Over the past week, the world's media has been making its home around St Mary's Hospital in Paddington. It has been widely reported that the Duchess of Cambridge will give birth there, in the Lindo Wing. Personally, I'd send Catherine to the birthing centre there. The midwives are amazing and totally woman centred. The decision wasn't mine and so The Lindo Wing it is. Of course the other thing that I would have asked the Duchess to consider would have been not telling anyone her guess-date. That's right. I'd have mentioned that she might like to hold that to herself.
Why? Well it's simple really. Babies arrive when babies arrive. There is a gorgeous mum at school and her baby's guess-date is any day now. Each time she walks into the playground people wonder if her baby will 'ever come' and 'doesn't she look huge'. We remain caught up in the whole Due Date thing and imagine that on that date the pregnant woman will wake up and before she goes back to bed that night, she will be holding her baby. It is a small percentage (4% if I remember rightly, but do correct me if my stats are off) that give birth on the 'Due Date'. First babies, in my experience, tend to come 'late'. Now, I use late lightly, after all full term is 37- 42 weeks and therefore a baby is not 'late' until 42 weeks and 1 day. This is where I forward the link to a fabulous blog post about those last days of pregnancy. You see, we are all in such a rush to get these babies out, partly because everyone around us has been ringing us off the hook to ask 'Have you had that baby yet?' Then of course we start to hear the risks of babies being inside too long and we begin to slowly fill with fear. We do not birth well when we are filled with fear. Adrenaline, which helps us to fight or flee, surges through us. Oxytocin is what we need to birth our babies and the two do not sit well together in the birthing room.
I have no idea when the Duchess of Cambridge conceived her baby, and I have no idea when it will arrive, but I do hope that she goes into spontaneous labour and no one 'hurries her and the baby along'. I also hope and pray that she knows what she wants and makes good decisions with her husband. I stand by my opinion that Kate needs a doula and I also think she needs a fabulous midwife to be with her as she births her baby.
As for the photographers and reporters who are camping out. I do hope that they are prepared for the long haul. This baby will be born when it is ready. Do babies tend to come to plan?