I tweet as much as the next person (ok, maybe a little bit more). But some things are sacred – and giving birth is one moment I wouldn’t want shared on social media.
Unfortunately for Robbie Williams’ wife Ayda Field, who recently had her second child, a baby boy, Robbie was more than keen to share every last, grin-and-bear-it moment of their time together in the US hospital – and if there’s just one thing more painful than vaginal delivery, it’s got to be listening to Robbie Williams singing Frozen.
The Take That star-turned-solo-artist took us all on a wild labour ride from Ayda’s arrival in the delivery room (in diamanté-encrusted Louboutins, and we can only admire her for that), to her waters being broken, to her pushes in those intense, feral, final moments.
Of course, his series of YouTube videos documenting the birth of his child could simply be considered testament to his impending excitement at being a father. Or perhaps they were simply his own, unique way of taking the American actress’s mind off her contractions – she must be used to him, after all, she married him. And Ayda did her bit to get in on the act, their first dispatch showing her dancing seductively, waggling her hospital monitoring wires like a tie at a bad office party, to ‘Fancy’ by Iggy Azalea.
As time, and her labour, progressed, we saw the couple shuffling down the hospital corridor, attached to an IV, and Robbie doing some serious dad dancing to his own hit, ‘Candy’, while Ayda looked on from her hospital bed, weary but seemingly nonplussed. It was all good-natured, a ‘Carry On Giving Birth’-style schtick presumably signed off by both parties.
But at some point, the vibe of the live ‘vlog’ – however subtle – seemed to change. Halfway through his post ‘Holding in there’, filmed nine hours after the couple first arrived at the hospital, Ayda asks her husband – quite rightly – what he is doing; to which he is quick to reassure his fans (all 2.34 Twitter million of them) that he is “doing great”. ‘Cheeky chappy’ or not, at that point I would have felt like punching him.
In a post entitled ‘Vanity or comfort?’ Ayda clutches his hands as she breathes through a contraction – ferocious, intense – and as it eases off, Robbie makes a quip about his pants. His pants. Ayda’s face says it all. Not to mention that final rendition of ‘Let it Go’ – and her desperate plea, halfway through pushing an 8lb 2oz baby through her birth canal: “Babe – can you stop singing Frozen?”
Exhausting, emotionally draining, that’s how it feels to have a baby. At times it feels like the pain will never end; at others, it feels like the process is all too fast, sliding by in a terrifying rollercoaster that you have no option of getting off of.
Giving birth can be exhilarating, confusing and painful – but above all, it is intensely personal. We all have different ways of dealing with the biggest events in our lives – some people need to feel supported, even if that support comes from the ‘retweets’ of 500,000 strangers. But in our ‘over-sharing’ generation, where wedding photos are uploaded before we even have time to finish walking down the aisle; and romantic proposals are ranked by the number of ‘likes’ on Instagram, there are some things that are better left undocumented. Especially on the delivery ward.Reuse content