Not on my watch

Dear Mary

I have a guest coming on Christmas Day who is heavily pregnant, due on 23 December. If she gives birth in my house and it is a girl, do I have a right to expect the baby to be named after me?

Signed, Catherine


Dear Catherine

Someone might give birth to an actual human being in your lounge room and your major concern is what the baby will be called? You have your priorities way out of whack here my friend.

Firstly, in 2016, there is no need for this inconvenient “sorry if I give birth at the party you’ve invited me to, but I won’t be able to help it” bullshit.

It is scene-stealing of the highest order and is also downright impolite.

I have given birth twice to two humans with exceptionally large heads (and as the passage of time has shown me, smart mouths as well).

Each birth was written in my diary, in ink, several months out. 39 weeks. No one needed to worry unduly that my waters might break on their Laura Ashley upholstery. No one needed to navigate the treacherous waters (so to speak) of asking a heavily pregnant lady to sit on a plastic sheet “just in case”. No one needed to stay sober at a social occasion just in case I needed to be rushed to hospital.

That’s because I’m polite.

You may be moving in different circles here though. One where “natural birth” is seen as “beautiful”. Let me tell you, you only need to attend one birth – natural or otherwise – to realise that beauty is mighty messy.

So here we go. Things for you to start thinking about WAY IN ADVANCE of worrying about the baby’s name.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not get free flights for life if you give birth on a plane. You do however, get moved into First Class if you go into labour, so your fecund friend may have an expectation of being moved into your bedroom. Prepare for that.

I would suggest moving very large pieces of furniture across the door of your bedroom before anyone arrives. You can explain it away as being readied for some shabby chic project you’ve got lined up for Boxing Day. Trust me, if you allow this to happen in your bedroom, it will permanently cease to exist as a zone for either relaxation or sexual arousal.

You will never be able to get these images out of your head.

Try to keep your guests outside the house entirely if you can. Invest in comfortable outdoor furniture than download-1can be hosed off after the event (and perhaps track down a manger?)

Forget the towels (certainly forget the good towels) and boiling water. You need very large, heavy plastic sheets.

A woman who gave birth in a taxi in the UK was hit with a 100 quid “fouling charge” on top of the 40 quid fare (I’m repeatedly writing “quid” not in an effort to really Pommy this story up, but because I can’t find the pound sign on my computer and I’m not sure what the exchange rate was on the day of the incident).

When I read this, I thought “quite bloody right”, imagine being the next poor sod to hail that cab on a rainy night and getting in to be faced with that?

And the cabbie – no doubt not an Etonian educated member of the ruling class in Merry Old England, but some poor bugger whose family coffers take a significant hit for every hour he spends off the road CLEANING A COMPLETE STRANGER’S COPIOUS BODILY FLUIDS OUT OF HIS TAXI.funny-pumpkin-baby-birth

Apparently though, I’m wrong here.

The cabbie’s request was the cause of some significant moral outrage and the taxi company issued an apology, refunded the fare and donated 100 quid to some baby charity by way of restitution.

What the fuck?

So what I’m saying here Catherine, is that things go rapidly south for you, your decor and your Christmas Day party if this birth occurs on your watch.

Actually, maybe just move the heavy furniture across all the entrances to your house and spend Christmas Day hiding on the floor until they all go away.

Trust me, you do not want this to occur on your watch.

Yours in nausea,




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