the smell of my desperation has become a stench

32 weeks

This week marks the 32nd of my pregnancy:

32 weeks

First of all, how much does that photo look like a recreation of the new Pepsi logo? Seriously, go look at the new Pepsi logo and tell me it doesn’t look like the belly of a pregnant woman who refuses to buy maternity clothes. Or maybe the profile of a someone who had a serious run-in with a beef burrito.

Yesterday I wore a set of ridiculously tight work-out clothes when I picked up Leta from school, and as I walked in the door one of the kids in her class who was pretending to nap on a tiny cot sat up straight, pointed in horror at my belly and screamed, “YOU’RE HUGE!” I guess I hadn’t seen this particular kid in several weeks because of my book tour, so I can understand how the growth of my torso might have jarred her a bit. And because this kid has at times been aggressive with Leta I sort of fell prey to my more sinister instincts. Meaning I instantly contorted my hands and arms to look like bear claws, snarled my upper lip and then ROARED. WHILE LUNGING AT HER. I don’t know what came over me, it just seemed like the right thing to do. I’ll admit, that wasn’t one of my finer moments. But there is only so much fun you can have with all this extra body just hanging around, and scaring the living shit out of kids just happens to be at the top of that list.

Life in this third trimester is so much more uncomfortable than it was last time around, if that is even possible. I think it has everything to do with the fact that I’m five years older and certain body parts just don’t bend or maneuver with the ease that they used to. Every morning before we go upstairs for breakfast I take a look around and figure out what I’m going to need for the day. Because SO HELP ME GOD, I am only going to climb those stairs once. This means that Jon spends a good portion of his day retrieving things for me from the basement. He’s very good about not complaining about this act of service, although once after bringing me a pair of pants he dared to ask why I just didn’t put them on first thing in the morning. And I was all, dude, may you never have to experience a state of being that makes PUTTING ON PANTS such a loathsome set of contortions that you would seriously consider going grocery shopping in your panties.

Quick note: our house is built into the side of a hill so that from the front it looks like a one-story house, from the back a two-story house, and all our bedrooms are on the lower floor where one side sits against the hill and the other side opens up to the backyard. Saying “we go upstairs to the kitchen” was confusing a lot of people and causing them to cry. A lot of the houses in Utah are laid out this way because of the number of neighborhoods built into the hillside. And since I’m answering this frequently asked question, maybe I’ll just go ahead and clear up some other burning inquiries: 1) no, Mormons are not required to wear their heavenly underwear during sex, 2) we continue to live in Utah despite that fact that we are no longer Mormon because my mother has threatened to cut me out of her will if I move her grandchildren out of state, and you would stay put, too, if you thought you might lose that enormous collection of ceramic roosters, and 3) no, absolutely not, I do not recommend you go out and adopt a miniature Australian Shepherd. In order to get the breed that small they’ve had to remove the brain.

  • Kristan

    2009/04/24 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah, Pepsi Logo = me right now with my Chipotle baby… 🙁

  • Erin

    2009/04/24 at 2:26 pm

    Um, that new Pepsi logo looks exactly like a penis!? Doesn’t it?

  • Shannon

    2009/04/24 at 2:26 pm

    I love how the look on your face seems to say “Hurry up and take the f-ing picture so I can go lie down.”

  • Vicky

    2009/04/24 at 2:28 pm

    Why is that when a women gets to be 32 weeks and counting (or sometimes even sooner) our backs some how “meld” into our butts? Seriously, why does pregnancy give you pancake ass till after delivery?

  • Marianne Wille

    2009/04/24 at 2:29 pm

    Wow! You look great… have that pregnancy glow.

  • grace

    2009/04/24 at 2:31 pm

    Aw, Coco gets such a bad rap. How can you really expect something to be that beautiful and smart at the same time? We make allowances for our movie star crushes, pop stars and apparently our Miss USA contestants, why not our adorable fuzzy creatures? And I fully rationalize that my lack of supermodel looks is compensated for by the fact that I’m reasonably intelligent. Dumb it up, Coco. Being pretty is hard work.

  • Jeanne

    2009/04/24 at 2:33 pm

    ceramic roosters? really? I am jealous!

  • MiddleAgedWomanBlogging

    2009/04/24 at 2:33 pm

    Glad it’s you and not me! Sorry to tell ya girls, but your back starts melding into your butt when you hit middle age too… though, I must admit, the age varies!

    Good luck with your pregnancy. I’m looking forward to more pics!

  • Nikki

    2009/04/24 at 2:34 pm

    You look so great, I’m green with envy. I’m 30 weeks and a monstrosity. If I put my finger over your belly, you are a beanpole! … HOW IS IT THAT YOU HAVE NOT GAINED WEIGHT ALL OVER. I guess I should cool it with the beef burritos, of which I’ve had approximately infinity.

  • Jen

    2009/04/24 at 2:35 pm

    I, too, stand to inherit a number of ceramic roosters someday. If you ever REALLY need to leave Utah, I would be happy to let you have them all. Nothing says “You’re my hero” like 50 pounds of porcelain cocks.

  • Kingsmom

    2009/04/24 at 2:36 pm

    It never occured to me that the women also wore pants. Duh! Do you wear the pants over the underpants but under your pants pants? So you wear 3 sets of “pants”.

    Just thinking about the potential wedgie is making me squirm.

  • Anonymous

    2009/04/24 at 2:37 pm

    I’m also 32 weeks pregnant. Yesterday, when I was walking my dog, a homeless-looking man did a double take and said, “You got a TOE sticking out, there!”

    He was referring to my belly button.

    The end.

  • Write From Karen

    2009/04/24 at 2:38 pm

    HAHA! Pepsi indeed! Good one.

    And 32 weeks?! Damn girl! You look fab-U-lous!

  • stefanie

    2009/04/24 at 2:39 pm

    thanks for answering the holy underwear/sex question. i have been trying to figure that out for months. i don’t know why i care so much about the sex lives of mormons.
    and when people ask you about coco, you should let them know that jack russell terriers are also huge pains in the ass.

  • Undomestic Diva

    2009/04/24 at 2:39 pm

    Personally, I am SHOCKED that you spoke of heavenly underwear AND ceramic cocks in one paragraph. Expect a letter of excommunication from the base camp any day now. You lucky bitch.

  • kcbelles

    2009/04/24 at 2:39 pm

    Wow – within the first 20; never happens :o) So wanted to take this opportunity to say congrats to you and your family, Heather. I’ve loved your blog for years; so bummed I missed you when you were in Seattle. I think it’s a wonderful thing that you’ve been able to make your passion for writing work for you, both with your books and this blog. Can’t wait for the arrival of Not-Maria – gonna be some fun stories from big sister, Leta.

  • Labradoris

    2009/04/24 at 2:40 pm

    I cringe every time I walk my dogs down the street past my neighbors’ house, not because of their young Australian Shepherd, but what they do when it begins to bark. Usually the husband will stick his head out the back door (which is visible from the street) to scream, “SHUT UP AND BE QUIET YOU IDIOT!” and I always feel sorry for the dog. 🙁
    But, I think the dog enacts its revenge upon the owner during walks. The dog will walk past my house first, and then about 25 feet behind is the owner with an extended leash, being pulled with his arm comically out at a weird angle as he struggles to hold on.
    So I’m hoping these are only two unique cases of Aussies…right?

  • Laurel

    2009/04/24 at 2:41 pm

    Coco may eat poo, but I think my pinhead Australian Shepherd has her beat. (This is so gross I wouldn’t include it on my own blog, so you should turn away if you’re squeamish.) After my three-year-old daughter had a particularly successful session on the potty, I was chasing her around with a wipe and a pull-up when I heard an odd noise from the bathroom — kind of a lapping sound along with something plastic moving across the floor. Yup, my little canine angel had finally hit the jackpot and found a bowl full of MY CHILD’S POO. I screamed so loud my better half came running up the stairs in a full-fledged panic, certain someone had broken into the house, and my daughter actually stopped moving for a nanosecond. I still won’t let the dog’s mouth anywhere near mine, and I don’t think I’ll ever look at her quite the same again. Top that, Coco.

  • La Licenciada

    2009/04/24 at 2:42 pm

    You are hysterical. HYSTERICAL! I have no words. Thanks for making my day!!!!!!!!!Thanks for that!

  • JeniMo

    2009/04/24 at 2:43 pm

    I think you look lovely! You’re such a funny gal, I read your blog and say to myself “she could totally be one of mah girls!”

  • dani

    2009/04/24 at 2:44 pm

    Aha! Thanks for explaining your house. I have been coming up with all sorts of floor plans that put your bedroom in the basement but show a surprising amount of light in all the pictures.

  • Kate

    2009/04/24 at 2:44 pm

    While you may not be able to get past the dancing fetus you’re currently housing, you are looking gorgeous!

    Also, I LOVE THAT YOU ROARED AT AN OBNOXIOUS CHILD!! Makes me want to get pregnant just so I can do that, too.

  • Daddy Scratches

    2009/04/24 at 2:44 pm

    Heather, *PLEASE* tell me you’re planning to wear that blue American Apparel body suit with the leg warmers for your next pregnancy-update photo …

  • Margaret B

    2009/04/24 at 2:45 pm

    You’re looking cute! I have a 33 week photo on my blog. Has she “dropped” yet? Mine did over the last weekend… crazy! Only 7 weeks to go!

  • Caren

    2009/04/24 at 2:46 pm

    You look amazing!! I am very jealous, because I will never look that good pregnant or not. Congrats!

    PS. What about the names, Abigail, Sophia, Claudia (pronounced Cloud-ia not Claude-ia) or Elizabeth, for Not-Maria?

  • Livia

    2009/04/24 at 2:47 pm

    Nope, Coco and your neighbor’s Aussie are not unique cases. I have a Mini Aussie and she is about as neurotic and insane as a dog can be. If she were human, she’d be a supermodel, which is the problem with Aussies. They’re so damn pretty.

  • Julie Wood

    2009/04/24 at 2:47 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking it was weird for you to have to go upstairs to eat.

  • Ingrid

    2009/04/24 at 2:47 pm

    Love today’s post—although you are awfully brave posting certain material—I expect you’ll be getting a lot of hate mail/comments about this–and I’m not talking about the mormom thing. I’m talking about you saying you don’t recommend miniature australian shepherds. Personally, I don’t care either way, but I’m expecting a lot of commentary from the “you’re doing it wrong and I know how to do everything right” peanut gallery.

  • Julene

    2009/04/24 at 2:47 pm

    I cannot stop laughing at your answer to the “funny Mormon underwear” question. My godparents are Mormon and live in Utah–the first time I related my knowledge of temple garments to a friend they were sure I was making it up.

  • NeoCleo

    2009/04/24 at 2:47 pm


    You look wonderful despite how you say you feel. In fact, you look better than I and I’m not pregnant!

    Looking forward almost as much as you I think to meeting your second child. I’ve been a reader since I heard you interviewed over 7 long years ago on NPR and was driven to look you up on the internet.


  • Lisa

    2009/04/24 at 2:48 pm

    Hahahaha on the ceramic roosters! My brother and I stand to inherit thousands of Volkswagen toys, all in their original packaging. I’m jealous of your roosters…

    But I may be even more jealous of your ability to scare the crap out of obnoxious children. You work your pregnant belly!

    Thanks for giving me something to giggle about today!

  • Erin

    2009/04/24 at 2:48 pm

    you are actually far more AT&T than pepsi, but whatever, you look fab!

  • Yellow Trash Diaries

    2009/04/24 at 2:49 pm

    I think the new maternity clothes are so cute-I still occasionally buy something out of the maternity section at Target. My daughter is now 2.(I have a big ‘ol gut. My husband told me that sometimes at night when he can’t sleep and is bored he plays with my belly. I have not had a decent night’s rest since that confession.)

  • Amy

    2009/04/24 at 2:49 pm

    I am 32 weeks pregnant too, and I completely feel your pain. My feet look like stuffed sausages–seriously, couldn’t this have happened during my first pregnancy, when I didn’t already have a 2-year old to chase?! You look fabulous. Congrats!

  • Crystal D

    2009/04/24 at 2:49 pm

    Could be worse… you could look like the Pepsi logo and have a 7 month old.

    I am going to be wearing last summer’s maternity shirts this summer cause I am totally not going to buy regular clothes this large.

    Anyway, you look pretty great, just ignore that little punk.

  • Jacqueline

    2009/04/24 at 2:49 pm

    Super Cute!

  • Danielle

    2009/04/24 at 2:49 pm

    Nah, you don’t look like a Pepsi bottle. But you do look put out by having your picture taken. 🙂
    Ceramic roosters? Wow! You’re lucky! I will be inheriting lots of candleholders and my younger sister.

  • Foever Young

    2009/04/24 at 2:50 pm

    You looking great…
    I now have 7 grand kids (3 month to 14 year) from my 3 kids (35 to 44)….
    I feel younger now than I did when i was 30…
    Something to looking forward too.. Life is what one decide it to be…

    I tune up my muscles just by running energy in that direction, and so it is..
    And I have another secret too…

    All the best,

  • A. Berkoski

    2009/04/24 at 2:50 pm

    What I want to know is where you find a plain white wall that big in your house.

  • beyond

    2009/04/24 at 2:50 pm

    i’ve seen a few houses with kitchens upstairs, it’s not all that strange, especially if you use your imagination. do you think that kid in leta’s class is scarred for life? and most importantly: you look beautiful. non-pregnancy clothes really become you.

  • Monkey

    2009/04/24 at 2:52 pm

    Can’t resist the obvious joke…
    That’s a lot of cocks.

  • Becky

    2009/04/24 at 2:52 pm

    Can NOT stop laughing at your last sentence.

  • Amy

    2009/04/24 at 2:52 pm

    Ahhh…thanks for the clarification regarding your “basement”. I was just in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago and wish I had paid more attention to the houses. I do seem to remember seeing more “one-story” abodes in the more elevation part of the city. Shoulda snuck around back!

    I can totally imagine myself roaring at the little kiddo just like you did, by the way. But you, huge? I’m sure I’d be larger at 4 mos! You look fantastic.

  • CraezieLady

    2009/04/24 at 2:54 pm

    Good to know. I was kinda wondering about the kitchen upstairs thing, but I assure you, I was not on the verge of tears over it 🙂 Also, all this time that I’ve been reading your website, I thought you kidding about the heavenly underwear! It never occurred to me that it really existed – I thought you just made it up! I like how the faq’s on says that some people call it magic underwear. I think I’ll go buy some panties with a trippy pattern and call it my magic underwear!

  • Amy

    2009/04/24 at 2:54 pm

    Hey, i live in Utah to, pretty much for the same reason you do. My sons grandmother would KILL ME if we lived anywhere else.
    So i suck it up in mormonville. Nice to know I am not alone.

    And you look AMAZING!

  • Mike

    2009/04/24 at 2:55 pm

    Well, I have to go upstairs from the bedroom to the living room, dining room and kitchen in my house, too. It’s a split-level and multi-level townhouse built on a hill.

  • Kaylyn

    2009/04/24 at 2:55 pm

    You look absolutely stunning.

  • Mel

    2009/04/24 at 2:55 pm

    Pepsi logo or not, you look great! At this stage in my LAST pregnancy, I taught my 11 1/2 year old to start the car for the same reason you want grocery shop in your panties. Too much damn work getting in & out of the car contorting! Good luck your last 8 weeks!

  • Parsing Nonsense

    2009/04/24 at 2:56 pm

    You look beautiful, though it can’t be terribly comfortable having that much baby in your innards. I have to admit, the idea of growling at a child has never crossed my mind. However, if said child had been rude my kid before, I would probably growl too.

    Regarding the mini Australian Shepherds…You can’t remove what was never there.


    2009/04/24 at 2:56 pm

    Mormons scare me a little. Especially when mentioning that weird underwear thing.
    Nightmares, here I come. Thanks a lot Dooce.

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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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