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

18 weeks

18 weeks

Today marks my 18th week of pregnancy, and the look on my face has a little to do with the way I’m feeling, although it’s more about the fact that Jon was trying to get me to smile. Nothing to me is more obnoxious, except maybe someone calling me sweetheart or darling with a Boston accent. That look is a warning, it’s me going dude, if you would like this kid to grow up and know its father you had better shut it. I will smile when I am damn good and ready, thank you very much, just take the photo before things turn ugly and I start using your middle name.

The past couple of weeks have physically been a breeze, but emotionally I’m a bit of a wreck. I think it has very little to do with pregnancy and everything to do with the weather. It’s a seasonal dip I struggle with every year at about this time when I crave warm weather, sun, and late afternoons on the porch but am living day after day of cloudy skies, snow, and 4:30 PM sunsets. This is probably the hardest thing about living in Utah, and I know there are far colder places than Salt Lake City, but when I stopped to pinpoint exactly what was making me so sad I realized it was just a matter of not seeing blue sky in fourteen days. And the constant act of bending over to towel off the dogs so they don’t drag snow into the house. Nothing tragic, no, but it was enough to make me start yelling obscenities at a carton of orange juice because I couldn’t get the safety cap off.

There’s not much I can really do to combat this other than get out in the sun on days when that is possible and continue my exercise routine. Yes, I’ve heard about those lamps people use to treat themselves for seasonal affective disorder, and while I do think I am sensitive to light, I’m willing to bet that my case has more to do with actual sun and warmth and the smell of fragrant, blooming plants in the air. Which is why we’ve planned a trip to Southern California for the last week of February. Which is why we should move to Southern California in February, except for all those other mitigating factors like “house” and “family” that routinely tell my winter mood to suck it.

In other news, I have an ultrasound scheduled for Friday morning, and our plan is to find out the sex of the baby. We have been referring to it as Stretch, although Leta thinks that’s horrifying. I asked her to suggest a name then, and what do you know, she’s now calling it Princess Aurora. I told her we couldn’t name the baby that if it’s a boy because, you know, middle school, and she said, not a problem! No worries! If it’s a boy we’ll just call him Prince Aurora.

  • amy

    Since moving to Hong Kong, I do not miss the mid-Atlantic winters. It is “cold” here–highs close to 60 but it is getting warmer by the weekend with highs near 70 and it is sunny! No indoor heating though, so 50 at night is pretty chilly.

  • Well there’s some solace in the fact that she hasn’t considered calling it “That awful-potentially-XY-Chromosomed-baby”

    Although I think it could work as a nickname should the baby & Coco enter in cahoots.

  • Cara Swinney- Park City

    I don’t mind the 4:30pm sunsets (but I really love the 10:00pm sunsets we get in July), it excuses the fact that sometimes I make bowls of Frosted Flakes for dinner and go to bed at 7:30pm.

  • dani

    This could be the perfect antidote to your blues: http://www.islandreefjob.com – I cannot believe someone else posted it for you as well. You and Jon and Leta and bubba would have an amazing experience and do things that you could never do in Utah, and we can all keep updated with your life from here. Perfect.

    dani

  • Michelle T

    Hey I’ll happily swap a few cold days for a few stinking hot ones here down under!! Even though our summer didn’t really start until yesterday here in Melbourne.

    You look lovely btw, keep it up.

    and Aurora is such a cool name beats the other crap names the celebs are giving there kids.

  • I have found salvation for my January blahs in a daily dose of Vitamin D…sadly in pill format. We don’t have the right angle of the sun here in Victoria during the winter to absorb any vitamin D. Might sound weird, but the health nurses warn about vitamin D deficiencies in babies here (Oct-May), and encourage supplements.

    I’ve also just started taking a vitamin B (stress formula), and I’ve found this to do WONDERS to my mood.

    You look great, btw.

  • Cindy

    You look great! I’m a little jealous of your little bump. I’m only 21 weeks and already people are telling me how big I’m getting! Grrr. The truth is I’ve gained 10 pounds – standard amount for this stage – it’s just ALL in my belly I guess.

    My 2 year old daughter doesn’t understand that she’ll have a brother in 4 months but she’ll probably want to name him Diego when he arrives. She is totally hooked on Dora the Explorer and Diego!

    Happy pregnancy.

  • I’m a first time reader! Congrats 🙂 Im excited for you . Ive been pregnant 3 times! I loved it 🙂

  • Sarah

    Speaking as a fellow depression-sufferer, try the sun lamp. What can it hurt? You’re seeing signs of serious winter mopiness, which can be a precursor to clinical shit, plus you’re growing a major risk factor for depression in your body. I’ve also been hearing really good things about fish oil supplements in terms of alleviating depression. If you get the lemon-scented types you don’t burp up fishy smells. Do everything you can, especially the stuff that doesn’t have crappy side effects. Although I am admittedly envious of you for having your second baby (difficult personal time for me on the family front), I am truly happy for you and I hope your post-natal time is much sweeter and less stressful than the last time. Just do everything you can to take care of yourself.

  • Another Aurora

    I’m with Leta on this one: Aurora is clearly the best name for any baby, regardless of gender.

    @MJ (#98): I saw that, mom.

  • mary

    I hate all of you. I moved from Denver to Las Vegas (unwillingly- my husband got a new job) about 4 months ago and all I want is a gray day and maybe some rain. Is that too much to ask? And while I hate the 4:30pm sunsets, I’m so sick of the bloody sun that I want to dance in the streets when it’s dark!

    And I hate all the people in S. Cali, too, because at least it’s sunny and beautiful. It’s fucking ugly here. Sunny and ugly. Kill me.

  • Lisa

    Each time you display a pregnancy picture you have that sad look on your face. I’m wondering why you aren’t smiling. Then I thought back to when I was pregnant and my husband wanted to take my picture and guess what?? I wasn’t smiling either…it was a hurry up and take the picture because I’m feeling ugly and fat! However, you are still looking very slim — lucky you!!!

    Can’t wait to hear if it’s a boy or girl…please share!

  • Aw, Prince Aurora, that’s so adorable.

  • Our 4 year old has named our baby-to-be ‘Minnie Mouse’, that is it end of story! We didn’t even find out if it is a girl or a boy, but according to her it is a girl, end of discussion! At least Leta seems willing to compromise 😉

  • WVKay

    You look great. Everything will be just fine. Winter sucks and then Spring comes.

  • I feel your pain about the lack of light and warmth!
    After going through a couple of SADs (the acronym says all about how it made me feel) I bought a dawn simulator that doubles up as an alarm clock and reading light in bed. It helps a lot.

  • First i want to say that i love your site, your humor about life, and your smart mouth. I have one too, as do both my girls, and us smartasses need to stick together.

    Second, all the people commenting about how miserable you look need to shut it. Immediately. Maybe these people have never been pregnant, maybe they are of the rare variety that LOVES to be pregnant, or maybe they are just jerks who want to make you feel bad. But when i was pregnant with each of my daughters i looked that way ALL THE TIME. And that was because everything hurt, and i couldn’t breathe, and i had to pee constantly, and i was always starving to death. It isn’t sunshine and rainbows for everyone, and i get that completely.

    Lastly, i have always loved the name Aurora, and since no one else said it, it can be shortened to Rory as a cute nickname that could also double as a boys name. So Leta could have her way, and if you have a son, he could not get beat up on the playground. Everybody wins! Congrats Heather. You rock, and you deserve all the best.

  • Carol from South Africa

    You are truly a stunning looking woman.
    My belly is bigger than that and I’m not pregnant.
    Can’t wait to hear on Friday what Stretch is. I must tell you that your blog is part, and a highlight, of my daily routine. I especially identified with the madness of depression, as I suffered from debilitating anxiety and it absolutely sucks. Drugs have fixed that. I wish you so well, dear Heather.
    PS no more Bush!

  • Anonymous

    aurora is a splendid name. if you have a girl maybe you’ve found your answer.

  • Chloe

    I get SAD too and I live in sunny Australia!
    A couple of years ago I discovered the best way to get around it was take a tropical holiday in August and just accept the fact that I don’t go out very much in winter…

    Bring on California!

  • AZ girl

    OMG Heather… you look SOOO much like Gillian Anderson when she was on the X-Files in your pregnancy pix, it’s not even funny…! It was bugging me when I saw your last photo at 16 weeks; I knew you were starting to resemble someone else famous, but then today it came to me… if you don’t believe me Google some of her photos and see for yourself! Uncanny! Oh, and you look great by the way 😉 am praying for your safe and healthy pregnancy. 🙂

  • OH GOD, I so know where you are at right now (aside from the pregnancy thing) – I am living through the coldest, dreariest, most miserable Winter in London that I have experienced in my 6 years here and it’s been enough to make me consider moving halfway around the world again.

    I think we should all be hibernating, personally. Winter is nature’s way of telling us to stay in bed and drink lots of hot chocolate.

    Maybe with a shot of Kahlua.

  • Grateful

    Hey Mary: #161. GET A GRIP!

    1). You have a husband 2). He has a job (in a really horrible economy, when many are losing everything they have) 3). You get to see the sun every day 4). You’re alive and breathing, and don’t seem to be starving to death…

    Get the fuck over yourself and have some gratitude for what you HAVE, and stop yelping about what you don’t.

    Want a real wake up call? Go spend a month in a Third World Country. You’ll be singing a different song after that. ‘Nuff said….

  • You look great in that photo, Heather! I think this is a lovely portrait of you and your cute lil’ belly!

  • Vic

    Prince Aurora does have a certain ring to it… Roll on summer (or even spring and a little blue sky).

  • good luck for the ultrasound!

  • Auntie P

    Thank you for sharing YOUR experiences on YOUR website.

    As I have tried to read about some of your brain chemistry issues that affect your mood, I appreciate your honesty about your triggers. Winter is mine too – hence, scheduling my meds check in January for my “vitamin z”. I believe Tom Cruise and others are dead wrong about SSRIs, etc. for depression and anxiety issues. For someone like you going through all the pregnancy hormone stuff plus brain chemistry swings plus meds issues (which are YOUR business between you & your MD), I imagine winter blues can really stink.

    A lot of people seem to assume you are living carefree b/c you and your mate have your own home-based business. Haven’t used my MBA in a while but seems likely that you are not immune to cut backs in advertisers, rising costs, publishing uncertainties, etc. that the rest of the country experiences.

    Just wish all of the readers telling you to quit griping had someone to throw a pile of crap back in their face next time they decide to share their bad mood with others. Since assumptions seems to OK with them, I will assume they are the mean people who are unnecessarily rude to cashiers, bank tellers, waiters, etc just trying to do their jobs.

    Peace and health to your family, Heather.

  • Judy in Maine

    I too feel the lack of sunlight in the winter, to help this, each day the sun is out I sit for about an hour in the late afternoon in the sun facing window, have a coffee, read some in my book and basically take a whole hour to nourish myself just like a cat would do. Sounds simple, but it might help you too. Just take an hour for yourself every day!

  • rob

    I just got a positive on a pregnancy test this weekend. My husband took a couple of photos of me holding up the pee stick, looked at them, and asked if maybe I could manage to look happy.

  • You need to start having some fun, especially with this name thing. I suggest you and Jon start calling the baby “Gus”. It works as a nickname for both a boy and a girl and Leta will LOVE it!

  • I’ve had that exact look on my face since, like, Mid-November. I’m 14 weeks. My son thinks we should name the new baby “Ghostrider.”

    Southern California in February sounds like just what the doctor ordered. You won’t mind if I zip myself into your luggage, will you? I live on the East Coast and it’s been dark and cold and grey for…let me see…six…carry the two…pretty much forever now.

  • Di

    Aurora can be shortened to “Rory,” which is my son’s name and which would have been his name if he had been a girl. We are not the least big Irish. He’s half-Jewish, in fact. So it definitely makes for some interesting conversations. There is a Kennedy girl named Rory and, of course, the girl on Gilmore Girls, so there is precedent!

  • Breane

    My best friend’s daughter is named Aurora and they call her Rory.

  • Prince Aurora Armstrong has a very nice ring to it. He won’t necessarily get his ass kicked in middle school.

  • Vaila

    I live in Scotland, UK, but we have the same issues with lots of darkness and awful weather through the winter. Snow I don’t mind, but we just get wind, cold, and rain. There are spells of crisp, cold days, with blue skies and sunshine, which are awesome, but not if you’re at work from darkness to darkness!!

    Light boxes WORK, I have one, and my S.A.D is much improved with it. I’ve actually now got daylight bulbs above my desk at work, and that helps ENORMOUSLY.

    As for craving blue skies and sunshine – get a light box, and use the power of your imagination. 20 mins a day in front of the box is enough, and just sit, chill out, and imagine a gorgeous sunny beach, or wherever you want to be. If you practice, you can even hear the birds and insects… 😉

    Good luck with the scan Heather…
    Vxx

  • Prince Aurora does have a certain ring to it.

  • ugh, the glum weather is messing with me as well, and i found myself reading your post and nodding my head and thinking “oh shit, so that’s my deal.” granted, we just moved to maryland and it’s not snowy utah, but the fact that i see people driving with headlights on at 4:30 in the afternoon is weird to me. hark, i see the sunlight, so maybe that means i’ll be a little more sane today?! 🙂

  • Lee

    I have visions Leta calling “the baby formerly known as Prince Aurora” I, too, am going through the”sun sets at 430, why am I so sad?”stuff in Central PA…I just keep walking on the treadmill each day and, when the sun comes out, the dog and I go out and roll in the grass and pee in the bushes…

  • Mon

    Yep, I want the sun too. But all in all, if that’s my biggest complaint, life is grand.

  • It could be worse, Leta could be into Battlestar Galactic or Star Trek like my man. No, Eric, we will not be naming our future children Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.

  • Katie

    I know how you feel about the seasonal affective disorder. Here in Houston, you would think we wouldn’t have that problem – however, this year, it has been horrible. One day it is 70 degrees, the next it is 28 degrees. The back and forth is killer, and leaves you never knowing what is next. Granted, I know it is nothing compared to the drab Salt Lake City winters, but it is still tough. And then having the sun set as I am driving home at 5:30 is just bizarre. Working from morning to night like I do leaves me literally without sunlight. It takes a toll. Add to that pregnancy and the hormones associated with it, and that makes for some yucky feelings. I am sure you will start to feel better, though! Especially once you find out the sex of little Aurora. 🙂 Can’t wait to see the sonogram pics!

  • Hollie

    My cure for SAD? Citalopram.
    Never before have I been ok during winter. Yay Drugs!

    You are looking SO cute preg!

  • Cat

    I’m with you on the weather, I’m about ::this:: close to losing it entirely. And I have no vacations planned. Not the smartest move I’ve ever made.

    At least Leta is now willing to consider the possibility that Stretch might be a boy. I can’t wait to find out myself!

    Is it awful that I’m hoping for boy just to watch Leta squirm? Yeah, I know. It’s awful. But it’s WINTER, man! What the hell else am I supposed to do?

  • I vote for moving to California. I also second the whole “I will smile when I WANT TO SMILE” thing. And what is your exercise routine? Just curious. Hope the sun comes out today.

  • Prince Aurora. **giggle** gotta love the names young’ins come up with.
    My 5 year old daughter wants to change her name to Bob.

  • Sarah

    It’s -23c here in Montreal. Which by an online converter is equal to -9.399999999999998 F! Whatever .. it’s FREAKING cold!!

    You look great and I’m jealous you are going somewhere warm for a week! Trying to arrange that too, trouble it, somewhere warms is VERY VERY far from our igloo!

  • Erin

    Boo! What’s up with the Boston hating? 🙁 It’s a great city, you should come visit! (well, not right now, right now the weather sucks and I’m living in snowboots and long underwear…but in the summer, definitely!)

  • Bec

    … well, at least she didn’t suggest Prince Charming.

  • Nicole

    The winter funk is painful this year. I’m in MN and we have the most snow we’ve had in 10 years which would be great except for the fact that it’s been below zero for what feels like 2 months straight. The actual air temp yesterday morning was -32. actual.air.temp. Tomorrow is supposed to be worse, but we may see 30 on Monday which means I will be running around nude. I’m growing a unibrow from this bad mood.

  • lessie

    -29 degrees celsius with the windchill in Toronto today, baby!

    I’m obsessive about checking the sunrise/sunset times during the winter months. Sunset is now past 5pm. I’d kill for above zero temps right now.