My Bump & Me is hailed as a “poignantly frank, funny and personal insight into Myleene’s pregancy” and promises to impart “practical advice” to expectant mothers. I struggled to work out who would read this book; the weekly ‘your baby is now the size of a genetically modified aubergine’ updates may give a nod to traditional pregnancy books, but they’re far from the “essential medical information” promised on the cover. Myleene documents her pregnancy weekly, adding the occasional snippet allegedly written by her partner, Gray. Yeah. And I’m the Virgin Mary. These faux-paternal entries are so painfully laddish, I’m surprised baby ‘Rice’ (surely the embarrassingly cutesy names we have for our foetuses are never meant to be shared with anyone but immediate family?) didn’t pop out swigging a yard of ale and slamming twenty B&H on the table.
Ruling out expectant mothers as the market for My Bump & Me, I can only assume that the Big Brother generation has clubbed together to make Myleene’s debut publication a ‘Sunday Times bestseller’, celebrity being the key to Klass’s success. From Popstar’s fame to that white jungle bikini (“you Tarzan, me certain of media stardom”) Myleene uses her pregnancy diary to name-drop every A-list, B-list and not-even-made-the-list celeb she had the pleasure of bumping into during her pregnancy. Impending motherhood is also the cue for truck-loads of freebies, from Smugaboos to Prada-gros, over which Myleene gushes appreciation, dropping the occasional bin bag off to the local orphanage to maintain her common touch.
Of course Myleene continues working throughout her pregnancy; the constant references to Marks & Spencer made me hunt through the credits for mention of a sponsorship deal. She flies in the face of pregnancy advice by taking to the skies after 28 weeks, although I’d challenge her to squeeze down an Easy Jet aisle any time in the third trimester. The central photos suggest a private plane with more leg room than a giant’s jogging pants. In fact the photo-spread pretty much put the nail in the amniotic sac for me; Myleene simply cannot expect her readers to swallow the nauseating girl-next-door narrative of her whale-like pregnancy proportions, whilst at the same time slipping between the pages air-brushed photos of a beach-ball neat bump.
I read Myleene’s book from cover to cover and found less substance than Calista Flockheart’s diet. The narrative was rushed and superficial; the advice inconsistent. It smacked of yet another flash-in-the-pan opportunity to make money. Myleene may well have endured moodswings, cravings and scan-nerves like the rest of us (although you’ll note she fortuitously escapes any of the more unglamourous symptoms, such as haemorroids, or a post-episiotomy vaganus) but her celeb status makes a mockery of this attempt at a warts ‘n all pregnancy account. I’d like to think Myleene has drawn a line under her literary efforts, but in line with her reproductive talents, I’d lay bets on ‘My Baby & Me’ being just around the corner.