Like the midwives of Nonnatus House, they would rattle up on sit-up-and-beg bicycles, in sensible shoes and wraparound pinnies, bringing calm and good advice as the rolling boil comes to a crisis.
They would never have allowed me to go into labour shredding orange peel at 4.30pm on Sunday afternoon because that way lies tears before bedtime.
They would have restrained me from pushing too soon - knowing that it is recklessly dangerous to stir in the sugar, then think, sod it, I'll finish it off tomorrow.
Because on Monday morning, I woke up to marmalade that had set solid in the pan.
And when I got home from work at 10pm, I was too exhausted to push any more.
And contemplated chucking the whole lot into the bin.
I missed a dear friend who died last year. This has been my first time without a marmalade doula to take 999 calls, coax me through giving it welly on the rolling boil and give me confidence at the worrying wrinkly stage on the saucer.
At least, this year I didn't have to worry about it setting.
There was some emergency intervention. (Melted it down, if you must know.)
And after one last sticky push ... I was finally delivered of 7lb on Tuesday lunchtime.
Mother and marmalade are doing well.
But could the midwife please bring some wax-paper circles when she makes the home visit?