THE BLOG
05/17/2018 16:09 EDT | Updated 05/17/2018 16:47 EDT

Damn Right, Kate Deserves A Break From Her Baby At The Royal Wedding

You know what really puts a damper on cocktail hour? Newborns.

Ben Stansall/Getty Images
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge looks at her newly-born son, her third child, on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018.

I was sitting on a hotel bed, breastfeeding my baby for what felt like the 30th time that day, completely naked except for a chunky necklace and high heels.

As my five-month-old son gulped furiously, my husband texted me from the reception of the classy winter wedding we were attending downstairs: "I saved you some champagne. Done soon?"

I looked at my too-tight dress, now crumpled on the floor after my attempts at feeding my son while wearing it proved futile. I eyed my uncomfortable non-nursing bra, which, too, had to be abandoned in this endeavour. There were no underwear to be seen.

Earlier, I'd discovered the thong I'd naively planned to wear under my fitted dress could not co-exist peacefully with the hemorrhoids I was still sporting five months after my son ripped through my loins. And my backup granny panties gave me underwear lines so visible they needed their own seating assignment. I'd yanked a pair of Spanx as high as my thighs before I decided my stitched-up perineum deserved better than this. So, I opted to go without any underwear at all: a truly thrilling prospect seeing as how I was still working on my bladder control.

My son spit up in my hair, signalling he was done eating. "Be there in five minutes," I texted my husband.

About an hour later, as I sat naked on the bed once more — this time missing dinner — I vowed this would be the last wedding I attended with my child until he was grown, now matter how cute he looked in his damn tuxedo.

And this sad scene from a hotel room more than a year ago is why I'm so happy for the Duchess of Cambridge that her weeks-old son Prince Louis won't be attending the royal wedding this weekend.

Natalie Stechyson
The author, hoping no one can see up her dress, at a wedding in 2017.

I (usually) love weddings, and I've always been a fan of the royals. So, I was thrilled when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their wedding date last December. A May wedding meant we wouldn't have to wait long to see Markle in a white dress, or ogle over the collection of hats we can expect to see on the guests (Come on, Eugenie. Knock it out of the park). It's also the same month I got married five years ago, which I reasoned basically makes me royalty.

But then I realized the royal wedding would be just a month after the Duchess of Cambridge's due date, and my excitement changed to sympathy. Would the former Kate Middleton be expected to attend one of the most publicized events of the century just a few weeks after pushing a baby out of her royal equipment? Worse, would she be expected to bring her bundle of noise, I mean joy, with her?

As visions of naked-nursing my son danced through my head, I hoped that, for her sake, Kate would be excused from the wedding (even though I mourned the potential opportunity to see Prince Louis in a baby tuxedo of his own). But when the palace announced Prince William would be Harry's best man, I knew there was no way Kate could get out of it ... but could Louis?

YEP. In a press briefing earlier this month, the palace confirmed that Kate will attend the wedding without her newborn.

And that right there is the dream, folks.

Being a new mom can be isolating, exhausting, and occasionally demoralizing. The chance to get dressed up (I'm sure the duchess will have a better undergarment selection than I did), go out, socialize with someone who can actually talk back, eat a hot meal and maybe even have a drink or two — all while your child is being lovingly cared for by someone else — is a fantasy of mothers everywhere.

According to Harpers Bazaar, the reason Louis (who will be almost four weeks old on May 19) is staying home is that he's still too young to hang out in crowded spaces, as his immune system won't be strong enough to endure a bustling gala until he's more like eight weeks old.

Whatever the reason, I say GOOD FOR YOU, KATE.

ISABEL INFANTES via Getty Images
William, Kate and little Louis outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, mere hours after he was born, on April 23, 2018.

To take a young baby to a wedding is an exercise in graceful exits. Exiting the ceremony when they start fussing, exiting cocktail hour when they need to eat or after a blowout, sneaking out of dinner in shifts as you and your partner take turns rocking your baby — who has now decided he hates crowds — in the hallway.

It is skipping the dancing because your baby needs to go to sleep. If you're breastfeeding, it is limiting your alcohol intake (if you're the partner of someone who is breastfeeding, it is limiting your alcohol intake out of solidarity, and fear).

And, even if your baby looks adorable in his mini-tux, and even though you're so grateful for close friends who insist that babies are welcome at their nuptials (you're the real humanitarians), to take a young baby to a wedding is decidedly NOT FUN. For you, the baby, or your seatmates at Table 9 trying to eat their appys as you repeatedly sniff your child's butt to check if he pooped yet.

Kate deserves a night off ... from Louis. But don't expect her to get too wild. Her older children Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 3, are not only attending the bash, but are in the wedding party.

You can't win them all, but at least those two are presumably toilet trained.

Natalie Stechyson
The author, her husband, and their son in one of the rare moments all three were in a room at the same time during a 2017 wedding.

As my baby grew more and more disenchanted during the wedding we attended in 2017, I finally admitted defeat during the main course, returned to our hotel room, and shed my dress and bra one last time.

Soon, my son was snoring peacefully on my boob, and I was devouring some room service chocolate mousse in a bathrobe as my husband (reluctantly, at my insistence) put in an appearance on the dance floor for both of us. I'm not sure who was more miserable. HAHAHA just kidding. It was me. Come on.

We were invited to another wedding the following summer, this one a picturesque affair at a friend's blueberry farm. "Bring the baby," my friend urged me. "We'd love to have him! He's so cute!"

I left my son at home with my mother, frolicked in the sun with a drink in my hand instead of a child, and my only regret is that it was so hot, I wish I hadn't worn underwear.

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