Did You Feel Like Wearing Tracksuit Bottoms, Kate?

Royal baby

Before I go any further, let me say one thing: I’m a fan of Kate & Wills. Not in a hardcore-royalist way, but I like them. I think they seem like a decent couple and they appear to be doing well, finding their way in what must be a strange hybrid of honouring tradition in a modern world.

When it was announced that Kate was in labour and had been admitted to St Mary’s Hospital, I confess, I got a bit excited. I have no idea why! Millions of women give birth every day, so why is this one different? But there’s something about a new prince or princess being born that is exciting. News correspondents reported that it might be hours before the baby was born (on hearing this, did anyone else think: ‘Nah, this is her second baby – it’ll be here quicker than you think!’… and she was.)

At 8:34am, the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

At 6.12pm – less than 10 hours later, Kate and William appeared on the front step of the Lindo Wing with their new baby. Kate wore a yellow and white Jenny Packham dress, nude heels, her brown hair was curled and tumbling on her shoulders, dewy glowing make up looking perfect.

Ten hours after giving birth.

I’m guessing she had a team of people head into the hospital to glam her up, for her exit – a hair stylist, a make up artist and possibly an assistant who could help her into her beautiful dress. It’s royal tradition that the couple appear outside the hospital with the new baby, for the world’s press to see and photograph, and on one hand, I totally understand Kate wanting to look her best.

But on the other hand… do you think she said William, inside that hospital: “Oh William, do we HAVE to? Can’t we just sneak out the back?”

Because, ten hours after giving birth, I still felt like I’d been hit by a bus. I didn’t know what day it was and the surge in hormones meant I wanted to laugh and sob at the same time. Like every new mum, there was a lot of bleeding as my body got rid of the lining of my womb and thanks to the stitches, walking hurt a bit and I was scared to go to the loo. If you’d asked me to shower, pop on a pastel frock, heels and have my hair and make up done, I would have cried into my (unwanted) Bounty pack.

A pastel frock – a designer pastel frock no less. Imagine leaking blood all over that. Yes, it’s a gross thought, but let’s be honest, it’s the reality that every mum goes through after she’s given birth. Maxi pads are our friend. I think I used two at a time, for the first few days.

I do wonder whether Kate just takes her royal duties on with a smile, or whether she has a private cry sometimes, and then faces the press with a big smile on her face. And of course, it’s not just Kate who’s affected by these royal traditions – it actually has a subconscious effect on every pregnant woman who sees the photos. Chances are, many of them will think that it’s totally normal (expected, even) to snap back to normal, on the day they give birth. So will they feel like a failure when they’re heading home from hospital, greasy-haired, pale and hobbling slightly as their stitches smart a little?

To be fair to Kate, I don’t blame her for sprucing herself up, when the world’s media is waiting for her outside the hospital. But wouldn’t it have been refreshing if she’d ignored what was expected of her and actually thought about what she wanted? Wouldn’t it have been brilliant if she’d scraped her hair into a top knot, dabbed some powder on her tired shiny face and worn tracksuit bottoms for her hospital exit?

 

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37 Comments

  1. May 3, 2015 / 8:21 am

    I think when she emerged from the hospital wearing that dress, every single mother was thinking the same thing! I know if I was Kate I’d definitely be worrying about turning back round in case blood had leaked out!!
    I stayed in hospital for 3 days after labour and when I left I was still hobbling around like a crazy woman – thanks to stitches. I like Kate but she must be some sort of super woman.
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    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:34 am

      I think I’d have backed up, into the hospital rather than turn my back on the crowd – just in case I’d leaked!

  2. May 3, 2015 / 8:22 am

    Literally the first thing I thought when I saw the colour of dress was the bloody aftermath. I think the sprucing I could take, but the colour of the dress actually made me laugh! And gosh how refreshing it would have been to see her in her Jack Wills tracky bottoms and a hoodie. Fab post
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    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:34 am

      Love that you add the Jack Wills detail. Yes, she’s unlikely to wear a pair of Primark trackies…

  3. Louis
    May 3, 2015 / 8:26 am

    I said similar after the birth of Prince George – I was pregnant with my third and knew Id be going home in my pjs. I have heard of some women who feel ok after giving birth, which is amazing- my body usually takes a week or so to stop feeling so rough! I admire her for looking fab and accept its probably part of the job but I do think it sends the wrong message to other women – that it’s important to look great after birth x

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:36 am

      In a way, mums in the public eye shouldn’t have to worry about the message they send out, as it just adds more pressure onto an already hard time. But mums do look to them – especially if they haven’t got many mum friends to use as a gauge for normality.

  4. May 3, 2015 / 8:28 am

    Respect to Kate I don’t think I could even stand up straight that soon after having my babies I think she is amazing! Heck, I didn’t look that well ten years later never mind ten hours! I can’t help but think though that actually this was exactly what she wanted. They are a very modern royal couple and often break with old protocols to do things their own way. I honestly think that if she had wanted to sneak out of the back door then she would have done. I’m kind of glad she didn’t though because it really was such a lovely moment to share with us!
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    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:37 am

      You’re probably right, and like I said, I don’t blame her for wanting to look good. It was a lovely moment, wasn’t it? And the photos are still everywhere!

  5. Cranky
    May 3, 2015 / 10:00 am

    I don’t know how that dress was even possible – I bled so much after my two deliveries that I want even safe with multiple pads and thick tracksuit bottoms for PJ’s – the sheets on the bed was routinely looked like a war zone. Sorry to be gross but I wonder if there is a special procedure available to celebs and the super rich where they vaccum out all the lining or something post birth (like a d&c?). That’s the only way I can see that dress being feasible.

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:38 am

      I suspect she had heavy duty maxi pads on – she MUST have!

  6. May 3, 2015 / 10:14 am

    Exactly what I thought – when I left after a couple of days in, I was in trackie bottoms and a maternity vest. But then there was no chance of anyone taking a photo of me that I might have to see another thousand times! I wish she had, just for the shock value – can you imagine the reaction?!
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    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:40 am

      I like to challenge what’s ‘expected’ of women which is why I’d have loved to see her surprise us all 🙂

  7. May 3, 2015 / 11:41 am

    Brilliant post! It was the heels that did it for me. Just how? I bet she got home, scraped her hair up and put her pjs on! Xx

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:40 am

      Bet she did it in the car!

  8. May 3, 2015 / 11:53 am

    The colour of the dress was also the first thing I thought about – if I couldn’t wear my tracksuit bottoms I would have at least insisted on a darker coloured dress!
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    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:41 am

      The thing is – she’s given birth before, so when she was choosing the colour of the dress, she would have known about the blood loss thing!

  9. May 3, 2015 / 4:22 pm

    She was probably straight into her pj’s as soon as they got home! People will ALWAYS have an opinion on her as she’s now public property. It would have been really refreshing to see her dressed down a little after giving birth and been a little more realistic but the papers would have had a field day slating her if she did! Fab post x
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    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:42 am

      I feel a bit sad that any person is public property – that’s why I wonder if she ever questions it and wishes she could just do her own thing.

  10. May 3, 2015 / 6:24 pm

    I think you’ve got a definite point – I saw a few “doesn’t Kate look amazing? I looked awful post-birth!” Comments yesterday and I wanted to shout SHE HAS A WHOLE TEAM OF PEOPLE TO MAKE HER LOOK THAT WAY! I was home 3 hours after giving birth to baby number 2 but thankfully it was 3.30am and the roads were empty. Otherwise I’d have given a few people a bit of a scare!
    Molly recently posted…A nursery update with Cosatto. Why don’t you check it out?My Profile

    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:43 am

      Yes, I did think of you when writing this Molly, as I know you felt AMAZING after having your youngest. I’m sure, if a team had rushed in and made you up, you would have looked as fab as Kate did.

  11. May 3, 2015 / 6:24 pm

    I think you’ve got a definite point – I saw a few “doesn’t Kate look amazing? I looked awful post-birth!” Comments yesterday and I wanted to shout SHE HAS A WHOLE TEAM OF PEOPLE TO MAKE HER LOOK THAT WAY! I was home 3 hours after giving birth to baby number 2 but thankfully it was 3.30am and the roads were empty. Otherwise I’d have given a few people a bit of a scare!
    Molly recently posted…A nursery update with Cosatto. Why don’t you check it out?My Profile

  12. May 3, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    My first thought was about bleeding!

    I adore Kate and Wills – like you not necessarily because I’m a Royalist – but I do love them. I was left feeling a bit flat though after their exit from hospital. I completely agree with you that it would have been quite refreshing to see Kate leave in something a little more relaxed.

    I was drugged up to the eyeballs after both of mine were born – both by c-section. I couldn’t move for a day let alone focus on anything/get dressed/ etc. I know that’s not everyone’s reality, but very few people could have put on the performance Kate did on the day their baby was born. I wish she’d done something a little more real and little less perfect…

    XX
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    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:44 am

      Maybe she’ll surprise us all and head out of Kensington Palace today in her trackies…

  13. May 3, 2015 / 10:14 pm

    I’m another one who raised an eyebrow at the colour of that dress; 10 hours after any of my babies I don’t think that would have been a sensible option, even with a team of lovely people to paint me up and make me look perfect. But perhaps for her it’s being back in her comfort zone, a sort of armour against the media frenzy and if that’s what she needed to go out in front of the world’s press 10 hours after having a baby then bring on all the hairdressers and makeup artists you can find!
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    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:45 am

      Yes that’s a really good point about her comfort zone – she may well feel ‘normal’ when made up and looking fab.

  14. May 3, 2015 / 11:30 pm

    My thought was about the bleeding too! It’s so unpredictable and imagine if a huge leak had occurred whilst stood there! I don’t even think I could stand up properly ten hours after birth, first or second time. I was so exhausted and shaky. Team to get her ready or not she still did so well to stand there so soon after giving birth! x
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    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:46 am

      MAYBE she thought ‘to hell with it, if I leak, then every mum will know it’s normal’??

  15. May 4, 2015 / 6:14 am

    I like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge a lot – mostly because we got married and had our first babies in the same year, but also because I think she loves him and vica versa.

    At the end of the day, as all the other folks commenting point out, what she’s done isn’t natural, most folks can’t manage the look or the lack of leak. I think, if she’d felt terrible, she would have just waited longer to leave hospital rather than come out in trackies like everyone else.

    With tinted windows, I reckon she got changed in the back of the range rover into her old favourite breastfeeding vests and uni hockey team trackies!
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    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:47 am

      Yep, you’re right, she could have stayed in the hospital longer, like she did last time.

  16. May 4, 2015 / 7:50 am

    I had my babies in 8 and 6 hours, both naturally. I was on such a high that I asked both times to leave the hospital 5 hours after giving birth. Both times I was showered and dressed up and eating at my local restaurant 36 hours after giving birth. I’m no superwoman and I did not look like Kate, but if I had a team around me I would have done what she’s done, because after having both my babies I felt as if I was the most powerful person on Earth! Royal or not. For once, I’ll say ‘Go Kate!’
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    • Alison Perry
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 11:48 am

      I think we all compare what happened to our own experiences (that’s all we can do, really) so for some people, what she did was totally normal and for others, it would be unthinkable!

  17. May 4, 2015 / 8:02 am

    I think we all were amazed by how great Kate looked when she left the hospital this time and last time. But the truth be told if you were the wife of the future king of England and had to do a photo call would you be wearing tracky bottom and have your hair in a scrunchie? These photos are going to be seen all around the world for years and years and years to come. If it were me I think I would have taken advantage of the hair stylists and make up artists. Imagine the field day the papers and social media would have had if she had come out looking like…well the rest of us did when we left hospital. That said, it was a very brave choice of dress. I imagine there was quite a layering of sanitary products going on under there and she was in her PJs with seconds of getting home!
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  18. May 4, 2015 / 9:18 am

    I expressed a similar view yesterday too.

  19. May 5, 2015 / 2:11 am

    I can’t imagine walking out of hospital to face the Papparazi 10 hours after giving birth…. I wouldn’t have been able to anyway because I had a caesarian, so no walking anywhere for a good 24 hours. But I just about managed to shove a t-shirt, pair of leggings and a big baggy top on to leave hospital…. walking gingerly, just in case the dressing gave out and my guts ended up on the floor. The only poor person who had to witness that was my husband – dear of him! Fair play to Kate – she looked amazing – and soooo much more relaxed this time round too.
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  20. May 5, 2015 / 11:19 am

    All so true Alison. I’m not sure I could stand even a day later! I totally get what you’re saying and am sure once she got home it was trackies and slippers on – but, to be fair if your first baby pict is going to be shown around the world and for years to come than I think I would want to look amazing too! She’s a princess – she knows whats expected of her and once that pict has been released she actually doesn’t need to come out of the house for a few weeks! It would be a real shame not to see this pict- I mean how cute? we all love a new baby…and a royal one at that! xx
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  21. May 14, 2015 / 6:19 pm

    I agree! I don’t even believe she gave birth that day!
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