Royal Birthing Pains

Now that Kate Middleton and her family are comfortably ensconced at their country home, can we talk about the hoops this poor woman had to jump through immediately after giving birth to a human being?

To be honest, I’m not what anyone would describe as a Royal Family watcher. I don’t know the official titles and I wasn’t waiting with bated breath for the arrival of the latest member of their family. Nonetheless, I was intrigued by the coverage of Middleton’s delivery this time around in a way that I wasn’t for her first, which came when I was just four months pregnant and still blissfully oblivious to exactly what was heading my way. (Oh, to be that young and naive again.)

It wasn’t so much the prenatal public appearances in which she looked effortlessly flawless. I get the concept of celebrity (I grew up in the land of the Kardashians, after all) and, as much as things like this add to the pressure women feel to be perfect at all times — even when incubating a human — I can let it go. She looked like she was feeling fine and she obviously has her very own glam squad tasked with keeping her looking as royal as possible at all times.

However.

Look at her, all smiley and unbloated. Not buying it, Katie. Not buying it at all. (image via dailymail.co.uk)
Look at her, all smiley and unbloated. Not buying it, Katie. Not even a little bit. (image via dailymail.co.uk)

When Middleton appeared on the steps of St. Mary’s hospital hours after birthing her brand-new daughter, I couldn’t help but cringe. Not because of her appearance – she looked impeccable as always, perfectly-coiffed, styled and made-up. I imagine she even had her belly comfortably banded by her Trinbagonian midwife before she stepped out to face the public.

Still, while most folks raved about her radiant post-partum glow (and threw around insane theories about how she pulled it off), I remembered the fatigue, the aches, the massive maternity pads and I felt for her, one mother to another. Glam squad notwithstanding, no matter how great she felt immediately after Charlotte’s arrival, I seriously doubt she wanted to be standing in front of those steps, in those heels, waving at that crowd. If I were a betting woman, I’d wager that she would have much preferred to be cuddling up with her new baby, her first-born and her hubby somewhere quiet. Or, you know, napping. Probably napping. Definitely napping.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong. I’m certainly willing to admit the possibility, however slim, that Middleton was thrilled to get out there and perform her post-partum Duchess duties. Even so, I wonder about the point of this particular tradition in the internet age. Surely, there are ways to debut the new royal baby that don’t require her weary mother to pretend that she was dropped off at the hospital by a stork.

I mean, who are we really kidding here? What’s to be gained by perpetuating the idea that women should be able to bounce back this quickly after delivery? Women who have never given birth — particularly the currently pregnant ones — are being set up in the worst way (unless you’ve already booked your own glam squad) and women who have given birth either scoff (like me) or feel bad that their biggest post-partum accomplishment was a bathroom adventure that didn’t involve tears (can’t claim that one). At this point, wouldn’t we be better served by a Duchess who laid up in her hospital bed for a couple of days and hobbled out wearing yoga pants and flip-flops, if that was how she really felt afterwards? How about keeping it royally real for a change?

In all fairness, my stance could be colored by the fact that I could barely sit up after labor, so I’m eager to hear from women who had blissful deliveries and zero post-partum swelling. Would you have been up for something like this? Let me know in the comments below!

*****

10502365_929747340373699_6826095305402629976_nCalisa is the exhausted mother of an energetic, (generally) good-natured and ridiculously sharp toddler whose sole mission in life is obviously to keep mommy on her toes. She spends much of her time reading board books, changing diapers and saying “Ah-ah-ah! Mommy said ‘NO’!” while counting down the hours to bedtime.

Image

8 thoughts on “Royal Birthing Pains

  1. Crys Holder says:

    Definitely not!!! I was so uncomfortable, I had aches, I hardly wanted visitors (save close family members) because I felt and looked awful. I used to cry when I had to go to the bathroom. I had to get familiar with a sitz bath or a pop top blue waters bottle should I need to pee. lol.
    I wanted to stay in those maternity nighties and dusters all the time since I was convinced that pants could never again feel comfortable. I hardly slept because I was in awe of my little prince. I feared sleeping through cries or whimpers. I cannot imagine being in her shoes (took me a while to dare try heels again), nor would I want the responsibility of having to appear as though all is well. My skin and hair would not have allowed it anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Calisa P. says:

      I feel you, Crys. I went through much the same thing! In fact, those first post-partum bathroom memories are a big part of why I’m not willing to have another child anytime soon!

      Like

  2. I personally found that the two weeks after giving birth were worst than the actual delivery! The bruised nipples and brutally sore lower regions were only bearable because of how much I loved my new baby.

    I agree 100% that her having to appear so radiant after birth when even a person who had just picked a baby off the floor would look more frazzled, sends a crazy message to moms to be. It’s kinda sad, especially when, the last time around she was praised for being relatable as she wore a simple dress and didn’t hide the post baby pooch. This time around, the stylist was hired… No more dressing yourself Kate. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Calisa P. says:

      Girrrrrl… I remember literally being afraid of that area of my body for a good while afterwards and I wasn’t presentable for months.

      Now that you mention it, I do remember hearing about her relatability last time. I also recall hearing folks talking smack about her post-baby belly, so I guess she decided she just wasn’t about that life this time around. It’s be nice if she didn’t have to parade herself in that vulnerable state at all.

      Like

  3. Renatta Mohammed-Valere says:

    Ok so don’t shoot – but I actualy had births where hours after I was home and looking ok enough (not quite Kate but ok). Both were natural (the first at a birthing center and the other was a home based water birth). Having managed public figures though, it has dawned on me that Kate’s public appearance lasted a few minutes and we’ve not seen her since. I’m guessing Kate kicked off those heels in the car, threw that hair back in a ponytail and been a happy, sore momma behind the scenes since then, 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Calisa P. says:

      LOL, we’re not armed, promise! I’m thrilled to hear about your experience (it gives me something to hope for in case I lose my mind and try again, LOL)!

      I’d bet you’re 100% right. I doubt those heels lasted any longer than it took to get away from prying eyes. Also, I’m all for a woman living her own personal truth, so if she really felt great (she certainly looked it) and wanted to be out there, splendid. I just wish there was a little more variety in the public portrayals of pregnancy and birth.

      I, for instance, glowed throughout my pregnancy (an early ugly bout with hyperemesis notwithstanding), but couldn’t even sit up to dress myself afterwards due to blood loss. It can be a great experience, but it can also be rough.

      Like

  4. Samantha "Sammy Jo" John says:

    In my mind I thought I looked splendid. A look back at the video we took, and well let’s just say I was disappointed. Walking was slow and maybe it was all in my mind but ‘painful’ and well ever having sex with my husband again…needless to say, I extended that 6 weeks of ‘no intercourse’ as advised by my medical practitioner. Bathroom visits, were slow and cautious. I kept thinking, pain and discomfort before, during and after…if this child only knows what his mother goes thru.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Calisa P. says:

      I so remember that! It’s not the labour that scares me when I think about having another child, it’s the post-partum period.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s