Should Harry be present on Meghan’s big opening night?

meghan markle

As Meghan Markle prepares to stretch her birth canal the customary five kilometres to produce her royal baby, one question looms large. Will Harry attend the birth?

Having fought so hard to allow fathers into the birthing room, more and more dads are now forgoing the experience. More than one in eight British men missed the birth of their own baby, according to a new study. An in-depth look into life’s golden moments for Brits saw 12 per cent of men admit to not welcoming their child into the world. A quick poll of my Aussie girlfriends revealed that their sons-in-law are showing a similar lack of enthusiasm about being present for the ultimate Opening Night.

Psychologists also now maintain that the father witnessing his baby being born could damage a couple’s sex life. But let’s be honest. Childbirth will do that anyway. No woman wants to have sex after giving birth. A new mum’s favourite position is the ‘doggy position’ – where he begs and you just roll over and play dead.

So Harry and other dads-to-be, let me be very clear on this subject. Your only job is to do whatever your wife wants. End of. My husband didn’t want to be there at the birth, but hey, I didn’t want to be there either. If he was there when it went IN, he should be there when it comes OUT. Right? And do you know why? Because it’s the one time a woman can get whatever she wants. Picture it. She’s gasping and groaning and he’s pleading – “Darling, what can I do for you?”… New car, new carpet, holiday in Hawaii… they are the pregnancy cravings I got.

Nothing prepared me for the prehistoric reality of childbirth. It’s totally stone age. Writhing in agony for hours, adoption starts to look like a very attractive alternative. Only National Velvet should be in stirrups for that long. It’s such a bad design. I mean, how can something that big come out of something so small – not without a trick pelvis. All I could think was – if only I’d smoked and stunted it’s growth.

Birth classes had told me to expect a “little discomfort”. This is like saying that Kim Jung Un is only a little demonic. Midwives then told me that giving birth was like excreting a watermelon. They lied too. I think it’s more like expelling a block of flats – complete with patios, awnings, kidney-shaped swimming pools, gazebos and double garage extensions.

After fifteen hours of intense torture, the midwife then casually informed me that this was the first stage. “What?” I shrieked, “You mean there are other stages?” Having planned to give birth naturally, I then begged for drugs. Natural childbirth is a case of still upper labia.> I mean, we’ve done drugs all our lives, why stop now? Guys, just think of natural childbirth the way you’d think of natural vasectomy. Appealing? No, I didn’t think so.

Worse, having pushed hard for 25 hours, midwives then suddenly told me to stop bearing down to avoid tearing. They might as well have asked me to hold back an erupting volcano with a champagne cork.

After the eventual delivery five excruciating hours later, I was so numb from fatigue that I barely felt the doctor stitching up my perineum. I just told him to keep on sewing as I didn’t want anything going in or coming out of there ever, ever again.

Apparently, there’s a very civilised tribe in New Guinea where the husband lies on the rafters of the birthing hut with a rope tied around his testes. Every time the woman gets a painful contraction, she tugs on the rope. As tempting as it is to introduce this practice on Medicare, my advice to Meghan is more practical – it’s pointless going through all that pain if your partner is not there to appreciate it; I mean it should guarantee breakfast in bed for the rest of your life at the very least.

Prince Charles’ birth at Buckingham palace was the first royal birth not attended by the British home secretary who in earlier times was required to be present to witness and verify the births of royal children. So, Meghan, it’s no to the Home Secretary but yes to Harry. Hazza, attending the birth of your child, mopping Meghan’s brow, letting her squeeze your hand half to death, is a small price to pay for the great gift she is giving you.

Oh, and believe me, a new carpet, a new car and the holiday in Hawaii are an incredibly effective pain relief. Worked for me! Aloha.

Do share your own birth stories – the good, the bad and the ugly! And let me know if the father was at the birth and whether he was a help or a hindrance.

Plus, if you want to read more of my musings on childbirth, then dip into my novel Foetal Attraction. Hopefully it will make you laugh your way into labour!

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