I’m on holiday in Mallorca with Jake, my mum and dad, my two sisters, their husbands and their kids – aged three, one-and-a-half and six months. We are a tornado of brightly coloured sun hats, buckets, jelly shoes and half chewed croissants.
This will be the last holiday for a long time where I can move around freely as a single entity, choosing activities and pass times based solely on my own whim. In two months our gurgling Buddha will be here, clinging, demanding and orchestrating our movements like a chubby, midget conductor.
I’ve just left the group to steal a swim in the pool and then sit in my room on my own for a moment or two. I’m savouring the silence and stillness and I’m looking in the mirror at my unfamiliar eight month pregnant, bikini-clad body. My belly is an unapologetically huge and hard half-egg shaped protruding wok. My veins have risen to the surface of my skin like blue vines creeping across my boobs, stomach and thighs, and my knees and ankles are puffy and look like someone else’s.
As I observe my new form, I feel a punch from inside and see my stomach jolt in the mirror. Not long now, she tells me.