"Hey! Stop! Hello!!!!" I shouted, waving madly at the driver of the D3 who drove straight past me at the bus stop last Monday. I mean, come on: how the hell could you have missed me?! I'm 37 weeks pregnant, the size of an elephant and wearing a bright yellow rain coat for God's sake! (I say wearing... I can't zip the damn thing up...)
Most people, however, don't miss me... They STARE at me! Gawp even, open mouthed - until I eyeball them and smile. Sometimes they smile back, sometimes they look as if their eyeballs are about to burst forth from their sockets in sheer horror! It's as if they've never seen a woman so full of baby! A penny for their thoughts...
Sometimes, if they're with friends, I do get to hear their thoughts... some of my favourites include: "Jesus Christ! Did you see her belly?!" "Wow! That's gonna hurt!" or the one guaranteed to freak out the new boyfriend: "Oh look...! I want a baby! Can we....?"
My hairdresser freaked out this morning, wondering what he'd do if I suddenly went into labour before he'd had chance to rinse out the dye! I reassured him that it's never as it appears in the movies, but just incase, at least he had plenty of clean towels!
Complete strangers have asked if they can touch me! I honestly don't mind. But it is a bit weird. I often wonder what they'd say if I replied "Only if I can squeeze your boobs."
In the park yesterday, as our sons were playing football together, a woman I'd never met before commented: "You're absolutely enormous! Is it twins?" I desperately wanted to reply: "Oh, no. I'm not pregnant."
But I AM pregnant! And I love being pregnant. I love wearing my massive black dungarees with the expandable sides. I love getting away with adding all sorts of random treats to the weekly online shop... this week it was a giant bag of marshmallows, some fruit jellies and a bag of treat sized Malteasers - Mmmm Mmmm! How did those get there...?! I love the way my son tenderly strokes my tummy "Softly," he says, "Baby - waaaaah!" and then he wraps his arms around us both and gives baby a massive "Mmmmmmwah!." I love that I get regular foot massages from Dave without having to ask...
Being pregnant is amAzing. It's a truly magical experience: growing a baby from nothing, creating life, building a family. I will miss my bump. I will miss feeling the pokes and wriggles. I will even miss the stares and random comments! But I can't wait to meet this little miracle and hold him/her in my arms for the very first time.
Although, if you could just stay put until after Auntie Liz's wedding on the 18th, that would be perfect!
I'd love to hear some of the things that people have said to pregnant you, either to your face or just within ear shot! Please add them to the comments below so we can have a giggle!
Your body, your baby, your birth
Helen Wright: Double Mama to two gorgeous little humans; Positive Birth Coach and Postnatal Revival Expert, is on a mission to support parents achieve the right births for them and their babies and help them to thrive in the precious postnatal period and beyond.
Helen is an experienced KG Hypnobirthing Teacher, Positive Birth Coach and Creative Genius behind BirthWright Affirmation Cards; she's also a Certified Placenta Remedies Specialist with the Placenta Remedies Network, a Registered Breastfeeding Helper with the Breastfeeding Network and she co-hosts a monthly Family Meet Up & Support Group in the East End of London where she lives.