Harry seemed happier in the interview than he has in months. Picture: Steve Parsons — WPA Pool/Getty Images
Harry seemed happier in the interview than he has in months. Picture: Steve Parsons — WPA Pool/Getty Images

Truth hidden in Harry’s baby interview

I wasn't required to do a doorstop interview the morning my first child was born, and just as well because I'm not sure I could have done justice to the wonder I had just witnessed.

Prince Harry though, in lieu of appearing with the Duchess of Sussex holding their newborn son up Lion King-style outside the Lindo Wing for the world to see, fronted the press to confirm that yes, they'd had a boy and mother and baby were both well.

But the magic of an otherwise standard "stand here, say that" royal appearance was the electricity in Harry as he gushed about what he had just witnessed his amazing wife do, that took me right back to a cold May 2014 morning in a suburban Sydney hospital as I watched my wife seemingly reveal a superpower.

"We had a baby boy," Harry said, seeming to be only just realising it's real as the words leave his mouth. There's that new-dad grin (which as with most things, looks better on Harry than it does the rest of us).

He manages to stop just short of jumping up and down with excitement, which wouldn't be terribly regal, but would be entirely understandable because He Just Saw Things.

Watching your partner give birth seems to be one of those key points where generational intersections are most abundantly clear.

Our grandfathers' generation boasted about being in the office or on the golf course when their children were born.

As much as I have always loved to be on the golf course, it seemed a shame to me, even as a teen, that this was something they were proud of. But having watched my grandfather faint at the sight of a cut finger, I suspect maybe it was in everyone's best interests that men of that era met their children when they'd been washed and wrapped.

Then came our fathers and perhaps much older brothers and cousins.

Many of them went along for the delivery, but spoke afterwards of an experience that was "like watching your favourite pub burn down". Men hide a lot of their emotion in humour, and it's probably unfair to judge a generation based on a joke, but I've heard it enough times to wonder why those blokes thought for an instant that this was even remotely about them and their experience.

To sit bedside and watch your partner summon power and strength that ought not to fit inside a five-foot-eight body is transcendent. I was not prepared for it. Truth be told, I actually fell asleep in the corner of the birthing suite during the early part of my wife's labour (In my defence we went to hospital at 1am and things didn't really get firing until breakfast time…).

We were a couple true to the cliché: my wife became a mother when she saw two lines on the stick, and it took me until my daughter's head emerged, her head sideways so we immediately locked eyes. I was a dad, that was my little girl, and nothing was ever going to be the same.

Harry said it as well as I would have tried to had a reporter thrust a microphone in my face that morning: "It's been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined … How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension."

(Dads, you really should watch the video. He gives a little excited/scared laugh as he says this that is every single big, dumb one of us)

Scott Warren with his firstborn daughter in the NICU. Picture: Supplied
Scott Warren with his firstborn daughter in the NICU. Picture: Supplied

My daughter and I made a trip to the NICU immediately after her birth, while my wife remained in the birthing suite. I can still recall when I saw her again after an hour or so and we debriefed on the experience, that I was struck by the fact she wasn't actually 30-feet tall.

Surely, she had to be, to have performed the type of sorcery the midwives, obstetrician and I had just witnessed. She made an entire person appear out of nowhere!

The royal family's detractors will often note "there's nothing special about them, they're just people" - in this case I think that might be what makes me enjoy that footage of Harry so much.

He's just a new dad, tired and a bit overwhelmed, standing there telling anyone who'll listen (in this case, the entire planet) how incredible his wife is and how proud he is of her. There should be more of it.

Scott Warren is a freelance writer. He did not fall asleep during the birth of second child.


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