Terri Coles
July 22, 2013

The Royal Baby Is on the Way! Finally, Right?

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

So, perhaps you’ve heard — Kate Middleton snuck into a London hospital this morning in the early stages of labor.

When I loaded up the home pages for a few newspapers this morning, the news that the royal baby would be showing up by, I’m guessing, tomorrow at the latest — let’s hope earlier, for the duchess’ sake — was apparently the most important thing going on right now. I’m in Canada, so this effect is multiplied — I just read that the CN Tower in Toronto will light up pink or blue depending on the sex of the baby.

But as great as babies are, it’s all getting to be a bit much.

I’m sure that as long as this pregnancy has felt to us commoners, it’s felt even longer to Kate. As a person who has been pregnant and experienced firsthand the way the world seems to believe pregnant women and their developing fetuses are public property, I feel a bit bad for Kate. Not bad for her in the way I feel bad for, say, refugees — but I’ve got some sympathy.

Being pregnant is a weird experience under the best of circumstances. It was very strange to have my body suddenly doing things out of nowhere, things it had never done before and that nobody had warned me about. Your nipples get darker! Your body hair grows more quickly! You’ll have heartburn like you won’t believe!

Now imagine all of those things are happening while you’re being watched (and photographed) by the entire world, with people discussing if you’re gaining enough (or too much) weight and speculating as to how, exactly, you’ll get that baby out of you, or speculating about whether or not you’re actually just an uppity wimp because you’ve been barfing a lot. It’s enough to make anybody anxious.

I hope Kate’s in her delivery room with the television off, just focusing on being in labor and not aware of the madness happening just outside the hospital doors. (Literally: there’s a live feed.) Delivering a baby is, perhaps fortunately, a pretty all-encompassing experience.

She’ll soon have to get out of that hospital and then find herself subject to all kinds of new scrutiny: what’s the baby’s name, how was he or she delivered, does Kate have PPD, will she be like Princess Diana as a mother, and so on. Maybe it’s impossible, but it’d be really great if Will and Kate can have a little privacy to hang out with their new baby and get accustomed to what is, for any new parents, a pretty mind-blowing time.

Everyone deserves that consideration, royalty or not.