Pregnancy often comes with extreme joy, as well as difficulties. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, announced her pregnancy this week, however the excitement of a royal baby came with a health scare. It was also revealed that Middleton was being treated for a rare but severe form of morning sickness, called hyperemesis gravidarum. In light of Middleton's announcement and hospitalization, Yahoo! asked mothers to share their own stories of pregnancy complications.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum: Not Your Ordinary Morning Sickness
My sympathies lie with Kate Middleton right now. Hyperemesis gravidarum is not your ordinary morning sickness. While I had severe morning sickness with #1 and #2, it was #3 that put me over the top into full-blown first-trimester hyperemesis gravidarium. To translate: hyper means "beyond" and emesis is, in plain English, upchucking. I was throwing up every single day, several times a day, to the point where I couldn't keep anything down. I actually lost close to 10 pounds and got dangerously dehydrated. Treatment was IV fluids, anti-nausea drugs, and eating whatever I could keep down once my stomach had settled a bit. My midwife was worried I would lose my baby. Fortunately, medication and fluids worked. I gained weight, and at 43 weeks birthed an almost-9-pound boy.
Like Kate Middleton, I had complications early in my first pregnancy.
Before I ever felt kicks or heard a heartbeat, I loved my babies, and
these complications were a terribly frightening experience. My first pregnancy was the result of in vitro fertilization. I only
had three eggs successfully fertilize during the procedure, and my
doctor and I decided to implant all three embryos. After nearly a decade
of trying to conceive, I was pregnant with triplets.
Unfortunately, just weeks into the pregnancy, I began to bleed.
Confined to bed rest, praying for my babies, I was terrified. At my next
examination, I discovered I had lost one of the babies. I miscarried
one, but was still expecting the other two. Pain, grief, joy and relief
were all mixed together in emotions few will ever experience and I will
When I was 19 I found out that I was pregnant. It was an unplanned
pregnancy and I was not prepared for it at all. I was on my own, except
for my select family and friends that came to terms with this. At my
first ultrasound, the technician threw me for another loop: Not only was
I pregnant, I also had placenta previa. This is a condition where the
placenta is growing over the cervix, making it impossible for a vaginal
birth. Not only that, it also makes it possible for the placenta to
hemorrhage, killing your baby and you if not treated immediately.
This limited many things that I could do.
Luckily, my previa was a marginal case, which is one of the circumstances that is
not as extreme as other cases. When I was six and a half
months pregnant, my placenta had shifted and moved away from the cervix.
I was able to have my daughter vaginally and she was a very healthy
baby. I got extremely lucky compared to some of the other women who have
I had a serious pregnancy complication called placenta abruptio, which
is a separation of the placenta from the uterine wall. I went into labor
a month before I was due. It was only after the doctor had broken my
water that he realized there was an issue. When he broke my water, blood
came gushing out instead of water. I was immediately put into an
operating room to have an emergency C-section. I lost over 50 percent of
the blood in my body, and my child had to be resuscitated. But it was
worth the difficult experience because my child grew up healthy and
It was my first pregnancy, and everything had been perfect. Minimal
nausea, average weight gain, healthy checkups, and two normal
ultrasounds. No worries whatsoever until the third ultrasound, when I
saw the look in the ultrasound technician's eyes. She excused herself
from the room, leaving my husband and I in a state of wonder and worry. Five minutes later, my obstetrician came back to tell us they had seen
a spot on the baby, possibly a shadow, maybe a tumor. They couldn't
tell, so they sent us immediately to a high-risk OB/GYN for another
ultrasound. Less than 24 hours later we got the answer we were hoping
for. It wasn't a tumor, just a largish thyroid gland that doesn't
normally show up on ultrasounds. The original technician had sharp eyes
and a good heart. We had a healthy baby, something nobody should take
for granted, not even for a single day.
My pregnancy was wonderful until our 9th week. That was when
complications began. Everything caused bleeding and contractions. It was
decided that I would be put on bed rest for the duration of my
pregnancy. My son was an IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) baby. My
uterus was not adapting and was restricting his growth and development.
With contractions at 27 weeks and every move I made a cause for
concern, we started preparing for a preemie. We were always hoping for
one more week. Finally, by 33 weeks, my antenatal specialist measured
amniotic fluid and growth. My fluid decreased by 31 percent and he
hadn't shown any growth in 2 weeks. We decided to induce labor. During labor his heart beat became undetectable and they performed an
emergency C-section. I went from a woman in labor, to a surgical
patient, to a mother in 4 minutes total. I had my son.