This is me. Obviously, heavily pregnant. 34 weeks, to be precise.
We were going out to a formal dinner that night. I had bought a new dress, the only one I could find that did not make me look like the side of a house, been to the hairdresser and splurged on new makeup and jewellery (to make up for having to wear flat shoes).
I was feeling pretty damn hot.
When you're pregnant, you need to feel that way sometimes. And at that stage of a pregnancy, it can take a little effort.
I had spent the great majority of my day lying on the couch with my feet up, to avoid puffy feet and ankles ruining the look of my dress. I went for a small walk, in excruciating pain, to loosen my back so that I could manage to sit at a dinner table for a few hours. I had a nap to make sure I would stay awake past 8.30 that night.
My very active baby had by then been kicking me with great force for 4 months. I had not had a full night's sleep in about the same length of time. Between the kicks and being constantly hungry, needing to eat a couple of full meals during the night, I was tired all the time.
But, that evening, I was all set to 'glow'.
Unfortunately, the first person we saw when we arrived at the dinner chose these special words, just for me: 'God, you're huge. How long have you got left? Still 6 weeks? That baby is going to be enormous.'
I felt fat and ugly the rest of the night. No matter how much everyone else complimented me, all I could think of was that first comment.
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but not glamorous; growing a baby is exhausting. When you see a pregnant woman, one statement will suffice: 'You look gorgeous'. That is all. It will make her day.
(And I'm considering doing it all again? I guess that just proves that the prize at the end is more than worth it...)