Enormous pregnant lady eats Manhattan

Rarely do I ever feel as vulnerable as when I’m using the toilet on an airplane, and I think it has everything to do with someone trying to figure out how to talk about where they found my body if the plane should crash. Like, I’d rather be the one they found still in her seat with the cell phone pressed to her ear having just called her daughter to say her last goodbye. Not the one sitting on the commode with her pants around her ankles, a wad of toilet paper in her right hand because the plane hit the ground before she could finish her business.

I had to think about this six times yesterday on the flight back from New York, every time I waddled to that tiny compartment to offer relief to a bladder that would not shut up. For those of you who have never been inside a bathroom stall on an airplane, just imagine someone closing the lid to your coffin. And that panic? The feeling that you’re going to suffocate as they lower you into the ground? Yeah, you’ve got to ignore that part because three or four other passengers are standing outside your coffin waiting for their turn. So hurry up, and if your baby is crowding your bladder like mine was all day yesterday, sorry, but there’s no room to contort your body into a position to free up your pipeline. Not unless you can stick your foot behind your head. And if you’re one of those people who can, by god, you better hope the plane doesn’t go down right that instant. WOMAN FOUND PANTSLESS, CONTORTED INTO A PRETZEL.

On the way to the airport Sunday afternoon I remembered that I hadn’t talked to my father yet, so I called him and let him know that I was going to be on the TODAY show the following morning. He said that if he had to, he’d make the sacrifice to get up early to see my appearance, and that’s when I reminded him what year it is. That some people? They have bathrooms INSIDE THEIR HOMES. There are things called DISHWASHERS and ANSWERING MACHINES and get this! They even make these little boxes THAT CAN RECORD LIVE TELEVISION. That’s when he reminded me how much my brother was going to enjoy ALL THAT MONEY left to him in the will.

The flight to New York was fine, but we didn’t get into the city until 12:30AM and then didn’t get into bed until 2AM. Then we were up at 5:30AM getting ready, over to the studio by 7AM, done with taping at 8:30AM, then back to check out of the hotel. The flight home was just a total nightmare, five and a half hours of someone tugging on the back of my seat, the seat in front of me reclined into my six-months-pregnant belly, and a frustrated baby inside taking out her anger on my bladder. Last night when the cabbie dropped us off at the house, a foot of snow blanketing the driveway, my body starting screaming at me: I HATE YOU. I HATE YOU. I HATE YOU. And I was all, I KNOW. I HATE ME, TOO.

Not two minutes inside the door, and my father calls to tell me he watched the segment! Great job, he said. And also! Looks like his youngest daughter has put on some weight! In fact, that’s what he turned to tell my step-mother when Meredith Vieira introduced me. Look! Heather’s fat!

If that wasn’t EXACTLY what I wanted to hear right after getting off that plane.

I sternly corrected him, let him know the proper term was GLOWING, not FAT, and then I went and ate a spoonful of whipped cream cheese cake frosting.

For those of you who didn’t catch it yesterday, here’s the segment from the TODAY show. Maybe I should say that the camera adds ten pounds, but who cares. I don’t plan on being pregnant ever again, so I’m going to embrace these pounds with glee. It probably doesn’t help the scale of things that the other participant, the lovely Laura Fortner, weighs about 60 pounds soaking wet, and that she’s obviously terrified that the enormous pregnant lady sitting next to her is going to reach over and eat her at any given moment. Because come on, it looks like I’ve swallowed Matt Lauer:

  • http://www.hunterandamy.blogspot.com Amy

    I want your boots…. and the lipstick you were wearing.. Please and Thank You :)

  • Anonymous

    Enough fat hate, dooce. Some of us look pregnant all the time when we’re really not. You are like a string bean with a tiny belly.

  • http://heartsandflowers-ballerinatoes.blogspot.com/ ballerinatoes

    hey, I caught you Today and thought you looked beautiful and glowy. They should let you do a whole segment by yourself.

  • ProudMary

    Wow, good job. I’m always amazed how people on TV (you included) are so good at summarizing their thought into attractive soundbites. Makes me glad I’ve never been on TV, I’ll tell you that.

    And, you looked beautiful.

  • http://cardassianvole.tumblr.com Amber Gregory

    Heather, I think you look absolutely GORGEOUS. Your face IS glowing! I think you look absolutely fantastic. :)

  • jen in logan

    You are so articulate. Composed. And able to keep your legs crossed in a short skirt, on a tall stool, while pregnant. A woman of many talents. Nice job!

  • Aspen

    You looked great! I’m upset that I won’t get to see the propeller arms at SXSW this year, but I’ll drink an extra bourbon for you. Can’t wait to see you at Book People next month!

  • Geri

    YAY! You were perfect (AND FUNNY!!). Can’t wait til you come out to visit Book Soup.

  • http://cameraartist.com darr

    Heather you looked wonderful! I hope your pregnancy goes well for you. If you need a sitter for Chuck (& Coco), please let me know. ;o)

    Kind regards,

  • CA Mama

    For those of you who felt the need to chastise Heather because she commented that she feels “fat”, get over your fat selves. She is a slender person in general, who I am guessing, eats right and exercises. What a concept. If you are fat, deal with it–don’t tell Heather to stop feeling what she is feeling because YOU are fat. As someone who has always been slender, gaining 34 lbs while pregnant was odd for me–I knew I had to do it, but it was still odd.

    Please, don’t berate Heather for saying she feels fat–those are her feelings. This is her website. If you are bigger than her and you are not pregnant, then you need to exercise and eat better. For yourselves, for your children, heck, even for our health care system!

    And the obese women detailed in the segment who breast feeds her child while surfing the net–please start paying attention to child. Get off the computer and go for a walk. The “Today” show could NOT have picked a worse person to highlight as a digital age mom.

  • http://www.rachelstephensphotography.com Rachel

    Okay, real quick, women who gain less than 40 lbs during pregnancy don’t get to say they are fat…unless they are 4′ tall! I beeped when I backed up during pregnancy!

  • Laura in TX

    You look GREAT! Wish I could have seen it live! I love your website and your wonderful pictures…thanks for sharing your life with us interested readers! You are fantastic!

  • Eunice

    You looked so cute, Heather! Can’t wait to read your book :)

  • http://wackymommy.org/ Wacky Mommy

    Hey chicky — nice job with the interview.

  • AK

    As a PR professional, let me say that you were incredibly composed and articulate. Congrats!

  • http://www.wesitbyfire.com Lolly

    You look Beautiful and Glowing and your hair is hot.
    Great interview Heather. You are articulate, charming, engaging and intereting – you’ve got all good things to say in a good way. Plus, you give nice props to your readers. that is very kind of you.
    Your lack of sleep did not show, either.
    Can I get WHAT, WHAT for Heather B. Armstrong!
    What! WHAT!??!
    P.S. I want your earrings. I have been admiring them on Momversation.

  • http://lisannesblog.net/ Lisanne

    Thanks so much for posting this link! I was excited to see you on the “Today” show! You look terrific. Good luck with the remainder of your pregnancy! What an incredibly opportunity!

  • http://authenticthreads.org/blog Braidwood

    I love what you had to say about needing to connect because we don’t have a village anymore. Here we are in this modern world, so many people have been so lonely. I LOVE that we have all taken over technology to serve our desire to connect to each other!

    What you said reminded me of a conversation I had a few yrs ago:
    I have a good friend from India and she had her first baby here. She was really surprised at how people take care of new moms here. She said that in India her whole family would have come to stay for three months. THEY would have taken care of the baby and all the cleaning and the cooking.

    They only give the baby to the mom when the baby is happy so that the mom and baby can bond. The mom’s job is to take care of herself. She is given food that helps her to recover from childbirth and gets lots of rest. Hmmm… No wonder so many moms here have such a hard time with their new babies! Its not that anything is wrong with most of the moms. Its that our culture is not very responsive to our human needs.

    ps: My friend did go home with her baby to get that rested time.

  • http://mccfamoffive.blogspot.com/ Kellie

    Your hair was super cute! Loved the interview as well.

  • http://www.lindademelophotography.com Lindy

    aaaw you looked lovely and I’m sure Matt tasted just yummy.

  • http://mes9193.blogspot.com Meghan

    HEY! Be nice to my friend Heather. She looks beautiful, not at all fat.

  • http://thankfullythinking.blogspot.com Rebekah Wallace

    Heather you look beautiful! What a cool opportunity

  • http://sneathenfamily.blogspot.com Michelle S

    Heather, you looked great! I saw the segment live and, digital mom that I am, immediately posted it to facebook so others could switch it on. I SOOOOO wish this would have been the rage when I had my 12 year old. It would have been amazing to connect with other moms when we weren’t sure what was happening to him (he has autism). Better late than never?! Great job. Looking forward to the book

  • Christine

    Really, really nice, Heather. It was nice to see you speak for the first time since being a reader. You’ve become part of my social network and community that I rely on for support every day (thank you RSS feed). And you might be the coolest digital mom I know.

  • http://silentgoddess.etsy.com laney

    You look fantastic! Much better segment than the Kathie Lee smack-down (meaning I wanted to SMACK HER DOWN after watching it…).

  • http://sassafrasmama.blogspot.com Stacy

    If that’s your version of fat, then you are not welcome at my house.

    Seriously, you looked great and I watched the Today show, something I would never normally do (let alone admit).

    Well done.

  • http://joshmarcieandbattlestar.blogspot.com Marcie

    Yea! I’m so glad you posted this. I watch the Today show every morning, and of course yesterday morning I miss it. With the time change and my son sleeping in an hour later than normal (which of course means that I got to sleep in an hour), I didn’t make it to the tube to catch you. I was quite disappointed!

    You were great; wish it could have been longer. Despite the pregnancy weight, you’re still gorgeous.

  • http://www.fleuris.ca Fleuris

    OH MY GOSH HEATHER!!! DO NOT BE RIDICULOUS! You are so beautiful in this segment! You do not look fat, and you’re so well spoken. Congrats on a successful interview!

  • http://bushbabe.blogspot.com Bush Babe (of Granite Glen)

    I just wish I had sound on this computer… with no sound you looked gorgeous (although the other chick got a lot of the camera!) and very Italian (a lot of hand signals there!).

    I too was amazed at the boots – I had to leave heels at about 4 months with each of mine… now I have to go look up Stadium Gal (#103). I am bracing myself!


  • http://www.theflyingpinto.com sara

    I’m a Flight Attendant and I think that is hysterical that you don’t want to use the bathroom in case the plane go’s down! I actually never had an issue with the airplane lav until my mom said one time after a flight…” You know the FA used the bathroom in first class, I couldn’t believe it.” What???? She actually made me realize people pay attention when I go into the bathroom, thanks mom for the bathroom issues: )

  • http://www.lovemaegan.com …love Maegan

    omg those stalls are TINY ..I cannot imagine being any bigger than I am {which is actually not tiny} fitting in one …and being preggo …omg… no way!!!

    {also, I always imagine the plane going down when I’m in the bathroom ..and actually, when I’m in the bathroom at home too …like an earthquake or some shit..}

    {going back to watch the vid …as if you care…lolahahaha}

  • http://www.CookingSchoolConfidential.com CookingSchoolConfidential.com

    I think you look great. But if you do want to lose weight, you should try cooking school (I’m a culinary school student). It seems counter intuitive, but being surrounded by all that food makes me NOT want to eat!

    Better than first trimester nausea!

    See, school is good for something after all.


  • http://www.pinkpuffysleeves.com Julie

    As a woman who has been a host for three children during what felt like three overly long pregnancies(yes, my own), I just need to tell you that you look fantastic in your interview! Chic!

  • http://www.lovesongforasandwich.blogspot.com Susan

    Oh please, you are not fat. You have a baby bump! I hate to imagine how I would look pregnant. I pretty much look the way you do now all the time.

    And I love that you still have your Southern accent. I think if I ever moved out of the South, mine would be gone in a matter of days. And that’s not a good thing. I like my Southern twang!

  • Jennifer

    I don’t think you look fat at all. You look very healthy and you do look glowing. Pregnancy suits you!

  • http://www.groovymarlin.com/blog Groovymarlin

    Heather- you look beautiful. I think the extra weight actually looks awesome on you (not to imply you don’t look awesome anyway). You are definitely glowing!

    And I totally sympathize with the whole airplane bathroom thing. Sheesh. There’s a reason why I often have nightmares about not being able to find a bathroom!

  • Anonymous schmonymous

    you do look different-but you should-you are growing a baby inside of you. of course you will look bigger. you do not even look that big-I noticed it the most in your face.

    the woman who was on with you was annoying. you were not.

    best of luck to you.

  • Kelly

    Way to go scoring Meredith!

  • Jean

    I know other people have said this too, but: YOU ARE NOT FAT. Good lord. If you’re fat then I’m a huge hippopotamus.

  • http://www.robindoddphotography.com Robin Dodd

    Heather… ooohhh I’m so excited to comment… I haven’t gotten here in time… of course I’ve only been following a little while.. Great job on TODAY. I would have loved to have seen you in NY, of course I’m going at the end of the month.. after 7 years I cannot WAIT!!!.. the bathroom… good GOD I always think about that… because the turbulance ALWAYS!!! gets worse when I cram my “too much chips and salsa” butt in there… Too funnY!

    Happy Traveling the next few days..


  • JennyPenny


    As a woman who is six months pregnant, presently, I feel your anxiety related to the ‘fat’ look. You are beautiful, as always. So glad to be ‘sharing’ some of your experiences at the same time, it truly is a relief to read of another woman (who always makes me laugh) going through the ups and downs of pregnancy.

    I’m looking forward to your Austin visit. This time I won’t feel so strange in wanting to meet you, I’ll have a book as an excuse. It’s a very weird thing to know so much about you and you to know nothing about all of us, and then meeting you in person on top of that. I guess I’m just feeling this fan experience for the first time.

    Thanks for all that you do here, it makes our lives all the better…

  • Susan

    I’m so glad I found your blog. Nuff said.

  • Kat’s Mom

    I missed you in NYC by a day. I was standing at the edge of Rockefeller Plaza on Saturday looking at the same church spires. Lester Holt gave me a wave from the plaza. I’m an old coot– but I still get a charge out of being at the Today Show.

    You looked and sounded wonderful in your interview!

  • http://www.jwards.blogspot.com Miriam

    Thanks for posting this and for making that trip you brave
    brave thing, you.

    I like what you have to say about the online community/support aspect of internetting. I think folks who don’t have an interest in it tend to miss the incredibly affirming aspect of finding connections without concern for geographic distance. The new topography makes it possible to make those contacts and move on to something more like community in a way that would not be possible without instant access to an archive of thoughts & experiences otherwise separated by distance and time. At its best it can broaden our own perspectives by sparking discussions (online or off) about those issues that push our boundaries (politics, religion, child waste removal systems, etc.). The ability to read more into the places where we overlap and learn from where we clash almost makes me feel like less of an opinionated shrew. It makes me a better friend offline.

  • http://www.thelaughingmonkey.com/blog Rose

    Heather, you were awesome on the Today show. I would be a nervous wreck and end up sounding like a complete idiot. Well done!

    And just for the record, I do not think you are doing it wrong. From what I read here, I think you’re an awesome mom. I am a stay at home mom to two kids; a 4 year old boy, and a 1 year old girl. I am alone with them for 10 hours a day. My life is completely. Fucking. Insane. I can usually count on your blog to make me laugh, and for that I THANK YOU.

  • anonnnnn

    You did a great job on the show. You really did.

    However, you have no idea how alienating your “fat” comments are to readers who weren’t blessed with your body type. I know you sincerely feel that you’re huge and nobody can ask you to feel otherwise.

    But compared to many (most) of your readers, you’re not huge. In fact, even significantly pregnant, you probably still weigh much less than some of us. And every time you berate yourself for how you look with a few extra pounds on you, it’s kind of a knife in the gut to those of us who will never even come close to you on our skinniest days.

    In our culture, “fat” is shorthand for “lazy, disgusting, worthless slob who doesn’t care about her appearance or take care of herself.” Look at CA Mama’s cruel, judgmental, *inaccurate* comment (research actually shows that weight alone is a very poor indicator of overall health) if you’re not sure what I’m talking about.

    Just…be careful, please. This is a very important issue to a lot of women, and you’re usually such a strong voice. That’s all I’m asking.

  • mark

    I applaud mothers trying to connect with others in their own sort of e-village, however, I fear that some families will become over dependent on technology and sacrifice face time with other, more local people who could serve as a social support network . The mother who said she spent 6 hours a day online (with a newborn baby) alarmed me. And yes, she may meet people in Australia – all well and good, but will that person be around to help out when the water heater bursts or when you need a shoulder to cry on in an emergency?

    The concept of a nuclear family living separate from extended family – and even close friends – is relatively new and very American. The idea that one person (husband/wife) should fulfill all your needs is a bit dangerous and puts individuals in precarious situations if the relationship doesn’t work out. This isn’t an anti-marriage rant, but rather a criticism of an isolating culture. So this is why e-villages, and more importantly, bricks and mortar villages are so important in American society.

  • http://barelymyself.com diz

    Enjoyed the interview, and don’t pay attention to the people telling you not to call yourself fat. While you look great, and you’re, you know, growing a new person, you are allowed to say whatever you want.

    I think this who website is going to be a great gift for both of your kids someday, even if they are mortified!

  • http://www.xanga.com/yourfavoritecynic Ray


    ^^OMG, you had me laughing out loud with the one! Thanks so much for that, I needed to laugh. =D You’re such a great writer. I love your style of writing. I found your site in 2008 from Novelle360.com’s site but have only now been reading it almost everyday since October. So glad I found your site.

    It was also so cool to see this clip of you on television. Too bad I missed it when it was playing live. You looked great.

    Take, care.

    P.S. Hopefully I’ll be able to buy your book and get it autographed on March 24th. We’ll see.

  • http://www.crustybeef.blogspot.com CRUSTYBEEF

    You look like you’re stuck inbetween the glow of pregnancy and constipation..but that’s okay because you look great! Besides, like you said, you’re pregnant, so enjoy it all.
    I’d blame the pump for the altitude change.

    I’m looking forward to buying your book in your Oakbrook IL visit–My town..Let me tell you a few things that I really feel that your little in utero will thank you for later:
    1-eat at Portillos..it’s JUST down the street from Butterfield/route 34..the best hotdogs and they have a chocolate cake shake,…can it get better? Yes, they have crinkly fries..omg..try it.
    2-eat a pizza at Lou Malanti’s..deep dish it.. butter crust..and trust me, from one weight gaining no prego crusty mom, you will love it..try it with the sausage slab..if you can manage.

    4-uh..damn it, you’re pregnant so never mind the bar crawls with the snuggies.

    Looking forward to getting the Dooce signature on your book..
    meet you soon..
    a jacked up mom to three boys with three different types of post partum depression. GOOD TIMES!

    any chitown chitchat, you are welcome to email me. I’ll try not to spam you.
    I hope you’re flying into Ohare airport. If not, and you’re flying into Midway…don’t get scared,…it looks rougher then it really is. Besides no one comes out to mess with us suburbanites and travelers from Utah when it’s so fucking cold out. You may get lucky and have a windowwasher..they don’t listen for fuck even if you say no, and push on the gas pedal. lol

    Safe travels and I look forward to standing in line..why? Because it’s a night out for me..Can you make sure you stick me at the back of the line so that my time out of the house away from my husband and three sons lasts longer? My only fear, is that I’ll need to crap.

    yes..happened on an airplane..NOT FUN!
    Pregnant at the time too, while traveling alone with my two sons..
    paint that picture in a GOODnight Moon Format and Dorasize it. :)

    okay..I’m done hurting your comment box..
    too much starbux.