This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

34 weeks

This week marked the HOLY SHIT WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A BABY point in my pregnancy:

34 weeks

If everyone could give a warm welcome to my good friend Fred, The Protruding Belly Button, he’s crashing on our couch for the next six weeks. I didn’t hear him knock or drop his suitcase in the living room or notice that he’s been eating all our Lucky Charms. In fact, I had no idea he was here until Jon grabbed my shoulders one morning, looked me directly in the eyes and said, sweetie, I hate to even bring this up, but I think your belly’s got an erection.

I’m resigned to his existence, and sometimes when I’m bored I like to wear really tight shirts in public and watch people try their hardest not to look at him. He’s an evil third eye, a really gross physical abomination that demands attention, and when I notice that someone is actively trying to look elsewhere I’ll start scratching my belly right next to him to give them an excuse to indulge in the fascination. GO AHEAD. LOOK AT IT. LOOOOOOK AT IT. LOOOOOOOOOOOK. You want me to lift up my shirt and start waving him back and forth? Because I totally will. No, really. Watch, if I bend over like this it looks like he’s trying to say something. Hey, don’t run away! Come back! My belly button just wants to talk to you!

Life at this point in pregnancy feels very crowded, meaning I frequently feel like I’m wedged between two people on the subway and am afraid to breathe because I might smell onions on their breath. I’m not sure the baby has dropped yet, and just when I think she’s got her feet wedged up behind my ribcage she’ll go scraping a body part against my cervix and I expect a foot to suddenly poke out from between my legs. I certainly hope you’re eating lunch while reading this because there’s nothing like the image of a tiny foot covered in blood and uterine juices to spice up a ham sandwich.

I’m also way more emotional than I have been in previous weeks, on the verge of tears all day long, and even now as I write this I’m trying not to cry. About what? Do you even have to ask that question? Yesterday it was because my tortilla chip broke into several pieces as I was dipping it into salsa. And then this morning I accidentally dripped toothpaste onto my shirt, and every attempt to wipe it off made the mess exponentially worse, and suddenly I’m standing there crying, the toothbrush hanging out of my mouth, drool and foaming toothpaste dribbling down my chin into a puddle on the floor. Because it was the worst thing that ever happened, and how was I supposed to carry on?

Sometimes Leta will turn to Jon and go, dude, she’s crying again. And I’m all THIS IS NOT CRYING. THIS IS MOURNING THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE. DAMMIT, THIS IS NOT FUNNY. STOP LAUGHING, JON.

  • Thank you for reminding me how much I don’t miss the pregnancy & newborn-baby years. It makes that whole vasectomy thing seem that much more worthwhile.

    Hang in there!

  • Kate

    You look fantastic. I’m on vacation, trying to get my hubby to capture 1, just 1 decent pregnancy photo of me for posterity. I pulled your old one up (from San Diego, I think it was?) as a visual aid for him. We’ll see…
    Anyway, I’m now looking at your current pic thinking I look as big as you do now — except I’m only 26 weeks.
    Oh well. I should not act surprised, for all of the junk I’ve been eating.
    But back to you — you look great. Best of luck with the birth.

  • At that point in all three of my pregnancies, my best friends were my trusty bottle of Maalox and her sidekick, the comfy recliner chair.

  • Here’s to never having your tortilla chips break on you mid-dip. No one should ever have that happen anyway. 😉

  • You had me busting out laughing which is hard to do. I only have dogs no kids and now I see what I am in for. Ahhhh!

  • I am laughing so hard I’m in tears, Heather! Thank you for making my day…and for making me really grateful that I’m adopting.

  • OMG your tortilla chip broke? Into several pieces? I feel your pain.

    Also, you look beautiful.

  • geegee

    Oh…the foot. Yeah, the son tried to kick me in the cervix around 36 weeks, missed and hit me in the bladder. At which point, I peed myself in the middle of a meeting. Fortunately, one’s bladder doesn’t hold much at 36 weeks.

    You are gorgeous.

  • ah, the end of pregnancy….believe it or not, I DO miss it!

    It’s amazing how one can forget what it feels like to have a foot jammed into your rib cage, a head planted firmly against your bladder, and organs squished into a space that feels as big as a tennis ball.

    I once cried because I dropped my Country Living into my foot bath. Now, THAT was the end of the world 🙂

  • Such a good description of late pregnancy!! 🙂

  • I’m due a few days after you, and this is EXACTLY how I’m feeling too. It’s so much fun to be crazier than usual.

    And you do look fantastic!

  • My son is 10 1/2 months old. My bellybutton still has not gone back in. It popped inside out when I was FOUR MONTHS pregnant and is still extremely visible through anything tight.

    Yes, they’re hideous.

  • hi fred. nice to meet you.

  • Kelly

    I had to laugh about the crying jags. Sometimes I think this is to ready us for unreasonable toddlers. I swear when my kids were little, the very same things set them off. Maybe I should have realized that they were simply “MOURNING THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE”. Who knew 2 year olds were so deep?

  • Haha… your belly has an erection.! haha.. My wife is 37 weeks and the whole time has freaked out about her damn belly button. She puts a bandaid over it. What’s the big deal?

  • I’m at 35 weeks, and completely relate to the squished in between two people on a bus feeling. *sigh*

  • Jess

    I’ve never commented before, but I’m due the same day you are and I’ve enjoyed having someone else to take the pregnancy journey with, especially since I’m a first timer. My belly button is beginning the strange transformation to outie, and I too am SO emotional! I walked through the door a couple of days ago after a great day at work and a lovely drive home and started bawling for NO reason! Glad I’m not the only one!

  • Annie

    I’m still sporadically weeping at odd things 3 weeks post-partum. I’m glad I’m not the only one. I didn’t realize how miserable late term pregnancy until after the delivery – one day out, and I felt so light and fluffy – in spite of what the weight scale said.

    sorry about Fred; my belly-button never tried extending itself outward, but it was a lot easier to pick lint out. not that I had lint or anything.

  • All I can say is that at least you can brush your teeth! Our baby is 3 weeks old and there are nights that I realize I haven’t brushed my teeth all day long!

    You look fabulous by the way. And, as you are well aware, the crying only gets worse after they are born. But, they are worth every tear drop and plaque build-up!

  • Maggie

    You look great. My friend was only one week ahead of you and had her baby this morning!! Mom and baby are healthy. I hope you are ready! By the way, I have 2 girls also and wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • You are beautiful! And SO funny! I love that you make me laugh until I cry, while at work, in cube hell. Thank you!

  • Rose

    A broken tortilla chip? That’s worse than when I cried over Jan Brady’s unfortunate middle place in the family episode. Thank God it was 30 years ago and I’ll soon forget to remember it !! Good luck

  • Amber

    LOL I’m totally eating lunch.

  • Kristine

    I’m definitely eating lunch right now.
    I hope you have many strong tortilla chips today.

  • amber

    you look fantastic! i just got you book from Amazon and i can’t wait to read it 🙂

  • Yeah. I can completely relate to this post right now. The cervix kicking, the feeling like your bladder might explode at any minute, and feeling super crowded. I’m 31 weeks, and when I got up the other morning and saw the baby bed all put together I about hyperventilated!!!

  • Kristine

    P.S. You look gorgeous.

  • Lucy

    You’re tiny. Not like OHMIGOD WOMAN YOUR BABY’S NOT GROWING SEEK MEDICAL HELP tiny, but like you’re going to pop that baby out and go right back into your regular clothes within a week tiny.

    Basically what I’m saying is I hate you.

  • Dee

    I remember the feet in the ribs! With my second son he kicked me there so much that after I gave birth my ribs were sore/bruised for days. 🙂 Aw the good ole’ days.

  • My third and final pregnancy (child #3 is now 3 1/2 – and I’m 42, almost 43 (too damn old to have a toddler)) I had a shameless belly button erection too. My mother would visit and when I wore tight t-shirts, she’d say, “You look cute… but, your navel’s sticking out.” She was repulsed. You would have thought I was prancing around in a thong.

    You look great! Hang in there!

  • FreakishlyTallMom

    Heather….you ruined my ham sandwich but made my day…..as always…thank you.
    Also, you look fabulous!

  • kjw

    How did the foamy saliva find a vertical path from mouth to floor?
    Never having been there myself, I’m really unsettled by pregnant women’s ability to identify which fetal body part is pressing uncomfortably against which maternal body part. It must really make one feel like a vessel.
    You look gorgeous and the hormones haven’t had any effect on your sense of humor. 🙂

  • Richelle

    I’m jealous! My belly button never stuck out, and I wanted it to! I think it’s cute. Instead, it stretched and looked like a giant eye. I’m 11 weeks pregnant with our second child, and I’m already dreading that eye making an appearance in a few months.

  • And this is why I only had one child. I’m an overly emotional person as it is. Pregnancy just made me even more like Sybil.

  • you look absolutely beautiful as usual.
    aren’t you glad you don’t actually have to take the subway these days? and aren’t you glad you didn’t get one of those tortilla chip bags where every single chip is already broken? (just helping you look on the bright side…)

  • mourning the fragility of life is never a bad thing. you look great!

    good luck with the tortilla chips.

  • Sarah

    Everytime I see a post with your picture I want to hug you. From a mom of two m/c (and one gorgeous 8 yr old sweetest boy) .. I know how much of a blessing this second child is for you and I just want to squeeze you for all the happiness you must be experiencing .. amongst the tears. Congrats – hang in there, and I can’t wait to see much this baby looks like (or not) Leta. She was such an adorable baby .. it’s going to be FUN!!

  • I wasn’t eating a ham sandwich, but that last descriptive sentence in that paragraph sure was a … descriptive one. haha! Can’t wait to see your new little one!

  • kimca

    I get that same weepy way when a tortilla chip snaps in my face. And I’ve never been pregnant. I think you look fantastic. I like that form fitting style some mothers to be fashion themselves in but will have to be honest and say not everyone can pull it off. No……. Judging by today’s photo you seem to be able to. I also love the feel of the swollen babe to be belly and will take any opportunity to slide my hands over a friend’s protrusion and say, “Wow…” The friend usually likes it too. Must feel good to have a gentle massage. I guess the foot thing is the opposite of putting one’s foot in one’s mouth. I’ve done that too.

  • Kati

    The protuding pregnant belly buton is the only reason I regret the navel piercing I had for 8 years. When I took it out, it left a bumpy little scar – which for now is fine, because it’s on the inside of my belly button. But when it pops out to say hello, it’s seriously going to look like I have a wart on my belly button. Yay.

  • chelle

    heather, you are so awesome!

    thanks for making laugh while i’m bored here at work. can’t wait to see your new baby! how fun! lol 😀

  • Heather

    Wow, it is funny how in sync our pregnancies have been. I turned 34 weeks yesterday, and I was just commenting to my husband that I couldn’t believe how this whole having a baby thing has snuck up on me, and holy shit. Also, the crying, emotional mess has combined in an ugly way with the nesting, compulsive-list making and helpless arm-flapping that I am prone to these days. Lovely, just lovely. Luck to you and luck to me!

    ~Heather

  • Cat

    Your skin looks luminous. Mine looked horrible with both my pregnancies 🙁

    And my “HOLY SHIT WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A BABY point” came when I was 35 weeks….’cause that’s when I delivered! G’luck

  • You have every right to be very emotional – you’re growing an actual brand new human life! And you look fabulous while doing it! That shade of blue is the perfect color to draw attention to your eyes!

  • I am a newbie to your site and am also reading your book. I’ve been laughing out loud ever since.

    There are two things that stick out for me so far – that’s the TEN and TWO position during your first pregnancy… I had the exact same issue… his little head had to be blocking the exit… I had to do the same acrobatics and nearly put my forehead on the floor in order to be able to pee!

    And your recent play date posting, you mention that you make sure your daughter doesn’t come out of her room until the first number on the clock says “7” – we started the EXACT same thing when we bought our 3 1/2 year old a clock for Christmas!

    I feel your pain on the pregnancy – I just finished week 32 on our second baby boy!

    This is all ‘single-white-female’ scary! LOL.

    Anyways, keep up the entertaining posts. You certainly have inspired me!

  • What you are going through right now reminds me of what I went through with my two pregnancies (two girls) and it seems like light years ago. Where did the time go? I blinked and my daughters are now 13 and 16. I also have three step children, 11, 15 and 18. If you think what you are going through is torture, try having four teenagers, three of whom are learning to drive!! Seriously, I wish you well. I hope you have a safe, healthy and speedy delivery.

    Carol

  • Look, Kelly Ripa has a Fred too, only she isn’t pregnant!

    http://www.seher.no/812569/kelly-ripa-viste-frem-tutnavlen

    I REALLY appreciate your reports on being a preggie, it makes it really easy to remember taking my birthcontrol every night – SO not ready for an internal baby-kick in the ribs and a protruding belly button. But I think you’re doing great 🙂

  • Shelly

    It went by so fast.. I remember when you announced you were pregnant.. Can’t wait to hear what you decide to name her and the beautiful pictures to come..

  • Speaking of babies, I hope you don’t mind, but I’ll be sending something along to you from my Etsy shop–armchairdesign. It’s knit in mohair! 🙂

  • Amanda

    I am so jealous of you skinny arms, skinny legs, I just look like I swallowed a basketball pregnant people because I looked like a parade float by the time I was 25 weeks.

    You look gorgeous. Keep that baby cooking & I can’t wait to see pictures of her when she arrives.