There is such pressure from society to enjoy gestation, some unspoken inference that if you don't relish each second of your pregnancy then there is no way you will be a good parent.
I could not disagree more. I know I am a good parent. I have a sunny delight of a daughter to prove it. People who had kids many many years ago and can't remember how horrible being pregnant is wax lyrical about how much they loved it, as if there is something wrong with you if you don't.
Well, I am overdue, of foul temper, pulsating with hormones and proud to say I hate being pregnant. What's more, here are some of the reasons why...
1. Strangers touch my tummy. Apparently it's good luck. It makes me want to be sick on them, maybe I should and then they won't think it's quite so lucky.
2. When I go to the midwife, I have to pee on a stick and then take it in to show her. Even though I never have and never would actually hand her the wee sodden stick to hold, she recoils from me each time I approach, as if I have some contagious disease. Surely in her profession she should understand that you don't get pregnant from just holding hands?
3. While I am on this subject, the fact my midwife has never actually given birth niggles me a bit. I keep forgetting and asking things like "You know when the head is engaged and it feels like you are trying to grip a bowling ball between your thighs" and she says "yes" and then I think "No you don't."
4. The fact that although he claims I look beautiful I know my husband is slightly horrified at the sight of me naked. We were off to a BBQ last weekend and I attempted to squeeze myself into a denim maternity mini skirt. It got stuck over my bum (the bum everyone claims is just the same as it was before by the way). James had to pull it off. While he was doing so he uttered the words "bloody hell, I am going to give myself a hernia here". A pregnant pause followed and then we drove to the BBQ in silence.
5. Being pregnant means I have nine months to work myself into a panic about a pain that cannot be likened to snapping a cruciate ligament whilst playing football no matter what my husband thinks. A pain I will have to endure naked in a room full of women who will make me feel like I am making a bit of a fuss over nothing.
6. And while I am on the pain thing, I hate the way people who choose the home birth route make me feel like a failure because I want my hospital epidural. If they want to light candles and chant "Ommmm" all way through their labour then good for them. Personally, scented candles and thoughts of white lights will be about as much use as a chocolate teapot to me when I am trying to squeeze something the size of a watermelon out a hole the size of a (very small) lemon. And it will be even less useful when I am being stitched up for an hour afterwards...
7. The 14 weeks of morning sickness that I went through, during which, the only thing that made me feel slightly better was to eat bowl after bowl of shreddies. Being as I was never sick all the bowls of shreddies went straight to my tum bum and hips and people thought I was much further gone than I was.
8. The fact maternity clothes are more expensive than any other type of clothes and only fit for a very short time. (See point above about denim maternity mini skirt. I paid £35 for that embarrassing episode.) While I am on this one, the fact that maternity designers seem to think because I am with child I either want to wear floral smocks or tight t-shirts proclaiming 'I love my bump' or 'It started with a kiss'. In an act of rebellion I have spent the last month in out-sized primark pyjama bottoms and James' old sports shirts (not allowed to wear his nice ones as I spill everything I eat down myself)
9. The way people check out my tummy and then look at my hands to see if I am married. I was not married when I had my daughter and I remember someone at work saying "Christ I bet that was a nasty shock" when I announced my pregnancy, assuming that because we were not married that somehow our pregnany was not planned and very much welcomed.
10. The way well meaning friends and family tell me how much bigger my chest is. I never know how to respond. Do I say thank you? Apologise? Offer to let them have a feel?
11. The way people tell me I am all bump and have not put weight on anywhere else. If this is the case then how come none of my trousers fit me? Why then do I have hamster cheeks and dinner lady arms?
12. The way everyone thinks they know me better than I know myself. Comments like "You won't go full term, I bet you go into labour today/tomorrow/in a minute, it's a boy, it's a girl, oh soon you won't know what has hit you" etc only makes me want to hit them instead.
13. The fact people ask you if you have any names picked and then when you tell them they say "Oh I don't like that name", or "I knew a dog called that" or "You can't call them that, it's horrible."
14. The way people I do not know intimately (or at all) tell me their horrific birth stories in great detail, including comments about how many stitches they had or how things are still "not quite right down there" Why do I need to know this? WHY?
15. The fact that my tummy looks like a roadmap of britain, and after I have given birth it will look like a deflated balloon version of a road map of britain.
16. Comments from well meaning family and friends such as "Oh hurry up and give birth" or "God this has been a long pregnancy hasn't it" or "We are all just on pause till you give birth" really, are you?
17. The fact that in a couple of months when my scars have healed and I am holding my long awaited bundle of joy, I will spot some poor unfortunate pregnant person, we will get talking, I will provoke them to moan about how horrible it is, then I will look down at my baby and say "Oh I loved being pregnant."