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.

  • Jenn from BC Canada

    Dude I was totally eating chili while I was reading that….still didn’t gross me out. I wish my belly button had popped when I was preggers, I was so sad that it didn’t.

    I would like to wish Fred a very warm welcome! May he not poke out any eyes or cause any other bodily harm!

    Heather, you look freaking amazing and I am very jealous cause I still look more pregnant than you and my kid is 7!

  • I LOVED this post.

    wow, I have so much to look forward to. And damnit, Heather, you still look fabulous, so not fair 😉

  • Gah! I have been craving a baby recently. Now I remember vividly why I made my husband get a vasectomy after the third baby. I love you and all, but I am so glad it isn’t me!!

    btw, your book is excellent 🙂 Thanks s much for publishing it. And, it looks very stylish on my table beside the sofa I never cross-stitch, but I love looking at the one on your book!

  • Anna

    I’m waiting for your book to arrive; yes, the pregnancy one! Love, love, love your blog…especially during the 8-5, Devil Wears Prada, workday!

  • Yeah-today marks the HOLY SHIT I AM NEVER GOING TO HAVE THIS BABY portion of my pregnancy. (I am due today with no progress for the last three weeks.) Congrats on your new houseguest, though. I see my belly button as kind of a turkey timer–ding! I’m done! Good luck with the rest of your hormones, I mean pregnancy.

  • Dude, I’d cry over breaking a chip and I’m not even knocked up. Just oddly obsessive.

  • Ninabi

    So funny. So beautiful while pregnant, too.

    It’s bringing back decades old memories of having my own children.

    Be glad for today’s maternity clothing- at least your bellybutton isn’t covered by a ghastly floral slipcover of a dress or an evil pastel shirt that says “Mommy” on it.

  • Ah, you are so funny. I wish you could be pregnant so I could read about it every day. I just had my third boy, so I totally understand your feelings. I want one more, but I’ll be waiting a LOOOOOOONG time. I love your site, have been reading for years. You totally rock.

  • Stephanie

    So funny, so true…from one done-being-pregnant-even-though-I-haven’t-actually-had-this-baby-yet mom to another, thanks Heather!

  • Mitch

    I’m 30 weeks and this is my second- I grew my Fred at about 4 months this time, but the tighter the space gets the more he protrudes. I think he’s cute though… most of the time at least. I too am an emotional sap. However my husband for some reason thinks that since I’ve been through this before that I should be “normal” now because I know what to expect. I must constantly remind him that it doesn’t work that way and he needs to be extra nice to me EVERY DAY. and that if I snap at him not to take it personally. Sometimes I can censor myself, but other times I feel like I’ll explode if I don’t let it out. ah, the joys of pregnancy. Men— please be extra nice to your wives, even if they are not nice back. They’ll make it up to you one day 😉

  • You’re awesome! I love your post, as usual.

  • Kate D.

    I’m 16 weeks pregnant with twins. TWINS! And explaining what you feel like at 34 weeks with one doesn’t fill my heart with joy.

    On the other hand is it nice to be able to expertly and thoroughly clean your belly-button? That’s the part I’m looking most forward to.

    Yes, I have expressed this to my husband. Yes, he thinks I’m a freak.

    Captcha: His Camacho. Seriously. It sounds like a sports car.

  • Mari

    Heather….Why is it that when I am at my absolute breaking point (crying while cleaning the basement so I can get away from my husband) you always come up with the funniest shit ever??? Following your pregnancy’s ups and downs since the beginning, has been free theraphy for my “moodyness” as my husband likes to call it.
    You absolutely ROCK…..Please promise me you will keep this up for as long as you can….

  • You really do look amazing! I never got a single decent pregnant picture of myself. I looked like the living, crying dead in every shot. When people would say, “Wow, pregnancy really agrees with you. You are glowing and beautiful!” I would think, “oh no, that glow is just because my skin has turned translucent. And, so Zombie Chic is the hot new look?” Anyways, tortilla chips breaking still make me cry, and I haven’t been pregnant for 4 months.

  • Haaaaaaaa! I laughed so hard at this I almost got a Fred of my own. You look great, Heather.

  • Jodi

    I remember sitting on the curb outside the dairy barn at the Minnesota State Fair in late-August 1996 sobbing because I had just dripped chocolate ice cream down the front of my white tee and I knew everyone would be staring at the dirty, pregnant lady all day judging me unfairly. My husband immediately leapt into action and procured me a Clinton/Gore tee from the Democratic Committee tent so I could change clothes. Two days later I was on bed-rest and it didn’t matter what I spilled or how often I cried.

  • Heather, You’re so neat and tidy with your pregnancy! Too Cute I can only wish I was with any of mine! see the link for the pics of me days before my last child was born … yeah I’m done!

    Here’s hoping that you’re able to cope with the hormone craziness that is pregnancy at any point!

  • Rachel E.

    Gosh, you look awfully pretty.

  • The memories you just brought back… Months of crying at TV commercials, and about my take-out Chinese food, “B-B-B-But, it’s all cabbage…” and because perfect strangers touched my belly.

    Apparently pregnant bellies are public domain.

    Enjoy the finish line…

  • so funny. but i do feel with you. i had my third baby two years ago, but i still remember the emotional tripping towards the end. and after. oh, the weeks just after birth…

  • Danielle

    I am 36 weeks pregnant today with my first. I don’t have the emotional roller coaster at this point, but I sure did a couple weeks ago.

    At this point, I feel like I couldn’t possibly be bigger or more uncomfortable. On the way back from the doctor’s office today, I found myself talking to my stomach, telling my son that if he wanted to come out this weekend, it would be the very best Mother’s Day present ever.

    You are not alone in your absolute discomfort and protruding belly button.

  • When I was pregnant I needed to cry a lot but could actually only do it while I was driving, usually on the Interstate going 75. Luckily everyone survived.

  • Ray

    This is going to sound weird but I think pregnant protruding belly buttons are cute. ;o) And this will make you stop crying, “YOU LOOK AWESOME FOR BEING 34 WEEKS PREGNANT!!! AWEEEEESOME!” =D

    Take, care.

  • In this photo Fred looks rather cute!

  • I’m 30 weeks knocked up and even reading about your broken tortilla chip brings tears to my eyes. I mean, that could happen to me, and it would be just too tragic for words. Are third trimesters always this sad? The first trimester, sure, but this hysterical half-laughing – half-crying business is just not on.

  • KT

    Thank you…needed the laugh! I’m 30 weeks and the last two days I feel like my rib cage is being split apart, and shaving/personal grooming in “certain areas” has become near impossible.

    I just said to a co-worker that when strangers smile at me while noticeably staring at my belly I want to punch them in the throat…and then I would probably burst into tears.

  • You look great. I agree, baby has not dropped at all.

  • What a brilliant way to mention the belly button phenomenon. I’m 30 weeks pregnant right now and I swear my belly button is a magnet. People try to resist, but they cannot, and honestly? They spent the whole first two trimesters staring at my newfound boobs like WHAT?! YOU HAVE BREASTS?! WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?! So I’m totally down with them looking elsewhere.

    I just wish “elsewhere” were my face lol.

    Awesome post!

  • Rhonda

    Ohhh, I remember those days. I swear I thought my first one stuck his feet out of me everytime he stretched. It always seemed to happen when my husband and I were in the car going someplace and he’d always turn and head for the closest ER. Those were some shocking sensations. I also thought I was one of the lucky ones when during my first pregnancy I didn’t get a Fred…My second time around I had a Fred and the weirdest flat spot that made me look like I’d been leaning up against a wall. This only enhanced the size of my Fred. Fred never really left either. We call him Droopy now. You look great and I wish you the best of luck.

  • I have used duct tape to push my bellybutton back in and keep focus on my giant pregnant ass where it belongs.

  • erika

    not sure if you subscribe to Urban word of the day, but this was from earlier this week…


    A rescue chip is the chip you use to fish the bits of the first one that broke apart in the dip.

    My tortilla chip busted when I tried to load it with extra salsa so I gotta get a rescue chip to recover the pieces.

    anyway… you look awesome!

  • I’m not now nor have I ever been pregnant….but your description of crying with the toothbrush hanging out of your mouth and your husband laughing at you sounds like what I anticipate my pregnancy to be like….no less than three years from now….complete with lots of mockery.

  • Great photo. You look so amazing for 34 weeks preggers. I was this size soon after I took my pregnancy test (I am normally a UK size 8). First time round. Thankfully never got any oedema (swelling anywhere else but your belly, for any blokes reading these comments) in the rest of my body so at least could pointedly show people I was pregnant not fat, honest. And that the 3 rounds of toast I’d had for my second breakfast was just to keep the morning sickness at bay. Everyone knows that, right?

  • OMG. That is too cute.
    Yep I had the same issue with the protruding belly button. seems like at that stage everything is protruding, belly boobs butt! Even my nose got big! But its super cool to see that belly moving around I love it!!

  • Reading your comments, everyone is preganant right now. Seriously. I am no exception. 36 weeks with a baby who is already 6lbs, 10oz. OUT! NOW!

    I dreaded the outie belly button happening, but it has not yet so, yay.

    Unfortunately, it has puckered and come just near enough to the surface that my boyfriend says it looks like our kitten’s butt. And I can’t disagree. Lovely.

  • Well, I’d recommend bourbon to deal with all this, but tragically it isn’t a viable solution yet. Hrm.

  • Hey, at least Fred proves you’re still human. My belly button COMPLETELY disappeared in late pregnancy. Just the barest discoloration where the wrinkles used to be. Freaky! I was so happy that it reappeared after the birth.

    Also, I used to have dreams that my baby would press her face against the inside of my belly and I could see her in complete bas relief, as if my skin and tissues and everything were only as thick as a balloon.

    BTW, in about 20 years you are going to think that’s the most adorable photo ever. Trust me.

  • When my belly button started sticking out in my pregnancy, the hyper-belly-touchers became less inclined to rub my tummy. Except for this one guy who said “buddha-buddha-buddha-buddha-buddha”… I kept waiting for him to realize I had stopped laughing, like, twenty buddha’s ago.

  • You look beautiful and radiant and I covet your shirt. Did you take your eyeballs in and say, make me a shirt that is this color or what? Or maybe you have mirror type eyes like mine where different colors in your clothes change your eye color. Either way, you look beautiful.

  • Heather, you are this ex-Mormon girl’s gift for managing to survive a childhood and adolescence spent in Utah County. Luckily I escaped and now pay homage to the Supreme Being of my choice by tuning in here every day. This is my first comment – love the photo and hope you and Fred are eeking out a peaceful existence. Also wanted to let you know that your Sucked book was my first purchase on my new kindle. I am convinced there was no better way to christen it.

  • Tess

    Wow. You are seriously gorgeous. I am currently praying to my heathen gods of looking hot that my pregnancy leaves me looking half as good as you.

  • Renee

    I’m 36 weeks and cried today. Because why? Because I have completely lost my voice due to a cold and can’t get thoughts out properly to my husband on what we need to do asap! Oh, I also cried on Sunday because my husband and I were out shopping and I got hungry. He took me to my favorite resturant and but didn’t want to order anything because he wasn’t hungry. So, I cried in the resturant because we weren’t hungry at the same time. Non-preggo, I’m not emotional, but now I cry if the dog decides to sleep on the floor versus the bed. My husband learned in our birth classes two weeks ago about postpardum and his reaction to the whole class was “What?! You mean to tell me she’s going to cry after the baby is here, too?”

  • Christina

    You look beautiful! Really, just stunning. ♥

    I’m just a little over half way done with your book and I love it. I read it while walking on the treadmill (torturemill) and the time passes so fast as I alternately laugh and cry that before I know it I’ve done 2 miles. So thank you for that!

  • You are, as always, brilliant. Your readers are all here with you lady! You and your wonderful (crazy) family.

  • Tom

    Holy crap, I thought that was a fingertip….

  • Cat

    You’re freaking gorgeous.

    PS – I bet it was actually pretty funny.

  • Last Wed., a very pregnant colleague bit my head off for absolutely no reason then burst into tears. I laughed at her because it was funny, and because I remember that point of total pregnancy bewilderment.

    She went into labor right then and there, 2 weeks early.

    She thanked me yesterday and told me that she only had to push ONCE and didn’t tear at all. (bitch)

    Which goes to say that if you’re really done being pregnant, give me a call, and I’ll laugh at you with the hopes that humiliation induces you as well.


  • So I may not be pregnant, but I can totally relate to the crying (mine are PMS tears)…like when we were driving to work in the morning last week, and there were EMT’s (Emergency Medical Technicians) striking, standing on street corners and holding signs…and people were honking for them, and to my boyfriend’s horror, I started crying. It was just so touching…everyone was honking in support. Or the Best Buy Mother’s Day commercial….which I saw again this week, and now I’m totally ashamed and embarrassed for crying while watching it! Good thing I didn’t see that beautiful 34 Weeks picture last week or I would have cried from that too!

  • Herry

    you do look a bit small? do you have very small babies?

  • Hormones rock, don’t they? I gave birth to my second 14 months ago and mother’s day commercials still make me cry. Man, giving another person life is cake.

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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