Thursday 26 March 2009


As an ex Royal Marine, ‘Being calm and composed in challenging situations’, was once bullet pointed on my CV as a characteristic trait of which I was proud.

And I always imagined myself sitting in a waiting room thumbing through housekeeping magazines, playing Suduko and sipping machine dispensed coffee, but in these modern times it was expected that I should be present at the birth of my first child.

‘It will be an experience like no other’, people told me. And so it was, and now two weeks on, I find myself only just recovering from the bombshell ordeal of watching my girlfriend giving birth to a beautiful boy.

I had heard women speak of it and had seen it portrayed on television dramas, but reality was something I could never had prepared myself for and at one time I feared the midwife would be calling for a trauma team to resuscitate me, as the belligerent screaming, facial contortions and white knuckled shirt pulling became almost too much for me and I honestly expected with trepidation, my girlfriend's head to spin completely around like in William Friedkin’s 1973 cinema epic.

I applaud the midwives and hospital staff who were absolutely remarkable and did their utmost in advising me not to drive too fast when complications meant transferring my girlfriend from Honiton to Exeter hospital and I had to chase the ambulance down the A30 like Steve McQueen in Bullitt.

And as much as I tried to adopt a Cary Grant poise, I eventually left hospital the following day, a gibbering hideous wreck, and spent the following twenty four hours at home alone, sat in a dark cupboard under my stairs, listening to the little voices.

No woman I believe should have to endure such prolonged agonising suffering and terror and I have to question an obvious flaw in nature and ask why the Darwinian theory hasn’t by now, evolved a far simpler solution to procreation, by allowing women for example, to lay eggs instead.

I would willingly spend nine months alternating my evenings with my partner sitting on an egg rather than ever having to watch her endure such pain ever again.

Consequently, I tilt my hat and light a huge cigar to all you women out there and especially my girlfriend, whom without this experience, I would never truly know just remarkable and feisty you really are. God bless you all.

Express & Echo