up just as before.
 The pump and I had a love/hate relationship for two months. I loved it because I could function with the constant flow of medicine and fluids. After a couple weeks, I started to eat! I even started to gain weight. I hated when I forgot that I was tethered to something. I also hated the beeping in the middle of the night when the bag or battery needed to be changed.
 After two months on the pump, I felt ready to transition from the IV to Zofran and Phenergan in pill form. I was terrified! What if I got worse? What if it was as bad as before? Often HGers will feel better in the 2nd trimester and relapse in the 3rd trimester. I still had the pills though, and coming off the pump was so freeing! However, the second I was off the pump, everyone’s reaction was “You’re better!” I was far from anything associated with “better”. I was still nauseous all the time. I hadn’t vomited in a while, but I wanted to. I could eat, but only certain things. And if you’ve ever taken nausea medication, you know that it will knock you out. Well imagine taking two different kinds of nausea medicine every four and every six hours respectively. Yeah, I had enough medicine in me to put down The Rock, and I still went to work every day. When you don’t have a choice, you just do what you have to do.
 I was a walking zombie, but I could function and Baby was healthy.
Let me define “function”. By no means was I skipping down the halls happy as a clam when I was on the pump or after. I could perform the basic necessities of life independently. That was my measure of success. As Baby grew, I was thrilled at the idea of feeling him move. When that time came, I wanted to die. Every time he moved, I wanted to vomit. It was awful. And of course when a pregnant woman starts to show, she is officially public property. Every stranger touches you – which also made me want to vomit. Everyone also wants to know everything you’re doing to get ready for Baby. Shopping? Too sick. Baby’s room? Too sick. Baby showers? Too sick. Names? All those exciting things you think about as a young woman? HG stole that from me. I wanted to ignore that this pregnancy was even happening. I had to separate Pregnancy and Baby in my head. Eventually your coworkers, friends and family stop asking questions altogether because you're just not happy enough and no fun to be around. HG is very lonely.
 What I found helpful was to take things not day by day, but hour by hour. At the worst of times, I would have to take things in just tiny segments – sit on couch, take nap, drink one sip of water. If you break things down, you can do it. If you try to think nine months of HG, you won’t get through it. You can’t. It’s too overwhelming.
 At 37 weeks, I was done. Beyond done. I could not do it anymore. I had an amniocentesis and unfortunately Baby’s lungs were one point below mature. My lovely, wonderful, amazing doctor took pity upon me and my mental breakdown and went before the hospital’s council to petition to have a C-section at 38 weeks. The hospital said no. She did it anyway. I love her. Baby Boy was born 100% healthy. (I know there are probably many of you hating me for these decisions - more on that later.)
 HG wasn’t done with me yet though. I was still taking my nausea medicine in the hospital and doing okay. When I got home though, I relapsed. I spent two full days in bed. Thank goodness for Mom! Finally, two weeks after Baby was born, HG let go and drifted away. Unfortunately, there are now foods I cannot eat because I would eat them when I was pregnant so it reminds me of HG. Sorry Snickers and hashbrown casserole! There are restaurants I can’t go to now. Poor Wendy’s and Arby's.
 I am overly sensitive to smells; sometimes my husband has to eat in a different room. I pick up stomach viruses much easier than I ever did before HG.
People ask me “Wasn’t it all worth it?” I don’t like that question. Obviously, I love my son more than anything. He is my light and my world. But no woman should ever have to suffer through HG. Another question I hate is “When are you going to have another?” HG is not just this silly ol' thing you have to deal with to have a baby. It's a big freakin' deal.
 The one bonus of having had HG is you would know what to expect. This is what I know: We would have to have enough money so I can either quit my job or take an extended leave of absence if I’m allowed. I cannot work through that again. It was torture. Second, since we already have a child, we would have to have someone who could live with us to take care of our current child because I would not be able to. On most days I wouldn’t be able to care for myself and would need my husband’s help. Those are major considerations. Not to mention the simple fact that I don’t know if I could physically do it again. And yes, 80% of HGers have HG again. (There is also the possibility that my experience with HG could be even worse the second time. My version of HG would be considered “mild to moderate”.
 There are some cases so severe that there is no choice but to abort the baby. I honestly cannot imagine the pain of having to make such a decision, but I can absolutely say that my HG experience has completely changed my outlook on judging others’ decisions. Yes, I can hope for the best, but in a situation like this, you absolutely have to plan for the worst.)
 So, you see, in a way, Kate Middleton saved my life. If she hadn’t revealed that she had HG, I don’t know that I would have figured out my own diagnosis and fought for treatment. Now the Duchess is pregnant with her second child and, bless her heart, she is fighting through HG again. I envy her resources, but that in no way mitigates the horror that is HG. The announcement of her second pregnancy has stirred up a lot of emotions for me, but it brings about an opportunity for more awareness. I have grown more and more furious watching every media outlet call HG “morning sickness”. HG IS NOT MORNING SICKNESS!
 That’s the reason for sharing my story, finally. Partly it’s therapy for me, but mostly I want to bring awareness to HG and all its ugliness. Please, the next time you hear someone talk about Kate and her “morning sickness”, correct them. I would be eternally grateful if you would share my story on Facebook, your blog, or your website. Visit www.helpher.org and learn more! The more awareness we can raise, the likelier it is that those suffering from HG will get treatment in time to make a difference. The earlier HG is treated, the less severe it will get. Please help us Raise Awareness for HG!'

We cannot thank Shannon enough for sharing her story and helping to raise awareness. If you wish to find out more about it or donate please visit Help HER or Pregnancy Sickness Support.

136 comments:

  1. Well that comes as no surprise. I think we all had kinda figured out Kate would not be going. Even if she were feeling a bit better no doctor would advise her to take a plane overseas in her condition for fear of her becoming suddenly ill again. Hopefully she'll have a do over in another few years.

    Omg wow Shannon what a brave woman you are. I couldn't imagine going through something like that for 9 months. I'm glad you and your baby both are ok. And I'm sorry you weren't diagnosed sooner. Knowing just a glimpse of what Kate is going through I feel so terribly bad that she has to go through it, I hope she will be ok. Thank you so much Shannon for sharing your story it was very touching.

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  2. Well at least William won't have to scramble around assembling a last minute wardrobe for the trip. Blue suit--check. Burgundy tie--check. Black shoes--check. No change of clothes needed. Yawn....
    Feel better Kate.

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    1. Hihi, this was kind of funny. Had been funnier if it ended with a haha insted of a yawn. Less insulting. But funny none the less.

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    2. LOL. He's got a blue tie too!

      On a more serious note, we could have a discussion about the perception of people and gender. As in we don't care what William wears, it's more about what he does, but with Kate it's her hair, makeup and outfit. And what she does seems to rank much below that.

      Disclaimer: This is a general comment. I know Kate can't do anything right now!

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    3. anon from Leominster19 September 2014 at 16:58

      On some other site, (could be Daily Mail) someone made the perceptive comment that Andrew does a great deal of work with almost no attention but if he had a wife to accompany him, he would get much more. (This is not an invitation for Andrew to marry some young thing.) There is truth to that but Charles and Edward don't get a lot either and they have wives, so maybe it's young glamourous wives.

      Charles was massively better known when he had Diana to accompany him - far from being jealous of her, he should have been grateful. I always though if he had dropped Camilla and her heavy baggage and dated looks and married someone younger and free from taints of the past, and with good fashion sense - he might have been a more noted king than he ever will be now. Striking clothes are rather like those displays at the big supermarkets - they draw eye to what the royals are doing.

      Yesterday, OSS (Order of Sartorial Splendour) was having quite a discussion of Crown Prince Frederic's attire, from his too long trousers lengths to the collars of his shirts (the latter quite fascinating to me - must take a look at Mr Leo's shirts now.) So royal men aren't completely immune from fashion comments. Being royal is a lot about appearances - let's face it.

      And I don't think princesses' works are entirely ignored. The truth is that Kate so far, has done either engagements with William or nice but often lightweight work. Princesses who become deeply involved in causes or who make important speeches or link their names to particular endeavours, do get more attention for their work. We pay more attention to the queen than her clothes but it doesn't mean there has to be a disinterest in fashion.

      Today, ask most people what they remember about Diana, and they'll speak of her work with landmines or her work with the elderly or her work with AIDS or her work with Relate. She wore some fantastic clothes too (although some are dated now) but that's not the main focus of her legacy. People remember how caring she was.

      Once Kate takes on more heavyweight work, I think the emphasis will be less on her appearance. Malta would have been a start but it will still come in time. But at the moment, with the exception of hospice, and her work is sporatic, and Scouts and sporting events, we don't have a strong vision of what sort of princess Kate is --- what's she really passionate about. So the clothes do tend to come first until she defines herself to us in some greater way.

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    4. Leo, I couldn't agree more about Charles' attitude towards, and approach to, Diana's popularity. If not in her lifetime, he could have redeemed himself by being far more respectful of her memory. And this latest Penny Junor book is anything but.

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    5. Leominster, interesting comments!
      However, I would point out that Charles and Camilla undertake a more than full time schedule of royal engagements. Charles is very involved in and active for a number of causes, including organic agriculture and art preservation. He andCamilla, in the video of their appearances, certainly seem to be engaged and engaging people, genuinely friendly and interested in the people they meet and talk to at all the events and very down to earth.
      I really don't think we'll see Kate take up a lot of heavyweight work or causes. I think we will see her do a few engagements but stay largely in the shadows and be a dutiful wife and mother. I read one account shortly after the engagement and one person quoted in the article said the one reason that Kate was a good choice for William and why the Queen and Prince Charles approved of her was that she will never shine brighter than he does. She won't ever be like Diana and take up really controversial or impactful causes that outshine whatever William is doing, as Diana did with her charities and causes.
      It's no criticism to Kate at all. I think what we saw before the wedding, a very well-dressed, well-behaved young woman going to weddings and social events and not a lot else. And that's what she is now as William's wife and an HRH. That's her role, the role she's chosen and that the Palace wants her in - dutiful, mostly silent, well-dressed royal wife who does as she's told, stands where she's told to stand and speaks when she's told to speak.
      If we all accept and deal with the fact that that's all she ever wanted to be, all she wants to be and will be, I think we'd all be a lot happier.
      royalfan, I'd be interested to know how you see Charles being disrespectful of Diana's memory. I think it's been widely publicized that he and she actually became friends after the first months of bitterness following the divorce and that, just months and weeks before her death, she was urging him to marry Camilla.
      My experience with Penny Junor is that she's an absolute Prince Charles worshipper. She's the perfect example of someone who thinks that a particular royal can do and say no evil and should be held up as some sort of faultless being. To that end, she has endeavored to paint terrible pictures of just about everyone connected to Charles, including his own sons, but especially of Diana.

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  3. Good morning! Happy to hear the final decision of William going to Malta in Kate's place. As you said Charlotte, I think he will do a wonderful job representing Her Majesty. Continuing to pray for Kate as she suffers through this awful sickness. Praying also that the baby continues to grow healthy and strong.

    Shannon, thank you for being brave enough to share your story and for your honesty. My sister suffered from HG and it was horrid on all accounts. I'm thankful you and your sweet boy were ok and he was born healthy. Thankful to you had the wisdom and clear mind enough to find a new doctor. Wow. I hate that Kate, like so many other women, is having to suffer from HG. I pray that her days would somehow be bright and she can experience some joy throughout her pregnancy. Thank you again for sharing your story.

    Erdem....hmmm. There were a couple of pretty dresses, but not a huge fan. I'm looking forward to seeing William travel this weekend. Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

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    1. Agree on all this!!

      I think it is much easier for Kate to get better now when the decision is made. And William will do a great job as always.

      I can't get over that before Kate had it the first time almost nobody had heard of it. (Including me) Even though all this sucks and I wouldn't wish anyone to be sick I really hope a silver lining can come out of this in the form of more awareness and understanding.

      I agree with your Erdem. The runway was not pretty. The other dresses is somewhere between meh and fine.

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    2. Amy, Detroit Michigan18 September 2014 at 16:07

      I concur with you both Kate and Rebecca.

      I just want to add that I think it's a good thing Kate is staying home. She is sacrificing a great deal for her family, and I doubt she would ever have any regrets about that....so she owes it to herself, and her baby, to take it easy.

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  4. Shannon, my sister suffered from HG through both of her pregnancies. I've never seen a person so sick but committed to carrying on to have healthy babies. People "understood" but they did not understand. The day I had to give her a bath and she was as helpless as a newborn kitten was the day I realized the extent to that horrible ordeal. A Picc line and multiple visits to the doctor, meds and time and she was able to deliver two lovely little girls. She never ever wanted to get pregnant again, even though she loved children and she and her husband wanted a larger family.

    I feel for Kate knowing the little I know about HG. I feel for someone who is feeling the pressure to keep going, to prove herself, to care for her son, to be a wife, and all the while the world is tearing her down for being lazy and trying to get out of a trip by pretending to be sick. They have no idea at all.

    As much as I would have enjoyed seeing Kate out and about, I'm glad she's resting. Now...wonder what suit Will will wear. The blue....or the blue? Striped tie or striped tie?

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    1. "I feel for Kate knowing the little I know about HG. I feel for someone who is feeling the pressure to keep going, to prove herself, to care for her son, to be a wife, and all the while the world is tearing her down for being lazy and trying to get out of a trip by pretending to be sick. They have no idea at all." THIS!!

      Can you imagine having to deal with all this scrutiny though all of this?

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    2. If she's ill she should get proper care, and it sounds like that is happening. However, she's not been ill outside of her pregnancies that we know of, had she done more work at those times people wouldn't say anything about being work shy.

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    3. I do agree, the work ethic subject has been discussed many times here. I think we all agree they aren't full time royals yet and to us the public it appears they are work shy. But the palace obviously have a plan of how they are to work so we just have to sit and wait n see. Anna London

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    4. Absolutely the right decision and it is so wrong that she felt under any pressure to go at all. She will be feeling foul and is probably quite down. However, I can't help thinking that if she had worked harder before and had other events planned, this pressure would not have occurred. I've been following Sophie the Countess of Wessex a lot recently, mainly via http://hrhcountessofwessex.blogspot.co.uk/, as she attracts little attention in the British press. She works extremely hard promoting the country and her charities whilst bringing up a young family. This is likely to continue for the rest of her life too, as I understand that she and her husband, the Earl of Wessex will become the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh in the future. She married into the family in the same way as Kate did, but there is a huge difference in the number of engagements she undertakes.

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    5. I don't think it's fair to compare her with Sophie. Sophie is a buissnes woman from the inside out. Before she married she worked in PR and cofounded a PR-firm. They didn't even get married until she was in her mid 30s if I remember correctly. She and Edward both tried to pursue commercial jobs for the first years of their marriage, indicating that they were not that keen to take up royal roles. When that no longer worked (because of scandals etc.) they started a (probably well thought out PR plan) full royal schedule to counter the negative press. That pattern has continued for 10 years and she is really a gift to the royals. I'm not saying she doesn't do much, I'm just saying that it's in her blood. I personally think she would go nuts without something to use her mind and buissness skill for.

      Kate on the other hand was MUCH younger when meating her royal. At a age where alot of your adult personality is formed. Sophie had already formed a personality as a bussnes woman. An image she took with her and used in her royal role. Kate did not seem to have a career goal etc. Just a keen interest in the arts. That means she didn't identify herself as a "law-school-student" etc at collage. Neither had she worked, just been a cute, nice, happy schoolgirl. It is around that and sport that much of her younger year identity is formed around. So when William shows up at those years where combining your childhood image with new experiences and adult life is supposed to happen, it is not so difficult to understand that "royal girlfriend" was allowed alot of room in her identity. That however does not leave room to build a professional image if you don't have a very strong inner drive for some area of work. This is the same reason people identyfie themself as a mom or a christian or a footballer or a teacher. So I don't understand why people compare so much. And blame her for being "work shy" etc. What happens in your life changes you, and things that happen at certain ages changes you even more. I think she seems like a happy, loving, sporty, active, housely, goofy, nice woman. And that is no shame. Not everyone are born speakers and leaders or buissnes women. That does not however mean she is not good at her role. She just have to figure out how to use her skills and personality traits to complement her work instead of them beeing separated as two different things. Her tendency to go to sports events is such a thing. This is a time where much of her real personality shines through. And I think that is clever. As time goes by she will get more confident and step into her own role. But please let it take some time. Rome was not built over night.

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  5. Not that is is any of my business, but I believe TRHs' made the best - and from what I have read on this blog, only possible - decision. Thank you Shannon for sharing your story. Marvelous job of highlighting this horrid condition, Charlotte. Now one can only hope someone somewhere in the Palace press office is paying attention, and if so, that the Duchess would not feel a personal violation to champion the cause of greater education - perhaps by championing Help Her or Pregnancy Sickness Support - and certainly would not be prevented by the Palace from so doing.

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  6. WOW Shanon your story blowed me away. I just had morning sickness and I did not like it at the times. But you really suffered. Girl you're a hero for not giving up!
    CU Amy

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  7. As an outsider it seems like Kate's experience with HG was very mild during her first pregnancy. She was very active and it does not seem her condition was as debilitating as the story told above. I am even more convinced of this as William even said he'd hope it would subside in a few weeks time. I am assuming he was speaking from their experience the first time around. Perhaps her HG is more severe this pregnancy, but she didn't seem fully debilitated as it appears many HG sufferers can be from such an unfortunate condition.

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    1. (I have no expertise so I'm just gonna write what I have read etcc)

      HG is sometimes treatable. And the earlier you get treatment, the better the chance of it going well. There is a medication (starts with Z I think?!) and some women respond well to this and some not at all. Maybe Kate was one of those who responded well? The HG seems to be worse in the beginning, better in the 2nd trimester and for some people come back in the 3rd. But Kate seems to have a rather "mild" version. But keep in mind she did much less in her third trimister (to the best of my memory) and had her last engagement about 6 weeks before George was born. People said that she had the luxury to have a long maternity leave. But for all we know her sickness could have come back by then? It's no use speculating. And even mild HG is nothing to sneeze over. Let's just hope she get better!

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    2. I believe Kate had intended to avoid public events for the last four weeks of her pregnancy, but George was late in making his appearance, and therefore her leave lengthened. Reportedly, she was tempted to go to the big concert at Buckingham Palace near the end of her pregnancy, but decided not to.

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    3. You are probably right, since George was so "tardy" (to use Williams words). :P

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  8. What an informative and well written account of this serious, debilitating condition. I hope your story is published far and wide, Shannon. I am so sorry you had to go through such a dreadful time, and commend you for being willing to tell your story in the hope that it will help others understand the agonies endured by HG sufferers. I had enough sickness during my pregnancies to never wish it on another human being but obviously HG exists on a completely different level of intensity.

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  9. Shannon's description of HG is spot-on. I suffered with it with both my pregnancies, but those were both prior to Kate's bouts so I had absolutely no knowledge of what was going on. It's a truly horrible, lonely experience and the fact that she somehow goes through it in the public eye with grace is awe-inspiring.

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  10. Shanon - your story is terrifying and kudos for suffering through that. How horrible. I wonder if Kate's condition is even similar in any tiny bit. If your HG was mild to moderate yet you suffered 37 weeks, then I wonder what Kate's was last time? She was up and about attending lunches (for her office employees) three weeks after announcing she had HG.

    I have no doubt that she is probably going through bouts of heavy nausea, but does she have HG ? If she does, then why did she even entertain the possibility of going to Malta ? How could she - if she was indeed vommitting ten times a day? Why did William go hunting with his friends ? True HG, as you have described, is extremely serious. If Kate was tied to a bed at her mother's with an IV drip in her arm I wonder what that says about William that he was able to trot off to Balmoral to shoot some grouse.

    HG is often used synonymously with very bad morning sickness. I had very very bad morning sicknes - dropped 7 lb in 4 days and then was put on Zofran. I had 2 zofran daily till 14 weeks and was able to go to work pretty happily but had trouble gaining weight through my pregnancy because I had no apetite.

    If Kate has true HG - which is severe and debilitating then I am afraid that the past events do not make sense to me. If she has very bad morning sickness I expect it will pass around 12-14 weeks and we will see her up and about - like we did last time. I believe that with George she did have bad morning sickness (the technical term for which is HG). And her office called it by the technical term, but no way did she experience the symptoms of HG that debilitate women through the course of their pregnancy.

    Shanon's story shows what real even "mild to moderate HG" is. Did Kate have that ? If she did then she recovered darn quick. Is all I can say.

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    1. I'd be hesitant to make a judgment on Kate's condition based on the extremely limited knowledge we have had of her pregnancies. We only see bits and pieces of her life--the occasional appearance or cancelled event--and have little knowledge of her day to day health or experience. I've no doubt that her doctors, who monitor her on a regular, perhaps even daily basis, are in a much better position to diagnose her illness than we are.

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    2. The diagnosis is coming from her doctors, so why would it not be accurate? They deem it to be HG. When I read up on this illness on a couple of US pregnancy websites and it seems about 80 percent of women who have this condition get better in the second trimester. Not everyone suffers as badly as Shannon did, bless her heart. So at least for myself, I can't say "Kate doesn't have HG."

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    3. Anon 15.01 I like all your points regarding Kate's HG. Like you say I wonder if it's mild HG but severe sickness. She was attending lunches etc soon after and then the hol in mustique. Maybe the palace have laid it on a bit thick. Like shannon who was wired up most of her pregnancy this does not seem to be the case with kate. Anna London

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    4. Obviously the treatment started to work after a couple of weeks last time and it may do so again.
      We seem to have a great many people who know better than her doctors.

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    5. Anon 15:01 and Anna London. After 50 yrs. in the Obstetrical field I can reassure you that Kate did/does have HG as her doctors diagnosed. HG comes in varying forms and no patient experiences it in the same way. Many things come into play as to how it presents, how long it lasts, how soon it is treated and how it is treated as well as many other variables that make it wrong for you to judge if Kate has this condition or not. You are by no means are qualified to make this Judgement unless you are a midwife/obstetrician.

      I have treated multiple patients with HG and no one is identical. After reading Shanon's account of her experience with HG I would respectfully suggest that she had a more severe form and would question the "mild and moderate" label. Yes I am fairly confident Kate's HG with Prince George was not as severe as Shanon's, but we also were not with Kate 24/7 so we do not know what went on behind the scene and how aggressively she needed to be treated or if it returned in the last few weeks OR if some other obstetrical complication caused her to restrict her activities.

      As a medical professional I commend Shanon for coming forth with her account of HG and bringing more attention to this little and miss understood condition of pregnancy.

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    6. Yes it is disheartening to read all the posters who are complaining that Kate does not have HG or got over it quickly. How do they know how she feels? I love this blog, but have to quit reading the comments. Some of the opinions are really annoying.

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    7. anon from Leominster19 September 2014 at 17:13

      To be fair to commenters, Kate may well have had H.G., she was in hospital, and one assumes her doctors would not say she had it, if it were not so, but she unquestionably recovered much more quickly than most women.

      Well before the end of her first trimester, within a couple of weeks of her time in hospital, she was off to Sandringham, attending Chirstmas lunches, going to the circus and and going on holiday to Mustique.

      Kate may have responded quickly to treatment or the close medical attention she receives, much greater than almost any other woman on the planet, may be to answer, but she did recover unusually quickly and that's a statement of fact, not opinion and there is no reason to criticise anyone for mentioning it.

      The most important thing to remember is that is not typical of most women who suffer from H.G. Few get that kind of relief until the end of their first trimester and for many, it goes well beyond that. Since many women have to work, and are pressured to return to work, it is worth remembering that recovery ususally doesn't come so readily and most women can't even think of going on holiday if they suffer from it.

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    8. For the sake of precision Kate's doctors never made the statement that she had HG. It was their office and given the history I do not think it unreasonable that people would take their statement with a grain if salt.

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    9. anon Every woman is different. Just a question for you, Have you ever had children or suffered for either morning sickness or this terrible HG? Well I have and it is not fun and games. I suffered for 6 months both times. While a friend of mine had HG too and suffered for only 2 months. So like I said every woman is very different on how their body reacts to this illness and it is an illness.
      And when Kate went on holiday to Mustique does not mean she was feeling good. Maybe she thought the warm air would help. Heck we do not know because none of us are there or work for them so we do not know everything.

      Pam/Portland

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    10. Anon 18:58, regarding the "grain of salt"... I sincerely hope that people don't expect to see a doctor's report with an original signature and raised seal on it. She may be a public figure, but she is sill entitled to a degree of dignity and privacy, no?

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    11. No doctor would confirm, deny, speak about any patient's medical matters. It's unethical.

      So much more I could say, but I wasn't even going to address this.

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  11. Shannon, Thank You so much for sharing. Sure can understand never wanting to go through this again. I know if I had gone through your experience there would not have been number 2. Hopefully you can now enjoy your son.

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  12. Im sure that this is no surprise to anyone. Im happy that it will all go ahead for those in Malta. Its a shame she is so sick and we will not being seeing much of her for the time being.

    I found Shannon's version of HG very interesting. The fact that the repercussions of having it are still felt well after the baby is born shows just how draining on the body it can be and what is involved with pregnancy. Thanks for sharing it.

    KiwiNic

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  13. Shannon - Have you considered setting up a support web site for HG?

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  14. Wow Shannon. I stand in awe of you and your bravery. I know it's hard to have people praise you, given that you were put in a position where you simply did what you had to do to survive, but I've been through major medical trauma, not the same trauma as you, but one where my pregnancy had to be ended to save my life, and afterwards people praised me for simply being a mother to a critically ill and physically challenged child (now a young man) and I thought This is not relevant--I just got through what I HAD to get through, but after more than twenty years I realize that such things shape our character and give us a measure of courage we perhaps needed to develop. Thank you especially for sharing your story. I am so glad you have a healthy boy--it really seems like a miracle that that should be so in the face of such extreme suffering.

    In re: Duchess Catherine, I am glad she is not risking the trip and that William is going in her place. I thought there might be an extra component of his going to Scotland than just to play with his pals--he must have been talking it over with "Granny" and was briefed in the case that his wife did not experience a miraculous healing . . .

    The Erdem runway styles leave me quite cold, but I'm sure that's my age showing! I LOVED Katharine Hepburn, and especially in "The African Queen" with Bogie, and while I can see the influence, I don't like the overall result. The styles you (Charlotte) chose from their current collection are much nicer, especially, to my mind the Armel and the Aubrey.

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  15. Wow that account is dreadful. Poor kate the heir and the spare that was needed. Alice. France

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  16. I am relieved to know that Kate has decided not to make the visit to Malta, and that William will go instead. I know Kate must be disappointed, but she has made a wise decision. Charlotte, I hope you will cover William's experience in Malta as it sounds very interesting, is important to the Queen, and was Kate's assignment until she became ill. And by the way, I'm sure William's presence at Balmoral was for a discussion with his grandparents about Kate's situation and the Malta assignment. I am tired of snide comments about his trip to Scotland.

    Shannon, your description is riveting. For those of us who had mild nausea and fatigue during the first months, but enjoyed pregnancy after the first trimester, it is amazing to realize how ill HG made you. I am astonished at the ignorance and insensitivity of your first doctor. Thank goodness you were able to find a good one. You were allowed to suffer too much and for too long, until you took matters into your own hands.

    I admire the kind and sensitive and intelligent posters on this blog, and I hope the naysayers and trolls will just stay away. Enough of unkindness and harsh criticism.

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    1. Anonymous @15:50- THANK YOU-THERE IT IS THEN.

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    2. Great post, Anon 15:50!

      I'm glad that William will go in her place. Kate needs to take care of herself and their baby. I guess some of us were correct in believing that the primary purpose of William's trip to Scotland wasn't to go hunting, as if he dropped Kate and George off in Bucklebury and said, "see-ya!" as he sped out of the driveway. It would be nice if some people acknowledged that they misjudged and, in some instances, condemned William without justification.

      Shannon, you are a very brave woman and I admire you tremendously. I cannot even begin to imagine going through that! And just imagine how many women YOU may be helping... :) Your story should put an end to the doubtful speculation. At least one can hope.

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    3. What about all the unkindness and harsh criticism directed at the posters? Apparently it's Very Bad to criticize William and/or Kate in any way but anyone here is fair game? The people with more critical opinions tend to be objective, stick to what they want to express and move on. Unlike some who spew the same stuff over and over again about how we post crap, don't know what we're talking about, haven't walked a mile in their shoes, should go spend time elsewhere, are trolls, etc. etc. etc. If I posted that sort of thing, I'd have been run out of here on a rail a long long time ago. I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, but I don't like being called names and having my motives questioned.

      royalfan, I thought his trip was to boost the No vote in Scotland. Except he left, what, last Thursday and didn't go with the Queen until Sunday? If it was just to bolster the vote, he could have gone up on Saturday.

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    4. Yes anon 15:50 and royalfan, totally agree. Thank You

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    5. Jennifer from Wisconsin19 September 2014 at 20:46

      Hello All,
      Thank you Shannon and Charlotte for sharing with us the reality of what HG is. I knew someone who suffered horribly with it the first baby and not the second. I think we all will be more thoughtful of pregnancy and the reality of it not always being delightful for everyone.

      With that said, I also think we all have different levels of comfort and when sick may want different things. I shared that I was agreed with Pauline on the last post with her disappointment that Will had gone to Scotland at a time Kate might be in need of more help. Does that make me a troll or a naysayer? Hardly, just concerned for Kate and George after thinking back to all the help I needed and I don't know if I had more severe morning (all day and night) sickness than most but that's why. Empathy for Kate does not mean I am a hater or that I should have to apologize for voicing my concern. Anyone who has read the blog knows Pauline too usually falls into a cheerleader for Will and Kate and was genuinely concerned, not hating on William for going. Later, after reading others' comments, I remembered how much help she has and thought differently but I still think the tone of the blog is still one of folks being wayyyy too jumpy and quick to judge.
      Can we please stop using the word troll so easily? I think that's adding to it. Misunderstanding something or not explaining well does not automatically deserve that. Labels hurt and comments can't really be taken back. Bluhare is right in her comments~ and I hope we don't turn into a circus again.
      As an aside, I bet the Royal Family is relieved that the Scots are still part of the U.K.. I can imagine HM in particular was overjoyed. Kudos to both countries for a peaceful vote. Where I am, we have not heard anything but of the class shown by both sides of an obviously polarizing choice. (If our sporting teams lose, we have more issues than you have.) Really speaks volumes about the character of both sides of the issue. :) Have an awesome day- it's 75 and sunny here. Back to homework.

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    6. bluhare, I think the primary reason for William's trip to Scotland was to discuss Malta. Had it been the referendum, there would have been a lot more "parading" going on.

      Regarding the other subject you brought up, I will refrain from using the "T" word. :) I think it's both overused and misused and, as I stated in another post, I think it is the *intent* of someone's contribution that matters. Personally, I do not have a problem with someone expressing an opinion I disagree with. Why would I? If the message is civil, I have no issue with the messenger.

      Bluhare, you and I have been "debating" for quite some time and I think we manage to do it civilly and even lightheartedly. If you've ever felt as if you are held more accountable by anyone here, perhaps it's because you are not a "moving target." By that I mean that you always post as bluhare, you state how you feel, and you stick by it. That isn't always the case, which brings me to my next point....

      The problems arise when people play games and we have seen some of that lately. People have posted from the Mediterranean region one minute...London the next ...and then the east or west coast of the US. (How I would love to translate that into frequent flyer miles!!) People have posted under a handful of identities and basically convey the same message over and over again, including spelling and attitude. (I lost count of that in this post). Or they just drop an over the top "bomb" and stay silent for a bit to see how much of a rise they got out of people. (IMO this has it has more to do with attention seeking than it does Kate.)

      I don't know what the answer is, bluhare. As posters, we can choose to ignore (sometimes the best and most irksome option) or respond and call them on it. And, as moderator, Charlotte can choose to post the comments...or not. I was supportive of Charlotte's requests and actions in the last post or two and I sincerely hope she continues to do exactly that...... :)

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    7. Jennifer and royalfan, thank you. I appreciate your sentiments and you could be right about accountability. You also have a good point about Malta. *Shakes fist at royalfan* (She knows how much I hate to agree with her . . . last time it happened I had to stomp off in a huff.)

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    8. Jennifer from Wisconsin20 September 2014 at 01:16

      Royalfan,
      You are one of the most fair posters on here. I agree with you about many things. Reading your comments to and from Bluhare is amusing and really should be the model for constructive debate.
      I can tell the style of one poster who had been posting regularly under Anonymous and now is not. I have had my suspicion on a few others but for the life of me cannot understand it. The one time I did, it was an accident and I acknowledged it immediately. I think if you have something to say, multiple identities discredit your integrity.

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    9. bluhare, there's no need to stomp. Save the energy... We can take a power walk one day, follow it up with a nice lunch, and I can finally set you straight on the whole Camilla thing. :))

      Jennifer, thank you so much for the kind words. I appreciate that very much. Sometimes I wonder because I realize I'm not exactly indecisive, but thank you....... :)) And your point about multiple identities discrediting a person's integrity is an excellent one!!! Well said.

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  17. I'm do glad the duchess did not appear to have this dreadful condition for the whole of her pregnancy and hope this one will be similar. Carrie austria

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  18. Kate looked so happy in the picture taken as she left the hospital after her original bout with HG! She no doubt was thrilled to be pregnant, and fortunately she got immediate treatment for the illness. I hope she will have a good outcome in a few weeks this time. For those who are questioning whether she had or has HG, it has been described as affecting different women in different ways. Some women recover after the first trimester, some are ill throughout pregnancy and some suffer after effects. It seems that the severity of the nausea and dehydration makes it HG, not how long it lasts.

    I agree that I don't like the Erdem designs. I think only the very last long black dress would be appropriate for a black tie event, maybe in a brighter color.

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  19. Having suffered through HG with the pregnancy of my twins, my daughter, and two miscarriages, I feel for her deeply. Only the ones who have truly suffered through it know the depths of it ravages on a woman's body and psyche. I was told to gain weight, drink fluids, eat crackers, etc. The one saying that made me cringe was, " All this nausea is only a sign of a healthy pregnancy."

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    1. Wow, you are very brave! That sounds miserable!

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  20. Anon 15:50 writes: I'm sure William's presence at Balmoral was for a discussion with his grandparents about Kate's situation and the Malta assignment. I am tired of snide comments about his trip to Scotland.

    Thank you. I dislike the "mean girl" tone of disparaging posts, too. Though none of us has the facts of the case, but wise judges that we are, a few of us eagerly condemn. And since a trip to Balmoral (very likely to discuss Malta) makes William too far away for a commute back to Catherine, and he can't spend the whole day without fresh air or exercise, there's no reason not to have a few friends join you.

    I also like the suggestion that Charlotte cover William's Malta trip here. Perhaps it could work within a Kate Loves post. Her stand-by-your-woman Prince. Worth waiting for, I'd say.

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    1. Just thought I'd chime in here and say that I too like the idea of Charlotte covering William's Malta trip - more work for her, but it would be interesting and she gives us wonderful coverage.

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    2. I like it too, philly. As much as I like Harry and appreciate his work, I was happy to see that the early buzz of him clearing his calendar for this weekend apparently wasn't for this trip.

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    3. anon from Leominster19 September 2014 at 17:16

      Harry may have cleared it, if he did, because if Kate had become too ill, William might not have been able to go. Since it is an important trip, I suspect there may have been several contingencies planned for.

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    4. I suspect you nailed it, Leo.

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    5. Leo, I thought the same thing about Harry clearing his schedule for this weekend to be in an "on call" position if needed. This could even mean during the weekend if anything should come up. One just does not know the gravity of the behind the scenes planning. I do like Harry so very much, but it is appropriate for William to be sent on this trip to Malta. What I am trying to understand is why it was not planned originally for both William and Kate going together.

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    6. Kat, it's important for Kate to establish herself as a working royal in her own right. If William had gone with her, royal or not, she would be the "supportive spouse." It's also an indication of the Queen's confidence in her, IMO.

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  21. Charlotte I hope you plan on covering Williams trip since it was goin gto be Kates first solo one. I know this is not a William blog but this was an engagement I think we all were looking forward too. Ya we wouldn't get all the great outfits that Kate would wear and we will only get blue suits from William but this I think is an important trip to report on.
    I do hope Kate is feeling better soon and that poor little Geroge is getting alot of attention from the nanny and his grandma Middleton since mommy is ill.

    Shannon thank you for sharing your experience with the HG. It just proves that these dr. need to be more educated in something like this. I am glad everything worked out for you. Blessing to you & your family.

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  22. Great and informative post as always Charlotte and bless you Shannon for telling your story.

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  23. anon from Leominster18 September 2014 at 17:07

    Not sure if my comment went through or not; it disappeared on me, think my hands are trembling a bit over the election news and I pushed some wrong button So just will say in case my comment vanished for good, thank you Shannon for sharing your experiences with us and for you, Charlotte, for printing it. I feel so sad for what you had to go through Shannon, especially with that doctor, who shouldn't be treating women without a better understanding! You did a magnificent job of writing about it -- very important, as it is an illness often not discussed. I'm just so sorry for the lingering effects -- don't allow anyone to pressure you about whether or not to have another child. It is hugely difficult for women who need to work and puts enormous and dangerous strain on the body.

    I believe some question has been raised in Kate's case because she recovered so quickly last time, in time to go to the circus when most women with H.G. have to wait until the second trimester at least for any relief, and even then seldom feel up for travelling. But Kate has top medical care focused solely on her and she may have responded very well to treatment. It is important for people understand that isn't the case for most sufferers.

    A friend who had suffered from H.G. in the past was concerned that Kate's quick recovery would make employers think that was a possibility for all women. (She actually also doubted Kate had full H.G.) Regardless of how well Kate recovers, hopefully people will understand from statements like Shannon's that for most women it is something that persists throughout most if not all of the pregnancy and makes it difficult or even impossible to work to full capacity. This is not to diminish what Kate has gone through, just to make it clear not all can recover so easily. Every case is different. So many have shared their experiences here, I hope the illness gets wider attention in the press.

    In my vanished - don't know if it will appear or not - comment, I also said, that no woman should be judged if she decides not to go through it again even if she would have liked another child. It is a horrible condition and so misunderstood. One friend who suffered badly, was actually told it was due to her being ambiguous about being a mum! She never felt she could go through it again. Shannon's experience shows how often it is just treated as glorified morning sickness.

    I never thought Malta was realistic. Just surprised they didn't announce it earlier. As for Wiliam being in Scotland, I'm sure there is much discussion in the family about the referendum going on, whether he appeared in public or not. It is a terribly difficult time and will lead to bitterness whatever the final result. I just hope the process is fair with people being allowed to vote as they wish without pressure. I can hardly bear to read the news and it must be so distressing to the royal family, especially to the queen.

    So hoping Kate will recover quickly again, and looking forward to reading about William in Malta.

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    1. Every woman is different. So if it takes "Susie" all 9 months to get through with HG but it takes Kate just a few months does not mean she does not have HG. Unless you are her treating doctor then people should not question her illness

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    2. Leo, I'm not surprised they didn't announce it earlier. There is such a thing as appearing to act hastily and that would have lead to all sorts of accusations about her "not wanting to go anyway." And since we knew that another member of the family would go in her place, the decision/announcement didn't have the urgency that a cancellation would have.

      I hope William is bringing extra suitcases for all the teddy bears he will receive. :)))

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    3. I love the mental image of a suitcase full of teddy bears going home with William!

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    4. I hope William will say a few words regarding Catherines condition and how she is feeling. That way maybe it will quite some of the people who do not think she really has HG. I am sure he would know first hand.

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    5. Jennifer from Wisconsin19 September 2014 at 23:40

      Anonymous~ Why? What is it going to prove? If she is better, then folks will question it harder, but if she's worse or the same, it is more woe to Kate. People just need to let it go.
      You are right on the last sentence. He will know first hand because it is their business anyway~ they should not have to share anything.

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    6. Anon 19:32, I'm sure William will mention Kate and how disappointed she is that she couldn't make the trip, but I do not believe he has to *prove* anything. Most people are compassionate and understand that there's a valid reason for her to stay home.

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  24. After Kate's first pregnancy, two of my high school classmates revealed that they had HG when they were pregnant. I had no idea the horror that they went through during what is supposed to be a joyous time. They didn't talk about it openly during their pregnancies. I'm praying for Kate that she feels better soon.

    I saw an picture on Radar Online with the caption mentioning how thin Kate looks. Of course the picture was of William and Kate in August on their dinner date and RO said it was last week. RO should be ashamed of themselves for shaming a woman, not only about her weight, but especially when it is tied to an illness.

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  25. Thank you, Shannon, you did a brave and important thing here.

    -juniper

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  26. I hope that Catherine reads Shannon's story, and maybe she will realize the power she has to reach out more and so others can get help. She has the ready made 'bully pulpit' and I hope that her natural inclination to protect her personal privacy may be overcome in the case. It takes courage to bare your intimate experiences but I do hope she finds it in her.

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  27. Glad to hear she won't be traveling its much too dangerous for her and her baby's health. I'm so glad William will travel in her place.

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  28. I'll be watching the Malta trip with interest, continuing to hope that Kate feels much better soon. The early and aggressive intervention she undoubtedly had both times likely made a positive difference on the duration of her HG.

    The issue I see with the Erdrem dresses that I do like is that the designs, at least as they appear on these models, are more suited to someone with an average-length torso and long legs (probably your standard model body type). Kate seems to have a long torso and not-as-long legs, though she skillfully creates that illusion with footwear. End result: shorter hens, unless custom ordered. And we know her hem length seems to have lengthened since the NZ/Australian tour. For that reason, I also wonder about many of her maternity rewears. Coats would work over some of the dresses, if she still intends to stick to longer hemlines. But many of her coat dresses were well above knee length in 2013.

    Shannon, I admire your determination, both during your pregnancy and now. I can't bear to think what you might have endured if you hadn't made the connection on your own and insisted on a provider who would competently care for you. Going to bat for you at the expense of her c-section percentages and perhaps her standing at the hospital shows how committed she was to your health. God bless you as you and your family as you make heart-rending decisions about adding to your lovely family.

    Lastly, a word of caution to anyone who would questios a doctor's diagnosis for their patient simply because it doesn't line up with what you think to be happening: Don't. That doctor has all the evidence, all the vitals and bloodwork and presenting symptoms. You don't.

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    1. Rose from Montreal, Canada19 September 2014 at 00:23

      How true.

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    2. AMEN indeed.

      Shannon's story proves that sometimes we have to be our own advocates.

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    3. Summer, with all due respect, I don´t agree with you on your statement regarding doctors. I am nearing my 50ies and I can assure you, more often than not, I had to experience that doctors either don´t listen enough or are too full of themselves to acknowledge what the patient actually tells them. A lot of them (thankfully not all) just think their patients don´t know what they are talking about. Incidents like the one that Shannon had to experience happen so often, it´s unbelievable. In Germany we jokingly call doctors "Half-gods in white" (because they usually wear white coats while practising). Unfortunately, some of them think they are gods.....
      I hope Kate won´t experience worse things than last time and she will feel better after the first trimester.
      As far as Shannon´s story is concerned - I hope more women will be encouraged to tell their story and raise awareness for this illness. If it hits you that bad, I can totally understand that you might decide against having another baby. It´s a sad thing, truly......
      Thank you, Shannon, for giving us this insight and thank you, Charlotte, for printing it

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    4. Eve, I agree that it is the duty of an individual to be their own advocate and to seek second opinions (or more) in matters of their own health.

      But when it comes to discrediting someone else's diagnosis, provided to them by a doctor they and their family obviously trust? Is that anyone else's place? I would say no.

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    5. Summer thanks for your reaction to my comment. I am totally with you!

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    6. It's always good to chat with you on here, Eve!

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  29. Philly - I too was surprised by the - Kate's sick, therefore William is "Bad" - tone that hit the board. I think people forget they have staff to handle their child, housekeeping, errands and everything else that affects them. They are not middle class folks left to handle life on their own. William does not need to cook, do the laundry, clean, mind George 24 hours a day, go grocery shopping, do errands and look after Kate. He didn't do any of that before she got sick - nor did she. Their doctors make housecalls - she's not sitting around in waiting rooms waiting to have her name called. It's odd that those that were complaining that he was in Balmoral, aren't now complaining that he is going to be away "partying" in Malta and leave Kate alone with the baby for another weekend.

    It's been 44 days since an official Kate appearance. She can't quite go out of the house now lest she offends the people of Malta - so I think it will be at least two weeks before we can entertain the thought of seeing her attend an engagement. Meanwhile, over at Charlotte's Royal Digest.... royals who do stuff...

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    1. It will be longer then two weeks before Kate is seen. This illness just does not go away in a few weeks. It was at least a month or so last time that Kate was seen or it depends how bad her HG is this time. Let's all just pray for her and their unborn child.

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    2. Anon 22:31
      It was 10 days after hospital that Kate was seen at an engagement. She was seen at Christmas lunch I think and again at Christmas church. Then in January there were tweets of sightings. But she recovered very, very quickly last time. Hopefully she will endure just a short bout of HG this time as well.

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    3. Stephanie, Do you know what was going on between the sightings you mentioned? Was she on IV fluids at home between engagements? Was she in bed only to get up with a dose of Zophran on board in order to not disappoint her staff for the Christmas lunch then right back to bed? In pictures I saw she sure looked like she was still not "recovered".

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    4. If she's seen shopping or anywhere during the Mata trip it would be terrible PR.

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    5. Eve B I don't know how Srephanine would know that inofrmation unless she was there. There again it would be all guessing.

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    6. anon from Leominster19 September 2014 at 17:25

      At Christmas, Kate did look quite poorly. But a week later, she was off to Sandringham to join William while he was shooting and then she was at the circus as a birthday treat - so she clearly wasn't feeling too badly by that time, as those weren't necessary engagments. She also had no hesitation in cancelling important engagements like attending the Order of the Garter when she didn't feel up to it. So it seems fair to assume. Kate recovered very quickly by the standards of most women.

      Delete
    7. Again how do you know how she was feeling? It just amazes me on how many of you here know how, when,where & how Catherine is feeling. And there again anon you have to make a dig on Cartherine cancelling engagements. Why can't you just let it go that she was not feeling well.
      My opinion is you just do not like Catherine but you come here and read the blog just to make rude comments regarding Catherine in everything she does or does not do.

      Pam/Portland

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    8. You're correct, Pam. No one really knows how she's feeling from day to day. Just like no one really knows how her marriage works, but clearly it does. And that's all that matters, right? :)

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  30. Hello everyone!

    I will definitely cover William's visit to Malta! It should be very interesting with beautiful photos of Malta.

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    1. Thank you, Charlotte. I knew you would not disappoint.... :)) I'm sure William will be touched by all the support and good wishes he will receive in Malta.

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    2. Thank goodness, Charlotte! It never occurred to me that you wouldn't cover it until it was mentioned above! It still very much feels like Kate's trip and once you gave that very tantalizing preview of all the engagements I am very excited to hear all the news, even if it won't be quite as exciting to see William instead of Kate (though I'm relieved for her sake she isn't going). I'm sure he will make a comment or two about Kate throughout the weekend and we can at least look forward to that.

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    3. Wonderful! Malta is such a beautiful country.

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  31. This personal account hits me - I did not have HG with my pregnancies but another rare condition called pregnancy-induced fibroids. I still have never personally met anyone else who had this. It was suffering/pain beyond comprehension, for about 7-8 months. When people asked about another child, it was clear they had no idea. Taking necessary narcotics in order to persevere through to 40 weeks each time, but not drinking coffee - it was a miracle we got thru each time and only now do I understand the trauma that our family and friends had from observing such a high level of pain. It was not the happiest time of our lives like it should have been. Shannon, thank you for sharing your story.

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  32. She must have been so disappointed she couldn't go. It would have been a milestone for her. Well, I am thinking we might see her after the Nov 11 ceremonies. Maybe if she is lucky and recovers early in her pregnancy, we will see her by late-October. It is best she didn't go, her and the baby's health and safety is most important.

    Of the dresses mentioned above, the Kent floral-lace satin dress and the burgundy Aubrey are my favourites :)

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  33. Shannon, I just want to say thank you for sharing your experience with HG so that we can all see how heart-wrenching and horrible it can be. Regardless of the severity of HG that the duchess has, I'm sure we all wish it would recede quickly for her and all the women who suffer from HG. I hope your story gets spread around so more people become aware!


    Also, I'm so glad you'll cover the Malta trip that William is now doing, Charlotte. :) Maybe he will surprise us with some different outfits! :P

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  34. Thank you for posting the testimony on HG. As an RN in Labor and Delivery, I really appreciate the insight and hope to put it to good use. Best wishes to Catherine and the family during this time.
    (Love the blog. First time commenter - Julie)

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  35. Pippa, James, Michael and Carole arriving in Italy for the wedding this weekend.
    http://video.repubblica.it/edizione/bari/pippa-middleton-con-harry-in-puglia-volo-low-cost-per-le-nozze-dell-ex/177636/176372

    I feel bad for them... its quieter than I imagined it would be with cameramen all around like that... but still.

    Charlotte, is Kate back at KP again? I don't imagine she would be left in Bucklebury with just George and Maria and her care team?

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    1. Stephanie, I cannot imagine having to deal with a circus like that. All the cries for "Harry" and "Pippa". OMG. I feel bad for them too!

      I've always been too independent and quite happy to stay below the radar. :)

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    2. I love Pippa's gown. Nothing frumpy here! :)

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2762782/VIP-GUESTS-Prince-Harry-Pippa-Middleton-boyfriend-Nico-Jackson-attend-close-friend-s-wedding-stunning-Puglia.html

      Delete
  36. Loralee from Atlanta19 September 2014 at 04:19

    Shannon, thank you so much for your honesty and transparency! My heart goes out to Kate. No one, except those who are closest to her know how she must be suffering. It must be even more difficult for someone who is naturally healthy, athletic and good natured to be suffering with such severe symptoms. Let alone the pressure of having millions of people looking to you to produce another child.

    I am relieved that she decided to stay put and not risk her health and her unborn child by traveling. I say, let her have her privacy, and the best of care until she recovers.

    Our prayers are with you Kate! Get well soon!

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  37. I am glad William will.fill io for Kate this week.end. Those who followed Kate's first pregnancy.will remember reports of William saying it should be called day and night sickness. I think , even with his job demands he was very tender with his wife.
    Shannon's description of.HG was.spot on, but bear in mind each case is unique even pregnancies to the same mother. Ruth from Brooklyn.

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  38. Thankfully it appears that Kate has not had so far the extreme severity of HG. The main thing is that Kate has brought global awareness to HG (even if via the press releases) and that has given women pregnancy self awareness and the courage to not only stand up to their physicians but to share their stories.

    Shannon, thank you for sharing your very well written HG story. A very special thank you to Charlotte for posting on the Duchess Kate blog.

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  39. Thank you Shannon for your Brave & Educational Post! Your "day in the life" type of writing could leave no one uninformed. While I have had great respect for Kate & other women with HG, I am now humbled by my lack of sufficient awe & compassion for those suffering from this debilitating illness! "When we know better, we do better", thus I will hope people will expand their compassion for Kate, as their education of HG continues. The only thing I find perplexing, but haven't heard many mention is...that I admit to being a tad surprised that Will & Kate didn't hold off on the timing of actively expanding their family, until after The Malta Trip? While I of course understand the surprise of getting Pregnant sooner than one expects. I was just surprised, as this was such an incredible honor for The Queen to have chosen Kate to undertake this Trip. Am I the only one who was surprised by the timing? That said, one never knows the forces & issues at play with a couple wanting to expand their Family.

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    Replies
    1. Everybody was :) we talked about it as soon as we found out. Charlotte stated it clearly as well.

      Camilla

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    2. Thank you Camilla:) I clearly need to pop in more regularly & read the posts too, especially if I want to stay on top of the interesting & informative discussions:) I'll definitely make time to go back & seek out Charlotte's Post, that you mentioned, along with the follow-up discussions! Thanks, & I'm glad that I decided to finally post, it makes the experience so much more interesting:) B

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  40. Thank you very much Shannon for sharing! HG is indeed a terrible thing. I hope that something will be done for all the women suffering from it.

    Thinking of Kate and all the women who have to endure such an illness. Love to all and courage!

    Monica, France

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  41. Thanks Shannon for your report, if I had a blog of my own I would spread this information. Re Malta: I think it is also for William a fine opportunity to show his competence.

    BTW: I know we are supposed to look at the clothes but I think Erdem's models on the catwalk are looking so miserable as if they are at the point of fainting... I prefer different sales promotion.

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    Replies
    1. I totally agree with you, Anne--on all counts! Thanks so much to Shannon for sharing her wonderfully well-written account of a horrible experience. I hope the whole world listens--especially the medical profession!Kudos to William, too. He is definitely the best choice as Kate's "stand-in." Besides being a wonderful representative for the Queen, he is acting as a "help-mate" to his wife--a loving, traditional role for a spouse--an important component of the marriage vows really.
      AND like you, I am so sick of seeing models with mean, hateful, scowling unhappy faces! Why do the designers think such faces make attractive canvases for their fashions? Why can't the models effect pleasant--or at least NEUTRAL--facial expressions? I'd even be happy to see one smile. I'd surely be smiling if I was tall and skinny and wearing a gorgeous dress!

      Delete
    2. Tip: Look at Betsey Johnsons catwalks. The clothes can be a little hard to wear. But I think you sometimes finds what you are searching. And some variety in the models too!

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    3. And the shoes !!! I sure think Kate's Sledge Pumps and wedges sure look much better than those flat black tie shoes. There was only a few of the shorter dresses (those in the last panel) that I see Kate wearing (after delivery).

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  42. I add my voice to the above--thank you, Shannon, for sharing your story. It's shocking that you could endure that level of misery without your doctor taking better note of your illness, and even classifying it as "mild to moderate"! Every pregnancy is a gift from mother to baby but even moreso when you endure HG. I'm very glad your baby was healthy!!

    I feel so badly for Kate, I know she must feel so disappointed not to go to Malta. No doubt she had been preparing for this for months, and no matter how bad you feel it's no fun to sit at home miserable instead of fulfill commitments you had hoped to be able to make.

    I also want to say that even though she did make more appearances in her second and third trimester last time, many of them were rather short. Like the time she showed up in the green Alexander McQueen to present the movie award--she only stayed 45 minutes. So it's not likely that once 2nd trimester hit she just felt wonderful all the time. Even those who suffer with HG have bouts of feeling passable.

    Even though she has a nanny etc. it must be so hard not to be able to play with George and give him baths and all the things mothers do for their babies. Hoping she responds well to treatment and can get back to playtime with George soon!

    ~Anna from TN

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  43. Thank you Shannon, for your jaw dropping account. I had never heard of HG until 14 years ago when a dear friend got pregnant. At the time she had the same body type as the Duchess', slim, toned. In a matter of DAYS she looked like a drug addict or an anorexic, it was painful to see. How could we all rejoice in the great news of her pregnancy while she was suffering horribly? Well, thankfully, she started feeling better halfway through her pregnancy and gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Then, 3 years later.... another pregnancy and HG came full force the second time around, but this time she suffered even more because for months she was unable to take care of her little girl. So yes, I think this must be a very hard time for the Duchess and her family, no matter how wealthy they are or how much access they have to excellent care. Missing precious quality time with one's son is miserable for anybody.

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  44. I reckon William should travel to Malta with baby George.....

    What do reckon lady Charlotte....?.

    Modern king, modern monarchy etcetera etc......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would certainly be a treat to see little George, although I think it very unlikely. The Middleton family, Prince Harry and Beatrice and Eugenie are in Italy for a wedding at the moment. I expect they'll return home tomorrow and Kate will spend the weekend in Bucklebury.

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    2. I would think William would not want to leave Kate & George at KP alone (with the nanny & dr.s of course) while he is away. Either Kate goes to he rparents or maybe her mom will come to KP while William is away. Only time will tell.

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    3. The middletons are in Italy for a wedding this weekend as well as prince Harry.

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    4. I see michael middleton isn't atbthe weddibg with carole n pippa, maybe at home keeping kate company? Anna london

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    5. I reckon if the duchess is having all this trouble, it's gotta twins.

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  45. Wow-I never knew. I had never heard of HG until Catherine had it with little George. It sounds really horrible and I'm surprised anyone who's ever had it would consider another baby!

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  46. Pictures of undeniable compatibility..... ;)))

    http://www.popsugar.com/images/Kate-Middleton

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    Replies
    1. It's especially nice to look through these photos now, knowing how ill she is. Incredibly compatible couple, happy, magnetic even.

      I hope she's smiling again and feeling more like herself very soon.

      Delete
    2. Magnetic is a good description, Summer. They are, aren't they? :))

      And I think George (in the photos where Kate is pushing the stroller) definitely looks like his father.

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  47. I have followed this blog for some while but this is the first time I have commented.
    I am very glad that Kate is not going to Malta in fact I have been rather puzzled as to why it was left so long before the decision was made. remembering the time it took her to be well enough to undertake any major engagements the last time to my mind it was clear that she would not be well enough to go.
    I feel very sorry for Kate and hope that she makes a similar recovery to last time. It was just under the 4 month mark when she went on holiday to Mystique and from then on undertook a number of major engagements and certainly appeared fine. Sadly this time I would expect she will be feeling very low not only because she is so ill but also missing so many events which I imagine could well depress her. Last time the events that she missed would I expect not have unduly upset her being mainly formal occasions.
    Hopefully seeing photos of all the Middleton family looking very happy and relaxed at this wedding yesterday makes me think that Kate must be improving as I very much doubt if her parents would have travelled abroad if she was still as bad as reported last week.
    I have been rather disappointed with Prince William's apparent lack of concern towards his wife this time compared to when she was ill with George when he was such a very caring and loving husband to Kate such a shame that this time enjoying himself appears to have been more of a priority I just hope he was looking after Kate yesterday when all her family were in Italy. I look forward to seeing the pictures of Malta not an area I have ever been to though I must admit I am not so interested in the event as Kate will not be there it will be interesting to see what comments, if any William makes about Kate whilst he is there.
    Hopefully if her recovery follows the last time we should see her at Remembrance Sunday and I just hope and pray that she has a healthy brother or sister for George in the Spring

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    Replies
    1. Mary, if you concede that William was a very caring and loving husband during Kate's first pregnancy, and that the Middleton's appeared happy and relaxed when they attended the wedding in Italy, isn't it far more likely that he traveled to Scotland to meet with the Queen ahead of his visit to Malta? Kate was in good hands and I don't think he abandoned her.

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  48. The nearly-daily array of mixed messages emanating from the Palace press office is just another indication of how utterly disorganized and in array that office is and has been.
    Either the Palace and the royals truly believe that the public are absolutely stupid but come on, with the enormous amoung of advance work and planning that was done, does anyone seriously believe that Will and Kate consulted with doctors A DAY BEFORE SHE WAS DUE TO LEAVE FOR MALTA and made the decision then?
    What an utterly stupid statement for the press office or whoever released that helpful nugget of info to make.
    Of course they didn't. The decision was made as soon as the doctors diagnosed Kate with HG in the early stages of this pregnancy. They knew then she wouldn't go to Malta. That's just common sense. You don't send a weeks-pregnant woman who's suffering from a potentially life-threatening illness on two four-hour flights and a two-day stay away from her regular doctors and elite medical care. Why play around and act like it was possible?
    What's so maddening is that they surely must know there are a lot of people who like Kate and are genuinely concerned about her health. Why not just be honest with the public?
    It's even more frustrating for those of us who really, truly believed that the Palace and the royal family had learned their lesson about deceiving the public through either telling false stories or saying nothing at all when the situation was obvious, after the whole sad Diana saga.
    Shanon's account is heartbreaking. It highlights what ordinary, non-royal women have to endure with this illness when they don't have access to the elite medical care and specialized doctors that the aristocracy does.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Elizabeth. I agree with everything you wrote.

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    2. Elizabeth, I agree that they had a good idea that she wouldn't be able to go to Malta, but I honestly didn't see anything wrong with the way it was handled.

      You mentioned people caring about Kate and being concerned, but don't you think if it had been announced right away, there could have been even more speculation about her health? And there would have been endless debate about Kate not taking her role seriously and not wanted to go, etc.

      There's also the diplomacy angle to consider. Malta was prepared for a royal visit and, unless it was cancelled, I can't imagine that an earlier announcement would have had much impact on their preparations. But it could have been perceived as hasty if the announcement was made right away.

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  49. Shannon G, Kentucky21 September 2014 at 05:44

    Hi all! This is Shannon who wrote the HG story. I'm sorry I've taken so long to respond to all of you. I've been buried in a work project. First, I want to thank Charlotte so very, very, very much for sharing my story on this blog. What an amazing thing to do to spread awareness for HG! THANK YOU! Second, a huge thanks to all of you for your kind words and support. It is very clear that you all are now advocates for HG moms too, and I have no doubt that you will help us spread awareness. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

    I wanted to make a couple replies to comments, though by no means am I an expert on HG. In regards to William not being by Kate's side, I wouldn't put too much emphasis on this. William is going to be Kate's primary caregiver the vast majority of the time - regardless of how many doctors and other family are involved. So for him to go to Scotland for a couple days to take a break and to talk to the Queen about Malta is perfectly understandable. From my perspective, when I was at my most miserable, I didn't really want anyone around unless absolutely necessary, and I know at her parents' house she will be well tended to. Her main concern, I imagine, will be that George is looked after and her little one on board is healthy.

    About the delay in making a decision for Kate to go to Malta or not. We only think there was a delay because that's what they told us. It's quite possible, and most likely, that the palace knew long ago that Kate would be in no condition to travel. With HG, even if you feel "well", you cannot have a rigorous schedule because it can lead to relapse. The fear of relapse hangs over you like an anvil waiting to drop.

    As for Kate seeming to feel well in her last pregnancy. Many posters are quite right in that HG is different for every person and in every pregnancy. People also respond to medications differently. There is a term in the HG community called "medicated fluffy" which means that you are feeling well because you are medicated. So, it's quite possible that Kate was able to attend engagements because she was "medicated fluffy". Remember, we only saw Kate in short stints throughout her pregnancy. I went to work for 8 hours a day and then would come home and lay on the couch wanting to die. I wouldn't spend much time speculating on how ill Kate is but be thankful that her illness can at least raise awareness for HG. (Not that I'm glad she's ill, of course.)

    Thank you again for your wonderfully kind words! I hope my story, the stories of other HG moms, and the stories of other moms that have had difficult pregnancies can help us all give each other a little slack. That's something I definitely learned from my experience. You just never know what other people are going through.

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    1. Shannon, I sincerely hope that others will see your awesome and again well written reply. You are so very welcome. But it is we who thank you very much for an even more increased HG awareness. And more so due to your post script.

      I have no idea why there were some who were concerned about William not being with Kate 24/7. All caregivers no matter who they are do need a break of some kind (not that all Mothers are so lucky to get a break but should if they can). William could not summon the Queen to his residence [:)] for a briefing on the Malta trip. Or the trip to Balmoral was planned in advance and one knows that Kate had to be feeling well enough for William to make any kind of trips anywhere. The relationship that I suspect Kate and William have is one of a very close friendship as well as partners in their marriage. William has always made sure that Kate is around those that love her and will take care of her whenever he is away for a period of time. We saw that when William had to be gone for that long period of training during their first year of marriage. I just know they are in constant contact with each other via phone or some other technological device. One does wonder though about Amner Hall and William's new job. We just hope all will work out for them both and their little one. But what we can know is that William will have all the bases covered.

      The palace no doubt has a back up contingency plan for all events planned in advance. And of course "they" knew Kate would not be able to attend at the time her HG surfaced for this pregnancy and must have had their own reasons for delaying public knowledge. What you put into words I am sure many of us already thought.... "fear of relapse hangs over you like an anvil waiting to drop." Unfortunately certain people feel they must look their best and do their best no matter what when out in public. I plan to use that term "medicated fluffy" as we all certainly make sure we are with whatever required medications we take to mask what we are truly feeling (pain, depression, anxiety, etc.). There just may come a time when that is impossible but that is what makes us all human.

      With Kate, you, and others we have a increased awareness of HG and we do hope this spreads. Many thanks to you all. We cannot walk in other shoes only our own, but hopefully we have empathy and sympathy for everyone.

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    2. Shannon I hope you send your story to Duchess Catherine herself - you never know right now she might have more time to read mail & be heartened by your story a little - so well written. Much thanks. Theresa in Australia

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  50. Hello All, I just submitted my first post the other day. I can't remember how I came upon this Blog, but once I found it (pre Baby George?) all I know is it immediately became my daily "Go To" source for any/all news on Kate, Will & now George:) Charlotte you have created Such an Excellent Blog (which seems such an inadequate label, as I've found it to be News Update meets Fashion Update, with a nod to Historical Perspective, with an apparent balanced Social Forum. Great Job! I think the Highest Compliment I can pay you is that I go to You before CNN for my Royal News:) Being from the US, it's hit or miss re: being able to hold interesting conversations about anything Royal. I'm a history buff so I appreciate current Royal events within a broader historical perspective. After learning the hard way how easy it is to have the petty aspects of social interactions within a community such as exists with blogs, I had vowed not to post. However, Shannon's Incredibly Brave & Well Written Story prompted me to dip my toe into the water here. Now that I have, I feel pulled to comment again. I agree with so many of you, regarding my Shock with how many people are nit-picking about how "Sick" Kate Really Is!? :0! (Me with my gaping mouth!?) What is That All About!? How Cruel:( As so many have pointed out, once you've known someone who has suffered from HG you would just Never Pass Judgement! I'd like to take it a steo further...how many of us have been sick or had health problems that others didn't understand, & all it does is make you feel misunderstood & so alone:( Personally I think this is one of those cases when ...if we can't say anything nice & supportive, then we shouldn't say anything at all, especially anything negative & undermining. This young family (Royal yet still human beings with feelings just like us) I'm sure could use all the positive Prayers & Good Wishes we can muster up! Thankfully for her she is Blessed with a loving Family & lots of resources many women in her condition do not. So I'll step down off my Soap Box:) My Sister in law has an identical sister who had it so bad that my Sister in law took a year off of Medical Jacket to go to move in with her twin to help their Mom & her Brother in law care for her sister, but to also help her Sister complete Law School! They were Completely Identical, so mu SIL attended classes & recorded them, as her Sister could not attend through out her whole Pregnancy! I had never heard of HG until that time. In this case it was severe & didn't let up until the Beautiful Baby was Born:) Once the Baby was here, it was decided to all be worth it. Mom & Baby were Great....but in an incredible twist of Fate the little sweet Baby Girl Died of SIDS...& the Father was a Dr. Yet couldn't save their Baby Girl....It was So Awful it didn't seem possible that this could happen after all that. It was too much for my Sister in law that she was never able to bring herself past it to take the chance of likely having HG like her Sister. So I hope people just remember that until we walk a mile in another's shoes, we just shouldn't judge.

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