No doubt you’ve seen the photos — Prince William and Catherine on the steps of the hospital: William looking proud, Catherine looking tired but blissfully happy, and both gazing lovingly at Louis sleeping soundly in his mama’s arms. Later on, more photos are taken of the little prince after he is taken home to his two older siblings. The royal baby’s birth has been splashed all over the Internet, newspapers, and magazines: a new baby, loving parents, and excited older siblings. What’s not to love, right?
For many, the images of William and Catherine proudly showing off their baby do not bring joy, but pain. It’s not that we aren’t happy for the royal couple, it’s just that we never got the chance to show off our precious babies in the same manner — proudly showing a living baby. Some of us were still able to take photos and introduce our babies to our loved ones. Others did not get to meet our children outside the womb at all. And some of us never even got the chance to be pregnant.
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For me, I got to take photos of my daughter and introduce her to some of my family and friends, so it wasn’t the initial images of the royal trio on the hospital steps that hurt. It was seeing the little prince buckled into his capsule that pained me the most. Instead of lovingly placing my little Ariella into her capsule to bring her home, I placed her in a coffin. Instead of carefully clipping the capsule into its base in my car, I watched as the lady from the hire company silently uninstalled it and gave me a refund for the seat we never used.
Please don’t read this and think I begrudge William and Catherine’s happiness. I am so happy that they did not have to experience the pain and devastation of stillbirth! Losing a child to death is not something I would wish on anyone, and I breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced that Prince Louis was born alive and healthy. I breathe a sigh of relief when I hear of any baby born safely, whether that baby is the child of famous parents or my next door neighbour.
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But please understand if I’m not feeling as celebratory about Prince Louis’ birth as other people are. Watching the world celebrate a baby’s birth, while my own baby’s birth goes unacknowledged by many, is difficult. To protect my heart, I’ll be skimming past the photos of the happy couple with their new bundle and will do likewise the next time a famous baby is born, too. Perhaps you need to as well? You do not have to join in the celebrations if it is too hard. Take care of your heart.
Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels