This week in Up the Duff Without a Paddle, our accidental mum-to-be, Sarah Powell, is thinking ahead to Christmas with a new baby.
The Christmas lights are being prepared on Oxford street, John Lewis has moved its Christmas candles to front of store and I swear I spotted a Next Christmas shopping bag this weekend. Yes folks, it's time to crack out the credit card again as Christmas is officially around the corner.
The most reliable sign that Christmas is approaching is my mum asking me: "So, where do you think you'll be this Christmas?". When I hear that the first time I know it's early September. By the time it's more frantically posed we're heading into October. By the time I get around to answering it, it's the week before.
Who needs a calendar?
This Christmas will be like no other for me, with our first baby due 1st December. I doubt I'll be preoccupied with the house looking gorgeous, finding Christmas presents that are fair trade/recycled (and still gifts that friends and family would actually want), and stacking up on favourite Christmas movies (I love love love a Christmas movie).
I am, however, feeling the urge to glam up a bit for Christmas. At 32 weeks pregnant and with all of the symptoms that come with it - from permanently aching legs to G-cup boobs, via haemorrhoids - I am feeling depressingly dowdy.
My skin is holding up okay (thank heaven for small miracles), but my hair is a real mess. It needs a blinking good cut and dye job, organic, non-toxic, safe-in-pregnancy dye job of course. I need a makeover. Hell, I need a decent Christmas outfit. Size 8 little black dress by December 25?
I seem to remember other pregnant friends of mine booking in a total hair and beauty makeover only weeks, even days, before their babies were due, and one even booking in a full bikini wax. It seemed a bit strange at the time, but now I absolutely sympathise with their desire to feel attractive and, well, their best self, as they faced the prospect of labour and becoming a mum.
More to the point, I'm mindful of the masses of photographs that will be taken in the first days and weeks after the baby arrives, photos which I can imagine being passed around the family for years to come, and I'd rather at least have a stab at looking half-decent in them. I can't imagine that the poor woman in this photo above feels that chuffed when the family album comes out.
Or maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree altogether here. Maybe I'll find our baby so utterly beautiful that when it comes to the photos I won't give a stuff that I look like I've lived in a field for nine months. I'd love to know just how many of you had a makeover in the last weeks of pregnancy. Go on, please tell me, make me feel a tad less vain.
My other half, who is largely footing the bill for looking after our unexpected family for the first year at least, has also done a fantastically kind Den Watts impression and promised me "a little something to spend up West" on new clothes after the baby.