I have a pregnancy secret.
Please don't judge me, but I am indulging in an unhealthy habit which I fear may be harming my unborn child.
Still, they say confession is good for the soul so perhaps admitting my weakness here will help me to overcome it.
So here goes.
I. Cannot. Stop. Eating. Cream. Cakes.
My name is Outnumbered and Over the Hill (OK, it's not but you see where I'm going with this...) and I am a Cake-a-holic. A pregnant one.
Like any addiction, it's difficult to pinpoint exactly when my problem first began. I only know that one day on my way home from the school run I popped into my local bakery on a whim. Confronted by tray upon tray of delicious baked goods fresh from the oven, I decided to treat myself to an iced finger. Filled with fresh cream and raspberry jam. I reasoned that the occasional treat couldn't do any harm, and even the lady behind the till commented that I deserved it, given my condition. I scoffed it in the car before I'd even driven away from the bakery.
Afterwards I felt guilty, dirty even. "Sorry baby, I'll do better," I whispered, as I threw the paper bag in the bin to hide the evidence. I tried to make it up to my baby by drinking half a litre of orange juice and eating three bananas, and the next day I vowed to start afresh.
I looked the other way as I drove past the bakery, and stopped off at the grocers for fresh kale instead of the cream cakes I am craving . I don't have the first clue how to cook kale but never mind, it's the thought that counts. Sort of. I ate some for lunch. Whilst leafing through Mary Berry cookbooks for a choux bun recipe.
The following day I had to hit up the bakery on the way home from school. Not for me, you understand, but for bread rolls for the childrens' packed lunches. Motherhood is nothing if not altruistic.
Yes, I could have bought the pre-packaged ones from the supermarket instead and no, I probably didn't need to add a fresh cream eclair to my purchase but it just sort of happened. And - sweet mercy - it tasted so sublime. And fixed my heartburn. I even licked the wrapper. I compensated afterwards by buying extra expensive antenatal vitamins and eating six clementines.
The day after that the only thing that got me through the school run was the knowledge that it was £1 sale day on all cream cakes at the bakers.
And news of my unlikely pregnancy craving started to travel. "For the baby," whispered my mother, drug-dealer style, winking as she surreptitiously slid a distinctive white paper bag across the table when I popped over for a cup of tea.
"All pregnancy cravings have some nutritional purpose," said a well-meaning friend when I tried to confide in her.
"I don't think choux pastry and nutrition belong in the same sentence," I wailed.
"Fresh cream! Think of the calcium! Protein too," she chirped.
On the way home I bought two fresh cream vanilla slices. I ate them both. Followed by a punnet of grapes, and a wholegrain salad sandwich.
At this point my resolve has cracked and I consider it a good day if I've only eaten one cream bun. But all I can think about eating during this pregnancy is cake - which has to be one of the cruelest pregnancy cravings ever.
Because if I follow my lust for lovely fresh-cream filled baked pieces of patisserie poison I surely run the risk of ending up with gestational diabetes - and seeing as my last baby weighed an eye-watering 9lbs 9oz and was born without any pain relief whatsoever, let's just say I'm especially keen to do all I can to ensure that the next arrival as 'lean' as possible.
To make me feel better one of my friends claims she craved only rosé wine throughout her third pregnancy. At least I don't have to try explaining that one to the midwife...
What did you crave in your pregnancy?