the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Three months

I recently went through my archives to gauge just how bad my morning sickness was during my pregnancy with Leta, and after the fourth or fifth entry dedicated to puke I wanted to tell myself DUDE. I THINK WE GET IT. And so instead of going on for pages this time around I’m going to get it all out in a couple of paragraphs, and I’m not even going to include details on what cornbread stuffing tastes like laced with stomach acid (hint: really awful). Here goes:

Devout Mormons routinely fast for two to three meals on the first Sunday of every month, and this ritual is supposed to bring them closer to the Spirit and strengthen their testimony of the gospel. When I was in college my roommates and I used to go to a local restaurant called The Brick Oven on the Saturday night before fast Sunday and binge on the all-you-can-eat pasta buffet. I’m talking plate after plate of spaghetti, rigatoni, and fettucini, to the point that we wanted to throw up afterward. And the strategy worked, we wouldn’t be hungry for another 24 hours, but I think that kind of defeated the purpose. Fasting is supposed to be challenging, and here we were taking the easy way out. Oh my God, if that wasn’t a sign of things to come. Hey you, parent of a student at BYU… is your child stuffing themselves with carbs to make fasting easier? Yeah, four years from now they’re going to be really good at giving hand jobs. OUT OF WEDLOCK.

That horrible feeling I had after the fifth serving of pasta, the one where the noodles feel like they’re sitting at the top of my throat, where my pants are so tight that I can’t maneuver into a comfortable position, where I feel like I might hurl if I move my head too quickly, that is what I feel like ALL THE TIME. It never goes away, even if I haven’t had anything to eat in several hours. And my brain and gut are telling me that I’ll feel better if I just eat something, which is a lie. It’s after I eat that I feel the worst. Food tastes phenomenal, yes, but during the two hours after a meal I have to assume the fetal position and remain perfectly still. This is not convenient when life has to be lived, when dogs need to be fed and walked or certain daughters need baths and bedtime stories. Leta has grown used to the grimace on my face during her bedtime routine and more than once has voiced her opinion that “that baby isn’t being very nice.” Really? In that case your feelings won’t be hurt when I tell you that this is nothing! When you were in my womb I used to daydream about how much less painful it would be to shove a fishing hook through my upper lip.

All of this is to say that no, I do not like being pregnant. I am thankful that I am pregnant, so grateful and hopeful about the baby, thrilled about what it means for our family, but I do not enjoy what this does to my body. I cannot relate to women who say that they love this, that they wish they could be pregnant for years, that they have never felt more like a woman. I don’t know exactly why, but there are things about this that make me feel totally disenfranchised. I have no control over my body or appetite, and I cannot do anything to improve the way I feel. The nausea is constant, the weight gain already intimidating, and my face is a plate of what I like to call Pregnant Pizza: acne, fever blisters, discolorations, and unruly hair. Yes, hair where hair should not be growing. Read that again, teens: HAIR WHERE HAIR SHOULD NOT BE GROWING. Put on a damn condom already. Or better yet? HAND JOB.

Also, I did not start showing with Leta until I was almost six months along. And guess what? Yep. Not even kidding. I’m totally showing. In fact, I’ve already had to buy a ton of maternity pants. I’m actually really happy, ecstatic even about this because I feel like I can see the progress, whereas last time I had serious doubts I was growing a baby and not some deadly strain of the flu. Although lets hope that small bump I’m sporting right now is the baby and not all those salt and vinegar chips my brain told me was crucial to my survival. No really, it woke me up one night and said that if I didn’t eat that whole bag of chips both me and the baby would die. And I was all, brain, THAT IS AWESOME LOGIC.

  • Becky

    2008/12/01 at 3:40 pm

    You best get that baby some chips.

    And I secretly LOVE maternity pants. Feels so good when you stop trying to make it work with the skinny jeans. Or even the non-pregnant non-skinny jeans.

  • Erin

    2008/12/01 at 3:41 pm

    Memo to self: Never have sex again.

  • alexia

    2008/12/01 at 3:43 pm

    I know you are using that fancy camera! We want to see pics!

  • Anonymous

    2008/12/01 at 3:44 pm

    Best wishes for a safe and healthy pregnancy. Thank you for sharing!

  • alexia

    2008/12/01 at 3:44 pm

    Er, of the bump, not the barf.

  • Rochelle

    2008/12/01 at 3:44 pm

    The best part is when the baby takes over your brain! Not only did I look like an alien- I couldn’t make coherent sentences or remember my families names. God does have a great sense of humor.

  • leesavee

    2008/12/01 at 3:44 pm

    Wow, I never thought I would feel so good about my fertility issues, but then you start talking about the puking, and I am feeling kind of grateful! This adoption process is looking better than ever…

  • Dana

    2008/12/01 at 3:45 pm

    After reading this I think I’m definitely going back to giving hand jobs…with condoms (just to be 100% safe).

  • Jady

    2008/12/01 at 3:46 pm

    OMH thank you so much for explaining the fasting thing. I finally understand how Spaghetti Factory stays in business.

  • groovebag

    2008/12/01 at 3:46 pm

    I hope it gets better for you.
    Excuse me while I go test out my hubbie’s vasectomy.

  • Ariel

    2008/12/01 at 3:47 pm

    I loved being pregnant when I wasn’t puking and I puked ALL the fucking time.
    Baby cheeks Nom Nom Nom was my mantra. 🙂
    Hang in there.

  • samantha jo campen

    2008/12/01 at 3:47 pm

    My kid is 9 months old and reading about your first trimester made me feel pukey all over again.

  • Rose

    2008/12/01 at 3:47 pm

    I can sympathize, sporting two of the most revolting side effects of pregnancy during my own bout: a single, recurrent, coal black chin hair and chest acne.

    I felt like a cross between a billy goat and a teenaged steroid abuser.

    Hooray pregnancy!

  • Maegan

    2008/12/01 at 3:48 pm

    well if you’re already showing maybe it’s a boy?

    you are making me grateful that I cannot get knocked-up …so thanks 🙂

  • KidKate

    2008/12/01 at 3:48 pm

    Yep, hated it too. And nobody ever accused me of “glowing.” Not once!

  • Mary

    2008/12/01 at 3:48 pm

    Congrats on your bun, and a large helping of sympathy for your tummy. Please do keep talking about the not so pretty parts of pregnancy – I’m sick of hearing how everything “baby” is all sweetness and light. It wasn’t for me, and biting my tongue is getting pretty painful.

    And, Wow! I got in before the comments were closed!

  • Jacquie

    2008/12/01 at 3:49 pm

    Oh, the glamour! You don’t want my advice and helpful tips and tricks to help you through it, you’ll have enough of that. maybe something will work, or at least distract you enough to forget how lousy you feel for a while.. the only way to cure what ails you is to pop that little pooper out, then the really glamorous part can begin! Good luck… and I can’t help it… grapefruit soda! If the resounding burps that this causes don’t make you feel better, at least you can enjoy the horror on the faces of those who surround you.


    2008/12/01 at 3:49 pm

    i remember having similar disgusting feelings… it was around this time last year and i was watching a good friend of mine give birth. haha. still a miracle nonetheless… and getting there ain’t so bad either. 😉

  • Lucie

    2008/12/01 at 3:49 pm

    I love your guts. Thank you for telling it exactly like it is. I’m printing this and taking it home to my husband so he will understand that when I say I need chips I mean *NOW*. And I’m not just being crazy – I’m just being pregnant. I hope your morning sickness (and mine!) are overwith soon.

  • Shana

    2008/12/01 at 3:50 pm

    Ah…just wait. Another few months, and instead of puking, you’ll be puked on. Fun stuff.

  • Jenni

    2008/12/01 at 3:50 pm

    I feel ya. My first trimester will be coming to a close in two weeks, and I’m hoping and praying that I will wake up one morning that week free of the constant nausea and fatigue. I feel like I ran a marathon, and then drove up and down a mountain on a very windy road riding in the backseat. Now excuse me as I need to send my hubby to get me a cherry slurpee and some bbq fritos!

  • Andrea

    2008/12/01 at 3:50 pm

    I’m about 5 weeks behind you in pregnancy and the morning (all day) sickness is just hitting me. Not. Cool. I think my favorite part is when I have nothing left in my stomach to throw up. Nothing in this world is better than hot stomach acid burning my throat. Oh, and the taste? mmmm…

    I lost count of how many times I dry-heaved writing that. Seriously, how attractive is dry heaving? Casually strolling through a store and you catch a wiff of something unsettling and your body just kind of contorts as your neck and head hurl forward.

    How did my husband get so lucky?

  • KMac

    2008/12/01 at 3:50 pm

    I think you might have confirmed that my husband and I don’t want kids!!! OMG! 😉 Good luck with the remaining months and I can’t wait to read more about your pregnancy!

  • Stephanie

    2008/12/01 at 3:51 pm

    I had a friend who was like that. Her OB told her ot to drink anything 30 minutes before, during, or 30 minutes after she ate. I was told it helped! Congrads on the baby!

  • Cassie

    2008/12/01 at 3:52 pm

    Ew, a nine month hangover absent of booze? That kid better be born holding a bouquet of flowers and a hotdog.

  • J

    2008/12/01 at 3:52 pm

    I’m going on month 5 of trying to conceive and hope to feel pukey soon! I love hearing all of the crazy stories about pregnancy. Please keep them coming & feel better soon!

  • Stephanie

    2008/12/01 at 3:52 pm

    Haha! Thats supposed to say not to drink!!

  • mrtl

    2008/12/01 at 3:54 pm

    Totally effective birth control here, like that video of the big dude talking about tossing salads should be effective in keeping kids out of prison.

    Sorry you feel so crappy.

  • Anonymous

    2008/12/01 at 3:55 pm

    My kid is 10 weeks old. During the painful sleepless lost feelings of post-partum, my one source of joy was reminding myself that I wasn’t pregnant anymore! I don’t look forward to being pregnant again, or doing the first 8 weeks of newborn-life again, but I do want another kid. So I totally feel you on this.

  • Kathleen

    2008/12/01 at 3:55 pm

    Heather, my deepest sympathies. I fully understand the misery of 24/7 “morning sickness” for 40 friggin’ weeks. And that is the reason I have only one child. Well that and the pain of childbirth.

    But I’m sending lots of good wishes your way and two hints to stave off that wave of nausea for a bit….. chew lots of bubble gum or eat cherry lifesavers.

  • Sarah

    2008/12/01 at 3:56 pm

    Um, 10 weeks here, and salt and vinegar chips? TOTALLY VITAL. They should put that on all those damn pregnancy websites, in big letters, on the front page.

  • Kelsey

    2008/12/01 at 3:57 pm

    Please post belly pictures!

  • gretchie

    2008/12/01 at 3:57 pm

    Personally, I prefer naughty newborn to pregnancy. That’s just me.

  • Tesa

    2008/12/01 at 3:57 pm

    Uhmmm hate to tell ya this but when I started “Showing” at 2 1/2 months, I was carrying twins.

    Just sayin….

  • Andi

    2008/12/01 at 3:59 pm

    It’s a boy! Exactly how I was with my 1 and only boy. Eat crackers & water in the morning, 1st thing. I felt motion sick until the 7th month & also couldn’t stand being outside in the heat, but I uh guess you won’t have to worry about that…Cheers to better days.

  • JudithNYC

    2008/12/01 at 4:00 pm

    I was pregnant 36 years ago and still remember that feeling. Whenever I read that Angelina Jolie feels like such a sexy thing when she is pregnant I want to find her and rip those lying, pouty lips off her face.

  • pismire

    2008/12/01 at 4:00 pm

    For me the worst was when I puked in my neighbor’s yard while taking my dog out for his morning walk. Without warning the puke just came up, and out it went. All in my neighbor’s yard. With him standing on his front porch watching.

    But then the 2nd trimester came and life was beautiful! Congratulations!

  • Bucky Four-Eyes

    2008/12/01 at 4:02 pm

    Your delightful description of pregnancy-induced nausea has only strengthened my resolve to practice birth control via hot girl-on-girl action. Or, more realistically, staying home with the cats and masturbating.

  • robyn

    2008/12/01 at 4:02 pm

    Oh dear GOD I hated being pregnant! One word for you: Diclectin. Saved my sanity. Ask your doc.

  • girlrunningaround

    2008/12/01 at 4:03 pm

    Wow, if that doesn’t make me want to never have kids, I don’t know what will. LOL.

  • Brenda

    2008/12/01 at 4:04 pm

    From a woman who is 15 weeks pregnant:

    Thank you – I also have NOT enjoyed being pregnant so far, and yes, it does make me feel disenfranchised. No one wants to hear that I feel awful – they want the glowy, wonderful pregnancy stories! So far, I have none.

    I am excited and hopeful for the baby, but nothing could make me like this feeling of having a chronic illness for weeks on end, with no treatment.

    And I’m tired of people implying that I should be grateful for feeling like crap all the time. Because I’m lucky to be pregnant, and should be reveling in it, whatever it brings! Bah. They have no idea.

  • Kate

    2008/12/01 at 4:05 pm

    There are a bunch of studies out there (yes, there, somewhere) that suggest that nausea indicates that some protective factor has kicked. That is: nausea=healthy pregnancy.

    Who knows if it’s really true. But as someone who threw up every day from two weeks on, at least once a day, until my son was born, it was a comforting thought. And he’s 12, and already 5’9″, so it is possible to grow a healthy baby on jello and mashed potatoes (with an occasional wild craving for kidney beans and broccoli.)

    Congratulations! I hope that it gets better soon!

  • sara

    2008/12/01 at 4:05 pm

    thank you! me and pregnancy didn’t get along either but i have my first little boy – 3 months old and he’s pretty great. not back to the “same old” body yet and don’t think i’m gonna be. alternate between seriously not caring at all and obsessively trying to pull on old t-shirts. hmmm…

  • Kristan

    2008/12/01 at 4:05 pm

    I’ve heard you show twice as fast the second time. A really sweet woman in my office is pregnant now, and 90% of the employees are female, so there’s a LOT of baby talk going on right now.

    Thankfully, said sweet woman is having a happy pregnancy, because the last woman at work who was pregnant looked like she was going to die ALL DAY LONG, and that she would have HAPPILY DIED rather than continue being pregnant. So her tortuous pain, coupled with my going through ALL YOUR ARCHIVES FROM YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY, made me think the majority of the world must be aliens who have assumed human form because there’s no WAY millions of women are going through THAT HELL to produce babies.

    But then again, you’re crazy enough to do it twice, so maybe we’re not all aliens after all.

  • Cat

    2008/12/01 at 4:05 pm

    Hand jobs? Better yet: make love to a burrito!

  • Becky

    2008/12/01 at 4:06 pm

    It awes me how you suffer for the entertainment of your readership. We should all be forced to sympathy-puke.

  • Rebecca

    2008/12/01 at 4:07 pm

    I don’t know if they will prescribe these pills for you, but when my mom was sick they gave her anti-nausea pills that were little pills of god’s love. I was pukey one time and she gave me one of the less potent pills (there are many strengths from what I understand) and it was the most amazing thing ever, I swear every time I feel nauseous I wish and pray for one of those pills. They also make them so they dissolve in your mouth so you won’t throw them up. They are pricey, but so worth it.

  • Carrie

    2008/12/01 at 4:10 pm

    This time around I have been slightly luckier with the morning sickness — not sickness-free but at 9 weeks I haven’t puked once. I’m hoping that means boy. Statistically, the women who have ms so bad they end up hospitalized are more likely to be having girls.

    The fatigue is just as bad as the first two pregnancies, though. My house is about to be condemned and forget about doing any work for pay. I feel like a hero when I get myself and the kids dressed in time for preschool — which starts at TWELVE-FIFTEEN.

  • cj coats

    2008/12/01 at 4:10 pm

    This is how it went with my two pregnancies. But beware. My first was 5 lbs. 15 oz. The second was almost 9 lbs!! I’m 5’3, 105 lbs. NINE POUNDS. Line up the epidural now. I’m just sayin’.


  • NicoleD

    2008/12/01 at 4:10 pm

    I’m STILL laughing…

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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