Two days ago Kate and William appeared before the paparazzi to present their beautiful newborn prince to the world! Nothing too unusual about that. Kate was due around now and an imminent birth announcement was to be expected.
However, upon seeing some of the pictures in the press, such as the one featured in the Daily Mail below, something struck me as being most unexpected…
Here he is! Kate and Will presented their third child to the world. The beaming parents looked delighted as they showed off their son who was born weighing 8lbs 7oz. What an exciting day for the family! Swipe ⬅️ for more royal baby joy! 📸: David Fisher/ REX/ Shutterstock, AFP/ Getty Images, PA, Reuters
Such a perfect picture! ❤️
And it wasn’t Kate’s beautifully made-up face, her carefully coiffed hair, her neutral nails…
Oh no! It wasn’t even her exquisite diamond and pearl drop earrings, her pristine Jenny Packham dress or even the perfectly pink newborn prince she lovingly cradled in her arms…
It was the fact that Kate had given birth barely seven hours previously and already…. ALREADY (sorry, but, yes, I am shouting!) she was standing up (a feat in itself post birth, I tell you!), she was perfectly presented and fit to face the world!
I just could not fathom how such a feat was possible! I thought back to my own post birth experiences and tried to remember if I could ever have copied Kate…
In a word, no… no…oh and… NO!
This was my view around this time last year a few hours after giving birth to my beautiful Baby C:
Such a magical moment! 💞
And to that bed I was rooted for at least a few more hours (and days) post birth. OK, yes, I had had an epidural and a C-section so I could barely stand up at the time but even after my previous two ‘natural’ (but not straightforward – nothing ever is with me!) births I was hardly in a fit state to face my family never mind the ENTIRE WORLD!
At least, if the general tone of outrage in the Daily Mail is anything to go by, I am not alone in my musings.
‘Kate’s been pilloried for looking so picture perfect,’ one such headline screamed and was followed by an in-depth analysis of how ‘real’ women look after giving birth.
Beyond the Daily Mail (I know, such a world does indeed exist!), the headlines were somewhat more conservative yet still questioning as they attempted to put forward some probable explanations for Kate’s hasty departure from the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital.
‘Why does Kate Middleton Leave the Hospital So Soon After Giving Birth?’ people.com gently asks.
And why indeed?
Some possible explanations point out that Kate, unlike us mere mortals, is not reliant on the hospital for her post birth rest and relaxation, as the care she will receive at home is second to none. Also, she may have exited the hospital more quickly than would normally be expected in order to escape the media frenzy that naturally surrounds a royal birth.
Nonetheless, my reaction, and that of countless other women, to her hasty hospital exit does raise some other significant questions.
Why is the length of time someone spends recuperating post birth an issue?
Why are we working ourselves into such a frenzy over something that should quite simply be a case of ‘live and let live’?
If I am to be completely honest with myself about the entire issue, I think it really boils down to the deep-rooted insecurities a lot of women grapple with when it comes to all things pregnancy and childbirth related.
For a lot of us, we grow up thinking that to fall pregnant and bear children is the most natural thing in the world, something that we will all inevitably experience at one point or another.
But then, as life takes its unforeseen twists and turns, and obstacles to pregnancy and/or childbirth are encountered, our very sense of our own identity as women is threatened.
If, for example, a woman struggles to fall pregnant, she will often perceive all other women who seemingly become pregnant at the drop of a hat as being smug, superior even.
Likewise, a woman who plans a natural birth but ends up having a C-section due to unforeseen complications may resent having to listen to other women’s ‘blissfully natural hypnobirth’ experiences.
The same pattern is repeated when it comes to breastfeeding issues, baby weight issues, ad infinitum.
Women are, generally speaking, hypercritical of themselves, and sometimes even other women around them, where childbirth issues are concerned. Throw some crazy hormones into the mix and you have an often explosive concoction.
Bearing all of this in mind, the image of a perfectly presented Kate on the steps of the Lindo Wing just a few hours after giving birth would have made quite a few women, including me, feel… well… inadequate.
We do a super quick mental compare and contrast and come up, in our own minds at least, short and so we lash out.
‘What is she thinking?!’ we protest.
When, in actual fact, we wish we could have done the same. 😢
So maybe it’s time we all cut each other and, most importantly, ourselves a little slack, as, at the end of the day, we are creating the next generation… the future!
And for that fact alone, we should give ourselves one hell of a pat on the back!!
On that note, I’m going to scuttle off to cuddle my own slumbering little one.
Butter wouldn’t melt…
Until next time…
💋 Mostly Mum