This week the media finally got their wish as Megan and Harry the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their baby boy into the world… so did Amy Schumer by the way, on the same day! Future besties maybe???
Anyway, today, three days later, the British Royal couple appeared at Windsor Castle to show off their little bundle to the media. I, like most people, leapt onto social media to get a first glimpse and go ‘ahhhh isn’t he cute? etc, etc.’
And he is cute, and I’m truly delighted for them. But I also feel a bit sorry for them too.
Look, on the one hand I look at them and I think, Jesus, they’ve no money worries and an army of help and nannies if they want it, why on earth would I feel sorry for them?
But then I think, thank fuck I didn’t have to wander in front of the world’s media hours (as in Kate’s case) or days after giving birth to my baby boy, looking like I had been run over by a truck, walking like John Wayne in actual agony and on the verge of tears, while I had to answer stupid questions from the media, such as ‘is he sleeping yet?’ ‘He’s three days old you complete pillock, take a guess at how well he’s sleeping!’
I think, it’s an awful thing to ask a new mum to do. And I have always thought this ridiculous tradition of Royal mums like the late Diana Princess of Wales and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge standing out on the steps of the Lindo Wing HOURS after giving birth is a fucking disgrace – if men were the ones who gave birth, they wouldn’t be expected to do it, I guarantee!
So I was glad that Megan and Harry decided to wait a couple of days before revealing their little lad to the world, but they should have waited longer! And look, I get they are in a completely different position to me, a mere mortal, but despite their status as members of a Royal Family etc., I still think being expected to parade yourself and your newborn in front of the cameras anywhere inside a week of giving birth is completely FUBAR. If the world is THAT keen to see the little bundle, why not release a picture on social media to keep people going? It would have been enough for me!
The whole thing just made me remember back to how I felt after my son was born. I felt like I had just landed on an alien planet. I was in agony from second degree tearing, I was anxious beyond belief, I was tired in my bones, as though I’d come off two back to back red eyes and run a marathon while carrying a ton of bricks with me. Every inch of my body was sore, tense and bloated. I just wanted some privacy, to find my feet, which I was quite sure had been amputated, because that’s how weird my body felt. My mind wasn’t much better. I was quite frankly a mess. And still the visitors came to the hospital. Parents and parents in law were fine, in fact I was delighted to see them as they brought such comfort and I remember feeling terrified when my mum and dad left me alone with the baby.
But other visitors came too. And as much as they meant well, I wish they hadn’t come to the hospital.
Then I was home two days later and more came. A steady stream over the next two weeks, as I struggled with horrendously infected stitches and a chest infection. I had the shakes, I had a temperature, I had no appetite, I couldn’t sit down and every time I peed it was like acid coming out as it hit my stitches. I nearly passed out on number of occasions. I was tired emotionally and physically and unbeknownst to myself was starting to suffer panic attacks and anxiety at the prospect of being a new mum as the seeds of post-natal depression began to germinate inside me.
The last thing I needed was people (outside of my own parents), calling over to wish me well.
And yet they did. And I let them.
Don’t get me wrong, the well wishes are lovely. And it is so nice that people want to see the baby, I do get that and I do appreciate it. But you know what? I also think people need to back the fuck off until a new mum is good and ready for visitors.
In fact sometimes the best gift you can give a new mums is space. Plain and simple.
One of my biggest regrets of that time is not putting my foot down and telling people to naff off. And telling them that when did come, they better come with something useful like a home cooked meal, or an offer to hold the baby while I have a shower, or have a nap and they better keep their stupid questions about how the child is sleeping to themselves.
Sound like I’m a cranky bitch? Fine by me, I’m a cranky bitch. And you know what, I’d much rather be that this time round, than the over tired, anxious and in pain person I was the last time, my feet entertaining visitors when what I needed was time and rest.
I sincerely wish Megan had been given the same courtesy.
Suffice to say, this time around, this mama bear is going to put both of her size eight feet down when it comes to post baby visitors.