the smell of my desperation has become a stench

30 weeks

Last week marked my 30th week of pregnancy (tomorrow marks week 31), so I had Jon snap this photo last Wednesday night in Austin at our hotel room a few hours after the book signing:

30 weeks

Friday morning I had an appointment with my OBGYN who made a point of telling me that she was much more pleased with this month’s weight gain, a surprisingly low three pounds, than with my weight gain throughout the rest of my pregnancy. THIS DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. Internet, I have been eating room service and airplane peanuts for three straight weeks. Readers brought me doughnuts and rice krispie treats and enormous chocolate cupcakes, and I ate all of it. Plus, I slept like total crap. I’m surprised the scale did not start screaming when it saw me waddling down that hallway.

Whereas in the months before my book tour I was much more careful about the quality and quantity of food I put into my mouth and maintained a three-to-four day a week workout schedule, and every time they weighed me it was all ARMSTRONG, THAT’S ANOTHER TWELVE POUNDS. So she can sit there and wave her finger at me and tell me to lay off the potato chips, but come on! Those numbers don’t lie! I gained less weight by eating more sugar! That’s called science! It was my body’s way of saying HEY HEATHER! WE NEED MORE CUPCAKES!

I don’t know if I can find the words to describe just how happy I am to be home. Even though I came back to Utah on the weekends throughout the tour, those days were always filled with the chaos of laundry and administrative work that made it impossible to relax. I think Coco summed it up nicely last Friday morning after she had been home for about 18 hours from the kennel. We’d picked her up late Thursday afternoon, and she was understandably happy to see us, but it wasn’t until the next morning when we let her out of her crate and she realized she was still at home that she began what would end up being a thirty-minute crying jag. On and off the bed she jumped, and then back and forth between our room and Leta’s room she charged with the speed of a rocket, and the whole time this distressed, ear-piercing wheeze came out of her mouth, HAAAAYYEEEEEE HAAAAYYEEEEEE HAAAAYYEEEEEE, to express her disbelief. It’s like she was so filled with joy that the only way she could communicate the magnitude of it was to cry inconsolably. I knew exactly how she felt, minus the desire to walk into the bathroom and eat whatever was in the toilet.

Chuck sat silently at the foot of our bed watching the blur of her body whip between rooms. It looked like he was watching a tennis match. At one point Jon seized Coco and tried helplessly to calm her down, and Chuck just stared at him without an ounce of sympathy. I imagine that if I had just been forced to sleep with her inside a cage for six straight nights that I would have been feeling just like Chuck in that moment, like how much can you people take? No really, how much? Because all we need is a box and some tape, and we can send her back. Poke some holes in the top, she’ll be fine. I didn’t have a camera on me that morning, but I can confirm that Chuck was absolutely adorable sitting there plotting Coco’s mysterious disappearance.

  • Erika

    2009/04/13 at 4:24 pm

    You look great – keep napping and eating ‘well’. It seems to be doing wonders! 🙂

  • tammy

    2009/04/13 at 4:27 pm

    I’m glad your back and have a chance to settle in for awhile before life gets interesting in a few months
    I loved reading your interview on aol today
    and I have been “caged” for a year and a half from medical issues so I know how coco feels being able to be free lol

  • Margie

    2009/04/13 at 4:29 pm

    You made me laugh, thanks.

  • grace

    2009/04/13 at 4:31 pm

    Our family dog did the exact same thing the first time we picked her up from a kennel. (The same very trustworthy place we had taken her for training classes.) She acted like we punished her and cried for HOURS after we picked her up. My mom felt so guilty she never boarded her again and we always arranged to have people look after her while we were away. She was a border collie… I wonder if it’s another one of those psycho herding-breed behaviors that make them so lovably neurotic: cannot stand to be kept from regular family-herding/yard-guarding activities.

  • Anonymous

    2009/04/13 at 4:32 pm

    Great to have you “back”, Heather!!! Time for some relaxation and unwinding. Only 10 weeks left! (Maybe less?!)

  • jill

    2009/04/13 at 4:34 pm

    Adorable… that’s what you are!

  • BellyGirl

    2009/04/13 at 4:36 pm

    Is it just me or do you look SUPER tiny for 31 weeks??

  • Daddy Scratches

    2009/04/13 at 4:37 pm

    I just realized that I’m totally looking forward to baby’s arrival.

    As a parent of two children and no dogs, I’m anxious to see how you guys handle the hand grenade that is about to go off in your lives. It’s an explosion mostly comprising happiness, but it is an explosion nonetheless.

    Glad you made it through the book tour. Hope you get to take it easy from now until you cross the finish line.

  • NMmama

    2009/04/13 at 4:37 pm

    You look beautiful! Welcome home!

  • Molly

    2009/04/13 at 4:40 pm

    Heather, you look gorgeous.

  • beyond

    2009/04/13 at 4:42 pm

    you look wonderful. i think cupcakes are good for all women, pregnant or not. now and forever. cupcakes here i come.

  • Tania

    2009/04/13 at 4:42 pm

    You look great, hope your healthy pregnancy continues!

  • insane mother of three

    2009/04/13 at 4:42 pm

    WOOOOO HOOOOO you’re home! I realy hope that means regular posts! I have missed your wit and charm while you were touring. You look fantastic BTW and I could only dream to have looked so good during my three pregnancies!

  • Kate

    2009/04/13 at 4:42 pm

    You look happy and healthy; enjoy those cupcakes and other treats. As I recall, the rate of weight gain does slow down in the last trimester even though that doesn’t make any sense scientifically. Ahhh, what the heck. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy these days at home with hubbie, Leta, and those wonderful dogs.

  • Samtastic

    2009/04/13 at 4:45 pm

    that happened to me too! once i started eating fast food at least once a day EVERY DAY i stopped gaining as much!

    also – you are absolutely gorgeous!

  • valerie

    2009/04/13 at 4:46 pm

    Aww you look great! Keep it up with the cupcakes.

    We started crating our beagle recently after she started crapping in the floor while we were out, and also when my fiance was in the shower, every morning, before work.

    Now when we come home and let her out, she tear-asses around the house like she’d been in there for days and we were never coming to let her out again. She also blatantly disregards the person who actually opened the crate and greets the person who was slowly wandering into the house.

  • Anonymous

    2009/04/13 at 4:47 pm

    I’m sorry but why must you always talk about your weight. it works it’s way into nearly every post. Eat don’t eat, who cares?

  • jeen-marie

    2009/04/13 at 4:49 pm

    You look great! Over Easter we had a family discussion about your traveling during your last few months. The women thought you were crazy and men had no clue what we were talking about! Glad you are safe at home!
    I sympathize about the weight gain… During my pregnancy, I gained something like 40 pounds! I asked the doctor how was that possible- I barely ate and what did eat I THREW UP!
    She just looked at me AND laughed! I was like NO REALLY? PLEASE explain!!

  • Manda

    2009/04/13 at 4:50 pm

    Beautiful belly.

    Awesome story.

    Glad you’re home and feelin’ the love.

  • Aisha

    2009/04/13 at 4:51 pm

    haha… I remember plotting mysterious disappearances for my siblings. It always involved Jim Henson’s Labyrinth coming true, though. And, quite honestly, if anyone was going to be growing up with the goblin king, it was going to be me.

  • Charlie Hills

    2009/04/13 at 4:54 pm

    I’m bummed I missed you in Austin last week. Had it on the calendar and everything, but sometimes real life just gets in the way. Guess you can stop and see me when I’m on a book tour in your neck of the woods. 🙂

  • Sandi

    2009/04/13 at 4:54 pm

    You look amazing! I truly could kick the shit out of you. I delivered my last baby at 30 weeks and I was a whale! I delivered a 4 pound baby and walked out of the hospital 3 pounds lighter. You’d think the damn placenta would weigh something!

    Seriously, you look amazing!

  • Mothering Two

    2009/04/13 at 4:55 pm

    sometimes, i think doctors just feel the need to say something to continue establishing their position of authority, like, “hey, don’t forget, I’M TAKING CARE OF YOU.” ‘cuz you know, its easy to forget about them! You look great, mama, and i’m so happy to read the pregnancy is moving along healthfully. 🙂

  • Sundance Kid

    2009/04/13 at 4:56 pm

    You look beautimus and the story about the dogs was hilarious! What characters!

  • Charity Donovan

    2009/04/13 at 4:57 pm

    OMG…I delivered my quadruplets at 30 weeks & 2 days…I cannot believe I was “supposed” to look like that!?!?!?! So amazing…I looked like that at around 16 weeks! Thanks for posting this Heather! It was crazy to get a real perspective! You look amazing girlfriend! By the way, you were HILARIOUS on Oprah! Loved it & Congrats…I’ve been reading your blog forever & you REALLY deserve the success!!

  • StuffMomsWant

    2009/04/13 at 4:58 pm

    When pregnant with my youngest son I used to take a nap during the afternoon while my older boy slept. When I woke up I would get out my GIANT bag of powdered sugar donuts and eat those and drink glass of milk. Did this just about every day. When I got gestational diabetes and was wondering to my friend how that could have happened, she said “How about all those freaking donuts you ate?” Oh, yeah… But they were soooo good.

  • Michelle

    2009/04/13 at 5:00 pm

    You look great! Thanks again for making a stop in LA. I was at your signing at Book Soup and you were SO NICE! I was a little intimidated because I felt pressured to say something witty – but alas, nothing witty came to mind at that moment…oh well. Rest up for baby!

  • reddirtroad

    2009/04/13 at 5:00 pm

    Oh, glad you’re home. When I was pregnant, I gained most of my weight within the first 6 months so lets hope that’s the case with you too.

  • Serial

    2009/04/13 at 5:04 pm

    The fact that you people can live with Coco has helped me through many, many moments at which I’m sure I otherwise would have skinned my 8 month old heeler mix.

    Seriously, if it weren’t for me thinking, “Heather can do this, I can do this, Heather can do this, I can do this … ” I would have shown up at one of your readings with a pot of Puppy Stew for you to chow down on, as well.

    I think she’d be proper tasty.

  • moggit girls

    2009/04/13 at 5:04 pm

    We love Chuck. He is one cool ‘doode’.

  • Kristan

    2009/04/13 at 5:05 pm

    Aww! I wish I could have witnessed Coco’s craziness, but I do sympathize with Chuck. Man oh man is he gonna have words for you when that baby is born…


  • StuffCooksWant

    2009/04/13 at 5:06 pm

    The all-sugar weight aloss diet…I’ll try it. Starting now. No, I’m not pregnant…why do you ask?

  • Jennifer W.

    2009/04/13 at 5:06 pm

    You look gorgeous. I can’t see one extra pound hanging around anywhere. Next time your doctor (or anyone else) says something about your weight you should feel free to channel Cartman and shout “Whateva! It’s my hot body, I’ll do what I want!”

  • Bucky Four-Eyes

    2009/04/13 at 5:10 pm

    I used to have a German Shepherd mix who would become so excited by our arrival home from work that he would sing/yodel to us: “Hoooo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hooooooo!”

    Now, with cats, I don’t get the same kind of blissed-out, idiotic greetings. Mostly, I get four faces staring at me as if to say “Where you been, bitch, and how quickly can you top off these food bowls?”

  • Katrin

    2009/04/13 at 5:11 pm

    I grew up in Europe and I’m used to traveling a lot. I go really stir crazy if I don’t get to go away somewhere every few months–it doesn’t have to be anywhere fancy, even just a visit upstate will do. My husband loves to tease me about this (what a princess I am bla bla bla) but it’s just the way I’m wired. Too long in the suburbs and I start to feel my soul is dying.

    But really, the very best part of traveling is ALWAYS the coming home part. Everything looks different when you’ve been away, even for a night. I live so fervently in my imagination, I often need to be reminded to live in the moment and enjoy what I have.

    Home sweet home… sweeter when you’ve been gone.

  • Anonymous

    2009/04/13 at 5:11 pm

    You look absolutely fabulous on the front page of AOL today. whoohooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Michael F.

    2009/04/13 at 5:12 pm

    Heather, I believe Chuck is much smarter than you think. If he were plotting to do away with “that awful dog” you’d never see it coming, and he wouldn’t leave any finger, or in this case, paw prints behind. That’s how he rolls. Congratulations on the tour, and of course, the reason for touring, the book.

  • Masha K

    2009/04/13 at 5:13 pm

    Heather, you look great! The look on your is perfect for the story, like you’re telling Coco, “I can’t wait to introduce you to this little one, and see your head implode into little marshmallows when you try to figure out how to keep track of one more human.”

    I have a toxic Eastern European metabolism that lets me eat gigantic French eclairs for lunch (like, a pound of cream in each one, gross, right?) and not feel a thing. It’s a metabolism raised on salted pork fat (which we eat on bread) and butter. When I tried to be a vegetarian in college (under tree-hugger peer pressure) and ate a lot of salads, I grew a pooch and arm fat. It’s like my body didn’t know what spinach was and flat-out refused to process it. I didn’t last as a vegetarian very long.

  • Casey

    2009/04/13 at 5:17 pm

    Seriously, Heather, if you believe cupcakes will do right by you through the end of your pregnancy, I will be happy to provide them. Cream-filled if you prefer. Not kidding.

    Besides, does your practice factor in the lurve that went into those rice krispy treats and chocolate cupcakes? To be filled with that kind of karma…well, I bet that offset 25% of their calories. (And, please, taking off and putting on your shoes at security, as described by you, is quite a workout, lady!)

  • Shnerfle

    2009/04/13 at 5:18 pm

    I can’t believe Chuck didn’t stick a paw out and trip her. That would have been awesome.

    BTW, you look fantastic. By 30 weeks, I had my own zip code and a landing strip on my ass.

  • Tanyetta

    2009/04/13 at 5:20 pm

    You look AMAZING!

  • Dumblond

    2009/04/13 at 5:21 pm

    You look great for 30 weeks!

  • jimaiemarie

    2009/04/13 at 5:22 pm

    you look AMAZING for 30wks…omg, me at 30 wks?? SO not a pretty sight. I THOUGHT I looked ok, the 2nd time around but after seeing this picture of you? yeahhh, not so much. Thanks for that ;D

  • Blushing Hostess

    2009/04/13 at 5:23 pm

    I admire your stamina to travel so widely at this point. I too ate a lot and a wide array of oddities during this recent pregnancy and I was concerned about what would happen afterwards. I was back in my jeans two weeks later – the second great little thing that happened to remind me to pay no mind to the exhaustion. Be well, The Hostess

  • Anonymous

    2009/04/13 at 5:24 pm

    Wow! You are front page on AOL.


  • Christian

    2009/04/13 at 5:25 pm

    You look beautiful! I am so glad things are going well for you – the book, the pregnancy. You are a wonderful person who gives so much (helping us moms more than you know, as I always say). I am glad you get some time at home to relax.

  • Amy

    2009/04/13 at 5:27 pm

    I think you’re onto something Heather… my diet consists of sugar, sugar, some cheese and bread, but then usually more sugar and I can’t put on weight! Everyone has been telling me that I am withering away but I can’t do anything about it!

    You look gorgeous!

  • Lanna Lee Maheux-Quinn

    2009/04/13 at 5:29 pm

    I think you look tiny too! Eat more cupcakes! You look fabulous.

    I finished reading your book last week – beautiful. I’m trying to get pregnant right now, your book does give me pause! Ha.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Your honesty and humor – honesty with humor – is a gift.

  • Christy

    2009/04/13 at 5:32 pm

    Hilarious post Heather!! I wish I could have been at your LA book signing. Thanks for the laughs today. BTW – you look absolutely fantastic. I know this may sound a little stalker-ish, but I took a pic of you into my hairstylist this weekend so I could copy your cut. I LOVE it! (I was so bored with my hair and couldn’t explain your cut as well – so I brought your pic with me). Turns out she is one of your readers too and she knew of and loved your posts. Who knows – you may be the next Jennifer Aniston of the hairstyling world. heheheheh!! Thanks for the cool hair!

  • Milla

    2009/04/13 at 5:34 pm

    i need to try this sugar diet. also, love the B&W. it almost gives you markings like coco’s. 😉

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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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