KATE MIDDLETON, FIRST OF HER NAME, NEE, THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE, NEE, SHE OF THE FABULOUS CHOCOLATE BROWN HAIR, HAD A BABY THIS MORNING.
You might have heard about it?
Remember when Kate gave birth to her last child, Charlotte? It has been three years already. Actually, remember the first time we ever clapped eyes on Kate after she became engaged to the future king of England?
Remember that navy dress? And those tresses that sent a million women to the salon?
Kate has been my jam for quite a while.
I can appreciate how a girl once snapped in skinny jeans and Uggs, carrying a coffee and walking down the street landed the heart of a prince. I can appreciate that her sense of style is demure, and that she hasn’t bowed to the pressure to cut her hair into a soccer-mom style since her first child was born.
So anyway, Kate had a baby this morning.
I woke up early, checked my phone and saw the headlines that Kate had been admitted to the hospital in labor. I went about my day and within three hours of that, word broke that Kate had, in fact, delivered her baby. A boy.
The only thing of note that I did early this sunny Monday morning was change my pants and put on a bra. Kate delivered an eight and a half pound baby boy.
By the time I’m slicing my kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in half for lunch, Kate will most likely be standing in front of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, hair blowing in the breeze, cradling her newborn son in her arms and looking like a fairy tale unicorn for the billions of people who will be watching on live t.v. or reading the news for the next week.
That’s right. Billions. Billyuns.
When my first child was born, to say that nearly everything that could go wrong did would be an understatement.
Kate is the sort of woman who, through genetics and luck and self-care, has managed to make growing and birthing tiny humans look like the stuff of magic.
I am a person who manages to make it look like a raging dumpster fire.
Try not to be envious.
Still, though, designer dresses and salon precision hairstyles aside, I would bet you dollars to donuts that Kate experiences many of the rushing emotions and physical discomforts that so many expectant and new mothers feel.
Sure, our children’s births aren’t announced to the world on an easel in front of Buckingham Palace. And no, Kate will never have to wait for a hospital room to give birth in because her hospital room is better than all of the hotels most of us will ever stay in.
BUT EVEN AN EASY DELIVERY IS STILL DELIVERING A CHILD. EVEN IF IT WILL EVENTUALLY WEAR A CROWN.
How the Duchess of Cambridge birth is just like yours and mine:
1.) SHE’S WEARING UNDIES FOUR TIMES THE SIZE OF HER NORMAL UNDERWEAR.
When I gave birth to my first child, I remember the little basin of “goodies” they brought as an offering to my bedside. Feminine pads the size of throw pillows. Tubes of lanolin cream. I was confused as to why I wasn’t offered bricks of gold and chocolate after what I had just endured.
Also in the bin were these strange mesh pieces of fabric I wasn’t sure what to do with.
That was until I inched my way into a pair and understood what heaven felt like.
I had an incision across my abdomen and a bulging, misshapen belly I realized might not ever be like business as usual again. But those mesh undies were made from angel wings and gave me a reason to live through the trials of breastfeeding and learning how to walk more than ten feet without keeling over.
Kate will appear outside the hospital sometime in the next few hours not wearing sweats from Target, but instead a bespoke gown that compliments her skin tone. But I would bet you her undergarments tell a different story. They tell the story of a body that just rocked out, doing just one of the many amazing things it is capable of, in all of its bloody, messy glory.
Give that woman a donut. Or a scone.
2.) SHE’S PROBABLY UNCOMFORTABLE WITH HER POST-BABY BODY.
I hate that term. Hate it.
It’s a term slapped unfairly on celebrity women that has trickled down to us mere mortals over the years in the form of magazine covers in the checkout line at the store. And we don’t have private chefs and workout coaches to help us get back into our pre-baby form.
If I have spent enough time around women in my nearly thirty-three years of life, nine of those years spent growing children and giving birth to them, I know that no woman feels 101% comfortable with her body.
And that is before the tiny humans come in and wreck shop.
The point is, I am sure that royal women are not immune to feeling like everything is irrevocably changed from what it was before. And to the journey it takes to make peace with that fact.
Smiles aside, loving husband by her side, baby in her arms, she knows what she did was worth it. Even if it means stretch marks, sagging and swollen ankles.
3.) THE WORLD ISN’T ALWAYS KIND TO WOMEN AFTER WE DELIVER OUR CHILDREN – EVEN IF THEY ARE ROYAL.
I wouldn’t trade places with Kate right now for all of the jewels in the queen’s collection knowing what lies ahead for her. There will be thousands of zoomed in photos of her abdomen or the gray hairs on her head, a search for any sign that she is exhausted beyond words so that it can be said she isn’t coping well with motherhood in an attempt gain clicks or sell magazines.
We are told that the more exhausted we look, the worse we are doing in our roles as mothers because a woman’s body post-birth is offensive. But we are also told that if we get back into shape or slap makeup on our faces too quickly, then we clearly selfish and are neglecting our children so that we can spend time on our hair.
Does it piss you off, too?
It’s a maddening standard that women everywhere are fighting every day to dispel. We have to fight to be comfortable in our own skin when we know that the world isn’t.
The truth is that we have more to worry about beyond our bodies but also, self-care is important, and the two balance one another as we moms figure out how to make our way through the fog of the newborn stage, the trials of infancy and the fresh hell that can be toddlerhood.
Any showers we take or pants with buttons we wear along the way is simply a bonus.
I can only hope that Kate doesn’t read Twitter, and can tune the white noise out over the next six months, and be secure in her now family of five. Because that is truly what matters.
SO, THERE YOU HAVE IT. KATE IS JUST LIKE US, ONLY SHE ISN’T BECAUSE SHE GETS TO RIDE IN A CARRIAGE PULLED BY ROYAL HORSES. STILL, I WISH HER AND HER HUSBAND ALL THE BEST AS THEY ENJOY THEIR NEW BABY SON.
This article originally appeared at Ashley’s Devotions.