Kids Motherhood

Dear Kate, You Make It Look So Easy, But You Don’t Have To

Written by Carolyn Moore

Dear Kate,

Congratulations! You have a new baby boy, by all accounts, a healthy, perfect addition to your brand new family of five. How wonderful! 

I learned of your new arrival, fittingly in this day and age, on social media when a friend messaged me a video of you debuting your new son on the steps of the London hospital where he was born. 

I clicked the play button, and there you were, waving next to the future King of England with one arm, cradling your tiny, swaddled son in the other—mere hours after you’d delivered him.

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And as the commentator on the news coverage said, “She looks amazing! Absolutely radiant!” 

I clicked back into the message window. “Four hours after I gave birth, I was eating a cheeseburger and sitting in my own filth,” my friend quipped. 

And I have to tell you, Duchess, there are an awful lot of us who can say the very same thing. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but dang, you make this birthing babies thing look absolutely, ridiculously easy. 

Since this is the third go-round for you, I know we really shouldn’t be surprised. You’ve already twice-proven yourself to be some sort of superhuman birthing machine, capable of delivering a perfectly beautiful baby one hour, then navigating steps while holding a baby while wearing heels and a dress the next. 

I don’t know how you do it. Presumably, you gave birth to this baby the old fashioned way: hospital room, IV drip, doctors, nurses, bodily fluids. But there seems to be nothing typical about the way you’re able to immediately bounce back after completing the miraculous marathon that is bringing a human being into the world.

It makes a lot of us commoners scratch our heads—how do you do it? 

Your hair a few hours postpartum? Perfectly blown out. 

Mine? A disheveled ponytail held together by a sweaty headband. 

Your face? Expertly done up; clean and fresh. 

Mine? Exhausted and pale.

Your look? Ready for high tea with the Queen; elegant; trendy. 

Mine: Struggling to tie the wayward front strings of a nursing gown eight sizes too big and adjust stretchy mesh underwear coated in some kind of glorious numbing genius. 

During those early postpartum moments with each of my babies, I’m absolutely certain I was nowhere near capable of facing anyone but my husband and immediate family—so in that way, I admit I feel almost a little sorry for you. What must it be like to deliver a baby and shortly thereafter be whisked into hair and makeup to be readied for an appearance (even a short one) before your adoring public?

In those hours after birth, I was physically spent and undoubtedly quite a sight, to put it kindly. I had nurses pummeling my stomach every half hour so my uterus would clamp down. There were gruesome trips to the bathroom that could have been straight out of a horror film. I had food service on speed dial delivering every possible morsel of food available to satisfy my ravenous post-baby starvation. 

But I also had a fresh newborn bundled in my arms—and all the time in the world. I had nurses tending to my every need. A husband by my side glowing with the unmatched love of a new father. A heart absolutely bursting with joy. 

It was bliss. 

I can only hope you walked inside the doors of that hospital after your brief appearance with your baby, stepped out of your heels and that lovely red dress, and climbed back into a bed lined with pre-warmed hospital blankets. I hope you had the chance to nurse your precious little guy in peace, to whisper sweet nothings into his ear and inspect his 10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes. I hope you got to eat a giant, greasy cheeseburger.

I heard you’re heading home from the hospital soon, and I hope what’s waiting there for you is a haven of comfort and quiet. I hope you and your family are able to savor these precious newborn moments together, to relish the way your family is expanding before your eyes alongside your hearts. Because these moments are brief, a mere blink in the story of your life, but they’re the ones we cherish forever, long after they’re gone.  

And, Duchess or not, dear Kate, you deserve to soak it in . . . without wearing heels. 

 

Editorial credit: Shaun Jeffers / Shutterstock.com

About the author

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom