Even the Duchess Must Endure Labor (Labour)

An alternate title to this post would be “When is Royal Baby Arriving?” as it seems that is the main question being asked on every morning news program today…

I debated on writing this post seeing for two reasons: 1) I am not a board certified obstetrician so I am not an expert and 2) Her Royal Highness might deliver before I’m finished writing. However, considering this is her first baby and she’s in the early stages of labor per every news source on the planet, I figure I might have some time. In fact, considering the average “active phase” labor course (see below for explanation) for first time moms is 7.7 hours, I might have more time than I need.


Labor and delivery is divided into 3 stages, which are as follows:

1. Stage 1: Onset of labor to full cervical dilation (ie when you’re ready to start pushing)

2. Stage 2: Full cervical dilation to delivery of the infant (ie the pushing part)

3. Stage 3: Delivery of infant to separation and delivery of the placenta (the blood vessel unit that connects mom and baby) (ie mom not really aware as staring at beautiful new baby!)

Further, the first stage is divided into latent and active phases corresponding to slower and more rapid rates of cervical change (dilation and effacement), respectively.

The average time for active phase of labor for new moms is 7.7 hrs and the average “pushing time” is 54 minutes. So, we’ll say an average of 8-9 hours for first time moms. [My mom would like to contest this “average” as she says she could have driven from Alabama to Alaska in the time it took to deliver me.]

This is all for normal, garden variety labor and delivery. I won’t go into “arrest of descent” or  things that can happen.

Finally, labor and delivery relies upon the 3P’s as we are taught in medical school:

POWER = uterine contractions

PASSENGER = Size and position of the fetus

PASSAGE = pelvis, or the path the passenger must navigate and that the power must push past

What does this all mean? If we’re lucky, maybe Kate will have the baby before the 6 pm news!

What I am more interested in is what they will name this baby and how they will choose its monogram since royals have more than 3 names.

Rumor has it that the front runners are Alexandra and James for a girl and boy, respectively. Amidst the interesting and eclectic celebrity baby names of late, we can always rely on the royals to keep traditional (White Anglo-Saxon tradition that is) alive.

If Kate needs any inspiration (unlikely), here are some names I have conjured up, keeping in mind they usually have at least 4 names in addition to last name:

Isla Catherine Anne Elizabeth or Isla Catherine Diana Elizabeth

Nicholas Henry James Augustus

If you are lucky enough to be born on the same day as Royal Baby in Britain, you will get a special lucky silver penny.

So, move over David Beckham, Harry Potter, and Andy Murray, there’s a new most popular Brit in town!


Until next time…


4 thoughts on “Even the Duchess Must Endure Labor (Labour)

  1. Of course I must chime in with my horror story of labor. My labor was about 41 hours starting with my water breaking at 5AM on Superbowl Sunday (resulting in my missing all superbowl parties and more importantly, SUPERBOWL SNACKS!) and ending at 10:10PM Monday night with an emergency C-section from arrested labor–or maybe that arrested descent you mentioned–and I was absolutely HYSTERICAL against the c-section. But I was overruled on my demands to “just go home and try again tomorrow” as they wheeled me to surgery. Hah. My sister on the other hand had almost exactly the labor you described for a first mom. Possibly faster. Her second labor baby was out within 45 minutes of her hospital arrival. Clearly genetics favor her as a birth-er.

  2. A bit like Monica…38 hours and emergency c-section and then started losing blood/consciousness and it all got a bit grim. However I’d do it again in a heartbeat…the Passenger is just too cute, even now he’s three!!!

  3. My active labor (4-10 dilated) lasted 15 hours. Pushing took 4 hours, 36 minutes! 7.7 hours would have been amazing! My OB had to use forceps to get the little man out, so I guess the passenger and pelvis parts weren’t working in my favor.

    As for royal baby names, I’m with you on Isla for a girl. Kinda bummed that George was the chosen name. Doesn’t Kate read your blog and/or Swistle? Come on!

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