the smell of my desperation has become a stench

The cat troll goat diet

Due to a combination of factors, most of which have to do with horrible life-altering catastrophes, I have somehow reached my pre-pregnancy weight. I don’t recommend this diet. It’s not nearly as bad as the one I was on after Leta was born, the Let’s Think About Committing Suicide Every Hour diet, but it’s pretty bad and requires that you lose a loved one and suddenly wake up one morning with a flesh-eating disease.

Wouldn’t you rather just cut out the carbs?

This diet also requires that you listen to this noise for at least 10 hours a day (Warning: this is 60-second clip of a four-month-old whining. If you are not prone to seizures or violence, you will be after listening to this once.)

I’ve put off organizing my closet until I reached this point, but even now a lot of my clothing still doesn’t fit right. Everything in my midsection has sort of shifted around, and where there was once a curve there is now a 1973 Chevy Van covered in airbrushed flames careening around that curve, and it’s being chased by a swarm of local police who are steering with one hand while clutching a donut in the other.

All of my big jeans fit, sort of. Meaning that in order to walk while wearing them I have to perform a ridiculous acrobatic dance of squats and lunges to stretch them out enough that I can bend my knee. Also, I’m not ever washing them again because then they’d shrink that centimeter or two, and BOOM I’m back to wearing my maternity pants and people at the grocery store are asking me when I’m due. Oh I’m due, alright. FOR SOME WAFFLE FRIES.

Anyway, I was trying to avoid thinking about all the crap raining down around my ears the other day, and I got into the organizing mood. And you seriously do not want to screw with me when I am in that mood, not if you enjoy the arrangement of limbs on your body, no. I remind myself of my mother when I get into that mode. You know that woman, the one who sold more Avon products that anyone else in the world? Yeah, when I was growing up and she was scrubbing the bathtub, my siblings and I would hide in the closet because the violent squiggly lines around my mother’s body were likely to disfigure our faces.

I was a mad woman, throwing out shirts and odd sweat pants that had been accumulating for years, and then I got to my underwear drawer, OH HELL YES I’M GOING THERE. Turns out that the majority of the weight I gained during pregnancy amassed itself in my butt, and for the first time in my life I had one! You can’t tell from any of my pregnancy pictures that my butt doubled in size, but that’s only because it was so small to begin with that even when doubled it was still invisible to the naked eye.

It boggled the minds of scientists!

And holy horse balls, that underwear is huge! Massive! As elephantine as my ego! I took one pair, pulled it over my head, stuck my arms through the leg holes, and suddenly I’m wearing a toga! A toga with tiny puppies and hearts and an elastic pink lining that is long enough to measure the coastline of Africa.

Who wore those things?! I DID. I wore those things! And why didn’t the person sleeping next to those things say something about it? Like GOOD GOD, WOMAN, HAVE YOU NO DIGNITY.

Point is. Pre-pregnancy weight! Sort of. Yay!

  • Cheryl Arkison

    2009/10/15 at 3:48 pm

    Yay for you But seriously, that’s mean. Throwing your underwear in our faces like that. Well, it’s mean to those of us whose ass was big to begin with and is still big.

  • Lauren

    2009/10/15 at 3:50 pm

    The sound file just made both of my cats look behind the computer monitor for a baby!

  • tracy

    2009/10/15 at 3:50 pm

    I demand to see photos of you with your arms through your maternity panties. That is all.

  • caitriona

    2009/10/15 at 3:50 pm

    agghh – nine months later i’m still 10kg (~22lbs) over my pre-pregnancy weight, but wierdly i *can* fit into my pre-p trousers, so i guess i shouldn’t really complain.

    (long time reader, first time commenter. should probably have waited til i had a ‘meatier’ comment, but so it goes. keep up the good work.)

  • Abi

    2009/10/15 at 3:51 pm

    Congrats on the ass-size increase. My 2nd was born 14 months ago. I’m still not back to my pre-preggers weight. Nothing fits right anymore.

  • Cris

    2009/10/15 at 3:55 pm

    I… liked the whining… not as in like-like, it broke a piece of my heart as it sounded the poor baby is in some kind of pain. I guess I’d think different if it just went on and on and on for hours and minutes and months, and nothing stopped it, but those 60 seconds just made me want to cuddle whoever was doing that noise 🙁

    Please come and clean my closet, I can’t throw anything away.

    And, of course, YAY for pre-pregnancy weight! Try out corsets, they reshape the body and move your insides to your throat so the jeans fit! 🙂

  • Kristan

    2009/10/15 at 3:55 pm

    Wow, just played that audio clip and it freaked the sh*t out of my poor dog! Lol.

  • Jen

    2009/10/15 at 3:57 pm

    Am I the only one who’s ovaries went into overdrive at that sound? I even played it over and over again while reading the comments.

    Congratulations on getting back to your pre-pregancy weight!

  • Belle

    2009/10/15 at 3:59 pm

    We don’t get a picture of you sporting your underwear like a toga? What the eff? You can’t even claim its inappropriate… because you’ve shown us a picture of your pregnant self smoking. 🙂

  • Susan

    2009/10/15 at 3:59 pm

    My dog found this sound very disturbing. The 2-month-old slept right through it, though. Congrats on the weight loss.

  • Vander

    2009/10/15 at 4:00 pm

    How do Chuck and Coco stand it? One minute of that audio and my dog was looking around the room to find the creature causing the ruckus.

  • Fosterhood

    2009/10/15 at 4:04 pm

    oh my god, that audio clip. i had a seizure and then punched my grandma in the face.

    please post that sound along side all of those adorable, we-i’m-going-to-stop-taking-my-birth control-and-not-tell-my-boyfriend, baby photos so that the population of the US doesn’t quadruple in the next 3 years.

  • Julie

    2009/10/15 at 4:05 pm

    All your underwears are crotchless? Is that where your head went? I feel dumb for not understanding the visual. Maybe it’s the whining baby playing in the background that is confusing me?

    Honestly, that whining is pretty tame to the sounds that I’ve endured. The one that always made it hard for me to breathe was the “UUUUHHHNNNNNFFFF” over and over.

    Congrats on the weight. I think?

  • alex

    2009/10/15 at 4:06 pm

    Curious, do you read all your comments? Cos some days there are hundreds. Who has the time?

    I’ve been following you since May when I was pregnant with my 4th baby and couldn’t move my fat ass anywhere so I wasted all my time on the computer!

    Baby was born in August and I still have 10kgs to go! Ugh, mission. I’d give anything for a pancake flat ass cos right now I am J-Lo. And not in a sexy Latino way, just a “Geez, that lady has a fat ass” way.

  • Anonymous

    2009/10/15 at 4:09 pm

    I have no idea what a waffle fry is, but DAMN I want one!! Congrats on the weight loss. Sorry it came about in such a traumatic way. And, seriously? I won’t tell if you muzzle Marlo. Just saying-with Coco around I’m sure you have something lying around the house. Sure, earplugs would be nicer, but not nearly as satisfying 🙂

  • Cindy

    2009/10/15 at 4:09 pm

    Ten hours a day of a four YEAR old whining beats out 10 hours a day of a FOUR month old whining any day. Just sayin’

  • Urban Koda

    2009/10/15 at 4:10 pm

    Great! Now I want a donut and waffle fries…

  • Tinkersdamn

    2009/10/15 at 4:10 pm

    I gained something like 45lbs with my firstborn (yeah. I know. I KNOW), who rode so low I thought his head must be scraping the ground. Not only was he low, he thoughtfully didn’t smush any of my insides- no, my polite from birth boy simply stretched the living shit out of my stomach. So I thought I was safe with my second child, that anything that was going to stretch already had. Nope- my “look at me! look at me NOW!” daughter decided to ride practically in my nose, so the upper half of my stomach is all stretched as well. From the armpits to the pubic bone I look like fricking crepe paper. And YES, I used buckets of cocoa butter.
    It’s a good thing I love them.

  • MamaBear1001

    2009/10/15 at 4:11 pm

    when my newborn wouldn’t stop whining and crying i ate oreos. the first two weeks while i waited for her to learn to nurse and be healthy, i lost 35 pounds (only gained 20). after that, listening to her whine and eating oreos, i found the pounds and then some.

    it’s amazing new mothers can function at all. if you need oreos, eat them. your butt will take care of itself later.

  • Shannon

    2009/10/15 at 4:11 pm

    Congrats on the pre-baby weight! I will kid you not, today i yelled loudly I WANT SOME DAMNED WAFFLE FRIES! My coworkers only kind of looked at me strange. The goat sound really makes me want to maim/kill/destroy anyone who wishes to get between me and some delicious waffle fries for dinner. WHAT? Potatoes are vegetables. I’M EATING HEALTHY, MOM.

  • Gori Girl

    2009/10/15 at 4:14 pm

    Marlo whining sounds exactly like my dog, Kajol, whining when she’s bored and/or upset that it’s raining outside. Except that I can sic the other dog on Kajol to distract her from the agony of falling water with a spot of wrestling, and I imagine that that is verboten with small infants.

  • becky

    2009/10/15 at 4:15 pm

    I’m about a month in with my first, and totally understand the dance of squats and bends to stretch out the pre-preggo jeans to make them fit again. i’m wearing them, even if it is slightly uncomfortable.

  • Chris

    2009/10/15 at 4:25 pm

    Yay, you! Seems my pregnancy weight always disappeared around the four month mark for one reason or another. [I’m sorry for your loss and stress. Sincerely.]

    Yay, you!

  • Drew

    2009/10/15 at 4:25 pm

    Congratulations to both you and your tiny ass!

    Seriously, Heather: Am I the only biological male (other than Jon) who reads your blog?! I mean, I RARELY get to in time to get the opportunity to read or comment on your adventures, and now I see that AS OF THIS POSTING, I AM THE ONLY GUY!!!

    Where are the rest of us? Is it because I’m also MoNoMo (Mormon, No Longer), AND a *gasp* HOMOSEXUAL?


    Even though I have no offspring (“The Gays – God’s Version of Crowd Control”) and I’m a tall, hairy man (although sometimes I’m just a big girl), I somehow relate to you on many, many levels.

    Love you!


  • Jessie

    2009/10/15 at 4:28 pm

    I played Marlo whining and my dog stood by the computer trying to figure out what that sound was and whining right along with her. 🙂

    Congrats on the weight loss!!

  • Martha

    2009/10/15 at 4:31 pm

    Ok, Seriously? That audio clip really sounds that bad to you. More hyperbole? It could be soooooooo much worse. Wasn’t it with Leta?
    My kids must have been absolute demon spawn because that is how they sounded on a good day. My son sounded like that until he was 4 (autism).
    So fill that cup to half full & go buy some ear plugs at Walgreens.
    As for the tuckus spreadikus….that’s what happens with #2. The lb’s go away but everything just sort of shifts. Permanently. Cup half empty now.

  • Anna

    2009/10/15 at 4:38 pm

    Um, ditto. Every single word. I hate the look I get from friends if I casually mention that I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight. The “Oh that’s a shame. She’s delusional.” Weigh me, bitch! I am too back to my pre-pregnancy weight! It’s just that my forearms and calves are smaller and my gut is bigger.

  • Mella

    2009/10/15 at 4:42 pm

    Listening to the CatTrollGoat noise made my three month old burst into tears. *nods* I feel your pain, Lady.

  • stephanie

    2009/10/15 at 4:44 pm

    OMG!!! That was too funny…I can so relate to many parts of your story…but mostly not having a butt….DH was happy for a little weight gain after our 2 boys were born….now I have a butt before not so much…

  • Cindy

    2009/10/15 at 4:45 pm

    I had to take my wedding dress to the D.I. (Good Will.) Even though I weighed less after losing the weight from #3 than I did before I was pregnant with #1, my ribcage had permanently widened and it was too tight to zip up. Too discouraging to keep around anymore. I decided it was better for my psyche to just get rid of it and admire it in it’s preserved form in my wedding pictures.

  • Cate

    2009/10/15 at 4:50 pm

    I’m jealous. My youngest is 17 and I’m still not at my pre-pregnancy weight.
    Thanks for the audio. Best birth control in the world! I’ll be forcing my kids to listen to it 🙂

  • Meredith

    2009/10/15 at 4:57 pm

    As the mom of a fellow 4-month-old, I listened to the audio clip and I swear I was listening to my own child. I COULD NOT TELL A DIFFERENCE IN THE WHINING. They must learn this stuff from the same manual in utero.

    All that to say, I certainly empathize with your hearing. I’m right there with ya.

  • BM

    2009/10/15 at 4:59 pm

    You give me hope. My body currently looks like a war zone, but even wars can end with peace treaties. Here’s hoping for peace…

  • Kim

    2009/10/15 at 4:59 pm

    Totally relate… tried my fat jeans on and I wanted to cry so still wearing maternity clothes… I have all these people telling me they were back in their old clothes within 2 weeks, 4 weeks or 6 weeks… sigh… and really everything shifts and doesn’t go back the way it was… ack!!! Not something I want to hear! I am still aspiring to be back in my old clothes soon!!! I can dream can’t I!?

    Anyway, your awesome btw… you make me laugh when my 4 week old makes me want to cry at times, b/c god forbid I put her down, or she goes more then 20 minutes between feedings at times… sigh…

  • Jennifer M.

    2009/10/15 at 5:00 pm

    My daughter just turned 14 and I’ve just reached the weight I was the day AFTER she was born.

  • Elaine

    2009/10/15 at 5:01 pm

    KLove it! I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight at 6 weeks but it doesn’t always seem like I got that far! Yay for toga panties!

  • Lemon

    2009/10/15 at 5:01 pm

    Funny you should write about this today…becuase just this afternoon I was lying in bed talking to my husband about how my underwear was huge. I was tugging at it to show him and I seriously could have fit an olsen twin in the amount of fabric I pulled off. I’m 5mo pp and back to my pre-preg weight. The aforementioned underwear was bought somewhere between normal pregnancy weight and ginourmous you didn’t need to eat that last box of oreos just becuase your huge and won’t go into labor weight.

    I have new underwear on my christmas list.

  • Heidi

    2009/10/15 at 5:06 pm

    I have a son who is nine days younger than Marlo! He does whine a little, but more screams like Leta did–I just finished reading your book, It Sucked and Then I cried!
    I too am pretty much back to my prebaby weight, but none of my clothes fit–I now have hips!
    Love your writing, you make me laugh!

  • Bether

    2009/10/15 at 5:07 pm

    I…oh, my. The recording of Marlo whining made my dog make the “Baroo?” face REPEATEDLY the entire time it was playing, switching from one side to the other, and then look under the laptop for the baby making the noise. Today has been crappy, and that made me laugh. I am sorry that sound makes you crazy, but it (combined with my silly dog) made my day.

  • Melany

    2009/10/15 at 5:10 pm

    YES! i totally empathize with you on this post. after i had my baby the only section that was still messed up was my middle (of course, since that’s where the watermelon-sized baby grows…). i won’t even let my husband look at my stomach because it looks like a droopy tire with tiger claw marks. ugh. but the rest of me is skinny! yay for pre-prego weight!

  • happyK

    2009/10/15 at 5:19 pm

    6 weeks after my firstborn twins, i could get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans. Wow, breastfeeding is great (at keeping the weight off), I thought, as I tucked into another plate of hedgehog slice (for those of you that don’t know, it involves crushed up butter biscuits encased in chocolate mixed with more butter). Yep, well after putting back all the reserves that labour took out, that was the last time my backside saw the inside of those particular jeans, what with the hedgehog slice and all the crap that i ate trying to find the energy to keep up with said children after sleep deprived nights. Now i’m pregnant again and can only imagine what sort of shape i’ll be in after this one, but I’m sure it’s going to be nothing like before…

  • Melanie

    2009/10/15 at 5:20 pm

    Looking at pictures of Marlo makes me ache for another baby, but listening to that clip snapped me right back into reality! Poor baby girl lol! Sounds like she’s trying to take a big poop! Congrats on getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight, and THANK YOU for being so real, honest, and always putting a smile on my face.

  • Debra

    2009/10/15 at 5:21 pm

    I haven’t read through your past posts to find out, but Marlo’s whining sounds like she is either colicky or teething. As the mother of four daughters, I recognize those little protests as the sounds of discomfort. I’m sure that you have tried all of the tricks, but sometimes holding the baby across your knees on her belly helps to relieve the gas bubbles. There are some other things you can try if you think the baby might be colicky.

    Best of luck! My oldest daughter who is now 22, was a bit colicky. She seemed to get past it around five months, but she still gets hiccups all the time!

  • Jenny

    2009/10/15 at 5:24 pm

    God, it must be a sign that my last resisting cells have succumbed to a virulent strain of babymadness, because I found that ridiculous noise, well…endearing? Cute? Another reason to drag my husband to bed? It is just not right.

    I should have just owned up to it that time when I got excited that a four-year-old was sitting behind me on a plane, but I can now admit that thirty-one is a sick, sick year.

  • marianne

    2009/10/15 at 5:26 pm

    I am still carrying around the baby weight from my 11 year old so imagine how big my undies are! Never mind…don’t imagine it.

  • 8thgirl

    2009/10/15 at 5:28 pm

    I used to have a butt but it disappeared after sitting on it 8 hours a day for the past 13 years.

    Call me crazy, but Marlo’s whining makes me want to have a baby really, really bad. I know, it would probably get old after about 2 minutes. Maybe the audio should have been longer.

  • Brooke Rane

    2009/10/15 at 5:33 pm

    i just have to tell you that i played that 60-second clip of Marlo whining and holy crap, my dog was sitting curled up at my feet and when that whining hit the 30-second mark, he was all up and in my face, smelling the computer and his ears were up and he’s all WHAT IS THAT NOISE, WOMAN?!! I almost died laughing. he totally thought this mac was a baby.

  • marianne

    2009/10/15 at 5:37 pm

    what is a waffle fry and where can i get one?

  • Meredith

    2009/10/15 at 5:40 pm

    Will you please post a pic of your (clothed, please) butt? 🙂

  • Hagan

    2009/10/15 at 5:40 pm

    There is a study somewhere that says married people without kids are happier . . . I guess with all the oxytocin and estrogen around this might not be the right forum for that kind of info, huh?

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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