When you yourself are battling infertility, it can be very difficult to feel much sympathy for those who moan on endlessly about their pregnancy symptoms. I have in particular very little patience with those who complain of feeling fat and unattractive during pregnancy. About eighteen months ago, we had an extraordinarily difficult weekend visit from Mr H's best friend and his pregnant girlfriend, who spent the whole time going on about how big she thought her arse was. It took every ounce of self-control that I had not to tell her to shut the f**k up. 'Why can't you see just how lucky you are?' I felt like shouting at her. 'Have you any idea of what I would give to be in your shoes right now?'
During my own pregnancy, I have been determined not to fall prey to such culturally induced self-loathing. I have tried very hard to embrace my changing body shape, and to focus on feeling voluptuous and womanly. Yes, I have suffered some minor discomforts, but they seem a small price to pay for the privilege of becoming a mother.
My fragile self-confidence has, however, recently taken a knock. The other day we went round the January sales. Hr H pointed out a cardigan that he thought I might like. 'You'd probably still fit into that,' he commented.
The cardigan in question was in the window of a shop specialising in plus-size clothing. I am a UK size 8 (around a US size 6); this particular store starts at UK size 18 (US size 16). Once this was pointed out to my darling husband, he immediately started back pedalling. He wasn't for one moment suggesting that I should try on the cardigan; he was simply pointing it out as a particularly fine example of its kind.
My position on the moral high ground of the relationship is now assured for the next few days at least. From my vantage point, I am rather enjoying watching him squirm!