A 24-year-old mum-of-four is to undergo surgery on her bowel to stop her looking nine months pregnant.
Hayley Barley, 24, suffers from Hirschsprung's disease, a condition which makes her stomach so swollen she looks like she is about to give birth.
The otherwise size-eight mum says she is constantly asked her due date and is offered seats on buses because of her bloated stomach.
"It's nice that people are kind, but their kindness just makes me feel more self-conscious," she told the Mail.
Hayley, who is mum to Frankie, five, Sommer, four, Marshall, three, and one-year-old Caitlin, is awaiting surgery to remove some of her damaged bowel and flatten her tum.
"It's ruining my life," she said. "I have kids to look after, which is difficult enough without having to deal with my condition. I try to laugh it off when I'm out and about and people congratulate me for my 'pregnancy'. I keep a smile on my face, but it's always a difficult thing to hear."
Her condition means that part of her large intestine doesn't have any nerves, which makes it difficult for waste to move through her digestive system, leaving her with pain and bloating.
"In December last year the pain became unbearable. My belly was the biggest it had ever been, and I couldn't stop being sick," she said, adding that as soon as she saw a doctor, he asked her far along she was.
"I tried to explain I wasn't pregnant and went through my medical history. But after he felt my stomach he was sure I was expecting and he even suspected I was in labour."
Mrs Barley – who is married to 42-year-old Frank - said the surgery was a 'drastic step' which would leave her with a colostomy bag, but that she was just looking forward to not being in constant pain.
"Some people might look at me and think my 'baby bump' is a blessing, but it's been nothing but a curse," she said.
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW PARENTS
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more