This week, like generations of kings’ wives before her, Kate breathed a sigh of relief. She had birthed the all-important male heir. Now, I know they don’t do beheadings anymore, and I know first-born girls can supposedly “rule” now (whatever the hell that really means anymore), but there must have been a few extra congratulatory pats on the back when that boy finally popped out.
It was in about the eighth hour of induced contractions that I looked at my husband and was like, “It’s time!!!!”
“The baby is coming? I’ll get a doctor,” my husband stated calmly.
“No, it’s time for you to get someone to put some fucking drugs in my back. I want an epidural, NOW! DO NOT COME BACK unless you have someone with a needle who will make this pain go away!!!!”
It was at this moment, my body laced with Pitocin, that I lost my decorum. An hour prior, I was still reading Us magazine in between contractions planning celebrity play dates with my newborn; now I wanted to die. I was not going down without a fight, a loud one, with screaming… and possibly cursing.
Now, I, a nobody, am allowed to do whatever I want during delivery, and there is absolutely no expectation other than that I somehow get the baby from the inside of me to the outside of me as quickly as possible. However, Kate is royalty, where decorum must be maintained in all situations…
Was she able to worry about the normal worries, like pooping during delivery? Was she hyper-aware of the fact that she was about to pop a future monarch out of her crotch? I know I would be!!
Was she able to display signs of extreme distress or did she have to suffer silently?? Did she turn to Wills and scream at him in front of doctors and nurses as if he was a common husband? Was he embarrassed??
These are the questions that flood my mind as I watched the coverage over and over again. It got to the point where my husband would walk into the room audibly sighing, “This has to stop; you’re crying and it’s not even our kid.” And he’s right. Here, 3000 miles away, I’m completely affected by this silliness, this pomp and tradition that is not even my own. And I am not the only one; the whole world is apparently watching this newly-formed family’s every move.
The morning after I gave birth I was just starting to regain feeling in my legs after an emergency Caesarean. My biggest worry was passing gas so they would let me eat. I might have washed my hair at some point; it’s all a bit foggy now. Yet there was Kate, glowing and beautiful, wearing designer duds and wedges, presenting her son to the world. Her first family photos must have been incredible, though—she radiant in blue, William dashing in a button-down and slacks. I believe my husband is wearing a homemade “Save The Geese” t-shirt in ours. (No, we’re not hippies; he just really likes geese.)
Didn’t she just want to get back into bed?? Didn’t she want to snuggle him close and keep him private from the world for just a few more hours? Those first moments of motherhood are indescribable; you’re thrilled, scared, and relieved. You’re wondering why your belly is still exactly the same size, wasn’t the baby outside of you now? Adorned with gross mesh granny panties you hold your child wondering why they won’t just latch to these hard-as-rock mounds we once called boobs… wasn’t that supposed to just happen naturally??
In this world of social media everything these parents do will be highly publicized and scrutinized. Already they comment on how he was swaddled in the car seat as he drove away from the hospital. Will she be revered or criticized if she breast feeds in public? (Will she even breast feed?) If George has a tantrum in front of the cameras will they be pegged as bad parents? Is she allowed to mommy friend just to vent after he does something just incorrigible, or is that sharing state secrets?? I feel the pressure just thinking about it!
Please, Kate, take your alone time with your boy! Soon enough we will all be watching and commenting on their every move.