When the story of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy broke in early December, there was a flutter of excitement across the newsroom. After the Royal Wedding and the Diamond Jubilee, we now had a Royal Baby to look forward to. However, it was early days, and Kate was in hospital suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum – an acute form of morning sickness.
What I didn’t share with my colleagues as we chatted about the news, was that I was also expecting, and also in the early stages. I’d been working night shifts and had certainly felt better… but at least I wasn’t in hospital.
My immediate thoughts turned to my own unborn child and the life he or she will be born into compared with that of the royal heir-to-be. All being well, my baby and my pregnancy would be overseen to fruition by my local NHS Trust. In contrast, Kate was currently in one of the country’s most prestigious private hospitals – King Edward VII in central London – which boasts her grandmother-in-law as its patron.
Having had some sickness, I could only sympathise with the future Queen. Some of my friends have been totally floored with sickness in pregnancy, but no-one has been hospitalised, so this must be bad – but then this is the heir to the throne we’re talking about, so one can imagine there is a particularly cautionary approach.
William and Kate had revealed the pregnancy to the world much earlier than they had planned, because of the Duchess’ hospital admission. I’m guessing she was about 8 weeks pregnant and, as my GP told me, this is when a woman’s body is literally “making” the baby. Like many working women in the early stages of pregnancy, I hadn’t “come out” to many people and certainly not to my work colleagues. According to the NHS, around 1 in 8 pregnancies end in miscarriage and three-quarters of these are in the the first trimester, so many people stick with the unwritten rule to wait until after the 12 week scan before sharing the news.
It must have been a hard time for the young royal couple… and that’s before even touching on that prank by two Australian DJs that went so tragically wrong.