NZ Woman's Weekly

Kerre Woodham on pregnancy

Kerre Woodham on pregnancy

I love the fact that Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge intend to be hands-on parents as much as they are able to.

In what is considered a major break with royal tradition, the young parents-to-be say they’ll do the lion’s share of raising their child themselves, with the help of Catherine’s parents. I have no doubt Harry and Pippa will be called on to fulfil their uncle and auntie duties too.

The young couple seem determined to be as self-reliant as possible – they don’t have staff at their cottage in Anglesey, Wales and Catherine has said she enjoys shopping, cooking and household chores.

So it’s not surprising she wants to be a real mum and not one of those film star and model mums you see striding down the street carrying their child like a fashion accessory, while in the background a retinue of staff carries all the paraphernalia associated with taking a small child anywhere.

Mind you, having a childcare plan is only relevant if the pregnancy goes well and the poor young royals have had a rough start. First the duchess had severe morning sickness, then was caught up in the controversy over a radio station’s prank call and the subsequent death of a nurse at the hospital where she was being treated.

I find it incredible that the hospital management hadn’t introduced protocols so that only certain people could give out information – for all of their patients, not just the most famous woman in Britain. The management failed their staff and their patients.

But the damage is done and now we just have to hope that all goes well from here on in with Catherine’s pregnancy. I didn’t get morning sickness with my girl, although I did go off the smell of instant coffee. To this day, I can’t smell it without feeling queasy. I still loved espresso, but instant? Blech.

I do know of a couple of women who have had the condition Catherine suffers from, hyperemesis gravidarum, and it sounds absolutely dreadful. What is even more remarkable is that these women went on to have more children, despite the misery of their first pregnancies. That’s the sort of stickability you admire in a girl!

Although it was lovely to hear of the royal pregnancy, it’s sad that the young couple couldn’t keep news of their baby to themselves for just a little bit longer – a pregnancy always seems like such a miracle. When I found I was pregnant, it felt so wondrous that I couldn’t believe that all over the world, every day, millions of other women were experiencing the exact same thing.

The only people as thrilled as the couple themselves must be Prince Charles and Catherine’s parents. I remember how excited my mum and dad were when I rang to tell them they were to be grandparents. And I know how much joy my daughter Kate gave my taciturn, unemotional dad. He melted around her and she bossed him around from the time she was a toddler.

I’m sorry he wasn’t here to see her become the lovely young woman she is today, but he was able to love her for 10 years before he died. While I’m not putting any pressure on my young married daughter, I’m ready, willing and able to give up work and take over as a part-time nanny – she just has to say the word.

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