I went through a bad patch at about 34 weeks pregnant when I took this picture because I had always had a lovely, trim, pure white tummy. After having an ovarian cyst removed by laparotomy at 14 weeks pregnant, I was left with a neat scar, which is becoming more and more noticeable, bumpy and ragged the more my bump grows. Combined with the stretchmarks and putting on 4 stone, I started to feel really down about my body… Then I started sharing pics with other pregnant women and discovered that we all have varying degrees of anxiety about our pregnant bodies, whatever they look like, and are all coming to terms with the many physical and mental changes that herald motherhood, which is such a miraculous process of which the outer signs are just the tip of the iceberg. I am looking on the stretch marks as a badge of honour from my baby, and the scar as a demonstration of his tenacity in surviving the operation. I am due in the next few weeks, so am looking forward to his safe arrival and the new body that I will have after the bump is gone – stretch marks, flabby skin, scars… the lot!