This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

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:

  • Oh, come ON. Everyone loves a fat girl.

    Especially one with a southern accent.

  • Dooce you rocked it and looked totally adorable in the process. It’s always good to see you out there doing the media thing, and you do it with dignity (and without the shameless plugs).

  • Cindy

    Heather, you were great – but that “Digital Mom” lady was annoying as all hell. Five types of digital mom? Um, not everyone needs a label.

  • JR

    Heather, you look great, and even beautiful. While I don’t believe you ate Matt, did you at least get a nibble? I am so curious what he is like in person. You are a very lucky/blessed/amazing woman. :::GREAT JOB:::

  • amy

    you did a great job! and you look great too! not enormous- please!!!

  • Great segment! I didn’t catch it when it aired, so glad you shared it here. I think the discussion topic is so relevant to so many of us mom’s online.

    And honestly, I totally wish I were as skinny and svelte as you when I was preggo!

  • Angie

    Thankfully, I have never had to use the restroom on a flight before. I’m not actually claustraphobic, but I cannot imagine fitting in there and doing my business! Congratulation on making it through that five or six times!

    I DVR’d the show so I’d get to see it when I got home last night. You looked great, not fat! I love that you talk the way you write…or maybe you write the way you talk. It was great to get to see you “in person”.

    Oh, and how did you cross your legs sitting up on that dern stool?! I’d say you held your own with that 60lb woman. 🙂

  • Ashley

    Heather, you are beautiful.

  • Anona Miss

    I know you’re just kidding, but can you stop the fat hate?

    I’m glad you are naturally thin, and will return to your normal weight after the baby is born, but some of us look like you do today all the time. Gasp! It’s not really that funny, it’s just a variation on the type of human beings that exist.

    It’s your blog and all, but I’d like to believe that the “Dooce” world makes room for people of all shapes, sizes and types of beauty. Please be considerate.

  • What wouldn’t I give to be your size right now? After 2 children, I – like my mother before me – am struggling to lose weight. I am not just a little pudgy. I am not just overweight. According to all classifications I am obese at 184 pounds. It’s awful, and a daily struggle, and I am embarrassed to leave the house most days.

    I love this site, and love you, and have devotedly read every hilarious and touching word. But you are not fat. Take it from someone who is.

  • Heather

    You look fantastic Heather, hell you’d look fantastic as is even un-pregnant.

    Cream cheese frosting for everyone!

  • Interesting point, Heather, about how much one should share about one’s children.

    I decided, in my book, Acquainted with the Night–a memoir of raising children with depression and bipolar disorder–that I would be as open and truthful as possible about myself and the children, because I wanted to tell a true story. I was particularly careful to include the mistakes I made, and things I did that now deeply regret, because it would not have been fair to do otherwise.

    I’ve taken some heat for this. You’re welcome to write whatever you want about yourself, some readers said, but what gives you permission to write about your children when they are too young to consent?

    I don’t have a good answer for that; perhaps others can help me with their thoughts.

  • You ARE glowing. Although I supremely loathe the Today Show, I thought you did great. You should know that the only time I can bear to watch it is when you are on!

  • sus

    I think you were awesome. I get so irritated with Meredith on these parenting segments when she’s all, “But aren’t you going a little too far? Aren’t you mothers sharing a little too much?” This from the woman who took every opportunity on The View to tell us she doesn’t wear underpants.

  • Julia

    While you may not feel super cute and adorable, you really do look it.

  • Amy

    Excellent! I really can’t wait to be a mom; reading you over the years had made me less afraid to make that happen, so thanks again.

  • Tanya

    How is that fat? My non-baby belly is bigger than that.
    Great job! Looking forward to the book, and wishing you were heading to Calgary on the book tour.

  • You and your pygmy counterpart did a great job on the segment. You look gorgeous! (I know you’re not fishing for compliments.) Living in Utah, I’m more disturbed by the freakishly thin pregnant women I frequently see. You look healthy (not avoiding the word “fat” here, like MY mother), and glowing. Glad you’re choosing to “embrace these pounds with glee.” See, you’re so smart. Congratulations on the book!

  • Christina

    I thought I would see a giant balloon on the screen but you look fantastic!! No more of this self-deprecating crap- not acceptable. You look better pregnant than most people look daily.

  • I thought this interview was great. And I can’t wait to get my book in the mail. So many things hit home with me when I read your little preview of the book on Amazon.

  • Caitorade

    Noo, if you eat Matt Lauer that means the scientologists have won!

    P.S. My computer thinks ‘scientology’ is not a word. How true.

  • You’re so amazing, and awesome, and inspirational, and beautiful. And –ohmygod– am I gushing? Maybe it’s the wine talking. Oh, crap, is it ok to mention wine to a pregnant woman? Seriously, can’t say enough amazing things about you. Except for that accent 😉 (Kidding! Stupid wine.)

  • Cat

    Embrace the lbs. They look good on you! Glad you’re back safe and sound, I tried to find this story on the Today show website for like, ever, but kept getting thrown off by the lady with the red hair and the boob surfing the web.

  • Karen

    I actually got to watch it in real time since I was off yesterday. But I can operate a DVR! We are spending our kids’ inheritances on electronic stuff.

    You were great, and look even more wonderful. I get the bathroom on the plane issue. I never, ever use one but then again, did not travel late in a pregnancy either.

  • Karen

    One thing I was hoping you would say to Kathie Lee about including Leta in your blog is that you are providing a detailed keepsake for Leta of her childhood and the things that were going on in the lives of her family when she was little. When Leta is older I hope she is thrilled with the ability to go back and read so much about her childhood.

  • You looked great, and you did a fantastic job.

    I flew to NYC when I was 5 months pregnant. I wanted to die.

    I so feel your pain, sister.

  • Melinda

    You looked fabulous!

    I never thought about dying in an airplane bathroom before. Your description had me laughing so hard I was in tears…my co-workers are staring. oh my!

  • Tell me they at least had delicious things to eat in the green room. AND THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO PARTAKE.

  • cdelphine

    I love how she says that people will think “digital mom” is a term a marketer made up and she is talking to… a marketer who made the term up.

  • Scott

    Am I the only person a little horrified about the mom chatting online with people in Australia while breastfeeding? What about – I don’t know – just focusing on the baby and having some quiet time?

    Frankly, if one day mom whipped out an old video of her paying no attention to me while I ate I’d be a little un-okay with that.

    I am dad to two young ones, so I remember the days when every second of quiet was like a gift from God. But this, this just seemed creepy to me.

    Heather, now you did a great job. Kudos.

  • Jennifer

    You looked fantastic! I loved how today on Today, Kathie Lee interviewed Russel Brand and talked about his addiction to Sex. How awesomely uncomfortable must that have been for her?! HA!

  • Heather, you looked gorgeous. And MY GOD, you are growing a human. Remember that. That aint’ no small feat.

    My baby is 9 and I STILL look like I swallowed Matt Lauer.

    But you, my dear, will be all gangly again real soon.

  • I loathe those bathrooms. I try not to drink anything when I’m on the plane just so I don’t have to use them. I watch the Today Show everyday! How did I miss your segment?! I probably got up late that day…that neverrrr happens. ha.

  • Big improvement on the Today side from the first segment (no Kathy Lee freak out, hooray!). You were great as always – loved the boots! Thank you for focusing on the positive side of blogging.
    Phoo-D

  • Clair

    You look FANTASTIC!!!

  • You looked totally relaxed – don’t know how you did that – and you were very articulate. Good job!

  • Laura

    You looked great Heather! Awesome job!

  • cris

    Thank you for sharing that video with those us in Europe who have a hard time watching these things 🙂

    Airplane bathrooms are fun. Much more intriguing is how did you manage to climb onto that chair?…

    PS: Matt Lauer wishes!

  • I saw you on the show and thought you looked great. (btw, my maiden name is Fortner but I have no idea who that Laura person is. too bad)

    You were very funny and it was clear that Meredith thought so, too. She really liked it when you talked about the people on the sideline cheering, “You’re doing it wrong!” hahaha. I did, too.

    Can’t wait to see you in Austin for the book signing.

  • I haven’t used an airplane bathroom in seven years. They freak me out. The dehydration is worth it.

    And as so many have already said – you looked fantastic.

  • Lorien

    Heather, you said that your readers “saved your life” during your time with PPD. Well, Mrs. Armstrong, YOU saved my life when I had a hard time with PPD. Thank you so much.

  • You looked fantastic, and besides Matt Lauer doesn’t look like he’d taste very good.

  • So, I’m very excited to see you in Seattle here soon and my boyfriend is planning on paying you to let me touch your belly. Are you accepting bribes? What if I told you going to see you is part of my birthday present?

  • You forgot to mention how when flying pregnant your entire body swells so you actually look like someone inflated your ankles and wrists like water balloons, as if you aren’t already feeling blimp like (this was me en-route to Italy a few years ago while 6 mo preggers).

    My other favorite is for moms of babies and toddlers – don’t you love it when people give you a dirty look for changing your kid’s diaper on the airplane seat instead of in the nasty lav. Seriously how are you supposed to change a diaper on a squirming kid when you can’t even turn around in one of those? It’s only like 1 out of every 100 lavatories that even has a changing table inside. The best part is the horrified looks on the flight attendants faces as they make you double bag your “groceries.”

  • Kathleen

    Do you really not notice that a vast majority of American women look exactly like you do now or are bigger when they are not pregnant? Or do you just not care that the freeze frame picture of that video at the bottom was of a woman considering larger than you are who, in fact, is totally normal?

    Since your need to hear your readers tell you you’re not fat seems bottomless, perhaps for your daughter’s sakes you could stop harping on how “fat” you are.

  • you ate matt lauer because he was being glib, right?

  • Amy

    I’ve been reading since Shannon Elizabeth somehow ended up in your kitchen, and I can say wholeheartedly that it just keeps getting better.

    I’m so looking forward to reading your book and I can’t wait for your book signing in Chicago!

  • I tried to catch it but they aired it here while I was on the way to work. You did great! I’m not crazy about the way they did your makeup though, I think they way you usually do it for your own photos is much better. Suck on THAT fancy Today-Show makeup people!

  • Chrissy

    Aww … I think you looked great!! How is it that Dads can say the worst thing at times … and completely not even understand WHY he shouldn’t say that to his daughter?? For instance – I was going to the Homecoming dance in 10th grade and right before my date arrived my dad said, “Wow. You have really wide shoulders. Guess that’s why you are so good at swimming.” WHAT??? I went to the dance convinced my shoulders looked like a football players’ shoulders with pads on. Sigh … and here I am … 31 years old. Still think I have broad shoulders.

    Anyway, you did a great job on the segment! And I love your site!! The pictures you post are just stunning …

  • MissCaron

    HOW CUTE! You didn’t look enormous … Love, Love, Love your blog and can’t wait to see the newest addition to your family!