31 weeks, an overdue gupdate

belly Well, this is long overdue. But I assume you’ll forgive a lady who is working full time and pregnant full time for having very little extra energy to expend. Just rolling over in bed takes so much damn work these days! See also: being alive. If not all pregnant women start to resent life in general by the end of the process, don’t let on. I’m going to assume this semi-constant state of hate is normal.

Not that there isn’t also a lot to love. It’s just… mama’s tired and sometimes forgets this is a temporary state.

By way of guppy updates, Charlie is a very wiggly young man with a special affinity for the right side of my rib cage. If you see me sitting very still, eyes closed, breathing slowly and deliberately, all is well, my son is just trying to break free via my skeleton. I worry much less about his… viability these days. Mostly because I don’t have to wonder if he’s okay in there. He keeps in touch. Often with my bladder.

It is endlessly delightful (in a Tremors sort of way) to watch him squirm around in there, turning the taught surface of my belly into a map of elbows and knees. Sometimes my coworker Kelsey and I watch the show and make wide eyes at each other like, “This is so weird.” Weird and awesome.

Up there with heartburn, one of the least lovely things about pregnancy are the people, mostly other mothers,who say horrid shit to you. Which is something I’ve still not gotten at all accustomed to. I’ve had people point out how swollen my feet are (because I’m not self conscious enough as it is), compare their current state of weight gain/bloat with my pregnant body (flattering), and declare that the genetic testing we had done was pointless because their friend had the same results and their baby came out with {insert horrible malady here}. Some women just like to tell you how traumatic their labor was, as though you have some say in how this kid eventually makes his way to the outside world. I’ve even been told that bouncing Charlie around in my womb to persuade him out of my rib cage area will adversely affect the shape of his head. Um, yeah, and if that doesn’t, THE BIRTH CANAL WILL FINISH THE JOB.

The heartburn I got a prescription for, but the comments, man, there does not seem to be anything preventative I can do short of declaring, “Seriously, unless you’re going to tell me how radiant I look, do not speak.”

Back in the Things Which are Awesome category, people have also been extraordinarily kind. The owner of a mom n’ pop coffee shop in San Francisco fixed a broken toilet so I wouldn’t have to walk two block to the park to find a restroom. People carry things and hold doors and strangers smile for no other reason than the world loves babies and also, they quite possibly know how totally overwhelmed and awkward I feel.

And Charlie’s nursery. I love going in there. Sometimes I sit in the glider and read and yell at the cat to stop tearing at the rug all while picturing how many times Charlie will pee or puke on me in this very room. Ah, babies.


People also give you the sweetest, softest things for your baby. Which brings me to making some long overdue additions to the Fairy Godmother list:

Teak sent some deliciously soft swaddlers and an organic stuffed bunny and this note that made me a little teary. RzDrms sent a crazy generous package full of clothes and baby mittens and a thermometer that scans the forehead (so neat!). Fellow catlady Barbara E. sent this OMG outfit involving a hoodie with bunny ears. Seriously, I die. And Melanie sent the gift of Sandra Boynton and if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading those out loud to a young ‘un, get on that. Pure silliness.

I hope I have not missed anyone. I am so genuinely touched by the kindness and generosity.

Sixty-three days to go. Please let Charlie treasure punctuality, like his mother does. And also books. And animals. And gender/marriage equality. But I’ll take a love of punctuality to start.

35 comments to 31 weeks, an overdue gupdate

  • Misses M

    Fish, I’m in tears! I’ve been checking in hoping for this update… I am so happy for you. :)

  • Melanie

    You look great! (The nursery looks good, too…) He’ll be there soon enough, and you’ll have a whole new set of things to look forward to. :)

  • Fidelma

    Hurrah! You look fantastic and the nursery is gorgeous . I always said during my pregnancy that the only acceptable things to say to a pregnant lady were ‘you look fantastic’ ‘ your bump is very neat’ and to enquire after her health.

    Here’s a non scary labour story. I got a sore back, then two days later some contractions which increased into painful contractions over 6 hours. I went to the hospital and pushed out my amazing son 3 hours later. Job done. It’ll be grand and you have lots of professionals to hand to make sure it is fine. Enjoy this last precious time as two in one!

  • Namechecked by Fish! How cool! You look lovely, as does the nursery. While on the whole, I’d rather have been in medically- induced coma during labor & delivery (though keep in mind that I often wish to be in a medically-induced coma; it sounds so restful), it truly wasn’t horrible/awful/traumatic. It was tiring, but didn’t you used to run insane amounts for “fun”? You’ll be fine, the Dorklord will be there supporting you, and best of all, you’ll get a Charlie at the end! Do they still recommend a picture to use as a “focal point” during labor? (It’s been a long time; my baby is now a grad student.) My picture was of my 2 now-late kitties, gazing longingly at their can opener. May I suggest a pic of Hal & Midge doing something adorable/amusing? Be well, rest a lot & eat when you’re not resting :)

  • Meredith

    I’m a long time reader and I’m so thrilled for you. I’m actually due with my second a few weeks before you, so I can relate to the exhaustion and heartburn (and all the other “fun” pregnancy symptoms).

    The thing with being pregnant (especially in the third trimester) is your pregnancy is obvious to everyone. So everyone you know and people you don’t know decide its appropriate to share their pregnancy/birth/child raising experiences. Some people with no tact will go so far as to tell you the decisions you have made for your baby are somehow wrong or not going to work. I really think people mean well, but most of the time its clear people do not think before speaking.

    The thing is, no one has a picture perfect pregnancy, labor, and delivery and then has a baby that eats well, naps well, and sleeps through the night. If more things go right than wrong, consider yourself a success.

    I wish you and the Dark Lord a punctual baby that sleeps through the night sooner rather than later! Enjoy the crazy ride and thanks for updating us!

  • Wickedragon

    To add to the other comments, I gave birth a month ago to my son (our first). Just before I was due, a good friend told me “I’m not going to lie – giving birth hurts – but it’s not nearly as bad as people say or you imagine.” For some reason it was incredibly reassuring and I completely agree… So i share that tidbit in the off chance it gives you some comfort too.

    You look fabulous, by the way. All the best to you and the Dork Lord!

  • Best wishes for a safe and healthy delivery!

    I really do try hard to be extra courteous to pregnant women. We have two kids and being a parent really helps me to be more considerate. Oh, and I think the people who make these, er, interesting remarks don’t mean to upset you, but it’s amazing how people come out and say the wrong thing. I’m sure there is some “Dear Abby” column full of these remarks as well as appropriate responses.

    So how are your critters taking to the impending arrival? Do they suspect anything yet?

  • Old Lady

    I came here to chastise. I’ve periodically kept up with your blog then later your twitter because I found your writing and stories in your earlier days so compelling. Heather, THIS is something you’ve wanted for so many years! I’m so pleased you will have a child, and found (I hope) a true love. And, yet, you gripe. And gripe. As a woman with kids in their 20′s I want to scream APPRECIATE THIS! What you are experiencing is all so fleeting. And then I remember that part of the fun is the griping, and the condolence, and the attention. It hurts when he’s kicking your ribs and pressing on your bladder. You’ve got a live human growing inside of you. What if this is the only chance you have to appreciate that?

    • thisfish

      There’s a whole lot of positive in that post and you’ve chosen to focus on the gripes, which unless I’ve lost my touch, were written with humor, some sarcasm. Maybe too much sarcasm for an old lady, what do I know? What I do know is that people like you are the WORST. Not everyone has to love pregnancy in order to love being a mother. It’s the means to and end. And the idea that if someone doesn’t enjoy being pregnant they’re doing it wrong is some heavy handed bullshit. I’m 35 years old. Pregnancy is a little rough on my body. I’ve always dealt with the truth here and I’m not going to pretend that this experience has been a rainbow-farting unicorn dancing in a meadow. So you take your judgements elsewhere and save your condescension and your chastising for your own children. Only maybe it’s less fun with them, since you can’t hide behind anonymity.

      • Misses M

        Heather, I had 4 miscarriages before getting pregnant with my now 16-month old. By the time I was cautiously pregnant with her, I felt like I had taken my uncomplicated “textbook perfect” pregnancy with her older sister for granted and I was determined to enjoy the pregnancy as much as I could because I didn’t know if I would ever be pregnant again. But it ended up being a very difficult pregnancy. I was swollen and uncomfortable and I couldn’t sleep and I was terrified of losing my baby girl… of course there were plenty of special moments when I thoroughly enjoyed myself, but for the most part I couldn’t wait for her to be born. My first pregnancy had been a breeze. My second? Not so much. But I love my girls more than anything in this world and I would do it all again for them. The fact that I didn’t “love” being pregnant doesn’t take away from my love for my girls. It doesn’t mean that I don’t know what a gift they are. Growing a person is HARD WORK and no one should pretend it isn’t. Good for you for being honest in your writing, as always. Your honesty is the reason why I enjoy your blog so much.

  • LaraBell

    Brava Fish!
    I’ve been a long-time reader but seldom commenter. Lots of happiness & sadness in my life & wish I could share as awesomely as u. Thanks, love your perspective. Best wishes.

  • Megan

    You look lovely. The nursery is beautiful. My son would tramp on my bladder very morning when I got to work. Good times.

    I do not understand why people feel the need to share scary pregnancy and birth stories with pregnant women. As if being pregnant weren’t enough all by itself. Gestating new life has got to be the most insane experience anyone will ever have. It is by turns both wonderful and horrible, and sometimes both at once. Gripe all you want; that’s as real as the wonder you feel when there’s a little foot poking out of your belly.

    You are in the home stretch. Hang in there!

  • Sarah Beth

    Ooooh, you look radiant!! The nursery is gorgeous!! Hi Charlie-bump! Wiggling with joy for you! :) :) <3

  • Pearl

    Hi Heather,

    just wanted to chime in and say when I had my son, my water broke at around 6 AM and he was born at 10:17 AM and honestly I would rather give birth than have 2 root canals and 2 wisdom teeth pulled. Mainly because you get a baby out of it and the dentist sends you home with “empty pockets”.
    Pregnancy sucked for me, too, so much so that I’m not doing it again.
    You’re on the home stretch and I’m very happy for you!

    Oh, and @Old Lady: this may not be the blog for you…

  • Jessica

    Don’t listen to Old Lady. I have 3 children and 2 miscarriages. Pregnancy is rough and it’s harder the older you get. I had a very difficult pregnancy with my first at 18 but bounced back.. 10 years later when I had my last, it was a completely normal pregnancy without even illness but I was FAR more miserable doing it at 28 than I was throwing up all day everyday for 9 months at 18.
    You can hate life, hate being pregnant, and hate every person who mentions your swollen feet but still adore your child. Heaven knows I did.
    I hated them all but kept having babies because, and I know it’s cliche, but the moment you hold that bundle, it does all fade. You don’t forget that it happened and it hurt and it sucked, but you do forget how bad it was. I seriously was 24 hours post partum with my second child and still in the hospital sitting funny and I looked at my husband and told him I wanted another.
    Everything heals and fades.
    In the meantime take the little moments of joy.. The alien movements of your belly suddenly shape shifting, the rolls, and if you get to, the hiccups. I didn’t get to feel those until the last one and only once.
    I find that many women share stories because they feel that they were lied to. No one used to warn you about that bad stuff. The labor that stalled, the tears, the hormone dive post partum, how actually difficult it can be to nurse.. all of it is kind of glossed over. So I doubt they’re trying to be mean, but to save you from nasty surprise. Because when a bad delivery got you a healthy baby, they may not think of how scary it all sounds.

  • Lucrecia

    Oh, I am so happy for you, and loved reading this update. You look absolutely fantastic, and that pic of the nursery is inspiring me to get a move on in figuring out our nursery. I’m 18 weeks along with my first, and can relate to feeling more than a bit taken aback by what women choose to say to someone pregnant. Sigh… Good luck with the last couple of months!

  • Jenn

    Thank you. This post made me really happy (which at 34 weeks with other major life stress isn’t a common occurrence) and I laughed so hard I snorted. A couple of times. For the record, I’m pretty sure that under the right rib is the cool hangout spot for little boys; any longer there and my son is going to have to take out a mortgage and forward his mail. Thank you for presenting the joys (there are many) and botherances (also many, and anyone who can put a completely positive spin on some of these side effects is delusional) of being pregnant with such humor. I was getting tired of being the bad pregnant lady. Any time I say something remotely negative about the experience my mother-in-law turns to my husband and announces “I loved being pregnant.” Didn’t say I didn’t, just would like to sleep more than 4 hours a night before it gets worse. Also, it turns out that if you have a really little belly, people WILL comment, usually with a hint of “you’re doing something wrong” in their voice and a look like you’re lying to them about how far along you are. We can’t win. Wishing you a smooth next 9 weeks and lots of people who tell you’re radiant, because you are!

  • DJ

    During my 36 weeks of pregnancy (my daughter wasn’t punctual…she was early to the party) I did 4 weeks of bed rest at home, 1 in the hospital, had major surgery because my appendix ruptured and then had an emergency c section because I had pre-eclampsia. When people told me to enjoy pregnancy I sort of wanted to kick them in the teeth. Were there great moments? Absolutely. But by and large it sucked. And you know what? I freaking love my daughter!!! She is perfect. And she sleeps all night now which is magical. I love being a mom…but being a pregnant woman was an epic beat down!!!

    Old Lady… Shut up. I don’t know Heather…but if I had to guess, condescending and childish comments like yours might be part of the reason she doesn’t routinely blog these days. I wouldn’t put my life out “there” for the world to read if the response to that would be the crap that you just shoveled.

  • Jill E.

    I’m also 31 weeks pregnant after thinking it might not be possible. I’m feeling the exhaustion today and actually came here hoping to find something to relate to and commiserate with — something that would make me feel better, even though that’s certainly not your job. Getting to the point — I totally got what I was hoping for! It helps so much to hear a common experience, both the awesome and the frustrating. Sometimes I think that everything should be so easy right now, that it doesn’t get hard until later in the pregnancy (my subconcious is kind of a jerk). i forget that NOW is later in the pregnancy and I’m not being weak and it’s okay to slow down.
    Anyway, I mostly wanted to say that your post was a bright spot in my day. Thank you.

  • Susan

    Wow, some people just don’t get sarcasm or have a sense of humor. Pregnancy is really hard on a body! Also hard…tuning out the judgement and assvice. After two kids I am still amazed at people who feel they have the right to pass judgement like that. Pregnancy (and parenting) are hard and given a choice between laughing or crying about it, I’d much rather laugh.

    Thanks so much for the update Fish! I’ve been reading for years and am so thrilled to see you move into this phase of life. Please keep us updated – I can’t wait to see how you Charlie make your way.

  • Sharon

    I miss your regular updates, but am so happy for you! I love the nursery, particularly the chair. Is it a glider? Or just a gorgeous piece from elsewhere? Inquiring minds…

  • Christina

    Congrats!! :) Beautiful, beautiful nursery – love the animal photos! And where did you find those curtains?!

    • thisfish

      The curtains are from West Elm and I designed the entire room around them. They might be a bit girly for a little boy’s nursery, but Charlie won’t be able to argue his point for a few years.

  • Alyce

    You look radiant!

    Your health! Your funny quips and phrasing! People are the worst! Your beautiful nursery! So much truth and wonderful news. Thank you for updating.

  • Michael

    Pregnancy is not too difficult. I breezed through two of them, although I did get hungry those nights my wife decided not to make dinner. I guess everyone has a different experience. Meanwhile, enjoy the nursery time; it’s very special and sweet. Now my 15-year-old only speaks to us through a closed door.

  • MeeA

    I haven’t visited your blog in ages. So pleased for you about the imminent arrival of your baby boy! :)
    And you really do look gorgeous. Really, really!
    Hope you have a safe, quick and easy birth and a happy, healthy baby!

  • CaliGal

    You are radiant!! You look amazing and I can see you holding your boy and rocking him to sleep in that nursey that is just so beautifully decorated.

    I’m so happy for you!! You’re gonna be a great mom!

    I’ve never married and I have no children so, I can’t say I know what you’re going through because clearly I don’t. Ignore the haters, enjoy your pains and all the ickiness that comes with it because it will pass and you will feel better. I’m excited for the love you’re about to experience, as I’m told it’s a love like no other. You and your husband deserve this joy! This love! And I just know you’re gonna ROCK THIS thing they call parenthood. :D

    Thank you for sharing this special time in your life. You are all in my thoughts in the coming weeks and I look forward to one day seeing some photos of your bouncing baby boy!

    Oh the wonderful, marvelous, exciting moments that await you!! :D xoxox

  • Ok, congratulations lady! You probably don’t remember me but I’ve followed you off/on since NYC. I am also pregnant (with 2nd boy) and due on March 10th! I am so excited for you. Your nursery looks amazing. I’m jealous ;)

  • ~Kabe

    Oh, Fish! I know how much you went through to get Charlie, all of the worries and stress. I know how very loved and wanted that little Guppy is.

    But that said, I laughed so hard that I snorted at your post. Messy, uncomfortable, ridiculous business this is, growing a life.

    (I also think those who also have opinions on the baby’s NAME run a close third to the delightful trauma stories and the oh-so-helpful comments that you’re getting. Gah. Shut up, people.)

    I beam when I think of you holding that sweet baby. Can’t wait to see pictures of your little man.

  • Robin

    “You look radiant.” :)

  • Jerilyn

    I cannot begin to tell you how much the news of your pregnancy (and Charlie’s exploits in the womb) have cheered me. I will admit to having lost track of you over the last year…and stumbling across the announcement of 2.0 was a wonderful, uplifting update.

    Good, bad and ugly – I love the candor with which you choose to discuss your experience. Pregnancy has never been a “sunshine and roses” experience for me.
    I have experienced four pregnancies…four losses…ranging from 11 weeks to 18 weeks…the most recent a totally unexpected, but not unwelcome, surprise in April of 2013. That loss gutted me, completely. I am now 38, and have finally reached the point where I have had to come to peace with the realization that I may never give birth to my own child.

    That is why I toast and celebrate people like you – who can honestly state that it isn’t a vacation on a tropical beach…but it is worth the heartburn. So totally worth the “Jailhouse Tango” played against your ribcage.

    You love it, you hate it…you’ve been co-opted by a tiny, irrational dictator. You’re experiencing every last second of it, and you are sharing a tiny part with us. No one, and I mean NO ONE, has a right to judge your feelings about it. Right now, this is all about you…and Charlie…(and the Dork Lord) and determining exactly how you will exact your revenge when you show baby pics to his prom date. (Keep that in mind every time he does something absolutely mortifying.)

    Charlie is one lucky little man.

  • You look fantastic, I am so excited for you. Boys are awesome.
    Also, I am jealous of your nursery, it’s gorgeous.
    Pregnancy at the end sucks. I’m one of the obnoxious women who loves being pregnant, but I still lovingly refer to any children taking up residence in my womb as a “parasite”. But pregnancy does end, even if it starts to feel like it’s lasting forever.
    And Charlie will be perfect, because he will be yours. Best of luck to you, and prayers for all to go well.

  • k8iedid

    You look wonderful & you’re almost to the finish! Good luck for an uneventful delivery! xoxo

  • RzDrms

    My 15-seconds of fame; wheee! I couldn’t be happier that you’re enjoying all of Charlie’s gifts. Mine were but a tiny token of my appreciation for years of reading your blog and enjoying your writing. Thank you for sharing what you do, and I have hopes that we’ll all learn a lot about little Charlie as he enters this world and grows into a fun and joyous little boy. Can’t wait til he’s here and able to use all of his presents! I hope you felt “showered” a bit from all of us ladies from afar.