Now then, this list is not for the faint of hearts and it finally covers, as promised, the illusive extra boob syndrome. So, before I got into it and since the sun was shining (which it wasn’t this morning and isn’t now) I thought I’d go for a walk on the beach (this is the nice bit of Blyth!). It was gorgeous walking along listening to Sigur Ros.

Right that’s enough wooing you into a false sense of security…

Over the Christmas holidays I thought I had better get a handle on this baby thing and find out about pregnancy – i.e. what’s going to happen to me. This may seem a bit strange but rather than get a sciency book, which tells you down to the blood vessel what will happen, I got a different type of book, one that was more ‘real’ and would tell me about what would happen to, well, me. The book I chose was called ‘Taboo Secrets of Pregnancy: A Guide to Life with a Belly” by Michelle Smith and it was one hell of an eye opener.

I took it away on our mini holiday with my parents and only managed to get halfway through as I either had a pained expression on my face or I looked like I was going to be sick. So I was kindly asked to put it away while it was still the festive season. That aside – there was enough horrifying gold in the first half alone to put together a list of 9 pregnancy symptoms from the embarrassing to the downright horrific for your enjoyment!

9. Hairiness – due to loads of hormones some women get gorgeous locks of thick, luscious hair. However, there is equally a high likelihood that I could start to look like Yeti with hair sprouting from all manner of places…this isn’t exactly awful but it does mean my beautician is going to get a lot of visits and surely the bigger you get the harder it will be to get in all those nooks and crannies? Dear God. You’ll be please to know I’m going tomorrow, may as well get used to it before the mayhem starts (for me and my beautician).

8. Boobs – it starts with them growing a size over night and being insanely sore (oh, I’m pregnant), then I am advised it will move onto giant, and I quote, ‘ veiny blue road maps’. Then finally, if finding a non-hedious, yet comfortable bra weren’t hard enough, it also will need to be able to disguise nipples that will cut glass. Hoorah! This does not end well for someone who was a DD to start with.

7. Gas – Michelle has aptly named this type of gas as a ‘fartle’ because not only do you get no warning but it startles you and the people around you. This ‘syndrome’ affects throughout pregnancy and there is no getting away from it after that either – a friend of mine, who will remain nameless for obvious reasons, told me of an incident after her baby was born when she bent over right in front of some guests and the unthinkable happened – it was almost certainly a fartle and by all accounts very loud. Embarrassing but it gets worse…

6. Poo issues – It sounds like in general when you are pregnant you are pretty much going to suffer from constipation, which is just the worst, most miserable existence  known to woman. The main thing is don’t be embarrassed about it, well do be, but at least do something about it – I had a suspected case a few weeks ago and my good friend, Jen, frog marched me straight to a chemist. Mortifying but I love her for it. The other bit about poo is that you will almost certainly do it on your midwife when you give birth. Hoorah. Sob, Sob.

5. In at 5 we have the closely related Piles – As a result of 6 you will probably get 5, which is just awful. I guess the best prevention is to concentrate on not being constipated. Steer clear of naughty food and eat lots of fruit and veg, also a cup of warm water with lemon juice first thing in the morning is good for all round content-ness (you’ll see what I mean).

4. Varicose Veins – the main problem with this is that it really bloody hurts and in order to control the pain you have to squeeze yourself in to hideous sock/tights things (this will not look great with one of those sexy baby dolls). All descibed in great, painful detail by Michelle in this book. I am hoping that this won’t affect me with my first pregnancy. But a major cause is the amount of weight you are carrying so trying not to put on too much weight is very important!

3. 4 is closely followed by, and in fact related to, Varicose Vulva – you heard me!! This is beyond a joke and sounds amazingly painful not least because there is nothing you can do, besides walking around pushing your bits with your hands, to stop it. I could cry and we’re not even at 1 yet.

2. Generalised Vulva Engorgement – this has beaten Varicose Vulva to the coverted second spot because a) its name b) it is pretty much a dead cert by all accounts that you will get it and c) Michelle’s description of what it is…”two lumpy bratwursts stuck between your legs.” Need I say more.

1. And finally we have, Growing Extra Boobs – It’s hard to believe but Michelle actually knows people this has happened to, and thank god they told her so she could tell us! Apparently they are living out life minding their own business as  ’skin tags, tiny moles, or just some general don’t-know-what-that-thing-is’ but with the extra hormones they just ‘pop out’! And, if that weren’t bad enough, some even develop milk. When I was talking to my best friend about this, while horrified, she also confided that she has a skin tag on the back of her neck! She is now considering adoption in fear of developing a neck boob.

So, there you have 9 awful pregnancy symptoms that, please dear god, will not happen to any of us (make a sign of the cross, touch some wood, throw salt over your should – shit which shoulder?! – etc.) xx