Sunday, 3 May 2020

"This Is Definitely a First": Kate Surprises Mum with Newborn Baby

There was a very special surprise in store for parents Rebecca Attwood and John Gill when none other than the Duchess of Cambridge made an unexpected virtual call to congratulate them on the birth of their beautiful son Max who they welcomed into the world just sixteen hours earlier.


"Hello! Very nice to meet you! This is definitely a first, I think. He is so sweet. Ah, congratulations!" Kate added: "My goodness, you must be exhausted."


The meeting came during Kate's video chat with midwives at Kingston Hospital's maternity unit, where she had a work placement for two days last November.


Hello! reports:

'Rebecca, from Raynes Park, south west London, said afterwards: "Having a baby is an extraordinary experience at any time, but having one during lockdown and then having a surprise conversation with the Duchess of Cambridge after two hours' sleep was particularly surreal! "The Duchess asked us about having a baby at such an unusual time, and our experience on the maternity ward was that all the midwives made it as normal as possible – apart from the masks, it was exactly the same as when we had our first son, Rafe, in 2015. The midwives were amazing on both occasions."'

Sam Frewin, lead midwife at the Birth Centre & Better Births, told the Duchess: "I'm smiling, can you tell?" "With your eyes, I can," laughed Kate.


Ahead of Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, the Duchess also spoke with leading experts in the sector, midwives, health visitors and parents during a video chat from Anmer Hall last week.


More from the Telegraph:

'Addressing concerns that women may fear putting pressure on an NHS which is already trying to cope with coronavirus, Jennifer Tshibamba, a midwife at Kingston Hospital, told her: "We want women to know we’re still here, we’re still open."
"Parents do need to go out and reach out to those who can support them, particularly those who can provide knowledgeable resources as well," said the Duchess.
"We've heard it from the frontline workers, for those who are struggling, they don't feel they can reach out because they feel guilty for doing it, which is extraordinary to hear. With new mums and parents and families, they don't want to feel like they're overburdening but it is so important to reach out and ask for help when you do need it."'

Hello! reports: "Director of Midwifery Gina Brockwell said of Kate's call: "She's clearly very interested in maternity services. She spent quite a long time with us back in November so really seemed to have a good understanding of our role, but also around the challenges of having a baby and a new family and the raising of people's awareness of the sorts of challenges that people have to go through. So it's an honour, actually, that she wanted to come back again."


Kate spoke of the importance of talking to others in the same situation. "You speak to six mums and all of you realise you are going through the same thing. Before that, you're worried that actually what you're experiencing, you're the only one who's going through it. And it's exactly the same for new mums whether through pregnancy or with a newborn baby, you know, you feel that you're the only one actually experiencing something. But actually to be able to share it in whatever way, whether it's on the phone, through social media, in any form actually - if you have got access to it, it does provide that normality and normalising of some of these anxieties and these worries."


To mark this year's Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week in very different circumstances, a revised plan was decided to focus on "supporting mums during difficult times, which will enable us to provide a supportive platform where we can reassure families and signpost them to vital resources and safe support which is what people need most at this time". Simple available tips and resources will be shared each day to enable people to find the information they need quickly.


For Kate's first look, she wore Tabitha Webb's Jessie Knit in Blue and White Chevron (with thanks to Middleton Maven). The £275 piece is described: "This gorgeous new knit in a baby blue wool and cashmere mix chevron design is just the perfect little spring addition to your wardrobe."


 The Royal Ladies via Twitter correctly noted the Duchess wore her Boden Aurora dress for her second video call. We first saw the dress when the Cambridges' Christmas card for 2019 was shared.


The blue print dress is described: "This wrap midi dress is all about boho luxe, right down to the floaty tiered skirt, three-quarter-length sleeves and crinkle viscose fabric."


I very much enjoyed the lengthier video shared tonight; it gives us a good sense of the conversations the Duchess had and their purpose - very much like a round-table discussion during a typical engagement. Those working in midwifery and supporting expectant mums are doing tremendous work amidst enormous challenges. It was excellent to see Kate highlighting their efforts and asking them about their experiences.

24 comments:

  1. Sarah from Calif.3 May 2020 at 02:58

    Love this!!!

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  2. Oh Thank you for your post, great to see the Duchess so involved in the Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week. Thankful for Zoom and etc to be able to keep in touch.

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  3. what a special moment it must have been for the new couple. kate also looks very cute

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  4. hmm if thr duchessof cambridge would surpise me like that i will out joy

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  5. I have to say I can see a positive impact of the unfortunate crisis on royals. Especially Kate and William and also Charles and Camilla. They seem to have adopted a bit more modern and more personal approach to their work thanks to working from home and working remotely. I mean, seeing Kate making a videocall seems more personal and authentic than some of the traditional engagements with getting flowers, cutting ribbons etc. We get a better sense of her day-to-day work. I am not saying the former isn't important, but I am saying I enjoy the increased insight into Kate's authentic, "ordinary" work.
    P.s. Thank you Charlotte for keeping us up to date and I hope all of the fellow readers here are safe and healthy.
    Ella

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    Replies
    1. How many cutting ribbons engagements Kate makes every year? That’s one of the biggest criticisms many people have, the C seem to want to focus on meaningful engagements instead of combining them with more “superficial” stuff. I can only recall William opening a new wing of a university and a factory in the last months. It’s impossible to hit 300 engagements a year like many people are demanding without cutting ribbons.

      Btw all engagements in which Kate gets flowers are full of meaningful conversations such as these zoom calls. It’s not Kate’s fault that people prefer to focus on her dress and not on her discussions.

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    2. Since William and Kate has gotten so good at regular royal stuff, it is easy to forget that they have also often been frustrated with all the protocols surrounding royal engagements and also the way the media would report on it, selecting one, often off topic soundbite and making a story off it, completely missing the point of the visit.
      I think they are really enjoying the fact that video conferencing allows them to talk to more people with less fuss, while at the same time sharing it directly with the general public.

      On a different note, if they continue to do lots of Zooms, they should consider putting a few books under the laptop to get a better angle.

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    3. RachelZA, I love your tip about more books under the laptop!! I am going to try it at my Zoom meeting tonight, but I promise you there aren't enough books to go under my laptop to give me any good angle!! What I would give to look like Kate at any angle!! It's a new world with Zoom!! cc

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    4. Maybe I worded my comment in a wrong way because it was not a criticism, it was a praise. I was just stating that thanks to the new type of work that we see now, I realize I like this better. I was just trying to say something positive about the crisis we are all in. I do think most of Kate´s usual engagements are really well thought out, that she always works with passion and dedication and is very engaged. It is just - I love to see her doing zoom calls, because I feel it gives me a better glimpse of her day to day work, of her "ordinary" working self.

      I think most of us likes this insight into their home and life at least a little bit. I know that when things come back to "normal", I will enjoy Kate dressing up and greeting a lot of people, too. But for now let´s try to find silver lining and for me, that is seeing this new type of royal home office :-)
      Ella

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    5. Ella, I really don't think there was anything amiss with the wording you chose. At first reading, I was a little put off by your remarks. A second reading helped me realise you meant to praise the more intimate setting that the current crisis has necessitated, not to criticise the usual form royal engagements take. It has truly been a treat to have a look inside with the royals. I have enjoyed seeing all the personal details and general ambiance shared by several of the royals. Camilla in jeans! Knick-knacks, curios, and photos. Sophie's kitchen. Kate's books. All a delightful change from the status quo.

      I noticed today that Princess Anne made a very well-publicised video marking
      the work of midwives. She does have a patronage involving midwives, but so does Kate. Kate actually has several, in related fields. Kate's video and group discussion as well as her new-parent visit were released yesterday. I could not find even a mention of Kate's activity on one royal reporter site--who did cover Anne's video call and found time and space to mention an activity Camilla's son had engaged in. S several covered Anne's message but not Kate's.
      I sense a polarizing or lining up of the old guard royals as well as reporters in response to the popularity of projects of the younger members of the family. This attitude seems to have been simmering beneath the surface for some time. I recall Anne's caustic words relating to Heads Together when it was initiated. It was clear that she was criticizing William and felt there was no need to change the format of the traditional royal activity, which encourages a them versus us approach. Don't cross the line from cordiality to familiarity. Certainly, No sharing of personal troubles. And no hugging.

      Some of us remember the push back William and Catherine encountered with every effort that did not follow the established pattern. Because of this, some of us are a little sensitive to possible criticism of their efforts, in whatever form, Ella. Your comment was just fine.

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  6. Any ID on her earrings? I don't recognize either of these pairs.

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  7. How kind and thoughtful of the duchess to take the time to chat to a new mum. Especially being in hospital at a time like this. Kind, caring, giving and what a great example she and her family are setting. Even makes her own pasta. Great job.

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  8. Thank you so much Charlotte for posting the 9-minute video. This is about so much more than Kate speaking to a new mum, isn't it? It's about how all of us are feeling from young people, new parents, and the older folk who can't see their children, grandchildren, etc. I started to cry as I watched the video because here were people having positive conversations about the realities of life where all I hear over here in the US is about our divisions over reopening the economy and whom it's going to hurt and whom it's going to benefit. And people saying hurtful things to each other when they disagree. Back to the video, I was impressed by the gentleman in the video who emphasized how the organizations were working together. There was such a feeling of positivity and determination and understanding. It was like watching a warm hug. As a final comment, Kate was so much more confident in her speaking than she used to be. Well done to everyone!

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  9. Zora from Prague3 May 2020 at 22:31

    Thank you for yet another great post, Charlotte! I love how Kate keeps on supporting steadily the areas she cares about. In autumn, she spent 2 days working with the hospital staff; now she is back to thank them and show her support. She emphasises the importance of looking after one's mental health when one is a nurse/doctor/midwife /caregiver... They give so much to others but need to look after themselves too. Well done Kate!

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  10. I am intrigued by the earrings the Duchess wore on the second occasion. Does anyone know anything about them?

    Stay safe everyone, and thank you Charlotte for this little haven.

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  11. I love Kate’s personality. She seems so genuine and caring, and is definitely much more relaxed in a situation like this. I feel like since the appearance with Mary Berry, the podcast, and these Zoom meetings we have gotten to know Kate better. Actually now that I think about it, maybe it started back with her gardens.

    Hope from USA

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    1. True. The DoC looks lovely as always, but I have to admit that that I am relieved that she also looks a bit "distorted".

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    2. I think like so many of us, she is doing her own hair. Very appropriate and also tactful.

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  12. Tammy from California4 May 2020 at 15:18

    That baby blue chevron sweater is to die for.

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  13. The unknown earrings are by New wave jewelry they are panther and rose quartz cabochon earrings.

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  14. the earrings are by new wave jewelry called panther and rose quartz cabochon earrings.

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  15. Great post. So needed and very thoughtful of the Duchess to not just talk support, but to actually DO IT! Thank you, Charlotte.

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  16. As seasoned women's health nurse...this makes me tear up and love her more. :)

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  17. Me thinks Kate has really come into her own. She is 38 years old. I remember coming into my power as a woman at that age as well. You are beyond all the "social musts" society puts on women which frees you to be more of who you are. She is really blossoming. Hugely talented with photography and humble about it. I think her idea is fantastic. Wish we had that here in the states. Great to see her in this "mode." Love all the pix. Thanks for posting. Now is a time for healing. Blueskygal Arizona USA

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