The 33-year-old actress welcomed her daughter, Edie, just one day before Princess Kate gave birth to her second child, Princess Charlotte, back in 2015. Knightley recalls how her birth experience appeared to differ from Kate’s in an essay titled “The Weaker Sex,” which appears in the collection Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies), curated by the writer and cofounder of The Pink Protest, Scarlett Curtis.
“We stand and watch the TV screen. She [Kate] was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on. The face the world wants to see,” Knightley writes, according to Refinery29.
She continues, “Hide. Hide our pain, our bodies splitting, our breasts leaking, our hormones raging. Look beautiful. Look stylish, don’t show your battleground, Kate. Seven hours after your fight with life and death, seven hours after your body breaks open, and bloody, screaming life comes out. Don’t show. Don’t tell. Stand there with your girl and be shot by a pack of male photographers.”
Knightley’s essay, dedicated “to my girl,” begins by intimately describing her daughter’s birth.
“My vagina split,” she starts. “You came out with your eyes open. Arms up in the air. Screaming. They put you on to me, covered in blood, vernix, your head misshapen from the birth canal. Pulsating, gasping, screaming.”
“You latched on to my breast immediately, hungrily, I remember the pain. The mouth clenched tight around my nipple, light sucking on and sucking out,” Knightley adds. “I remember the s—, the vomit, the blood, the stitches. I remember my battleground. Your battleground and life pulsating. Surviving. And I am the weaker sex? You are?”
Kate introduced the world to her third child, Prince Louis, in April wearing a red dress with a white collar (almost identical to the dress Princess Diana wore after giving birth to Prince Harry) by Jenny Packham, her signature blowout styled to perfection.
Proud dad William said the couple was “very happy, delighted” as he fit the baby carrier into the car before the couple made their way back to their home at Kensington Palace
This article originally appeared on our sister site PEOPLE.