This is the point when you start to wish it was all over. The little fluttery kicks that made you feel happy have increased in intensity and number so that by the end you feel like you're being beaten up from the inside out. Your belly is huge and looks like the surface is starting to boil when baby really gets moving.
Having a hot bath is fun, really causes some wiggling! What's not so fun is realising that your abdominal muscles are so stretched and strained that you're not sure if you can get out. Nobody warns you that by the end you're unable to lace up your own shoes or even get up off the sofa without help.
I wish I'd suffered from the lack of appetite some women get because their stomachs have got squashed into a smaller area by the increasing baby. No, I was starving the whole way through, and with a little run-up, could still eat my own body weight in sausage rolls if given half a chance.
Alas, my favourite food was denied me thanks to another quirk of pregnancy. Curry!
As if I hadn't been denied enough! Thanks to various nutritional type people I was already banned from eating rare steak (as if I'd eat it "well done???!!??", who do they think I am?), soft cheese, runny egg yolk and pretty much anything pre-prepared. You can't take cod liver oil supplements, most hayfever pills and any of the painkillers that work either.
My favourite meal, a nice spicy curry, was denied me due to the increased action of a hormone known as "Relaxin". Increased relaxin is nothing relaxing, believe me. It helps the bits of you that need to stretch get softer so the baby doesn't get squashed and helps prepare other bits of you to give birth. It also affects the rest of the body whether you like it or not which results in soft joints and problems with your involuntary muscles. This leads you to fart quite a lot and the valve that keeps the stomach contents from going the wrong way doesn't work as well as it should. The net result? Acid heartburn, indigestion and a very painful condition called reflux, which I had. Spicy food makes it a whole lot worse, as does lying down and I ended up sleeping propped up on four pillows. This left Andy with none and he was very unhappy.
In the last few weeks you just feel like a hippo and are essentially just waiting. Every tiny sensation has you on tenterhooks - is it now? Can I finally have my waistline back?
Joseph was a week late and took his sweet time in coming out, but that is a story for another day.