This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

Bump watch begins

The bump at 12 weeks:

12 weeks

Before you get all skritchy and start yelling that this is not at a bump by any stretch of the imagination, let’s compare this to the bump at 15 weeks from my pregnancy with Leta:

15 weeks with Leta

Could someone please tell the woman in that photo to put some sunscreen on?

Also, some of you have suggested that I might be pregnant with twins, and believe me when I tell you that I lived with the nightmare of that possibility for ten and a half weeks. And no, I’m not going to apologize for referring to it as a nightmare, I’m sure your twins are lovely people. But I am not the type of person who can handle that type of chaos and readily admit that you are a better person than I am. We had the doctor check for twins during my sonogram, and she promises me that there was only one swimming around in there. Look:

I asked her if the sneaky twin could be hiding somewhere in a corner? Maybe it had dressed itself in an invisibility cloak? And she was all YOU’RE SO SILLY! And I was all, hmm, I don’t think “silly” is the clinical term for it, do yourself a favor and REFRAIN FROM GOOGLING MY NAME.

Now, on to a burning question that’s sort of sitting out there making a few people uncomfortable or at least a little more curious than they are used to being: I am still taking Prozac. Last year when I found out I was pregnant (the one that ended in miscarriage) we found the phone number for the doctor who treated me for postpartum depression in the hospital in 2004 and left a desperate message. He does not treat anyone outside of the hospital but was generous enough to return our call and answer our questions about medication during pregnancy, and his advice was to remain on Prozac (although he did suggest that I stop taking Neurontin and Valium). Prozac has a half-life so long that even if I had stopped taking it when I found out I was pregnant it would have remained in my system for several weeks. He’s been treating postpartum depression for over 30 years and has seen hundreds of pregnant women who have continued taking Prozac go on to have perfectly healthy babies. My OBGYN agrees with him.

I do not know about any other medications, and if you have questions or concerns about your own you should call your doctor. I do know that I feel good about this decision, and so far things are really good. Am I physically miserable? Absolutely, but I’m really hopeful and coping like I should be. And this time I know exactly what signs and symptoms to look for in my mood and what tools I can turn to. I feel so much more prepared, like I know I’m about to jump into a pond full of crocodiles, and this time instead of throwing in my naked body head first I’m climbing into an armored Humvee that will be slowly lowered into the water, machine guns first.

Will people accuse me of putting my baby in danger by continuing to take Prozac? I expect that email or comment to hit within minutes. This wouldn’t be the Internet without those lovely little cutie pies. Smooches! The reason I bring this up is because someone is out there right now trying to make the decision about whether or not to stay on her medication, and even if her doctor is telling her that she needs to, that it’s perfectly okay, she knows that if she does she’ll have to listen to some dickwad condemn her for trying to kill her baby. I want that woman to know that I am surrounded by those dickwads, they have my email address, my mailing address, their own websites where they go on and on about how sad it’s going to be for my children to grow up with such a crazy mother (Hi, guys! Thanks for the traffic!), that I shouldn’t be allowed to have another baby. IT’S ALL BEEN SAID ABOUT ME. All of it, the same things over and over again. I want you to know that all of those people are dealing with their own issues, it has absolutely nothing to do with you, and that I’m willing stand up for me and for you and say, hey, thanks for your concern, but I’m perfectly capable of making decisions for me and my baby.

  • Heather, thank you (again) for putting it all out there (again). I went off my meds for baby #1, went crazy, and went back on them at week 26 with the blessing of my obgyn. If I am lucky enough to get prego with baby #2, there is no doubt in my mind that I will continue on my meds. For me, knowing what I know now, it is the ONLY option.

  • Heather, I am so glad you are writing this blog and that you are telling me about these experiences. My biggest concern about getting pregnant has always been the postpartum depression (since, I too, have been on – and very unsuccessfully off) anti-depressions since I was 19. I KNOW I will need to stay on them when pregnant, but always wondered. When I read about your depression after Leta was born, I not only could understand but knew that my life would definitely follow suit if I chose to stop taking the meds. I’m glad you are here to share these things.

  • robyn

    You look fab!

    I took Paxil through my whole pregnancy, then upped the dosage in the final month just to “prep” for potential PPD. I think it’s irresponsible to NOT take it, knowing the outcome could be the same as last time!

    Good for you for not only staying on your meds, but feeling confident in your decision.

  • April

    I started showing earlier with 2nd and 3rd pregnancies too. It’s normal for most women according to my OBGYN. I also had more “growing pains” during those pregnancies, you’ll know of what I speak if you should have the same pleasure. It’s not terrible, but it feels like something is constantly tugging on your uterus, gently but it’s there.

    As for the prozac and the haters, fuck ’em. I like your attitude. It’s your baby and you are making a sane, informed choice and that’s all that matters. Maybe the trolls need some prozac of their own?

    P.S. The baby bump is beautiful

  • Here’s some unsolicited advice from someone who has never been pregnant, nor suffered from depression: yay for choosing to stay on your meds! Only you know and your doctor know what’s best for you and your baby. And I’m glad you’re giving all those whiny twits who think they know better a big, fat “PISS OFF!” You’re already a great mother and you’ll continue to be one for the New Little Armstrong growing inside your bump =)

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never before commented on a blog, but I’m here to say that I was on Prozac for my entire pregnancy and the beautiful, talented, charming, *perfect* result is in the room next door singing her heart out. When I had her in 2000 there wasn’t much evidence to prove that it was ok, but I’m here to say IT IS! Congratulations and best of luck to you.

  • so much word. thanks for telling your haters where to stick it, but in a much classier way than i would have done. i’m proud of you and excited for your growing family.

  • I’m going to echo Jen K. up above and agree you are brave. And hilarious. And really should be smacked around a little for being so cute while pregnant.

  • Mandy

    Thanks, Heather. Other women out here ARE thinking about it. I know I’ll stay on mine, too. 🙂

  • You are an outstanding mother and hilarious to boot! Also, cute baby bump! I showed more on my second pregnancy than my first too.

  • Beautiful baby bump; congrats a million times over.

    And as for the Prozac, you have to keep taking it to cope with all the needless hate mail you’re gonna get. Exclamation point!

  • GOOD FOR YOU!! Go tell ’em where to stick it!

    And, as far as that bump goes…I am not sure why you need maternity pants for that, but congrats anyway! I am 21 weeks pregnant and just look like a tub a goo is sitting in my belly. Everyone says, “You don’t even look pregnant,” and by that they mean, “You just look like a fat ass.” So, congrats on looking more pregnant than fat!

  • Anonymous

    I am 31 weeks and the amount of unsolicited advise and intrusive questions is amazing.

    The prescription medicine Zofran worked miracles for me during the first 14 weeks of horrific nausea and vomiting. It’s quite expensive but worth every penny! I tried everything…sour candy, sead bands, ginger, eating every hour, drinking lemonade, etc. Nothing worked but Zofran.

  • Patty

    My gas bloat on any given day is bigger then your pregnant bump.

    I have been following your blog for year, but I have never commented. I am always in awe of the criticism you receive over your choices. I am so thrilled that you are pregnant and I can’t wait to read about your adventures when the baby finally arrives. I especially can’t wait to see how Leta reacts to her new sibling. I hope Utah is ready.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if this baby will be ugly as sin like Leta when she was first born. Good thing she got cuter. I was worried. O_o.

  • rb

    OMG! I haven’t clicked by in a week or so and look what I missed.

    CONGRATULATIONS HEATHER!!!

    You look great.

    (Any woman who’s been pregnant can relate to the unsolicited advice. Sorry about that.)

  • Becky

    Meeting you is on my list of things to do before I die – not because you are a celebrity at this point or because I enjoy your sense of style and your love of hippos, but because I want to give you a hug and thank you for taking a medium that is often based on hiding and separateness and making it about togetherness. Because you reach through the internet and make many of us feel a little less alone.

  • Congratulations! I remember popping out so quickly with the second one. It is as if our bodies remember, “Oh this what we are supposed to do.” Poof, out goes the belly. Enjoy, endure or whatever keeps you sane. Blessings.

  • Leslie in Toronto

    Oh ya … that’s a bump, and it is AWESOME! Congrats!

  • kellie

    Those two bumps look exactly the same to me, but I’m sure they feel a lot different. For sure my own bump got bigger faster with each pg – or maybe you just start getting used to the maternity pants, I don’t know.

    As someone who was a nut about taking anything during pg, I still feel like there are legitimate reasons for taking some medications during some pregnancies. If you worked with your dr and a specialist, and you all feel OK about taking the medication, then that is your own business. The busybodies can pound sand.

    Oh, and I’m sure you got a million morning sickness remedies, but if you can take a couple more I’ll share mine. I had horrible MS – actually lost 40-50 pounds during each pg (I had it to lose). The only things that helped were to go ahead and throw up first thing in the AM – if I fought it, it was worse all day. Then, have a popsicle. It gets you a little sugar and hydration but it’s cold, so it doesn’t taste or smell much. Finally, the very small McDonald’s cheeseburgers (plain) or the small Taco Bell bean and cheese burritos (plain). Whatever it is, they seem to have the right combo of fat/carb/protein to keep a bit of food down. Hope you’re feeling better.

  • Good for you! Excellent post.

  • Katie

    Good for you, Heather! I commend you for taking charge of your life and body (as little as is possible during a pregnancy) and doing what you feel is right for you, your family and your baby. And as for those that feel the need to judge you, I say, “Screw ’em!”

    Cute bump, too! 🙂

  • Liz

    Are you a Leo? If not, you should be. I freakin’ adore you. Eff the haters!

  • YAY! Aww I’m so excited for you!

  • Well, I don’t know but it seems likely to me that Heather has never said “Eff you” to anyone in her life.

    Sorry, the comment just made me chuckle.

    Cute bump. 🙂

  • You look fantastic and Prozac sounds delicious.

  • Delurking to say a belated Congrats!!!

    And even though you say you’re miserable physically, you look absolutely beautiful in that top photo. Also, kudos for exposing what pregnancy is really like! I’ve never had a kid (and don’t plan on it at this point in my life), but I really cannot imagine pregnancy being “a beautiful thing” like so many mommies claim(/lie). My cousin just had her first child and shared your sentiments, while she’s crazy about her kid, she could definitely go through life without experiencing those nine months again!

    Someone gave me an amazing compliment on my blog today, on a post in which I parsed this particularly cruel commenter. She said, “Dooce would be proud!” The highest form of flattery, if you ask me!

  • Jennifer_in_Italy

    Heather,

    Congratulations! You are such an inspiration to women around the world. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us. I wish you the best with your pregnancy. As they say in Italy, “In bocca al lupo”! (“In the wolf’s mouth” a.k.a. good luck.)

  • Tiffany

    I suffered from horrible depression during my last pregnancy. I wish so much that I had said something to my doctor, that I had gotten help. Hopefully your words will be what another woman needs to hear, that it’s OK to take care of yourself.

  • Sarah

    I think it’s absolutely great that you’re willing to share this with all of us. And as for the critics, I don’t think you can really be criticized for doing everything you possibly can to make sure that you can be the best mother and partner you can.

  • Anonymous

    HUGS! for being pregnant, for taking care of yourself, for doing research, for standing up for the rest of us, for setting an great example for us scaredy-cats out there, for all of it. HUGS!

    Bump = too cute

  • Heather,

    Thanks for speaking out about this. When I was pregnant with my son, I was on Wellbutrin for panic disorder, anxiety stuff, and depression. I was nervous about taking the meds, but people go on to have perfectly healthy and happy babies. It really saved me too when I was going through my own bout of postpartum depression. I’m now currently trying to get pregnant with our second child and am on Zoloft. The way I figure it, if I’m crazy woman, I’m no good to anyone, including the unborn child I hope to carry. Those crazies can just shove it!

    Alesha

  • kudos to you heather! congrats- im excited for you guys! and i sooo agree with everyone else… i think its important that YOU stay healthy physically and mentally during this pregnancy!!!

  • Keri

    What a gorgeous little baby bump! Congratulations! 🙂

  • I have been thinking about this a lot lately and I’m so glad you posted this. I don’t take anything right now but am extremely overwhelmed and overtired here lately, pregnant with my third, and I have wondered about what I would do if I needed to medicate. All you can do is listen to your doctors, that’s it! Your bump looks like a flat belly to me, btw and I am mad jealous.

  • Diana

    Sweet baby J, you ROCK. That’s all I can think to say. Great post and belly.

  • I don’t usually comment, but if any of “those lovely” people live near me I would be happy to muck up their fancy facial work with my fists… unless they are a lot bigger than me then I could write them a sternly worded letter

  • My mom was on Prozac when she had me, and I was born with 2 heads, an extra nipple and spider sense. Not to mention my farts smell like peach cobbler. That might not have anything to do with the meds though.

    Anywho, Prozac during pregnancy? I couldn’t recommend it more!

  • Steph H

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Your strength is inspiring.

  • cck

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    I was so scared that my choices were either to spend my third trimester in an institution or forgo having a baby that genetically resembles its parents. It doesn’t have to be that way. Thank you for sharing your opinion about it — for giving a mom-to-be the confidence to ask her doctor for all the answers.

    I am a functional adult, thanks in great part to a glorified salt pill. I plan on taking my magic pill before, during and after pregnancy. I figure I’ll screw up my child on so many different levels, introducing a mood stabilizer a little early won’t hurt. Goodness, it might even help given her parents’ genetics.

  • Well said.

    And hey, look at Dooce Jr! So cute. You know, for a sonogram.

  • Kathryn

    Hi Heather,
    There are so many people out there with so many issues and they have a hell of a lot of hate in them. I guess they have their place. They make the rest of us realize what we shouldn’t behave like. They still make me uncomfortable. And fear for the world. Sometimes their voices are louder than all the nice people’s voices. I hope you really don’t get too discouraged by them. You seem really tough, but no one is that tough. Just know that a whole lot of us think that they are bloody idiots and that you are doing a great job and you seem like a good person/mother/wife.
    Good luck with the rest of the pregnancy and keep doing what you’re doing! You’re great!
    Kathryn

  • Karilynn

    Heather, you look truly beautiful! I wish you the best, a happy and healthy pregnancy. I agree with staying on Prozac. My sister did and she has a perfectly healthy baby. 🙂 Best of luck. Don’t let the people with nasty commentary get to you! They are not you and frankly, it’s none of their business or concern.

  • You rock my world!! I look forward to reading your page everyday, and think you are so wildly funny and smart, that I hope to be just like you when I “grow up”!!

  • Katrisha M

    Over the last couple years I have read studies about how the mental health of a mother gives rise to the mental health of the child. I then compare my mental health during/after my first and second pregnancies. First = stress and depression, second = Zoloft starting about 3 months in, and no depression (well abnormal depression anyways). My oldest is a good kid, but is very serious and solemn. The younger one is happy, dancing, and singing all the time.

    I am now a firm believer in prophylactic antidepressants, or the continuance of the same therapies during pregnancy if there is a history or need.

    Keep up the good work growing a new person to make the world a better place.

  • Christine

    YAY! I wasn’t around for the Leta pregnancy and I was so hoping we would get bump pictures! And now we get a bonus sonogram?! Woo hoo! Maybe trade the mona lisa for a dirty smirk? Rude gestures with electric guitars & tequila bottle (and nekkid tummy)? No? ok. Just a thought.

  • Sara

    Heather, thank you for putting yourself out there and standing up for Mother’s out there who have to choose between between sanity and what other’s might think. I suffered from PPD after my daughter, and it was a nightmare. Unfortunately, I wasn’t treated for depression until after my son was born. Seriously. The good thing is that even though I wasn’t treated after my daughter I was prepared to be treated after my Son. I made my doctors aware, and I was aware of the signs. I was at the doctors at the first sign of depression and it made all the difference. I was able to fully enjoy my sons first year of life, where my daughters is a bit of a fog.

    I’m currently on Lamictal, which can’t be taken if I get pregnant again. It is a concern for me to be off meds, and what the risks might be. But it’s something that I will work with my doctors on.

    Also, on an off note. While I was pregnant with my son I developed low platelets which required that I take steroids for the second half of my pregnancy. Plus, I developed gallstones, and the only thing the doctors could do to help was to have me take Vicodin with every attack. Which occurred twice a week! Ya, freaking Vicodin twice a week for my whole last trimester.

    I’m happy to report that my son was born completely healthy, and trust that I was worried about the affects of the meds on him.

    I wish you a heathy pregnancy. Congratulations.
    Sara

  • Val

    You rock on, pretty, pretty lady! Screw what other people say and do what is right for you and your family.

  • Karilynn

    Wow, that is not a very nice thing to say.

  • Anonymous

    that’s not a baby bump, just bad posture