There was a point when I was blissfully ignorant of the phrase “Braxton Hicks.”

I remember a time when these words would go straight over my head and I would get on with my day, totally oblivious to their effect.

Not so much anymore.

With my wife 39 and a half weeks pregnant, Braxton Hicks are the norm.

Whoever old Braxton is, he’s probably one of the most referenced “celebrities” around.

And, he very nearly scuppered the best laid plans of a wedding too!

Last Friday night, three days after we had passed the point at which Sophie had been born, my wife woke up in a great deal of pain.

No waters yet but the rhythmic stabbings of contractions flooded her body as she tried to get comfortable and drop off.

This was it, she thought. The baby was coming.

She woke me up – naturally, I was totally ready and able to help (!) – and said she was going downstairs to ride it out. She’d wake me with any developments. Worried, anxious, excited…I fell straight back asleep!

My wife on the other hand could have been found sitting on her pregnancy ball watching Reggie Yates investigating Mexican gangs all the while timing one minute contractions occurring every three minutes. Yikes.

The crazy situation was made all the more serious by the fact that in 12 hours time I was meant to be performing best man duties at Dave and Hannah’s wedding with my wife and Sophie in the congregation and playing a full role in the day too.

Well, that certainly looked unlikely at half 3 on Saturday morning.

However, Braxton Hicks was having the time of his life.

The “active labour” we thought she was in dissipated at half past five leaving her with many uncomfortable twinges but not contracting.

Fully expecting it to come back, we packed Sophie off to her grandparents and arranged to continue with wedding duties, only this time with my wife in tow as an honorary “groomsmen” for the getting ready aspect of the day.

We headed to Wigan to hang out with the groom and his brother with my wife in pain but not delivering.

As it was, the day passed by without a hitch…well apart from them becoming hitched that is…and I was able to do the service, help out at the reception and deliver my speech as planned. It was a wonderful celebration of a very happy couple getting married and it was such a privilege to play an important role in it.


Indeed, my heavily pregnant wife became a bit of a celebrity as she transported her 38 and a half week bump around and was an amazing source of support.

Many congratulations to Dave and Hannah.

Well, we thought, the baby will be imminent of course. These labour pains are like a deposit, guaranteeing what is very soon to come.

A full week later? We’re still waiting and the pains have not returned. What’s going on? Sophie was 38 weeks and 2 days when she was born. We’re nearly at due date and are doing all the things you’re meant to do.

Come on child – we can’t wait to meet you.