Friday, 7 December 2012

Kate Middleton's Pregnancy: Why all the Fuss?

Never in the history of man kind has a pregnancy sparked such excitement. As the world has waited patiently for Kate and Wills to fall pregnant, every media speculation ignited by her touching her stomach has led to disappointment--until this week.

A few days ago, it was announced that Kate had been taken into hospital as a result of hyperemesis gravidarum. Unfortunately, media outlets worldwide have scoffed that Kate is having a princess-like response to morning sickness; they could not be more wrong. HG is a condition that is seriously debilitating at best, and life-threatening at worst. Imagine your worst ever bout of food poisoning; throwing up every time you sip water, being unable to rest due to sheer nausea--that is what Kate has, not morning sickness. The two are very different things, and the idea that she is blowing a common side-effect of pregnancy out of proportion is patronising and cruel.

So, there you have an explanation for the medical fuss, but why the fuss in general? Well, aside from Kate and Wills introducing a new sense of love for the royal family across the commonwealth, this will be the first baby in the history of the British monarchy to ascend to the throne regardless of its sex. If it is female, it will stand as a testimony to a change in a once very sexist rule. Finally, this is the first time there has been widespread acceptance of a prince marrying a 'commoner'. Sure, Henry VIII had his fair share in the Tudor period, but none were so loved, and that aside, Jayne and Anne stemmed from nobility anyway (note to all: The Tudors isn't an accurate representation of their status prior to becoming Queen Consorts).

There you have it. Not only is Kate genuinely quite ill, she is also (for many) marking a change in the history of the royal family. Let's take her pregnancy as an opportunity to be positive, but also a chance to remember that around the world, and even in Britain, many women won't receive the treatment they need for HG and other dangerous conditions. Every 90 seconds a mother will contribute to the maternal mortality rate. Princess, or Pauper, pregnancy is something that deserves support--not criticism.