Virginia Barton

21 July 2013: On babies, royal and not

IT’S A BOY!  See below….

21 July 2013

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(Chaps may skip this.)

Where did you have your baby? At such a time we women are prone to reminisce. “Where was yours born?” Or more likely: “When I had mine…”

Pregnant women are notoriously self-absorbed, and this is not surprising. If ever there was “Me Time” this is it. But don’t expect much beyond primigravida. By the time number three is on the way just about everyone except your better half has lost interest. Indeed there may be hostile remarks re the overcrowded planet.

There is something about childbirth that brings out the worst in us women. We vie with each other for the most horrific and gory stories, and the more complications the better. Not only weeks of morning sickness but the entire nine months – and a labour long enough to produce an elephant. And the pain! Oh God how I suffered.

It’s irresistible story-telling founded on grains of truth where for once one is the centre of attention.


Oh well, I shall not to be outdone. Our son and heir was born in a dining room because there were no empty bedrooms in the nursing home. The midwife (who boasted she had delivered a battalion) was sitting on the sofa watching “That’s My Line” while I groaned politely on a bed behind her. When, in due course, our son arrived, he spent the night on that sofa with a girl born (presumably in a bedroom) at about the same time.

Two of our girls were born within five years of the boy, both arriving in considerable luxury in Hong Kong.

Finally the “latest model and therefore the best” made her appearance courtesy of the NHS, nine years after the first.

Despite smoking like a chimney throughout, including on a trolley being wheeled to theatre, all of them were whoppers.


In those days, we’re talking ‘50’s and 60’s, husbands never attended the birth – perish the thought. BH would have fainted, as he once did at the dentist when he spotted the syringe ready to plunge into his gum. Neither were they expected to do any of the hands-on stuff the way they do nowadays, apart from a bit of rocking.


Happy days, as the Cambridges are soon to find out, God bless them.



22 July 2013

Things have reached fever pitch here! She’s IN hospital, she’s IN labour and the eyes and ears of the country are on her!

Poor little Duchess, never a moment’s peace. Pray for a safe delivery, or if you’re not the praying kind, fingers crossed.




Would you believe it took an American to tell me of arrival of the new little Prince?

BH was wrapped round the TV and yours truly was listening to Das Rheingold broadcast live from the Proms! DO hope they don’t call the little lad “Fafner”.






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