Fairy tales are meant to have happy endings and that’s exactly how the July 22, 2013 birth of Prince George of Cambridge can be described. Baby George’s parents are William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who enchanted the world from their courtship as college sweethearts, to their storybook wedding, which took place on April 29, 2011.

Kate, as she’s affectionately known, had some problems at the beginning of her pregnancy but recent headlines about the royal birth say she is thrilled that her pregnancy and plan for natural childbirth went off without a hitch. She described the big event as “perfect,” according to friends quoted in the October issue of Vanity Fair magazine.

The world first learned of the royal pregnancy in December 2012 when Kate was admitted to the King Edward VII’s Hospital Sister Agnes. Many mothers-to-be experience nausea during a pregnancy, especially in the early stages, but Kate was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), a rare form of pregnancy-related nausea that occurs in fewer than 2% of all pregnancies and can be quite dangerous.

In addition to extreme nausea that’s difficult to manage, HG symptoms include excessive vomiting that can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, fainting, and electrolyte imbalances that can affect the pregnancy. Women suffering prolonged or severe HG can lose between 5% and 10% of their body weight if symptoms aren’t controlled effectively. Preterm labor is the leading cause of hospitalization during the first half of pregnancy and HG is the second most common cause. In rare cases, HG symptoms can last from early pregnancy until delivery.

After a three-day stay in the hospital, the Duchess was discharged and soon continued with royal duties throughout the remainder of her pregnancy. If there were any lingering complications from her bout of HG, the world didn’t know it.

After a distressing beginning, Kate’s pregnancy came to a happy ending on July 22, 2013, when perfectly healthy Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born in London’s St. Mary’s Hospital. Kate and her two heirs to the British throne - hubby William (#2 in line) and baby George (#3) - could have chosen a royal palace for her convalescence but chose instead to go to the home of her parents in Bucklebury. Rather than hire a maternity nurse or nanny, the royal couple has chosen “to do the early days themselves,” according to a friend quoted in the Vanity Fair coverage of the birth.

Source: "Hyperemesis Gravidarum." Medline Plus. A.D.A.M. Inc. 8 Nov 2012. Web. 16 Sept 2013.