x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

A watershed moment

The mummy diaries I seem to have achieved the ­impossible - one of my maternity tops is actually too small for me.

Things have reached ­crisis point. I seem to have achieved the ­impossible - one of my maternity tops is actually too small for me. I thought I might have shrunk it in the washing machine and then remembered I'd had it dry cleaned. I considered threatening to sue the manufacturers. How can they make maternity clothes that don't even fit a pregnant tummy? That was until I saw another women in a shopping mall adorned with the same ­garment; the fit on her cute baby belly could be described as floaty. Oh, the shame of it.

It gets worse. I had the most embarrassing moment of my pregnancy so far this week. I was staying over at a friend's house and I got temporarily stuck in her bath. Not because my fleshy bottom was too large to squeeze into it, although given another few weeks of growth that could be a distinct possibility. No, I made the error of getting too comfortable and sliding down into a lying position. There I remained, happily splashing water on my bump, until I realised that I couldn't get back up again. A slight panic descended over me. I had visions of being air-lifted naked out of the bath. Like one of those grossly obese people you see on TV documentaries. After 30 minutes, I managed to work out an escape strategy and adopted a manoeuvre that I remembered from a school outward bound course. Like a half capsizing canoe, I rolled over to one side and then hoisted myself up the side and finally clambered out. So pregnancy has turned a simple bathtub into a domestic aqua death trap.

Mind you, I was beginning to dislike taking a bath anyway. In the first half of pregnancy, it was pure, relaxing pleasure. I could even immerse my bump under the bubbles and pretend I had a flat stomach again. Now my bump sticks up so far that I can't fill the water high enough to cover it. It's like a small ­Caribbean island protruding out of the foamy waters. The fact that this colossal belly is commonly referred to as a "bump" is laughable, rather like making a molehill out of a mountain. My husband actually dared to say to me that he didn't think I could get any bigger. I had to break the news gently that I've got at least seven long weeks left of abdominal expansion. That equates to a heck of a lot more baby blubber.

I had another appointment last week at the maternity hospital so I asked the doctor discreetly if she could check the size of my seemingly gigantic baby. The ultrasound machines are very sophisticated, calculating accurate measurements of body parts and giving an approximate weight of the foetus. Mine weighed four pounds and four ounces. I was trying to work out exactly how that news equated to the size of my bump until I heard the doctor state that the weight is ­"average for this stage of pregnancy". AVERAGE. I was horrified. I've told the entire world that, ­obviously, I'm having a very big baby. Now what do I do? Tell them that it must have been breathing in? Massive bump, bum and thighs surely does not equal an average-sized baby. I can't really work out how this has happened. I left the hospital and drove home in a state of shock, consoling myself with a family-sized bag of chocolate raisins.