• http://phlog365.wordpress.com Kate

    This is my favorite Not-Maria pregnancy picture of you so far! You look so serene and confident and prepared. I just finished your book recently, and this picture is a startling contrast to the picture you painted there. I’m sure you’ll have some sleepless nights and midnight tears because that comes with newborns, but CHEERS to your health and happiness, lady! You’re radiant, and I’m so excited for your family :)

  • http://apartmentgirl.org Erica

    wow, time sure does fly. You look gorgeous by the way. A toilet birth would definitely be a funny story.

  • http://thestrangeexperiment.blogspot.com/ Adrienne

    Do you airbrush the stretchmarks off your belly in these pictures or is your skin just naturally porcelain white and perfect?

  • Kelly

    Can’t wait to read the birthing story! Or at least the birthing tweets…

  • Annie

    you look so much happier than I did at that last stage of pregnancy; I was doing floor tile and cleaning obsessively.

    you know, I have to type ’1:15′ and ‘urea’ to post this?

    take care of yourself. sorry about the cervical exam; they wouldn’t check me at the hospital until I decided to get an epidural, though I wanted to find out how far I was before making the decision. Ben is seven weeks old and kicking my right leg as I type, so obviously it worked out in our favor.

  • http://www.shnerfle.com/Shnerfle/Blog/Blog.html Shnerfle

    I’m convinced that these OB/GYNs are simply witch doctors with better costumes. They measure and torture and spout centimeters and percentages and none of it means anything. Which is frustrating for people who aren’t 4,ooo weeks pregnant. If I were you, I would start the epidural now.

    There no words of comfort for you now that could be anything but annoying, but you’ll manage, and you’ll bring home little Butterscotch Popcorn Pants and Leta will be a big sister and all will be well in the universe. Especially now that the nursery is finished.

    Good luck and have a doughnut for me!

  • http://www.bellystory.blogspot.com/ Belly Girl

    Eeeekkkk Ouuchhhhh Owwwww…. I unexpectedly went into labor 3 weeks early with my first, so I did not get this experience – I thought that I was prepared for everything now that I’m pregnant with my second, but I can see that I have new and exciting things to look forward to….

  • Dana

    Enormous? My god. No way. You look tiny. And perfect.

    I was overdue with all of mine and never, EVER dilated or softened before the due date (or even within a week after for that matter). So I’m taking this as a good sign for you and hoping #2 comes early.

    Best of luck. Be safe. Find joy in the moments.

  • Lora

    You look wonderful…and hopefully you’ll go into labor soon. I walked around at 5cm and 100% effaced for 2 weeks and was finally induced. You are absolutely right in saying that dilating doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

  • Jen

    Hang in there, girl! My doctors FORCED ME to go 36 weeks with my twins, and with one’s elbows in my bladder and the other’s feet coming out of my eye sockets it was pretty miserable. Think of THAT kind of misery and feel good! You’re almost there!!!!

  • Kristen

    That baby’s coming out! Jon had better update us when it starts. You can’t just leave us hanging while you recuperate! :P

  • megeram

    Despite all the horrible things you’ve said about pregnancy over the past few years, after seeing the Fenstad sheep mobile in the nursery I’m clearly going to have to have children in order to justify having one.

    You look wonderful! Congratulations!

  • hiliari

    YOU ARE ALMOST THERE!!! you are a rockstar it’ll be over before you know it…oh… and by the way, Im a litte pissed off @ how AMAZING you look @ 38 weeks! When I Was that pregnant I would put in the head lock anyone trying to get a snap shot of the elephant formally known as Hiliari! lol you look amazing…

  • Lucy

    Yeah, but you make 38 weeks look good.

    That’s no mean feat.

  • http://sarah-aubrey.blogspot.com/ Sarah Aubrey

    Now I know what “effacement” and “cervix check” mean, and, via Wiki, “cerclage”.

    DAMN YOU, GOOGLE IMAGES. UNSEE! UNSEE!

  • http://www.amanuensvagen4.blogspot.com Sarah

    You look beautiful.

  • angry sugar mama

    oh my god you are freakin’ tiny!!!

    congrats. good luck. here’s to drugs. hope it’s quick!

  • Anonymous

    Dear Heather,

    Are you sure your doc did not “strip your membranes” or do “membrane sweeping”? When you describe the pain and like cleaning out a water bottle, that sounds like membrane stripping, not a plain jane cervical check. I took a Bradley Method class last year before giving birth, and one young woman said that her friend described membrane sweeping done w/o consent or notification as feeling like “a rape”. It is meant to induce labor, but can be dangerous, especially in Group Strep B positive mothers (one quarter of all pregnant women), which I was. I asked my doctor if he routinely does it, and he said “yes”. I refused to even allow a cervical check, let along THAT, and did not have my first cervical check until I was almost 100 percent effaced and almost 6 cm in Triage. Just be aware of what they are doing to you, and you have a right to say “no”. I allowed two cervical checks: 1) In Triage 2) The resident because they had to do it before an epidural.

    http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/sweepingMembranes.html

    Here – google this: “what is membrane stripping”

    Best of luck!! It’s your body. You are in control. I refused to allow a male intern to watch his first ever natural childbirth.

  • Anonymous

    Never understood the whole “checking” business. Either way, the information is useless, so why torture women. I was where you were in both pregnancies, then ended up going 10 days overdue with both and had to be induced twice. I should have just saved myself all the pain, the anticipation and the violation.

  • Mary Jane

    I work as a labor and delivery nurse, and i just want to apologize to every female who has had a baby about those nasty cervical exams!!

    Heather you’re fab! good luck and ill cross my fingers that you don’t continue to waddle around pregnant for the next 23 days! i’d give some tips to induce labor, but you’ve probably heard them all and honestly, most of them don’t actually work!

    good luck convincing your uterus to expel a human being out of your vagina!!

    mj

  • Fruitfly

    Nice rack, Heather! And good luck!

  • http://www.smacksy.com Lisa Rae

    You are a gorgeous mama size but where do you get off having that teensy bottom? At 38 weeks I looked pregnant coming and going.
    Keep up the good work. You make nice people.

  • Julie

    HA- dooce is the new birth control. That put me in a fit of giggles.

    Good luck with the baby, Heather! I don’t even like kids much myself but I’m terribly excited over Not Maria’s delivery. :) Weird.

  • http://www.amanuensvagen4.blogspot.com Sarah

    PS. I agree that the checks were horrid. I planned to have a drug-free birth until reality hit me in the face… If I could not handle the pain of the nurses checking me, how was I ever going to handle labor and birth without an ep!?

  • http://www.highlandscotherns.blogspot.com Kaylyn

    Everyday when I come to check in on your site I find myself laughing harder than the last. The way you tell your stories is my daily amusement. Who knew that a visit to the Gynocologist could be so hilarious? {for us, anyway. Not you.}

    You are still looking beautiful as ever in all of your pregnant glory.

    Oh, and by the way….your new Masthead is PERFECT!

  • http://www.aheadofthewave.blogspot.com Kate

    Heather; you look gorgeous. Truly.

    I just finished reading your new book, It Sucked and then I Cried; in record time (less than a day…..). Loved it, Heather. Wonderful book (from the heart). Thank you for writing this important book about postpartum depression and about all the “lighter” topics, like Chuck “barking in Russian”. I laughed so hard I wanted to pee.

    Best of luck in these final days I’ll be thinking of you.

    You are amazing. Best to you,

    kate

  • http://www.themontgomeryclan.blogspot.com Jenn

    You are ridiculously skinny for a 9 month pregnant chick. Watch you push out a 9+ pounder. I got enormously big with my second baby and I stayed away from the powdered donuts! Good for you though!

    Good luck to you! I’ve been reading since right before you gave birth to Leta. Don’t forget the Colace!

  • Zoraya

    I think you look absolutely beautiful! I am just 6 weeks pregnant with my first child, at age 36 and after 13 years of marriage, and I am completely terrified and also very very happy. I have been learning a lot from your posts but your comments about this checking procedure are scary. The skin in your belly looks beautiful, Did you use something to take care of it?

  • Christine

    OK, the Madonna smile and radiance is back. Personally, I’m glad the masthead still features donettes and cig. Has Leta felt the baby move? Maybe you said & I missed it.
    Here’s something to visualize: all your Dooce fans lined up passing you Gatorade and cheering as you pass the baby finish line! Go you.

  • Rebecca

    Do you know about nurse-midwives? We are skilled, evidence-based practitioners who don’t do all the checking, because, as you conclude yourself, it MAKES NO DIFFERENCE and is extremely painful. One of these days, you’ll go into labor, checks or not. Just let it happen, and tell them to keep their hands to themselves.

    Congrats on what’s sure to be a lovely baby. You look great, and I really enjoy your blog.

  • http://theyaelchronicles.wordpress.com/ yael

    I’m due Monday so it’s been fun to read your blog knowing we’re on the same timing. Of course I am on my first and still inexplicably 10x the size of you (http://theyaelchronicles.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/there-is-no-unifying-theme-to-this-post/).

    Best of luck for how it all goes down.

  • Sara

    You look great, even without the red lipstick, ciggy, and Donettes.

  • meredith

    Oh, god. You just gave me reason #8,554 why I am never, EVER having children. (I mean, I made that decision after my first babysitting gig at the age of 13 and have successfully stuck by it for almost 25 years … but it’s been a while since I’ve so vehemently renewed that vow to myself. Thanks for the reminder.)

  • Laurie

    I was 4 centimeters for the LONGEST week of my life! While only in my 39th week, in my mind I was late, as the first baby was 10 days early. A well-timed trip to an acupuncturist, some homeopathic remedies and, yes, a tablespoon of caster oil brought it all on. . .very quickly. I hope you’re ready for the possibility of a quick birth. I was in the hospital for all of 17 minutes before baby #2 arrived and I have heard MANY, MANY similar stories.

    Good luck and you look fabulous!

  • http://jjustkidding.blogspot.com JJ Keith

    Oh my. I’m glad I was blindsided by birth. I mean, I knew it was going to happen, but I the, uh, ejection process was sudden and immaculate. I could kiss that little babe just thinking about the excruciating last weeks she spared me.

    On the bright, you are almost there. Before you know it you’ll be missing those little stabs to the ribs Unborn Baby Armstrong is delivering.

  • http://www.vakadesign.wordpress.com Katie

    Almost there! You look great, and I’m sorry they harassed your cooter =) In the delivery room I remember saying, “THAT IS IT! You’ll can just ask each other what it felt like, because it’s time to leave my cooter alone!”
    Why do the ALL need to check it?

  • Erika

    Enormous? Absolutely not! You look great. I just passed my due date yesterday with no progress to report, so CONGRATS on that (I’m jealous). My belly is sticking straight out – I’ve been asked twice if I’m having twins (and I’m not).

    And I am right there with you on the “exams”. My friends warned me about them, but no warning can help prepare you for getting your tonsils checked via your vagina. Thanks for being so honest about everything involved in pregnancy – it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t “love being pregnant.”

    Best of luck with everything. Hopefully we both have our babies soon

  • http://meandyouandellie.blogspot.com/search/label/by%20Jacquie Jacquie

    Exciting! I’ll never forget those days leading up to the birth of my second child. I couldn’t look at my firstborn without weeping for how his world was about to be shattered! It didn’t take long for him to realize that the baby was pretty cool to have around, first she was his punching bag but now they’re very good buds.

    I never dilated or effaced or dropped of did anything to indicate that any baby was ever going to voluntarily exit my womb, right up until my due date…when my water broke. Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    So only 10 days until you go apeshit crazy after you have your monkey baby? Are you going to blog from the looney bin again? It’s too late for you to miscarriage, right?

  • Mariselle

    I am 6′ feet tall and my OBGYN was uhm, I don’t know 5’5 if that. When it was time to do the ole’ check for dilation with my firstborn, I thought I had died at the table from the pain. I feel for you, Heather. Tall is beautiful but when it’s time to check how many centimeters you have dilated, it hurts like a mo fo.

  • Yes I Know I am Radical

    Ugh.. when will doctors and everyone else for that matter realize that babies are born when THEY are ready, not when the mother or the doctor is ready. Cervical checks are barbaric, some day I hope they will go away. If Mother Nature intended us to know the status of our cervix she would have made it a lot easier.

    And Jen #15, your doctor “forced” you to go to 39 weeks? I can’t believe you would prefer forcibly removing your babies before they are fully developed, just because you are uncomfortable. Didn’t you know that pregnancy might be uncomfortable?

    And some people wonder why we have such a messed up aggressive and violent society. I think the answer is in how we treat our babies.

    My feet hurt, my back hurts, I’m tired of being pregnant, I don’t care if my baby is ready to be born someone cut him out of me! Ok now that he’s out, wrap him up and take him away from me, the person he was physically attached to his whole life, and keep him in a nursery for few hours. Oh and while your at it, cut off the foreskin of his penis. Why? Just because. Oh and don’t bother using anything to numb the pain. He’s just a baby, he doesn’t understand. Better to do it now before he can complain. Ok now that we’re home, your dad and I are going to sleep together in here. Oh no, you have to sleep by yourself in another room. Yeah I know you slept inside my body for 9 months, but you’ll get used to being by yourself.

  • http://www.myfunnyfunnyfamily.com Carrie

    You know, since it is so uncomfortable you could just ask them not to check you any more. As you point out, it doesn’t really indicate much of anything.

  • Tricia

    Your last sentence is absolutely correct. You just never know.

    You look beautiful!

  • chrisubus

    You look fantastic! Effaced is good — it’s better than not effaced, for sure.

    And that whole “checking” thing? Seriously, I mean, at least buy me dinner, right? Hoping everything is easy for you!

  • Tricia

    Could you delete #285? What an ass.

  • Corinne

    You’re going to have your baby next Saturday. Leta was born on my birthday and when I realized the rough area your due date is on I figured the next little Armstrong would be born on my wedding day. So if you have the baby on the 13th, I won’t know, but congratulations in advance.

  • Cathy

    I never looked this good while that close to delivery. Never had that good of hair either. God, now I’m just depressed.

    Seriously, you look more amazing than any pregnant person has ever looked in the entire history of modern birthing, possibly excluding Christina Aguilera.

    Best of everything to you and your family as this new one’s arrival draws near.

  • Amy

    Heather you look great! I was way bigger than you look when I delivered at 32 weeks, granted I’m also wicked short. With my last pregnancy I was dialated to 2 cm for about 3.5 weeks before I was induced b/c baby was over 9 lbs. Did I mention I am short? He broke me. LITERALLY. I pray your labor is quick and as painless as possible and that you get to squeeze that adorable lil baby girl real soon!

  • http://chilangopan.blogspot.com/ Gaviota_mx

    You look muy bonita señora!

    I wish you the best. You’re so brave! I only did it once :-|

  • Anonymous

    oh they have to come up with another way of doing it. my doctor had huge hands and was a woman and not at all sensitive to the fact that it would hurt when she shoved her hand in there. oh my god it is so unpleasant. hopefully u won’t have to go through it too many times (the way i did) :(