An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

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.

  • Brava!

  • Sue

    Yay for you and your baby, Heather! I haven’t been pregnant myself, but my sister had my beautiful, normal niece 3 months ago and took Prozac thru her entire pregnancy. She was also nauseaous for the first 6 months AND had to eat 6 times a day – she’s diabetic. And again – the baby is fine and beautiful. Congrats to you and your family 🙂

  • Jealous. And happy, but still jealous. I can’t wait for the day when my bump watch begins.

    Congrats! Hoping its a boy!

  • I took Prozac with all four of my pregnancies and they all turned out about as freakin weird as me! Keep taking it! Who wants a normal boring baby! People like us, want babies like us.

    I am 100% for prozac in pregnancy. It beats depression in pregnancy and even beats suicide in pregnancy. People who give you shit, deserve mean ass emails from me. Send me a few to respond to will you?

  • Leah

    One thing naysayers aren’t considering is that it is dangerous to be pregnant while in poor mental health. A pregnant mom’s mental instability can have countless negative effects on a sensitive fetus. Most research proves Prozac, Zoloft, etc don’t harm a fetus so it more risky to drop the meds once you find yourself pregnant. You did the right thing by consulting with your doctor and then staying the course.

  • Lydia

    Prozac and being pregnant doesn’t sound like a good combination. But you appear to be sane enough to know what’s good for you and your baby. You are an inspiration to any mom-to-be.

  • Jacqueline

    Twins are cool. I have a pair and then my boy, he’s the spare. Stay healthy. Whatever it takes.

  • You look beautiful!!

  • Michelle

    Look, I think you’re great. I also think that people should realise how intelligent you are (obviously), and that you are not going to do anything to harm your baby.

    All the best for a healthy pregnancy!

  • I think Rebecca Walker wrote about being on medication while pregnant, and how it was absolutely the right choice for her. At least that’s what I remember from an episode of News and Notes I caught ages ago. Maybe I’m misremembering. But women who are questioning might want to read her research and thoughts, too.

    Some people just aren’t happy when women take care of themselves. They’ll never be happy as long as we have any kind of agency so there’s just never any sense in listening to them.

    It’ll be a happier and healthier baby if its mom is happy and healthy too. Emphasis on happy.

  • heather, i love you. i just had to say that.
    you say what so many of us want to say.
    thank you.

  • Candice

    Heather, you were the little voice in my head that said, “It’s okay!” as my OBGyN suggested I might be depressed six weeks after my son was born. I was extremely hesitant to start meds until I remembered reading about your experience after Leta was born. So, under the great big stigma cloud of taking anti-depressants I started Lexapro. It saved my sanity and allowed me to be the best mother possible to my newborn.
    Thank you!
    By the way, I think you look peaceful and lovely in your current state.
    Good luck!

  • your honesty is so refreshing!
    lovin’ the bump. 😉

  • acacia

    I actually think the most funny thing is that there wasn’t a single “hater” email to be had. Another great one. Keep it up! 🙂

  • Jeska

    Hi Heather,

    I think that it’s great that you are putting yourself out there so that others may not feel so alone.

    All of the people that down on you for that have issues of their own.

    I hope that your pregnancy is as easy as it can be.


  • Simply said… well, good for you.

  • Chelsey

    Making the decision to stay on an anti-depressant while pregnant isn’t an easy one. When I found out I was pregnant I was struggling with the decision to stay on mine. I did (as it was a safe one) and couldn’t be happier with my decision. My child is healthy and I’m mentally healthy-ish. If I had stopped taking my meds, it would have put me and my child at risk for depression related issues.

    You made the decision that is right for you and your children, so good on you!

  • Does anyone else find it extremely funny that the brand name Siemens appears on the upper left-hand corner on the screen of an ulstrasound?

  • A good friend of mine went off her meds for her first pregnancy and subsequently suffered from major postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter. She opted to stay on Zoloft for her second pregnancy, and had a much better outcome after the birth of her son.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever have a biological child, but I’ve long known that I would have to stay on at least some meds if I were to go through a pregnancy. It sucks, but thank goodness there are meds out there that can make you not want to kill yourself.

  • KK

    Thanks for posting the decision to take Prozac during your pregnancy. As another person who suffers from clinical depression, this is important to share with others in similar situations. And I agree about the people who so freely condemn you for your decisions — they have their own issues that they should be addressing instead of yours.

    Your baby bump is beautiful. Hope that you can continue to gain healthy weight during this pregnancy… every pregnancy is different.

  • tamrabeth

    Another lurker reaching out to say amen to that.

    I took Zoloft for my entire pregnancy and the 12 months I breastfed (I claim insane first time mommy-ness and lack of knowledge about what my breasts would look like after). My daughter is fine and I had a great 9 months.

    Thanks for again sharing your life knowing you’ll get judged and receive tons of unsolicited advice. Know that sometimes it helps SO much to know that we the daily readers are not alone in our struggles.

  • jen

    And how I wish my tummy ‘bump’ was that small!

  • I just wanted to say that I really appreciated this post. I’m on medication for postpartum depression, and I totally respect the fact that you are remaining on medication. You and your doctors know what is best for you and best for your baby, and I admire the fact that you could care less about what the rude people have to say to you. By the way, you look fabulous!

  • Jess

    Good for you!! You look great 🙂

    I fully plan on staying on my meds if/when I decide to grow a baby. Your honesty makes it easier for the rest of us to live the way we need to for our own health. Thank you. So much.

  • Hi Heather,

    Lately I’ve had an incredible number of trolls on my blog, people writing horrible things about me, antisemitic things, people telling me to go home (I’m American and live in Brazil). And oddly, it really gets under my skin. But then I think about all of the incredibly ridiculous things people say to you, the mean, cruel, and awful things they say, and I realize that I have to learn to grow thicker to skin if I’m going to have a successful blog, just like you have. Thank you for the inspiration.


  • I’m sure you’ve gotten your share of these emails as well, but I took Lexapro the whole time I was pregnant with my third child and he’s perfectly okay. He’s a little bit of an asshole, but I think that has more to do with him being three than with the antidepressants.

  • Anonymous

    You look beautiful Momma! Congrats! You have a handsome little bean as well – looks just like Jon!

    Screw whoever is going to make comments about you taking your meds and following Drs orders – how dare you! :p Is Tom Cruise reading this blog???

  • Liz

    If it makes you feel better, over Thanksgiving, my mother in law informed me that my veganism was going to kill my baby.

    Here’s something awesome: I’m not pregnant.

    Cheers to people not knowing what they’re talking about!

    To you and your happy pregnancy…

  • A-fucking-MEN!! You kick ass!!

  • Nancy

    I think your ‘bump’ is adorable… but I’ve got to tell you that if my tummy looked like that, I’d consider it a flat stomach! Still… it IS a bump, and I think that’s wonderful. As for the Prozac, do what you and your doctor think is right, and to hell with everyone else. And thanks for sharing your pregnancy with us. I wanted kids, but couldn’t have them, so I’m enjoying this in a vicarious sort of way!

  • F the haters. You go girl!

  • Kelly

    I’m about 3-4 weeks behind you and I’m going to go down the same road clutching my bottle of Celexa. I don’t know why people have such a steryotype about depression. If you had diabetes, would they tell you back off your insulin? For those of you who dont’ understand…take the worst day of your intire life, add physical pain, lack of sleep and the worst anxiety you’ve ever felt, and imagine it getting worse every day until you just want to gas yourself in the garage with your minivan. Then imagine the best day, calm, happy, clear headed – that’s a day with medication. I don’t know why I got depression. But, I can have a normal life with medication, including adding to our family. With any other medical treatment, you have to outweight the risks with the benefits. Unless you’ve been there, you can’t judge.

  • Karen

    Kudos to you for putting this out there. Only a healthy mom can make a healthy baby. Meds aren’t all bad during pregnancy and sometimes the benefit far outweighs the risk.

    Thanks for sharing, and I hope your puking ends soon!

  • Megan

    Congratulations, Heather!
    And for all the people who say that you shouldn’t have more children, as a high-school teacher I can say for sure that we need more kids with loving, aware parents like you and Jon.

  • You look great! I’ll validate your bump for you. I see it. Glad you’re taking care of yourself… so important.

  • Amy

    WTF is wrong with you?! I’m sure you’re the fucking Gerber baby, eh?

  • Tucson Patty

    I’m proud of you for standing up for your body and health – mental and physical. Congratulations on your little bundle of joy.

  • Yeah I wanted to be all organic and natural birth-y but then I couldn’t get pregnant without drugs. And then those drugs resulted in twins (and yes, the first year was an absolute friggin’ nightmare) and those twins didn’t want to gestate for 9 (really 10) months, no sirreee, they wanted to come early so I needed to be on bedrest in the hospital with an IV pump of magnesium sulfate which is so toxic that they had to test my blood every 9 hours to make sure I wasn’t turning green from the inside out. And they pumped me with steroids to mature lungs and epogen to increase my red blood cell production and three different kinds of antibiotics to fight infection.
    All that still brought me preemie babies who required all kinds of intervention to save their lives.
    Thank God for chemistry.
    So, that’s my long winded way of saying you do what you gotta do. The chemistry that you take is just as important to your life and the well-being of your family.

  • Sara

    Amen chick! A few years ago there was a family on GMA that the mother was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after a positive pregnancy test. She kept the baby and went through chemo, and the baby was born perfectly healthy. Pretty sure the Prozac isn’t going to a damn thing except keep you healthy, and that in turn will make for a happy baby and mom 🙂

    And dude, I almost bought that shirt at Old Navy last weekend. I opted for the multi-colored one though. They’re very forgiving in regards to bumpage.

    You look lovely Heather, really. Where’s the acne you were talking about? You liar!

  • I’ve always heard that you start showing MUCH sooner with your second (and so on) pregnancy. I guess your uterus just snaps back into pregnancy-place!

  • You look blissfully happy. And who better to make decisions for you and your Doocette than you and your doctor. You go girl.

  • Theresa

    Three cheers for: 1. Going into pregnancy with open eyes about your physical and mental health and the health of your baby; 2. Sticking it to all the morons who have the gall to chastise you for your well-considered decisions; and 3. Being open and frank (as always )about depression and medication, which is still pretty taboo.

    Also, my partner owes you a thank-you note because all the baby-having and cute bump pictures are making this commitment-phobe want to get married (Prop 8 notwithstanding) and have babies like next week.

  • Congrats on your little new bean. You look great!

  • Vicky

    Having read your trials with postpartum depression, I think you should do whatever you need to do to keep sane. Even if that *does* involve ketchup with every meal.

    Congratulations again – I’m so pleased for you all 🙂

  • When I was 7-weeks pregnant with my second kid, I was already showing. It was very frustrating. At least I got to skip the “just looks fat” step that time.

  • You go heather. I’M SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!! (Still). And it STILL requires the use of caps and way too many exclamation points. 😉

    Sometimes I wonder if it’s weird that I care so much about you and your family when we don’t even actually know each other…but I do, and I’m soooooooooooo happy for y’all!

  • Screw ’em! Hell yeah! You are inspiring. Jack says so too!

    Love the pics. Do you always look this cute? Geez. I work from home too and I have not showered yet because I intend to workout today! It’s like 3:30 here. Ugh. Anywho. Go Dooce-er-mama!

  • Um, about comment #2? I meant “cloven-hooved beast,” not “clove-hooved beast.”

    I know: totally lame to make an additional comment just to correct a typo in a previous comment, but I am neurotic enough to where it would drive me nuts to not address it. Humor me.

  • Debbie

    Do whats best for you and your family! You are helping others to understand that sometimes you have to help yourself.

  • kudos to you!!! Do what you need to do to be a happy mama!!!!

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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