CHARLOTTE, N.C.— One look at Morgan Wiebke and you can see things aren't going well.
"This is truly debilitating," she said from a hospital bed at Carolinas Medical Center. “At the worst, I was probably throwing up every 15-20 minutes, all day long, everyday of the week."
Wiebke experienced nausea and vomiting so severe that the 30-year- old expectant mother had to be hospitalized.
"Any kind of motion, lights, sounds, smells, anything like that just sent me to the bathroom," she said.
Wiebke and the Duchess of Cambridge have the same rare, acute morning sickness called Hyper Emesis Gravid arum.
Dr. Mac Ernest is the chair of Ob-Gyn at Carolinas HealthCare. Doctors at CHS just presented a study on the illness and stress it's not psychological.
“”This is a physical problem that's related to that normal pregnancy hormone that goes up in that first trimester,” said Ernest.
That hormone that's wreaking havoc for Kate Middleton and Wiebke is hCG, the pregnancy hormone. The hormone makes 80 percent of all pregnant women nauseaous. But in severe cases, that nausea coupled with vomiting can be dangerous.
"Most women don't lose their baby from nausea at the time. We just worry that later there may be consequences of a smaller baby or a complication from the pregnancy later,” said Ernest.
Wiebke has lost 13 pounds in her first trimester. Ernest stresses that’s the most serious warning sign pregnant women should remember. Nausea, vomiting and weight loss mean it's time to see a doctor immediately. When treated, this acute illness almost always has an excellent outcome.
And for Wiebke, the sickness will be forgotten just as soon as her baby is in her arms.
“Oh, it will be all worth it. As miserable as this is, that's the greatest feeling in the world,” she said.