From one mother to another, here's how to survive your pregnancy like the pretty little preggy princess you are. Go puke, and then print this up and tack it to the royal fridge.
1) Don’t worry –- first trimester sickness will pay off when it becomes second trimester boning.
I know you’re sick now, Kate, and I’m sure that blows (chunks), but your morning sickness should subside as you enter your second trimester. Ideally, your second trimester will be a reward for the hell you’ve dealt with so far in the first three months of your pregnancy. All your frightened and excited tears and your weird-yet-awesome achy tits and your loss of balance as your body morphs into a monster-like blob are sure to evolve into a beautifully rotund baby bump accompanied by a gorgeously glowing complexion, long, strong nails, super shiny hair and a general sense of being ready to rock. My best advice? Starting in your fourth month, use that newfound pregnancy hotness to blow your prince's mind.
There is no sex like second trimester sex -- if you’re feeling horny, anyway. Some women don’t, apparently, but I did, and I hope you do, too, because I guarantee you if you put on a cropped red velvet riding jacket and mount your Duke like he’s a dappled Thoroughbred on a royal fox hunt, you will create memories that will last you both a lifetime.
Don’t forget your helmet.
2) Nice job with the water and everything, but it really is OK to have a little wine here and there.
So you had to go and class up the joint by toasting with ice water at your Grandmother-in-Law’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in Singapore. How perfectly proper of you! But now that your pregnancy is progressing, it’s totally cool to have a little wine here and there.
My advice is to drink now, before the baby comes. Oh sure, you can pump and dump or formula-feed your tiny monarch so that you don’t have to worry about alcohol getting into the baby’s system once he’s born, but that’s not why I say drink sooner rather than later. I found that I was so goddamn (sorry, so bloody!) tired after my daughter was born that drinking only dehydrated me and exacerbated my sleep-deprived crankiness. If I had it to do all over again, I would stay dry pretty much for the entire first year of my baby’s life.
It’s so tempting to want to relieve stress with alcohol, but in hindsight I see how feeling sluggish the day after drinking a few glasses of wine just kept me trapped in a cycle of being tired and stressed and drinking to relax. I mean, I’m not here to tell you to booze with your fetus. I’m just saying, if you want some wine here and there, studies show drinking in moderation is not going to do Count Von Uterus any harm.
3) Be in love with your husband.
I know you and Willz live a kind of private, cutesy life in Wales, and I just want to encourage you to get as much couple time in now as you can. Have him rub stretch mark cream on your lower belly and read books to the baby with his mouth against your stomach and put headphones next to your vagina so the Duchessette can familiarize herself with Mozart.
Eat romantic meals together and lay down on the earth and look at the stars and tell each other stories and reminisce about your college days and watch movies and do every stupid, mushy-gushy, romantic thing you can before the baby is born.
Because after the baby is born, your life will never be the same. This is not a scare tactic. This is not bitterness talking. This is I-don’t-care-how-many-nannies-or-chefs-you-have-once-you-have-a-kid-shit-is-just-different gospel truth. Yes, you will occasionally be alone after your kid is born. But you will be alone in a house full of tiny plastic toys that you will step on in bare feet and it will hurt like a motherfucker and you’ll be like, “Why did I buy all this stupid plastic shit for that asshole who can’t even pick up after herself?”
And then you’ll remember what your kid’s face looked like when she saw that Barbie with the 19 tiny accessories including a lollipop and you’ll just pull the plastic out of your bloody foot and take one for the team. Because you’re a team now. You’ll go on family vacations, and you’ll spend the entire vacation finding food for the child to eat and a bathroom to change the child’s piss-stained clothes in. It will not be fun in the way you understand fun, but it will somehow be greater and worse all at the same time.
Sure, you’ll have sex again –- and if you’re not careful, you’ll wind up making another baby. And then you’ll be really fucked. So hang out now while you can. Not at refugee camps in Africa. At your house.
4) I guess this is pointless because you’re like super rich and all, but don’t waste your money on copious amounts of baby gear.
I always tell people, “Babies need nothing.” They were designed to eat off your breast, wear the same sleep sack day and night and snuggle up with you in your bed. Yes, we’ve all heard about “the dangers of co-sleeping,” but honestly, your baby will not fall asleep unless he’s near you. It makes sense, right? Babies spend 10 months growing in a tiny balled-up position surrounded by warm liquid and tight, soft walls, and then we expect them to come out of the womb not only ready to sleep in a ginormous wooden crib fit to be Santa’s sleigh but also in an entirely separate room in a totally different wing of the castle? No. Not gonna happen.
If you don’t want to co-sleep, put the 24K-gold bassinette right next to your bed for easy access. If you breastfeed, you’re basically gonna be a 24-hour diner anyway.
5) Breast is best, but the bottle is for the rest … of us.
Look, I know the NHS has worked hard to increase breastfeeding rates over the last decade, and I think that’s wonderful. I would never tell a woman not to try breastfeeding, but I will tell you this: If breastfeeding is driving you crazy, making your nipples bleed or requires an army of La Leche League volunteers to make it happen, it’s okay to let it go.
On the other hand, if your milk flows freely and everything goes easy-breezy, get ready for your tits to be photographed again, girl!
The press loves “breastfeeding in public stories,” and my advice is if you’re going to do it, you might as well really do it. Plop your boob on the table and say, “Who’s hungry, Britain?!” One of the reasons I think I had trouble breastfeeding and then quit after two months is because I was too shy about just whipping my milkbags out, and unless your baby is able to stealthily latch, sometimes the whole dairy pillow needs to say hello in order to get the job done.
6) Sleep when your baby is sleeping. And don’t try to go “back to normal” right away.
Everyone tells you, “Sleep when your baby is sleeping.” It’s like a mantra nurses and birthing coaches and friends with kids will try to drill into your head before and just after your baby is born, and you won’t listen. You’ll want to “just get some work done” like say, I don’t know, get the Windsor coat of arms shaved into your beaver hair or whatever it is that princesses do (vajazzling?), while your baby naps peacefully during the day. But then you’ll be crying when your baby is crying while he lies awake at night and that muff art will all be for naught!
So sleep. Sleep wherever and whenever you can. Giving birth is EXHAUSTING. Your body just turned into a motherfucking house and then shat out its tenant, Kate. Do you understand what I’m saying? No. You don’t. But you will.
Furthermore, the super-annoying people who just “don’t get it” and tell you “you can’t have it all” –- they’re right. You can’t. Don’t work yourself into a state of despair trying to keep up with “royal duties” when the only shit you should be dealing with for the first six months of your baby’s life is royal doodie. Trust me on this.
I started performing again 12 days after my daughter was born. It was a mistake driven by feeling like I’d be left out of the rat race if I just stayed home. That may be true, but the first year only happens once, and the good news is -– you’re a princess! I’m pretty sure you can ask for paid maternity leave.
Read more Carolyn (and her suggestions for royal baby names) at Babble.