I do not understand the huge media hype surrounding the birth of the second (or indeed the first) royal baby.
I feel the same about celebrities but that is an entirely different post.
It probably doesn’t help that I’m not a huge fan of the royal family in the first place. I didn’t watch the Royal wedding and I didn’t know that the current baby had been born until a few days later. The only reason I knew the first baby had been born on the actual day was because someone at work had the live updates page open on one of the unit computers.
It’s not that dislike them and I have almost limitless respect for those who serve in the armed forces or who do charity work, whether they are royalty or not. I just resent the fact that I am supposed to consider the royals to be important based on their family name and the fact they they are supposedly somehow ‘in charge’ despite the fact that we vote for a parliament to run the country.
On the one hand it makes a change for the media to have something positive to write about; the safe delivery of a healthy baby to a well known family as opposed to the usual recession/natural disaster/health crisis that seems to make up the majority of the news.
On the other hand I don’t understand why a royal baby is news and a hundred or so years ago it definitely wasn’t big news.
According to one of the numerous history documentaries that Squidge and I watch when he’s sleepy, the birth of one of Queen Victoria’s children was announced in the major newspapers in a report of less than a hundred words.
I’m sure the majority of the country (me included) is happy that they’re both safe and well but to be quite honest that is where my interest stops. I am not jealous of the attention that the royal family commands and I’m fairly certain that there are several members of the royal family that would be quite content if they never entered the media spotlight again.
It’s hardly their fault that the media (and a large proportion of the country) shows such an avid interest in their lives. I just can’t help but feel that there are women far more deserving of a headline spot but because they aren’t married to the future king and their children aren’t princes and princesses they’re never likely to make the news.
Occasionally a ‘normal’ mother does make the national news but it’s usually for all the wrong reasons. Most of the stories I can bring to mind involve mums who have died after finding out they were pregnant after a cancer diagnosis and refusing chemotherapy or mums who have suffered with extreme forms of perinatal mental health problems and who have tried to commit suicide or succeeded in doing so.
These stories are equally no less worthy of media attention and often highlight issues that society would prefer to pretend didn’t exist but they are tragic and focus upon loss and heartbreak.
So I decided to write this post to give the women that I know to be brave and inspirational even the smallest fraction of the recognition that they deserve. I’m not going to mention any names because many of them would prefer to remain nameless and anonymous but if you think you recognise yourself in the list below, it’s probably you that I’m talking about.
Women who have beaten overwhelming odds to conceive, carry and deliver a healthy baby.
Women who have suffered miscarriage after miscarriage and yet still pick themselves up and try again.
Women who have lost ovaries due to ectopic pregnancies but who have refused to let that hinder them in their journey to becoming a mother,
Women who are battling with mental illness and overcoming the huge obstacles put in the way of their becoming a family.
Women who desperately want to be mothers but who are still able to be genuinely happy for a friend who is pregnant when they themselves are not.
Women who have delivered tiny, premature babies who then spend weeks and months fighting in neonatal units up and down the country for the smallest toe hold on life.
Women who are finally able to take their babies home even though the thought of being a parent outside of NICU terrifies them.
Women who have lost babies but have refused to let their grief crush them and who continue to get up and face every day despite wanting to curl up in the dark and hide away from the rest of the world.
Women who have found the inner strength to try for another baby despite the intense, biting fear and sadness that comes with having had a baby on NICU.
These are the women that I would honour.
I would fill the papers with their stories, hundred and thousands of them every year.
I would show the world how brave and strong these women are.
I was in charge of the news