Duped Receptionist Found Dead, More to Bear for Pregnant Kate

Leaving the hospital earlier this week.
The horrible news broke Friday morning that the receptionist who fell for the prank call from two Australian radio DJs impersonating the Queen of England and Prince Charles, which resulted in private details being released about Duchess Kate's pregnancy, was found dead in a suspected suicide. The UK newspaper The Daily Mail reports that the receptionist, Jacintha Saldanha, was a married mother of two and that her unconscious body was found near the private hospital where she worked. EMTs were unable to revive her. Her family has been notified.

If the reports are accurate, the global celebrity machine has claimed another victim, as it did William's mother, Princess Diana, who died in a high-speed chase with paparazzi in France in 1997. This would be an extraordinarily sad thing to have happen at the outset of life for Diana's grandchild, and must be a terribly sad moment for William and Kate, who, though they would not be responsible, could not help but be shaken by these events.

We can only hope that this tragedy—an innocent bystander dead, two children to grow up without a mother—will at least temporarily refresh people's memories on the consequences of the ghoulish pursuit of public figures. We also hope that it might be the occasion for some honesty and deeper thought about the ongoing treatment of Duchess Kate's pregnancy.

As a woman who has been pregnant (twice), and a mother, my heart was a little bit broken by Kate's adorable smiling face in the photo above upon her release from the hospital. She's always been extremely graceful and putting her best face forward, and this photo was no exception. She looked like nothing other than a happy, glowing, mom-to-be.

Now, we can't know how Duchess Kate feels. We know, however, that she's a highly in-control woman, who maintains her weight perfectly, dresses the part at all times, and keeps her cards close to her chest. As a person who has control issues and weight issues and who likes my privacy, I can say that for me—and really, we don't know about Kate, but this is true of me—being pregnant, especially the first time, was one of the most difficult things I've ever done.

You are used to maintaining your body (weight, clothes, etc.) and suddenly you can't anymore. You are used to doing everything right, or as right as possible, and suddenly medical issues no one told you about are cropping up, and it's all out of your control. You're used to fending for yourself and suddenly you have to ask for help, can't carry things, can't get around on your own. Every woman is different, but for me that just sucked. And if you are used to being the type who doesn't share her struggles with the world, you can't admit that it sucks. You have to do your best to look like a happy, glowing pregnant woman.

For us controlling, body-issues types, the idea of giving birth is also pretty fraught. It's something you've never done before. You're going to be naked or partially naked with a roomful of people. Your body, which you're already nervous about, and want to get back to secretly maintaining while pretending you don't as soon as you possibly can, is going to get messed up in ways you can't even imagine. This is a very private, personal transformation which you're forced to do in public, and it's really very difficult.

Hopefully, both Duchess Kate and all you readers are better adjusted women than I am, and are saying "What? No, that's not how I felt at all!" There really are all types. But you never know how another person feels or what she's going through, as the receptionist's death would indicate. Saldanha would obviously have had other issues if a pair of Australian DJs could push her over the edge. There's nothing that any of us could do for her, or her family, or certainly for the Duchess of Cambridge. But we can remember that some pregnant women might have more going on than we think and be struggling more than we know. Famous or not.