the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Enormous pregnant lady eats Manhattan

Rarely do I ever feel as vulnerable as when I’m using the toilet on an airplane, and I think it has everything to do with someone trying to figure out how to talk about where they found my body if the plane should crash. Like, I’d rather be the one they found still in her seat with the cell phone pressed to her ear having just called her daughter to say her last goodbye. Not the one sitting on the commode with her pants around her ankles, a wad of toilet paper in her right hand because the plane hit the ground before she could finish her business.

I had to think about this six times yesterday on the flight back from New York, every time I waddled to that tiny compartment to offer relief to a bladder that would not shut up. For those of you who have never been inside a bathroom stall on an airplane, just imagine someone closing the lid to your coffin. And that panic? The feeling that you’re going to suffocate as they lower you into the ground? Yeah, you’ve got to ignore that part because three or four other passengers are standing outside your coffin waiting for their turn. So hurry up, and if your baby is crowding your bladder like mine was all day yesterday, sorry, but there’s no room to contort your body into a position to free up your pipeline. Not unless you can stick your foot behind your head. And if you’re one of those people who can, by god, you better hope the plane doesn’t go down right that instant. WOMAN FOUND PANTSLESS, CONTORTED INTO A PRETZEL.

On the way to the airport Sunday afternoon I remembered that I hadn’t talked to my father yet, so I called him and let him know that I was going to be on the TODAY show the following morning. He said that if he had to, he’d make the sacrifice to get up early to see my appearance, and that’s when I reminded him what year it is. That some people? They have bathrooms INSIDE THEIR HOMES. There are things called DISHWASHERS and ANSWERING MACHINES and get this! They even make these little boxes THAT CAN RECORD LIVE TELEVISION. That’s when he reminded me how much my brother was going to enjoy ALL THAT MONEY left to him in the will.

The flight to New York was fine, but we didn’t get into the city until 12:30AM and then didn’t get into bed until 2AM. Then we were up at 5:30AM getting ready, over to the studio by 7AM, done with taping at 8:30AM, then back to check out of the hotel. The flight home was just a total nightmare, five and a half hours of someone tugging on the back of my seat, the seat in front of me reclined into my six-months-pregnant belly, and a frustrated baby inside taking out her anger on my bladder. Last night when the cabbie dropped us off at the house, a foot of snow blanketing the driveway, my body starting screaming at me: I HATE YOU. I HATE YOU. I HATE YOU. And I was all, I KNOW. I HATE ME, TOO.

Not two minutes inside the door, and my father calls to tell me he watched the segment! Great job, he said. And also! Looks like his youngest daughter has put on some weight! In fact, that’s what he turned to tell my step-mother when Meredith Vieira introduced me. Look! Heather’s fat!

If that wasn’t EXACTLY what I wanted to hear right after getting off that plane.

I sternly corrected him, let him know the proper term was GLOWING, not FAT, and then I went and ate a spoonful of whipped cream cheese cake frosting.

For those of you who didn’t catch it yesterday, here’s the segment from the TODAY show. Maybe I should say that the camera adds ten pounds, but who cares. I don’t plan on being pregnant ever again, so I’m going to embrace these pounds with glee. It probably doesn’t help the scale of things that the other participant, the lovely Laura Fortner, weighs about 60 pounds soaking wet, and that she’s obviously terrified that the enormous pregnant lady sitting next to her is going to reach over and eat her at any given moment. Because come on, it looks like I’ve swallowed Matt Lauer:

  • Ashleigh (Heart and Home)

    2009/03/10 at 12:36 pm

    I just won’t go to the bathroom when I’m flying. Okay, maybe I do… if I’ve been holding it a really, really, REALLY long time. But my phobia of being found in the bathroom when the plane crashes is just too real. I guess the one consolation is that the “lavatories” are usually in the back of the plane and they DO say that’s the safest place to be… right? The engines WILL save me? (crickets chirp)

  • Daddy Scratches

    2009/03/10 at 12:33 pm

    Saw it yesterday. Good appearance. I was still hoping for a cage match between you and Kathy Lee, however. Woulda been fun to see you claw her eyes out.

  • Mari

    2009/03/10 at 12:37 pm

    Woo-hoo! Thank goodness somebody is making Utahns NOT look like freaks in the national media. I thank you for that.

  • liz

    2009/03/10 at 12:37 pm

    what a pleasant surprise it was to see you on the today show (which i only watch every other day when i’m grumbling on the treadmill at the gym). you looked stunning — i have to laugh that THAT’S your version of “fat.”

  • Kristan

    2009/03/10 at 12:38 pm

    Well, I didn’t want to say anything after I watched the segment yesterday, but… *DID* YOU EAT MATT LAUER?!

  • Julie A.

    2009/03/10 at 12:38 pm

    You were great on the Today show yesterday! Congratulations, and I’m looking forward to the book!

  • typingelbow

    2009/03/10 at 12:39 pm

    I love that … I’m not fat! I’m glowing. I think someone needs to make maternity shirts that say that. And on the back, they can say, Now shut up, or I’ll sit on you.

    You did great, Dooce! Way to rock the baby bump in hot leather boots!

  • natalie

    2009/03/10 at 12:40 pm

    congrats – can’t wait to read the book. and you’re totally one hot mama!

  • zchamu

    2009/03/10 at 12:40 pm

    Yeah, I’ve gotten the “I heard you’re getting fat!” comment too. It’s so heartwarming. Or the people who go “Oh my god you are huuuuuuuuge!” and then I want to say “Oh my god you are uuuuuuuuuuugly!”

    The other problem with being 6 months pregnant on a plane is that no longer can you stand sideways to let people pass you in the aisle. You have to back up the entire aisle of people to let you through just so you can go empty the bladder that the baby’s been doing the cha-cha on for the last 3 hours.

    This body, I am not used to it.

  • Jennifer Suarez

    2009/03/10 at 12:41 pm

    When the video started I thought “WOW she really HAS put on a TON of weight” but then I realized that’s a PANDA bear not dooce! 😉

    Great job!

  • Marie

    2009/03/10 at 12:42 pm

    I DV-R’d the show yesterday and jsut FF’d all the way to your part this morning. You looked lovely and definitely glowing!

    Your boots were mad hot.

  • Kristen from MA

    2009/03/10 at 12:43 pm

    Can’t see the video here at work, but i will definitely check it out at home. But your statement ‘the camera adds 10 pounds’ reminds me of the same line from Friends. The gang is watching an old home movie of Monica when she was in high school and very fat. Monica says, ‘The camera adds 10 pounds.’ And Chandler responds, ‘How many cameras are on you?’ Hee! 😀

  • KT

    2009/03/10 at 12:44 pm

    You did great and looked great too! Tell your dad to suck it.

  • Kristine

    2009/03/10 at 12:44 pm

    Ok, around 2:42, your eyes are darting, doing the classic “lookin’ her up and down” kinda thing. I must know what you were eyeballing.

  • Lisa

    2009/03/10 at 12:44 pm

    Funny as always. I can’t wait to see you at Book Soup in L.A. if you make it through the flight out here.

  • Jen at The Cute Kid

    2009/03/10 at 12:45 pm

    Well atleast you’re dad didn’t call you a chubby tree like my brother did every time my mom wore her green sweater and brown leggings. I think I’d rather be told straight out than have some absurd moniker like chubby tree, haha. Great job on the show!

  • Joy and Janet {moggit girls}

    2009/03/10 at 12:46 pm

    First of all, you look fab.

    We can’t wait til we become blogger moms who actually make money blogging.

    First thing we will buy are THOSE BOOTS!


  • Kristine

    2009/03/10 at 12:46 pm

    I mean 4:24!
    Tell me everything, even if you have to make it up.

  • Holly

    2009/03/10 at 12:46 pm

    Heather, I’m exactly as pregnant as you are with my second child as well and I know how you feel. I keep catching my face in the mirror and thinking, “is that my face? Or is that two of my face?” The more people that tell me how great I look, the more I feel it’s a pity conspiracy to make me feel like less of a blob. I liked your spot on Today. You looked hip and I’m sure Kathy Lee was jealous.

  • kimberly

    2009/03/10 at 12:46 pm

    Great job!

  • Beachgal

    2009/03/10 at 12:47 pm

    You looked wonderful! Well done! Thanks for sharing, since I NEVER watch the Today show.

  • the domestic fringe

    2009/03/10 at 12:47 pm

    Great today show segment!

    Parents just have a way of making us feel good about ourselves, don’t they?


  • Lee

    2009/03/10 at 12:47 pm

    I think you look glowing Heather!

  • Rena

    2009/03/10 at 12:50 pm

    I watched it yesterday and you were GLOWING!

  • Lara

    2009/03/10 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been a reader for about 5 years now…I’ve commented a handful of times…and I just wanted to pop in again and just thank you for everthing, one more time!

    You’re certainly not fat- you’ve got a little person growing inside of you! I’m so excited for you!

  • Kelly

    2009/03/10 at 12:51 pm

    At least your dad talks to you! My dad looks at caller ID and walks away. How do I know? My mom is nice enought to tell me.

    Who’s worse?

  • Crystal

    2009/03/10 at 12:51 pm

    You were gorgeous! I loved the segment and the pictures they showed of Leta were adorable.
    When they showed the screen shot of your blog I decided to look that thread up (because let’s face it – if it says breasts I’m reading it). I had never read that thread … it was downright hilarious and I am so glad they chose that one as the screen shot.

    Anyways, I absolutely cannot wait for the book to come out! I’m getting it immediately.

  • sarah b.

    2009/03/10 at 12:51 pm

    Great job, Heather! Even more polished than last time and you didn’t have to contend with that glorious wackjob, Kathie Lee. And you look great!

  • Michelle

    2009/03/10 at 12:51 pm

    You did not look fat -at all-!

    And, hopefully if anyone’s ever in the plane washroom while it’s going down, they have the sense to flush before that happens

  • Melissavina

    2009/03/10 at 12:51 pm

    I love Matt Lauer, I’ll bet he was delicious.
    No seriously, you looked fantastic.
    I think your blog contributes to the way I view my own life and my relationship to family and the written word, so I hope you know that you are connected to more that just mothers out there… unless you count my chihuahua as a child, then we’re totally on the same page.

  • Katie

    2009/03/10 at 12:52 pm

    Great job – very clear concise answers to all the same questions! and I thought you looked absolutely glowing – i gained 50 lbs during my pregnancy and got all the usual comments – people need to give the pregnant ladies a much-deserved BREAK!

  • Bannod

    2009/03/10 at 12:52 pm

    You look fantastic!

  • Mary

    2009/03/10 at 12:55 pm

    I find it admirable that you could fit into those tiny airplane bathrooms in your glorified pregnancy state! And with those numerous trips down the aisle, I bet the seat stayed warm for you!

  • Robyn

    2009/03/10 at 12:56 pm

    Oh, you are so not fat. Good God. All pregnant women should be so lucky.

    Hope you’re having a nice, quiet, restful day at home today!

  • Anne

    2009/03/10 at 12:56 pm

    I always have a crippling fear of airplane toilets. It’s to the point where I avoid getting up at all costs since the act of me going into the bathroom could be the final act in the balance act that could throw the plane into it’s fiery doom. When I went to Japan as an exchange student from LA? Yeah, I timed it to the half way point to go the bathroom. Tiny coffins indeed.

    I thought you looked marvelous on the Today show and leave it to families to keep you humble. 🙂

  • Lynn @ human, being

    2009/03/10 at 12:57 pm

    First of all, you’re six months pregnant and they made you sit on a STOOL?

    Second of all, you look pregnant, not fat.

    Third of all, @ the mom who is online 6 hours a day with a newborn attached to her boob and thinks it makes her a better mom … really? I thought caring for your infant, paying attention to and stimulating him/her, etc. makes you a better mom.

  • kalisa

    2009/03/10 at 12:57 pm

    Thank you for not making every speaking point a shameless plug for your web site like the other lady did.

    You were great! You’re gettin’ pretty good at this media thing, huh?

  • trish

    2009/03/10 at 12:58 pm

    Love your boots!

  • Allisone

    2009/03/10 at 12:59 pm

    I think you look wonderful and you did a great job.
    Sorry that the travel has hit at such an inconvenient time.

    Everyone, make sure to fork out the cash for the book so it isn’t all in vain.

  • Labradoris

    2009/03/10 at 1:00 pm

    Very nice segment, and at least Meredith didn’t seem disapproving as another host we know! 🙂

  • Lisa

    2009/03/10 at 1:02 pm

    Great job! Thanks for posting this……..I don’t watch tv during the day and I forgot to set up the dvr to record it! You look positively “glowing” and if you are fat, I don’t want to be thin 😉 !

  • Sheila

    2009/03/10 at 1:02 pm

    You looked beautiful! Please drop the “fat” talk though, some of us really do need to lose weight and it hurts when pregnant people who are our ideal weight call themselves fat. Love reading your blog.

  • Moya

    2009/03/10 at 1:03 pm

    Love the boots, love the belly & way to go with your posture – I love it when we tall women walk tall & sit tall.
    However, a bone to pick with the hairstylists for the show, do they not know which side the camera is going to be on? Both you & non-preggo lady had your hair parted so that your faces were half hidden when they showed the wide shot. What is that all about?
    So sad it wasn’t another Kathy Lee interview/internet debate…Did you leave her a parting gift? I was looking forward to a shot of her facial expression after you passed pregnant gas during the interview. (sigh)
    Get some sleep!

  • Jessie H

    2009/03/10 at 1:03 pm

    The segment was great. You hit the nail on the head with the point of helping women not feel so alone.

    On a totally superficial note, you do not look like you ate Matt Lauer. As fantastic a mental image as that may be.

  • Joanne

    2009/03/10 at 1:04 pm

    You were great and you look fantastic. My co-workers politely called me the “oompa-loompa” of the office when I was preggo with my second. Anything is better than that…

  • Bea

    2009/03/10 at 1:04 pm

    Great segment, and likely the most stylish 6-mth pregnant lady I’ve ever seen. Your adult daughters will be proud of you!

  • D

    2009/03/10 at 1:05 pm

    You were articulate and stunning. The woman next to you did look scared though. Did you say something mean to her right before the segment?

  • Cassidy Stockton

    2009/03/10 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Heather.

    Lovely interview. You looked great… especially given the lack of sleep. I’ve never commented before, but I love your blog and daily pictures. You’re so freaking funny! You really make being a mom seem less scary and daunting… and pretty darn hilarious. Thanks for keeping this blog and sharing your life with the world.

  • Sue F.

    2009/03/10 at 1:06 pm

    I think you look great, whatever you may be feeling. I’ll bet the flight was an adventure and empathize with the horror of baby jumping on mommy bladder.

    As for your comments about why you blog, you really have helped. I first read your blog after I had my little ones but it was great to hear that I wasn’t the only one to have experienced post partum depression. It sure seemed like my dirty secret, what with a lovely baby and good health, as my mother-in-law would say. It felt like my little girl had sucked all the joy out of me. Without my husband’s support, I’d have been a disaster. But nothing feels better that knowing that you’re not the only crazy and other women you respect have survived the same feelings.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Sheila

    2009/03/10 at 1:06 pm

    Wow, I commend you for being able to go to an airplane bathroom not once but six times (but obviously you have no choice)! How can your fear of doom inside the loo be more powerful than the unbearable stink in there? Bathrooms in airplanes smell god awful. You’re a real trooper! :::Applause:::

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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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