Oh, did that title get your attention?
I, like much of the modern, E! News watching world, find myself glued to the television when a mention of Kate Middleton is made. She’s gorgeous, stylish, seems genuinely nice and like someone we’d all want to be friends with. And, best of all, she’s a regular girl who ended up marrying a prince. It’s all quite dreamy.
When word got out that she was pregnant last fall and due almost exactly the same day as me (even though her baby bump was completely nonexistent when I was already in maternity clothes), I not-so-secretly followed her every mama-to-be move. Right before Emmett was born I had a brief moment of insanity where I worried that she was going to have her baby right before mine and steal our name, and people would think WE copied HER. Thankfully that didn’t happen, and her little heir-to-the-throne George came a week later (George was nowhere on our baby name list). I was freshly home from the hospital cradling my own newborn when I watched Kate and William stand on the steps of the hospital waving to the throngs of admirers and press.
At that moment, mesmerized by watching Kate go through what I had just done myself, I thanked my lucky stars that I did not have any spectators when I left the hospital. My swollen belly wasn’t criticized by the media and no one talked about my hair. I slipped into my minivan, put one hand on my sleeping baby tucked into his carseat (ahem, properly, unlike a certain little prince who was unsafely swaddled for the ride home) and smiled at my husband in the rear-view mirror as we headed for Starbucks on our way home.
Despite the clear differences between Kate Middleton and I, I can’t help but think of her, often, as I go through the motions of caring for a newborn. Late at night when Emmett is fussing and shaking his head back and forth seemingly starving yet unable to find my nipple, I wonder if Kate is in her nursery doing the same thing. When I’m changing a diaper and I get a clean, dry diaper tucked under Emmett’s butt just in time for another poop to come shooting out, requiring me to re-diaper and re-dress him while trying to not smear poop all over his face, I wonder if Kate has the same awkward moments with baby George. When I’m positioned on the couch with my nursing pillow and burp cloths and other props to get myself in the perfect nursing position and I realize I’ve left my water cup across the room, I wonder if the other Kate has ever found herself similarly inconvenienced (though let’s be honest, I’m sure she has someone on her staff who could bring her a glass of water if the latter ever happened).
She may be a royal, but she’s still a new mom.
And sometimes being a new mom is awkward. And messy. And in the dark of the night when no one is watching, you inevitably wonder if you’re doing it right, even if you’ve done this all before. And I can guarantee you that even someone as seemingly perfect as Kate Middleton, like the rest of us, has messed a few things up. And, if she’s nursing, I bet her nipples are just as sore and beaten up as mine right now.
In some weird way, this brings me a lot of comfort. And thinking about Kate Middleton’s nipples makes me laugh a little. And I realize all of us new moms are in this together, whether we live in a castle, a suburb of Boston or somewhere in between.
Now, where is my butler to grab me my glass of water while I nurse?!