An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

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.

  • ROFL!! I never had the problem with the belly button. With my 3 boys, I didn’t come any where near “popping.” But with my daughter, my last (I mean, really the last – I had it finalized) baby born in January, I came closer to popping than ever.

    I’m so glad that I never ever, ever, ever have to do it again!

  • Roxi

    I’m also pregnant, 20 weeks, and I have the crying thing down. When you described your chip breaking… I felt for you. I had a serious cry fest when my dear husband finished the cereal. He thought I was dying, it was that bad. I guess I can only hope it doesn’t get worse in the third trimester.

    You’re hilariously amazing, by the way!

  • I cried at the end of Bruce Almighty, that’s how bad it got. Toward the end of my pregnancy, all my husband had to do was look at me for an extended period of time and I’d start crying. Man, I loved being pregnant…

  • Vicki

    I had to read Dooce this afternoon before I could start my own writing. I was in such a bad mood–it was my husband’s fault, of course, it’s always the husband, and now I feel much better. Thank you. About the crying, I remember with my pregnancies feeling like a total head case with the crying, which of course became SO much worse AFTER the babies were born. Though this problem improved, I still find myself wanting to burst into tears over any trite, overly sentimental moment on tv, like commercials or whatever. It’s maddening. So here’s the trick I’ve learned: unless you’re too far gone, when you find the tears welling and the stomach starting to extend and contract, take your tongue and press it hard into the roof of your mouth. Biting the tongue works too, but it looks really stupid. Seriously, try it. But you’d better try it more than once because those hormones have a crazy life of their own. Good luck and you look great, even with the addition of Fred in your life.

  • Nhiro

    Dude, I hate it when my tortilla chip shatters too. Hang in there!

  • Karen

    Oh Heather, I completely empathize with you… I’m due June 15, and it’s difficult to walk at this point!! I can’t stand for more than an hour w/o my ankles swelling to the size of softballs!! I too feel like an arm is going to poke out of my privates (which, btw, are swollen beyond belief)… good luck with the next 6 weeks… I’m there with you!!!

  • You had me laughing so hard with this post & crossing my legs because even though it’s been over a year since my youngest was born, I vividly remember the “scraping…my cervix” feeling & wondering if a body part is going to suddenly pop out between my legs.

  • I’m 9 months pregnant right now, and I totally feel you on the belly button thing. Mine could poke someone’s eye out if I’m not careful. Sometimes I put a band-aide over it when I go to work so it isn’t quite so obvious. But sometimes, I’m just too damn lazy and pregnant and I think to myself, “Let ’em stare!”

    Hang in there. Not too much longer – for either of us!

  • namedphoenix

    I can’t even begin to imagine what my belly button is going to look like if I get preggers. I already have an outtie, which only recently is not be visible under a tight shirt.

    I had a pregnant dream last night and if that’s anything similar to what it really feels like – I felt literally like a balloon and couldn’t move without squeaking…I don’t know if I want to go through with it. But of course my ovaries are screaming otherwise.

    I hope that I can look half as fabulous as you do when the time comes for me.

  • I worry that you might need another book to get over this baby… or something way worse. I send you all my strength and good vibes to hang in there.

    All the best.

  • Not having gone through pregnancy — we just went to China and picked up our daughter and brought her home, missing the entire first year, which we are not really sorry about — I cannot relate to the hormones at that stage.

    But just wait til menopause. I never cried at movies, over books, or anything before. But now? I bought my 12 year old daughter her first bra and cried. My husband made fried rice and I cried. Someone sent me a video of a cat and I cried at my desk at work.

    It’s never ending.

  • Has anyone told you lately that you look fabulous? Somebody should! You haven’t gotten all fat and sloppy like I did, and you just look like being pregnant is so easy. I know it’s not easy at all, but if appearances dictated experience, yours says EASY all over the place. Maybe you should leave the spit and toothpaste on your shirt and stay in jammies all day, or just something to make it look more difficult so you’d get some extra TLC!

  • Cissa

    Being 33 weeks pregnant myself, I have issues with my belly button as well. Although it has not popped out fully it has “effaced” to become flush with my belly, and i find myself unable to stop touching it. Its so soft. Probably because its a part of my skin I have never been able to touch before, and it is officially the softest part of my body.

  • Oh I cannot wait to get pregnant again! I hope you won’t take too much time off blogging once the baby gets here (selfish.. I know)… I miss you already!

  • Anu

    I am always struck by how eloquently you manage to describe the most mundane situation with your words. You look fabulous, I hope I will look atleast half as great when I am pregnant.

  • Don’t you just love hormones? Aren’t hormones just the greatest? Don’t you think hormones are just our BFFs, so on our side? Don’t you love how they surge during pregnancy and maybe give you great, fluffy hair, but totally steal your memory so that after days of searching you discover your cell phone in the refrigerator and your wallet in your slipper/boot? And you cry over broken tortilla chips and always during Gardasil commercials? And THEN, after the birth, you still cry, but without the fabulous hair! Because your hormones have robbed you of it! And now it’s falling out! What IS that?

  • Keelie

    Hang in there! You look amazing and are totally entitled to flipping out about your tortilla chips. I almost killed my husband one night because he had the nerve to eat the last of my chocolate moosetracks ice cream. Guess who made a run to the convenience store at 10:30pm under penalty of death?
    Don’t fret about the belly button – you’ve got a good sense of humor about it and hey, why not take it one step further. Wear midriff shirts and paint your belly in various forms of design or caricatures 🙂 Maximum potential to freak out random strangers!

  • Jen

    You look great! I had a baby a month ago and I’m sure strangers want to ask when I’m due. And I cried about dust in my 30-ish weeks. I feel your pain. Blah!

  • Lizandboys

    First and foremost – you are beautiful – you look great!

    Congrats on having another girl – I have 2 boys (almost 4 years apart) and I love having two children of the same gender.

    And, about the belly button – do you really want to know??? Probably not, but I’ll tell you anyway….
    After my second pregnancy my belly button never went back!!!!!!(sorry, but I do think this calls for multiple exclamation points) I gained 50 lbs both pregnancies and I guess it was too much. I had to have surgery to correct this umbilical hernia! Yes, my sons will hear about what they did to my body for the rest of their lives.

  • Jen

    I think you look GREAT for being 34 weeks pregnant. Other than your baby poking out like you’ve swallowed a basketball (can someone please come up with a new metaphor so I can stop using the ‘basketball’ one?), you don’t even look pregnant. I remember being only 28 weeks pregnant and looking like a giant, waddling, pregnant person…it was painfully obvious that I hadn’t just swallowed a basketball (there it is again…damn). Then a friend of mine, who was also 28 weeks pregnant (but I didn’t know it at the time) comes in with a tiny little belly, wearing her normal pants with just a rubber band tied around the button to keep them done up. Puh-leeese!! It was that kind of look where they certainly don’t look pregnant, but they don’t look like they normally do…so you don’t want to ask. To me, she looked the way I did after eating a big burrito for lunch. Turns out…nope!!…she was pregnant and due at the same time I was. Nice.

    Anyway…you, your 34 week old baby, and your belly button guest all look great.

  • Oh god, I ALREADY cry at everything. I don’t even want to know what being pregnant might do to me…

  • jen

    i cried during my second pregnancy because my husband didn’t know why the price of gas had suddenly gone up. and i started bawling when he told me that he thought it was because … blah blah blah.
    i was so upset that he DID know the answer to my question and he just wasn’t telling me the first time.
    it still kinda pisses me off … but not in a crying sort of way.

  • That image WAS actually the perfect compliment to my bean burrito, thanks!

  • Rachel

    You look fabulous!

    I’m sorry that the mood swings are so intense, I guess it gives me something to look forward to in 7 months! lol.

    As always, thank you!

  • Not only are you beautiful, but Fred is adorable. My belly button never popped, it only gaped. Wider and wider. Like a giant crater. *ugh*

    Try to breathe, though, you’re going to need the oxygen to yet at Jon.

  • Jeff

    If it makes you feel any better, you look totally hot as a pregnant mom.

  • Rhonda

    My husband used to tell me that when the b.button pops out, it’s means the baby is done cooking, just like that red plastic stick thing in the butterball turkey…puts a new spin on the ‘bun in the oven’ thing…
    Of course, you will need a few more weeks of roasting before your butterball arrives…..
    BTW – you look great!

  • Did your belly button get all crazy pokey-out-y with Leta? I prayed mine would pop out, but it’s such a deep dark cavern I swear it goes to my back. I think that we need a better visual though – can you give us a forward face next week? Or a 3/4 or uhhh 7/8 or something?

    P.S….your perfect milky non-stretch mark skin is to. die. for.

  • Sandra

    Bears a stiking resemblance to Kelly Ripa.

  • Emily

    I can’t believe this picture did not include the infamous boot!! Where is the boot?? We demand to see the boot!! 🙂

  • You look beautiful and your eyes are stunning!

    I’ve been reading your website for the last few months and just finished your book. Thanks for being so honest and so freaking hilarious. I was sitting in the doctor’s office the other day, reading your book and clutching my sides, trying to maintain my dignity (what’s left of it, anyway). Many can relate to what you went through – and even if they can’t, your refreshing honesty helps the rest of us to be a little more honest with ourselves and with each other. You’re an inspiration!

  • Phoebe

    holy shit i love pregnant people.
    minus the people, and plus the dooce.

  • Dude – cry.
    For whatever reason pregnant bodies need to get rid of tears.
    Kind of like my almost-thirteen-year-old daughter, she freakin’ cries all the time.
    And as a mother of three daughters, I promise you, the urge to cry just continues. Sometimes because they are almost thirteen and still hug you, sometimes because they won’t stop fighting and sometimes because you’re just a MOM. And we moms cry for no rational reason.

  • Yes, I am eating lunch as I read this. How did you know? Having been through 2 pregnancies before, I guess I’m immune to any gross-factors involved in pregnancies, though.

  • Kat

    OMG, you look so gorgeous. I swear, you are the most beautiful pregnant woman e.v.e.r. Enjoy it – I know it’s hard. But in 6 weeks, the real fun begins…

  • Tara’s Mom

    I had a Fred too! Never named mine though. I was always worried that if I turned around too quickly, I would poke some small child in the eye!

    You are quite beautiful pregnant! How’s the toe?

  • Natasha

    You look wonderful!!!! Hope you have a safe delivery. 🙂

  • You look really beautiful! Many many moons ago, when I was pregnant, the belly button thing bothered me, so I put a band aid on it to make it flat. Crazy? Yeah, like a fox!

  • Rachel

    An addendum:

    Yesterday, I about started crying because it was so green and beautiful out! FINALLY! But the lush, green, blooming life had it in for me!

    (I’ve got my first appointment on May 22nd.)

  • Don’t forget, you’re crying for two.

  • Phoebe

    waaaaait a second….
    wasn’t fred the name of the that tree you took a picture of?
    the one that looked like it was on fire?


    and no, i wasn’t one of the ones to suggest “elise” for not-maria.

    i’m an elephant in more ways than one.

  • Don’t feel bad. Sometimes I’m that emotional and I’m not even pregnant. 😛

  • Crystal T

    I’m not pregnant, but even I will be close to tears at the dumbest things. Like when I was trying to pull a garbage bag off the roll in the box? And the bag kept slipping out of my hand so that I had to reach for it FOUR times? I really wanted to just sit down on the kitchen floor and lose my shit.

  • You’ve got to be one of the funniest, most honest writers ever. It’s so strange how all the frustration and anger and sadness that you feel can stay bottled up inside until your tortilla chip breaks in your soup. Thanks for putting it all out there — including Fred the extroverted belly button!

  • You look so gorgeous!! The belly button is cute, don’t you worry one little bit. And cry all you want, I threw a huge crying fit over what type of floors we were getting. Dark hardwood or DarkER hardwood. Crying, for hours, in front of bf’s friends. They will always remember…

  • Amanda

    I was so totally eating lunch while reading this! Unfortunately it was spaghetti.

  • Yecats

    THAT was some funny shit…
    Wishing you all the best in these final weeks. I recall those times. P.A.R.T.YYYYYYYYYY…. I was nesting HARD by this point, just like you. Those “fix your house with 5 cents” type shows…they were like CRACK to me. Heartburn was my middle name. My vag felt like it was dragging the floor. I had perfected an insane hybrid of the “chicken dance” and the “macharana”..or at least that what i thought my attempts to wash myself in the shower might look like. Etc., etc., so on and so forth… Damn…can’t wait to do it again. 🙂 Rock on girl…

  • Tanya

    Ahhh Dooce, you are lovely.

  • Lisa

    I must be pregnant…I cry all the time. Nope, can’t be. I’m 54, tubes are tied, got a kid in college, a freshman in High School and all I’ve had sex with in the last two years is my vibrator.

    Lucky you, Heather! By the way, you look absolutely gorgeous in that color!

    Does Leta really say “Dude?” I can kind of imagine it with her one hand on one hip the other hip sticking out. Oh and with a flick of the hair!

  • MicahRose

    The other night I wanted to cry because I couldn’t figure out if I wanted caramel ice cream or mint chocolate chip. And I’m not even pregnant, just exhausted. happens to the best of us. I finally settled on a mash up of both flavors, felt slightly better, and passed out into an ice cream induced sleep. Marvelous.

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.

read more