I carried every one of my three children for an extra 14 days (yes, 14) and spent the entire time fending off wellwishers with a forced smile while actually wanting to poke them in the eye.
Don’t give advice to an overdue woman. Instead get her a Diet Coke and then rub her feet
It’s not hard to come up with the advice list that is trotted out like clockwork by people who are trying to be helpful and think that what they’re suggesting is original.
But in fact they’re simply saying exactly the same as everyone else.
The list always starts with a hot curry, as we all know what the effects of that are. Lovely.
Cod liver oil – the number two on the list. This, it seems, is the saviour of just about every ailment under the sun including getting a baby out.
A long walk is suggested next. I guess that one is in the hope that your innards will simply give up with the pressure and sag so much that the baby will pop out.
Long walks are followed by tea – fruit, green, cold, black, camomile.
But then there’s the ultimate which people always suggest with a wink and a smile.
Because when you’re the size of a zeppelin balloon, when your ankles are swollen, your fingers puffed, your back knackered and you’re wearing a thick elastic belt to keep you upright, when you haven’t seen your feet for months and when, seriously, it’s the last thing you’d ever consider doing, people love to recommend having sex.
Perhaps it’s not the act which is going to pop that baby out, it’s the outraged hormones which whip through you that force the labour into action.
And it is labour. Pushing out a child is very hard work, especially when your body’s not quite ready for it.
When it still needs one more day to get itself together. When it knows that the baby needs a tiny bit more time.
So here’s my advice.
Don’t give advice to an overdue woman. Instead get her a Diet Coke and then rub her feet while never once asking if she’s tried this, that or the other.
And don’t, whatever you do, spread pictures of her around the world’s media.