27/11/2013 07:53 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

37 Weeks Pregnant: Puff Mummy

I've recently started to notice a certain amount of swelling everywhere (other than the bump of course!). It started the other night before bed when I went to take off my wedding ring and other jewelry – I really had to work hard to get them off my fingers – so hard in fact, that I nearly got out the hand cream to help matters along. Thankfully, this wasn't necessary and I managed to remove them in the end. The next morning, they were as easy as ever to slip on again, but, I had the same issues again at bedtime.

I've also been more conscious that my most comfortable flat shoes (which have a slight point to the toe) are tighter around the front and sides, and, most disturbing of all, when I take them off after wearing them for a few hours I'm left with definite creases in the areas around their edges, as if my tootsies are a doughy loaf of bread that has risen above the sides of the tin!

Perhaps less upsetting is the fact that in recent photographs it appears that I have had some very successful cheek and wrinkle fillers applied, like a non invasive cosmetic procedure or two – not so drastic as a facelift but certainly plumper and more refined. A sort of preview of what I would look like if I'd had a course of Botox or Restylene – not that I'm even thinking about that at the moment – it's the last thing on my mind. But ask me again a few months after the baby's born and I'm feeling haggard!

My reading tells me that what I am experiencing now is basic fluid retention, known as 'oedema' which can occur in approximately 80% of pregnant women, and at 37 weeks, I'm apparently right on the button for starting to notice it. In order to minimize this, I should be putting my feet up when I'm sitting down and not crossing my legs (that one's not hard – I've been unable to cross my legs for weeks now!). I'm told it is important, however, to have any sudden rises in swelling anywhere checked out by a doctor or midwife, as this could be a sign of pre-eclampsia. And I'm going to keep trying to get my rings on and off, mainly because I feel naked without them and feel like something is missing – but I have a feeling that by the time I get to the hospital stage I may have to leave them at home – if only to save P's fingers being cut in the inevitable hand holding contraction crushes.

Did you have swelling during your pregnancy? How soon did it appear? Did you have to stop wearing your jewelry?