If Robbie Williams Danced During My Labor, I Might Have Punched Him

Confession: I have spent much of my life in New Jersey and yet, deep breath, I have never watched an episode of Jersey Shore in its entirety. I’m not a fan of reality TV in general, and the fact that the show was based in my home state wasn’t enough to interest me.

But when we flipped on the television at the hospital, on the day before Saucer Eyes’ birth, it happened to be tuned to MTV and, sure enough, a Jersey Shore marathon was playing. For once, I didn’t change the channel and instead, decided, “Why not watch? I can finally learn what a Snooki is.”

Shortly thereafter, my contractions started getting painful … and so the exploits of Snooki and her fist-pumping pals remained unwatched by me. I couldn’t concentrate on the TV; I could only breathe, squeeze my husband’s and mother’s hands — thanks for letting me nearly break your metacarpals, folks! — and pray to whatever benevolent being I could think of to “make the !%##% epidural #@%% work already.”

I don’t know whether British singer Robbie Williams’ wife opted for an unmedicated childbirth or, if like me, painkillers didn’t quite get the job done, but in any case, I can understand why she didn’t look thrilled when her darling pop star husband performed a song-and-dance routine while she labored with their second child, as the world saw in a video posted to Williams’ YouTube channel.

Under different circumstances, a goofy-yet-coordinated Williams serenading his wife with one of his pop hits “Candy” would have been sure to evoke at the very least, a smile from his wife, actress Ayda Field. Instead, she sat propped in her hospital bed, looking stone-faced and rubbing her belly. I’m actually impressed with her reserve, especially if she was experiencing anything close to the pain I felt during labor. If my husband had started rocking his hips and warbling that jaunty tune during my labor with Saucer Eyes, I would have told him, in some colorful language, exactly where to shove his “Candy.”

But don’t feel too bad for Field. The video was one of several posted to Robbie Williams’ channel showing glimpses of Field’s labor with the couple’s second child. In one of the videos, apparently filmed earlier during her labor, Field has her own fun, dancing to Iggy Azalea’s “I’m So Fancy” in front of her seemingly nonplussed (but likely amused) husband.

Some have criticized the couple for posting the videos, but I agree with writer Ally Fog, who argued in The Guardian that Field and Williams are undeserving of such disdain:

Live-tweeting a birth might not be everyone’s cup of tea with a slice of toast, but it appears to have worked for Ayda and Robbie. And for that they deserve not our contempt or our condescension, but our congratulations.

So, yes, congrats Ayda and Robbie! May the months and years to come with your new little one be as sweet as (but less annoying than) “Candy.”


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