x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Pineapple contractions and curry dreams

I'm virtually housebound and when I do manage to leave home I have to hold my bump for fear I'll either topple over or it will fall off

Guess how many times I have thought that I'd gone into labour during the past week? Eleven. And the number of visits I've made to the hospital claiming I was in labour during the past week? Two. What about the number of times I've actually been in labour? Er, zero. I'm mortified. When is it going to come out? I've had quite enough now, thank you very much. I'm virtually housebound and when I do manage to leave home I have to hold my bump for fear I'll either topple over or it will fall off. I think it is better for all concerned if I spend my final days of pregnancy left in a small room with just a bed, TV and fridge. Oh, and a takeaway menu. And a bell so I can summon my husband when he's required to airlift me off to hospital.

I suppose it's not actually that surprising that my spoiled baby wants to spend a little bit more time in the comfort of it's own luxurious surroundings. It must be like being cocooned in a five-star hotel in there. Admittedly, the conditions may be rather cramped, but hey, look at the size of many of the "cosy" boutique hotel rooms. My little one is warm, constantly cuddled and rocked, and more importantly gets to dine in the world's best restaurant. For free. Being in my tum must be like having a Friday brunch buffet 24/7. I can just imagine the reviews. "Open seven days a week, is the new 'in' restaurant, The Womb Room. Take your pick from an array of calorific delicacies. The dessert selection outshines any other eaterie in town." I'm having the luckiest baby of all time. Somehow I don't think it will come out unless forced against it's will. Would you swap that culinary lifestyle for a bottle of milk? Not likely.

At least my infant is getting in plenty of eating practice before it is born. According to the feeding sections of my baby books, there are quite a few similarities between me and a newborn. One book describes them as little eating machines. Another says that they eat two to three times the amount of calories as an obese person in the first months of their lives. Yes, just like Mum. In a desperate attempt to coax my offspring out of its comfort zone, I've been researching natural ways to bring on labour. The suggested remedies, I've discovered, range from common sense ideas to the downright ridiculous. According to one of the leading pregnancy websites, babycentre.co.uk, driving a car down a bumpy road is meant to "help shake things up a little" or even more bizarre, some women said "wearing your best knickers has been known to kick start labour". Blowing up balloons is another suggestion, as it is supposed to build up abdominal pressure and get things moving. There are also certain foods that once consumed are alleged to stimulate the uterus. A well known one is curry, but slightly more unusual is fresh pineapple, which contains an enzyme that is said to soften the cervix. What a load of rubbish. You would have to be out of your mind or completely desperate to believe that tosh.

Anyway, must dash. A delivery man has just arrived with my prawn vindaloo, the oven timer has gone off as my pineapple upside down cake is ready and I've got four more balloons to blow up before I get to eat it all. Labour ward, here I come.