While doing my weekly grocery shopping, I noticed this issue of In Touch glaring at me from the check-out lanes. Normally, I pay little attention to weekly gossip mags. If it was really something important, Crushable would tell me, right? But “Will & Kate’s Baby Heartbreak” jumped out at me. Didn’t these two just get married? Are they even back from their honeymoon yet?
As we’ve been discussing here at Mommyish, more and more women are opening up about fertility issues. Thankfully for those of us struggling with it, there is better information available and less stigma involved than ever before. Given all that, I still found it pretty unbelievable that a couple as private as Prince William and Duchess Catherine would be sharing their difficulty conceiving with the world. With In Touch. And like we would all expect, the story was filled with a whole lot of speculation, secret sources and maybe-kinda-sorta’s. Basically, it was just another tabloid throwing together wild, unverifiable gossip in hopes of selling a couple magazines. We’ve all pretty much come to accept that weekly gossip rags aren’t exactly trustworthy news sources.
I guess I just blow it off when tabloids accuse a celebrity of cheating on their girlfriend or feuding with a co-star. I expect them to unscrupulously pick apart anyone daring enough to wear a bikini. I don’t bat an eye at the reality stars auctioning off any piece of interesting information they can manufacture. Really, the tabloids haven’t surprised me for years. But schilling someone’s supposed infertility? This makes me mad. This stands out.
As a woman learning to open up about my own problems conceiving, I feel intensely sorry for Catherine Middleton, whether the story is true or not. If it isn’t true, she shouldn’t need to defend herself or her uterus to millions of people she doesn’t know. If it is true, I can’t imagine how awful it would be to have that information blaring on the front of magazine covers, spilled by random unnamed sources with whom she’s doubtfully ever had a conversation.
Even though I write about trouble conceiving on the internet, the majority of people in my life don’t know what’s going on. I don’t share the turmoil and heartache with my co-workers. I don’t discuss the doctor’s appointments and fertility tests with my extended family. Fertility, or the lack of it, is personal. All of the struggles that can arise from trying to create a family are difficult. They’re different for each individual family. We’re talking about medical issues here. These are supposed to be private until a person chooses to share them. I realize that when Kate Middleton decided that she was ready to become Duchess Catherine, she forfeited a large amount of her privacy. But her womb and its contents should not get to be part of that bargain. For a long time, monarchs were expected to produce offspring quickly. Princesses were once judged on how many males they birthed. We are not in that time anymore. The future of Great Britain does not rest on this woman’s reproductive health. So whatever is going on between her the “Royal Gynecologist” should be gossiped about in the international press.
To In Touch and any other tabloid who thinks this type of story is appropriate: you’ve crossed the line. I should have put my foot down when you started playing “Who Wore It Best” with toddlers. I let that horrible practice slide. Now, we’re officially over. I don’t care how famous someone is, their medical issues are not fair game.