Another royal baby is born! Beautiful news. The photos of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Prince William standing on the steps of the hospital with their brand new son wrapped up tightly in his bunny rug, just a few hours old, made me feel happy in the way I always do when I see a photo of a newborn. Except for those years when I felt gutted.
For a time, in the space between losing a baby halfway through my second pregnancy and then giving birth to my daughter many years later, I couldn’t look at photos of newborns. I couldn’t rejoice in the glow I saw in the exhausted, elated faces of their beaming mothers.
My heart was simply too broken, my grief too unresolved. All I could see in the new stories about yet another celebrity having a baby was my own failure, my own loss, my own inability to conceive, to carry and to safely deliver a newborn of my own.
A tribute to the babies we’ve lost. Post continues.
Grief shrinks your world into a tight knot that begins and ends very close to your heart and your head. It revolves around you in a way that may seem selfish but is in fact intensely lonely. It can make you shamefully jealous of the happiness and good fortune of others. It can twist you up into a tangle of bitter resentment that it’s not you beaming at the camera, not you holding a precious bundle, not you with the weight of a healthy baby nestled protectively in your arms.
There are thousands of women feeling that way today when they look at the wall-to-wall coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge and her new little prince heading home from the hospital, a new family of five.
I see you. I’ve been you. I know that the pain of your own loss is reflected and amplified in the way you hurriedly skip past stories about the newest royal baby, blinking back tears or just feeling a sinking emptiness in your heart. I understand that your pain is twinned by the guilt and shame that you can’t ‘just be happy for her’ as society would have you believe is the ‘right’ response to someone else’s baby news. It’s not a choice though, these feelings. They overtake you and settle heavily in your gut.