Sarah Ivens is the former editor-in-chief of OK! Magazine. Her memoir about her journey to motherhood, "Amerikarma," is out now on Amazon.
Hoorah! And phew! The pressure is off the royal private parts. William and Kate have a mini monarch on the way. This is the best news the British people have heard since David Beckham announced he was leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy and moving home to Blighty to beautify our landscape last month. The lil’ princeling or princette will be third in line to the throne, half commoner (which is like being half muggle, Harry Potter fans) and the most photographed bundle in history.
As a royalist, a British citizen and relatively new mum, I’m most excited for Kate. All newlyweds feel immense pressure to procreate -- people corner you while you’re still picking confetti out of your hair to ask about the pitter patter of tiny feet -- but none more so than a prince’s wife I’m sure. I hope there was no worry that Kate would lose her head if an heir didn’t materialize tout de suite (oh Henry!), but I’m sure she caught the Queen giving her belly furtive glances during family suppers and Philip is bound to have said something inappropriate, like, "You’re not getting any younger, Katie," or "Are you bloated or do you have a bun in the oven?" This would have hurt when, 18 months after her sister’s ass became the biggest thing to come out of the UK since the Beatles, she was still bumpless.
Kate may now think her hard work is done. It took me 18 long, difficult months to conceive my son and heir, William (born two weeks after the royal wedding – I told you I was a royalist) too and I foolishly thought that getting through the 12- and 18-week scans and giving birth to a healthy baby was the tricky bit. Oh, what an idiot.
First comes the guilt. Am I feeding too much or too little? Should I swaddle? Am I allowed to shower daily anymore or will that be letting down the sisterhood? The baby’s name is a big cause of guilt -- is it too out-there, or too dull? Have I saddled my child with a lifetime of spelling it out for people, or cruel nicknames? Kate should follow these rules to minimize her guilt in this area: If it’s a girl, throw Diana and Elizabeth in there (not Carol); if it’s a boy, choose the name of a previous British king -- and do not ask Gwyneth Paltrow her opinion.
The second shock of motherhood is sleep deprivation. You expect the first few months to be a killer. But no one warns you you’ll never sleep well again. Kate will have restless nights leading up to the Christening, anxious that Aunts Beatrice and Eugenie will scare her tot at the font by sporting ugly hats; then when her offspring hits the teenage years, she’ll worry that Uncle Harry is teaching them how to down beer in Chelsea nightclubs; and in his or her 20s, that someone only wants to marry them for their money. It’s neverending.
Lastly, becoming a mother turns you into a walking, talking bowl of emotional jelly. You’ve never loved so much, so everything becomes more poignant. I had to pull over my car once when I saw a momma and baby squirrel collecting nuts together on the side of the road. Now the Duchess is a mother-to-be, her charity work just became harder – she’ll cry in hospital wards, weep at fundraiser ballet recitals and worst of all lose the plot when she sees a cute cat wearing a wooly hat. Ah, Kate… the morning sickness is just the start of this wonderful journey!
Sarah’s memoir about her difficult journey to motherhood, Amerikarma, is out now on Amazon.