The headline above is obviously intended to be complete sarcasm. Who else could be more excited about the prospect of a new baby than the mother? Well, if you happen to be Kate Middleton, probably the rest of the world. For you see, it’s only been a few hours since Kensington Palace (in as low-key a manner as they could manage) released an official statement detailing that not only will two become three in terms of the adored royal children but that, in case you absolutely missed it, the Duchess of Cambridge is to be a mum again.
And this, in itself, is lovely news. A new baby is joyous news and the fact that many seem to be genuinely happy for the family hasn’t gone unnoticed. But there’s a moment it all stops sounding so lovely and starts to feel very creepy. We all oohed and aahed in IMAGE for a few minutes when the news broke. We sent out a tweet. And then a few hours went by, and I got several newsletters in. “EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT THE ROYAL BABY” screamed one. “WHEN IS KATE’S BABY DUE?” shouted another. A quick Google sees hundreds upon hundreds of articles all detailing the same thing; the media ‘baby watch’ frenzy has started already. There’s no getting away from it. So, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking that we’re a tad more excited than Kate herself because just look at the tissy of franticness in a mere few hours?
And I can’t help but feel very sorry for Kate. Yes, she’s a public figure from arguably the most famous family in the world, and yes, she chose to announce the pregnancy, but she had no choice. And it’s quite awful that for the third time, she’s been forced to announce it because if she suddenly doesn’t show to an event, the media gets into a frenzy anyhow. Nevermind that The Duchess herself is suffering horribly alongside this – she has what’s known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, an extreme nausea and vomiting condition that can cause dehydration due to the excess vomiting and the inability to keep fluids down – she’s then forced to publicise it further.
And all this is even before she’s stepped out in public actually being pregnant – forget the celebrity baby watch; the royal baby watch is ten times as obsessive – and soon this will be what defines her existence, alongside her “glowing bump, petite frame, and incredible pregnancy hair” (just wait, “pregnancy hair” will become a thing).
Her pregnancy will then, no doubt, be ranked and compared to her previous outings: just exactly how good is she at being pregnant this time around? Will her style fair better than her last trimesters combined? Keep an eye; she’ll be “stepping out” soon – an act that generally occurs within the first trimester, with heaps of lavish praise because she can still get dressed despite nausea (with extra points if she wears heels, FYI) and then, the tide could turn. What if she loses the weight too quickly (or not quick enough) despite being a new mum and nursing? It’s totally and utterly exhausting. The pressure is quite a weight to carry when you’re trying to bear a child as well. And for Kate, it hasn’t even started yet – she hasn’t even spoken about it because she’s too busy just trying to be pregnant.
And what happens when the mass media starts insisting insist she’s a “natural” when it comes to being pregnant? There lies the disconnect between what we see of the glow of these famous mums-to-be and the often difficult, draining and emotional reality of having your first (or even subsequent babies) – asides from Kim Kardashian and The Hills star Whitney Port who both championed the whole “pregnancy is crap” side of things. None of the positive Kate-expecting-is-the-best-thing-ever vibes is helping new mothers adjust to the often lonely, stressful nine-month period of child carrying.
So yes, it seems we just might be more excited than Kate about royal baby number three and that, is too depressing for words.