Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

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.

  • Don’t even get me started. I wanted to DIE during both my pregnancies. This is really why we should hang out…so we can bitch about being PG. I love complaining about how I threw up everyday for NINE WHOLE MONTHS. Have you craved Great Harvest cookies yet? -Em

  • Katie

    Sorry you are feeling so ill. But know that after the morning sickness, everything is easier the second time around, even with an older child.

    I just read your previous post and I totally get the “food tastes better than ever” bit. And my husband never understood it either.

  • Joanna

    I feel terrible for you. My guy and I had a little “accident” 2 nights ago and I’ve never felt better about the Plan B I took Sunday morning…

  • I want to slap anyone who says they ‘love’ being pregnant. I am convinced that nine plus months of misery (or unfortunately in my case, ten), er, pregnancy, is nature’s way of making the following six weeks and/or eighteen years bearable – at least by comparison.

    You have my utmost sympathy. I didn’t follow your blog when you were pregnant with your daughter, but this may be a sign you got a boy in the cooker. My son was the third (and last, thank God) baby, and it was an entirely different pregnancy that with the girls.

    Keep crackers on hand, and we are all thinking positive thoughts in your general web-direction.

  • I totally agree! I was so misserable with both of my pregnancies. I really do not like being pregnant. Yes, there is that amazing feeling when the baby first starts to kick, and also seeing the baby on the ultrasound, but that’s about it. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  • hotpants4979

    I had my second baby on Friday. I know exactly what you mean. I am sooo thankful for my two beautiful children, but I don’t like being pregnant at all. I was never afraid to tell anyone either.

  • Oh, Huni I am with you! I hate, HATE being pregnant. The babies are cool, but not so the 40 weeks right before they hit the scene. I’m the first of my friends to have children, and I’m pretty sure they think I exaggerate when I tell them how sucky-suckalicious it is being pregnant. They’ll see. Oh, those skinny little suckers will SEE!

  • Natalie

    It was nice to read that another woman doesn’t like being pregnant. I got sick of hearing how “magical” it was. Nothing magical about it! The end result is so worth it though. All the best to you and your family!

  • Anonymous

    I’m not even remotely pregnant and vinegar and salt chips call to me in my sleep. Yummy potato crack.

  • Dooce – I’m so happy for you & your family. Of course, not happy that you are so sick. But I do sooooooo, love your sense of humor.

    I can so relate to how your are feeling. I was very sick with each pregnancy the entire time. I did not enjoy being pregnant at all. I never felt pretty, sexy, energetic……none of that!!! I couldn’t wait for the little darlings to finish gestating and come out! However, my deliveries were just the best! So, I was happy to trade off one for the other.

    Hang in there sweetie…..I’m hoping that this won’t last much longer for you. Good luck & God bless!

  • Anna

    Ah! Yes. I am currently 22 weeks pregnant. No one tells you what kind of crap you have to deal with, seriously. I thought I was going to have perfect skin, I’ve never dealt with acne in my life and I thought I was going to get a heavenly glow. Who ever came up with that is a liar. I am pizza face. And I have heartburn eating my esophagus.

    I love my baby though, she is the shiz. 🙂

  • L.

    I am so there. At week 15 of my second pregnancy, and the morning sickness was worse this time. Last time it lasted 16 weeks. Meanwhile, we sent my son to daycare for the first time… and the only thing that is worse than morning sickness is catching a neverending series of virulent bugs from your son while having morning sickness. (I know there are people who have it way worse, but it was bad enough.)

    But! This time when I hit my second trimester I said “fuck it” and asked my OB for medication. Thank dog for Zofran. It worked wonders.

    I am very thankful for my fertility, but I don’t enjoy pregnancy at all. By the time I’m done being sick, I start getting unwieldy. I just don’t feel good physically or mentally.

  • Audie

    Oh God…do I know how you feel??? It is horrible. I have not wanted to eat a single thing and any single thing I do eat comes straight back up but somehow, I am gaining weight! Where I wonder is that weight gain coming from?? It must be the large amounts of acid that have taken up residence in my throat. Pregnancy is awesome.

  • hallie

    you probably tried acupressure wrist bands already, but if you didn’t? they’d totally be worth a try. just so you can enjoy the orgasmia of food again.

    i’m so, so sorry. i can’t think of any worse feeling than constant nausea. i think veryMom has your back there.

  • stella

    Hang in there, Heather. But keep on sharing your misery with all of us….your sense of humor is still alive and kicking. I still want to know if you did anything special to get preggers….besides having sex, of course.

  • Congratulations to all of you! Sorry for the sickie. I only had nausea the second time around, but even the first time I thought pregnancy sucked. Nothing worked right and I really wanted a mimosa. All the time.

    When I was really sick and couldn’t keep anything down, pressure point bracelets were helpful. They’re a super attractive grey sweatband material, but I still use them when I’m on my yacht. ha ha.

  • Sarah

    My pregnancy was much the same at the beginning. I was starving, yet unable to eat. I still look at some foods that I dearly love and remember how they tasted laced with bile. I didn’t like being pregnant much. It was cute when Ava first moved, but then she started trying to shove her toes into my lungs. It was cute when she got the hiccups the first time, but them it started to feel like my cervix was doing a tango. And I swear to God, that child used to poke me in weirdest places with her fingers. I also had preterm labor from 16 weeks on, and she wound up being born at thirty-six weeks and two days. I had almost constant contraction the last four weeks and I was in labor for three days, and my epidural did nothing end the end, so I felt everything including my surprise episiotomy. That said, the moment my finances allow, my husband and I can’t wait to have another baby. And mine’s only seven months. Congratulations and I hope your morning sickness goes away soon. 🙂

  • For the first twelve weeks of my pregnancy, the ONLY thing I could keep down was fried potatoes. Tater Tots, latkes, french fries, hash browns – they were the only thing that stood at least a 50 / 50 shot of staying in my stomach. It was terrible. I hated being pregnant. Hated the first 6 weeks of newborn. But now that baby is almost 4 months old, I would totally do it again. Especially since I now know the hair (no one warned me about the hair!) in bizarre places does go away.

    I hope you feel better soon!

  • Yes, I couldn’t relate to people who love being pregnant. Though I have been pregnant 7 times (two miscarriages and five live births) I have a sense of being ecstatic about the baby but also being out of control with pregnancy side effects.
    But eventually it all passes and then we forget – sort of.

  • Oh, I hope you start feeling better soon. I am so happy and excited that you are going to have another baby–and I don’t even know you! 🙂 I loved being pregnant even though I was sick all the freaking time. Let yourself just enjoy it, and all the extra salt and vinegar chips your stomach can handle. 😉 My “drug of choice” when I was pregnant was a bunch of tator tots, ketchup, and hot dogs. Ick.

  • Vicki

    Dude. They should have had us read this in sex ed at my Catholic school instead of just telling us to wait until marriage. None of us would have actually waited, but we certainly would have thought twice.

    Although to be fair to my health teacher, she did once show us a video about contraception – when we were SIXTEEN, and knew it all anyway, and only AFTER one of my classmates had a daughter.

    I know squat about pregnancy, but hang in there! You’ve got a lot of people thinking of you.

  • I want to wear maternity pants and I’m not even pregnant…I bet they’re so comfy. Good luck with the whole eating/not puking thing!

  • Hate.being.pregnant.too.

  • r0ckaby3

    How did you know I am just about to blog on the exact same thing…I think I’ll just link to you instead, go eat dinner, and curl up in the fetal position on the couch for a couple hours. I feel better just knowing I’m not the only one…

  • SaraK

    I actually became more pro-choice after being pregnant than I was before. I felt as though an alien being had inhabited my body and taken over everything (not the least of which was my waistline-quickly-with baby #2). Hopefully you’ll get into the great babymoon period of the 2nd trimester shortly before things really go bad in the 3rd. But, the baby will be all worth it, right? Or, at least in a couple of years…

  • Ah, yes, around the lake turn in the morning on the way to the office, whoops, there come those pre-natal vitamins off that empty stomach.
    Damn…..
    Open the Jeep door and lean head down as far as possible to hurl out of the still-moving car. Then close the door and on to work. Good times. Women can do anything.

    I am almost a decade past that, but I’d like to suggest juicing. 35 bucks at walmart for a juicer, apples (especially) and carrots or pears or whatever you can stomach, fix a 1/2 gallon jug of it once a week, and drink it first thing in the morning. Hydrates, delivers water soluable vitamins, and the pectin in fruit helps with nausea. Also, scratch and sniff a fresh lemon.
    Loves ya and good luck kid.I’ve been here 5 years with you, thanks for keeping it real.

  • janel

    i was showing at 3 months, too- twins! surprise, surprise!

  • In my experience morning sickness=healthy pregnancy.
    Sounds like you got a keeper in there. :o) I hope the next months are smooth sailing.

  • As a disgruntled Mormon myself, I almost peed my pants in the second paragraph! Yep, you’ve been there done that too!

    You are Hilarious!

  • Carrie

    I’m 9 weeks into my first pregnancy and not enjoying it one bit. I’m so glad that I’m expecting twins because I’m not so sure I’d want to repeat this experience a second time! Sometimes I swear that mutant alien parasites have invaded my body making me sick and draining all my energy. 🙂

  • Sonya

    I’m having not very happy flashbacks here. I still can’t forget and it is now 13 1/2 years since I last had morning sickness!

    Two suggestions that made a big difference for me: one: Multi-B vitamin injections (the B6 is especially helpful) and massage/reflexology. I know, how can pushing pressure points on your feet help? No idea how it works, but when I went instead of vomiting 3x per day with constant nausea, I would have no nausea for 1-1.5 days (Heaven!) and no vomiting for two days.

    I also did not realize at the time that I was gluten-sensitive/celiac. You have mentioned trying gluten-free before – if you are sensitive staying completely off will make you feel better in a couple of weeks (takes 4-6 weeks for your gut to heal).

    Hope you feel better soon.

  • Bobbi

    Hang in there! I went through that with both my pregnancies. I felt as though I was possessed with a poltergeist.

  • I read about your pregnancy with Leta as it was happening. I’m happy that my bf already has a son because I’m convinced that one day if I have a kid I will not want to do it twice. I thank your blog for that.

    I love your raw honesty. You’ve made it ok for women to admit that being pregnant is not all cuddly cuteness. Before the baby comes anyway!

  • I don’t enjoy being pregnant at all. I’m currently about 8 months along with #2 and oh my word am I ready to be done.

    The end result is so worth it (mostly) but the getting there? Ugh.

  • Canadian Betty

    You know what I can’t eat since being pregnant? Chocolate milk and red licorice Nibs. Ever since I threw them up at a movie theatre in my second trimester I haven’t been able to touch them since. I was sick for 9 months with both my kids, I feel your pain. Kentucky Fried Chicken always goes down nicely though….

  • Joy

    Congratulations again! I really am so happy for you and your family! I hope you are loving the preggo talk!

    I have been pregnant twice, with the second one ending with a baby. I was so sick with the first pregnancy, I ended up in the hospital. I couldn’t even hold down water. I would faint when I stood up. I took 3 bags of IV fluid, I was so dehydrated. And with the second, I was very nauseous 24 hours a day too. From week 5 to week 20. I would roam the supermarket aisles trying to find the one thing that I might be able to eat. And I still gained weight super fast. Almost fifteen pounds by month 3. But in the last three months I gained not one pound. Weird.

    I hope (and bet) the nausea ends soon, and you can really enjoy showing off your bump. I bet you look so beautiful.

  • Um, oh yeah. I am totally gobsmacked to be pregnant myself again, after two years of trying that yielded nothing but let-downs. I’m now spending an average of 20 hours a day trying not to breathe too hard for fear that it’ll make me throw up, and the other four hours wondering what the crap I was thinking for those two years. It is so as bad as the first time.

  • Juanita

    I second Tavin’s comment about the ginger. That helped when I had m/s with my first and I took it faithfully twice a day with my 2nd & 3rd pregnancies and never had that symptom. Good luck!

  • Sarah

    but growing a baby: PRICELESS!

    (I feel for you and totally get what you are saying .. it’s horrible .. maybe you should call ..hmm, what is her name Mrs. Duggar .. you know, the lady with 18 children and counting!! )

  • Thank you for telling it like it is, and here’s hoping you feel better soon. I have heard good things about fruit nectar as a means of staving off nausea caused by pregnancy, but I cannot vouch for its effectiveness myself.

  • Tehmi

    Women who claim they LOVE being pregnant are LYING. There is no way they love the way the alien growing inside of them is making them feel, cause its not good!

  • Margaret B

    Oh Heather – I’m so sorry. I’m 12 weeks 4 days right now, and though the nausea has subsided for a few weeks now – the incessant gagging is GETTING WORSE. And as I type, I’m working my way through a pound of pretzels.

    PS. There’s a very active message board community in the June 2009 Birth Club on Babycenter if you you’re interested. Can’t wait to get past this! Obviously you don’t have to announce you’re Heather from dooce, haha. Just for support!

  • Oh, yay, the Heather complaining about pregnancy posts have begun!! I’ve so been waiting for these, and I’m not even being sarcastic.

    Ok, second pregnancy…personally was as much unfun as one person can have growing another. My deal was my hip…both my girls were transverse for the majority of my pregnancies, so either a head wedged on my right pelvic girdle or a foot lodged there. I had sciatica so bad for both I literally would scream outloud, uncontrollably, upon taking the slightest step. I remember getting trapped in my backyard in Memphis, during a unsually cold day, while trying to put something in our outside storage building and having to scream for my husband…anyone to come help me.

    Nausea? Nope. I bypassed that morning sickness thing, only, with my second to get two HORRIBLE bouts of either food poisoning or a stomach bug that I had to be hospitalized…there was loss of bowel control, ok. Second time sent me into preterm labor from dehydration. Nothing as much fun as being so pregnant you can’t even bend and trying to hurl for hours on end while having total loss of your bowels! I was so spent before the baby was born all I remember is thinking that just needed to be drugged and woken up when she was three months old.

    Seriously, I got to have phenegran when I was sick like that. I’ve never ever been so glad to have a drug in my life. I was there, suffering misery like no other and they said I could have an IV drip. One second misery and then black…I slept in the hospital, for the first time in weeks and weeks in my third trimester. It was heaven. I seriously did NOT want to leave. I was hoping I’d start puking again just so I could stay.

    But they sent me home. I had the baby and all was unpleasant for about six weeks…there was screaming and cussing at husband, baby and older child and much ranting about how stupid I’d been to even consider going through that hell again.

    Of course, now, all a faded (somewhat) memory and I’m jealous of your morning sickness (hubby is snipped so we’re done). Considering the fun of a nearly seven year old who is addicted to iCarly and Jake and Josh on Disney and says “whatever” as skillfully as any 17 year old, and a nearly four year old who puts her hands on her hips and yells at me when I don’t get her the right sippy cup…a nice, docile newborn would be just my cup o tea right about now. Believe me, the newborn thing will seem like a walk in a field full of roses and fuzzy bunnies compared with the older sibling attitude you’re gonna be faced with. My oldest is still so horribly jealous of her younger sister she asked me just today, “Does she have to come home right now?” when I told her I was going to get her sister at preschool.

    I hate you feel so awful, but second trimester was always great for me…normalacy and energy return until you start the wonderful heartburn that makes you wanna die, LOL.

    Hang in there Heather!

  • If this was supposed to scare me out of wanting to get pregnant, you succeeded.

  • Robyn

    Just chiming in on the fly here–sorry if I’m redundant, as I haven’t had time yet to read the other comments tonight…suffice it to say, what you’re experiencing is totally normal for a second pregnancy…it honestly will get better, I promise. It was the same way for me–things seemed earlier and more intense all the way around the second time, from the nausea to the weight gain to showing to feeling exhausted. It all smoothed out by the second trimester.

    I hope you feel much better soon…

  • Man, I feel sick. Note to self – don’t have anymore sex.

  • Suzy

    I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear that you are preggers. You were seriously insane during the election, to the point that I really didn’t even want to read.. and I didn’t for quite a while. Now, I realize, you were just experiencing pregnancy insanity! Thank goodness! I was seriously concerned.

    Hmmm.. Bland/non-greasy food was helpful in helping me avoid the nausea. Try that and also eating several small meals per day, instead of the usual three regular meals.

  • You should work for the church baby cos I don’t want to get pregnant – ever.

    i hope you feel better soon.

  • I agree with the comment about not drinking any liquids with meals…that sloshy feeling just made my nausea worse. I have a 3 month old now who is so chubby and smiley… I thought he would never get here and I would be pregnant forever. Hang in there!

  • wii

    Poor dear, I know it doesn’t seem like it now but the sickness won’t last forever. I hope it goes quickly.

    Thanks for mustering the strength to post!