Does my bump look big in this?

A time-bending, remarkable event awaits us this week. No, not the birth of the Second Coming, although we’re in impatient countdown mode to the due date on the 28th. Before then, though, something nearly as important will occur, temporarily altering the whole dynamic of our little family. In the next day or so, the Duchess will weigh more than me.

Normally, I have a head start of about three and a half stone because she’s normally tall and slender while I’m built to last (not fast). However, the combination of a relatively sober, abstemious January for me and the last hurrah of her pregnancy is likely to see her overtake me soon in the Arbuckle Stakes. Of course, it will be a very temporary phenomenon and owes very little to my efforts but I intend to enjoy it all the same. Quietly (apart from this blog but it too is in such infancy that I’m not expecting it to cause any ripples).

The fact is, the Duchess bears big babies. The Boy Wonder was nine days over the due date and had to be extracted by the hospital’s official tug of war team using tungsten forceps forged in the Rhine Valley for use with recalcitrant foals. We still think the Second Coming is a girl but it’s made no difference to the size of the bump. The community midwife had a feel last week and confirmed it was a big egg, cheerfully adding “the biggest I’ve ever had was just a bit bigger at 13 pounds”. The Duchess has remained pale ever since.

At least twice a day, the Duchess asks me: “Am I big all over?”, to which I truthfully reply in the negative. But I’m not the problem. At about five months one of the sisterhood sat near us in the local baby pool vocally assumed she was ready to drop and then did little to hide her surprise when the Duchess corrected the timeline. And many other strangers continue to think it’s perfectly fine to approach her in the street to alert her to the size of the protrusion out front, just in case she hadn’t noticed it. The Duchess always smiles and blushes, far too civil and dignified to ask them: “So, what’s your excuse?”. You fat, rude get.

What exactly is the problem, anyway? Surely, it’s better to have a big, bouncing baby rather than an underweight mite who needs milk supplements and ongoing supervision? In the old days, before the era of the Designer Baby, a healthy bump marked a woman out as a superior breed. So, on that basis I’ve done my best over the weekend to keep the Duchess well fed, with a big breakfasts followed by carb-heavy lunches followed by three-course dinners. Today, I gave her two puddings after a roast and I’ve just tempted her with a cup of tea and a few biscuits. You see, I’m all heart and I want the Second Coming to be as robust and redoubtable as the Boy Wonder.

And if it means the Duchess tips the scales before the birth, well that would just be a bonus.

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