I admit since Kate Middleton wed – and particularly on her wonderful wedding day – I’ve had the odd thought about how amazing it must be to live in such luxury, never having to work, travelling all over the world and generally having every whim catered for.
But after this week, I have changed my mind. Seeing the enormous worldwide coverage on this story about her pregnancy makes me realise I would never have wanted to be in her shoes.
Having experienced hyperemesis myself during my first pregnancy, I can only recall wanting to curl up in a ball and die. Feeling so dreadful the very last thing I wanted to do was to talk to anyone. And although friends and family passed on their congratulations via my husband for our first baby, I couldn’t have cared less. I was simply too ill to be bothered. Quite apart from that I didn’t feel normally pregnant. Although doctors and nurses tried to reassure me all was well, I couldn’t help but have those niggles at the back of my mind that to be like this, something must be very wrong. Frankly when you get this unwell you also feel a huge failure, and actually guilty, that you are not having a normal pregnancy.
And although people might on the surface be sympathetic (and thank goodness there is at last some proper recognition of hyperemesis which has not only killed some women but led some in desperation to terminate their pregnancies) there are those, I discovered, who make little comments, who secretly think pregnancy sickness is ‘due to anxiety, ‘psychological reasons such as not wanting to be pregnant’ or a ‘hidden eating disorder.’
Hopefully much of the huge media interest about Kate’s pregnancy has been kept from her – and in fact I would wager she’s been too ill to care – but the very last thing you want at a time like this is the whole world watching you, waiting for information and for those first snatched photos of you emerging pregnant but looking thinner.
I can only imagine news that the Prime Minister and presidents all over the world are tweeting their congratulations would only add to your stress at this delicate time so early in a pregnancy.
Many couples don’t reveal news of a pregnancy until they are past that crucial 12 week stage. And in fact some wait until 20 weeks because by then a scan can show a baby is really healthy – also the risk of miscarriage is greatly reduced. This is because if the worse does happen, you don’t have dozens of well meaning people feeling sorry for you. You aren’t letting down those relatives that are so looking forward to a baby. Instead you can grieve in private and you won’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.
Yet the world’s press is already discussing baby names (Diana has already been mooted as a favourite), whether it might be twins, what sort of maternity clothes Kate might want to wear and how she should eat (should she ever be able to – unfortunately despite drips and anti-nausea pills, hyperemesis lasts the whole pregnancy in an unlucky few.) Incredibly, some chap has even come up with ridiculous photographs of what William’s and Kate’s children might look like.
Unfortunately for the Royal family, news about them does sell newspapers, magazines and trinkets. But even though I am a journalist and have to confess I am personally also interested in how she is – I do believe we should all rein in the stories.
She might be a Royal but Kate is still a young woman pregnant for the first time. As we all know first time pregnancy can be bewildering enough, let alone when you are hit by some rare complication. This is why I hope that so much frenzied press coverage will ease off and she will be allowed the space to get better in her own time.
It is far too early for speculation about which designer maternity dress she might choose, whether she will have a nanny – or even what she is going to call any child or children. Who knows? These are just ridiculous speculative articles that should not see the light of day (if at all) until she is at the very least showing a decent bump.
Yes, let’s have updates about how she is – but let’s move the TV and press cameras away from the hospital – and let William and Kate at what would be a testing time for any couple, have just a little more normality.
What do you think? Is there too much press speculation about Kate’s pregnancy? Let us know what you think below…