Way back at that very first midwife appointment you are given that all-important figure, the number that you have in the back of your head for the next nine months, the end goal of the most important countdown timer you will likely ever have ticking – the due date. No matter how many people tell you that this is only a rough guideline and that only 5% of women actually give birth on this day, it is nigh on impossible not to see this as the finishing line, or rather the handing of the baton from bump to baby.

And so, the day arrives… and passes. As does the next day and the one after that, and another, and so on… Currently sitting at 9 days overdue, our little wriggler is really making us wait for the grand entrance.

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We’ve almost reached saturation point with suggestions of what to do to encourage them to come out and meet us – everything from pineapple and raspberry leaf tea to the very thing that put them in there in the first place (always a joy to discuss sex with your fianc√©es relatives). Our phones are constantly alive with the sound of alerts from our excited friends and family who, bless them, seem to think letting them know we’ve become parents may slip our minds. For those of you nodding along to this I have a gift for you… add this to your shortcut menu and with one tap or click you can satisfy the enquiring hordes – www.haveyouhadthatbabyyet.com. You’re welcome.

The cot has been built, the nappies are stacked and the baby swing is standing stationary, waiting along with us to meet its new passenger. Sitting around the house, watching inane daytime TV makes the days feel like weeks so we decided to run the breaking-of-the-waters gauntlet and pay a visit to our favourite local pub, The Bathampton Mill. Our favourite seats right by the river were free and we sat down to soak up the serenity and while away a few peaceful hours.

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The combination of a sunny September afternoon and the soothing sounds of the flowing mill waters, along with a generous helping of frites smothered with a powerful aioli, was a welcome distraction from the ticking of the clock. This baby is going to come when it is good and ready and we would wait a lifetime if we had to. However, it’s hard not to get into that mindset of the kid in the week leading up to Christmas. This is going to be the best present of all.

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