I’m 17 weeks into my pregnancy and I am already a bad mother

Guest post by Alyssa
Image used courtesy of XKCD.
Image used courtesy of XKCD.

Between the food you have to remember to eat and NOT eat, the myriad of doctor’s appointments and all the crazy acronyms that pregnancy boards toss ’round, no wonder women get pregnancy brain. Too much crap to remember and you brain shorts out and you put your phone in the freezer. (Don’t tell my partner Jethro.)

So anyway, 17 weeks and I’m already a bad mother.

First off, I don’t think I’m drinking enough water. Honestly, I don’t think anyone is drinking enough water, but since I’m sharing my space for the next five months, I should probably be more considerate. But I just don’t FEEL LIKE IT. It’s tough, trying to plow through 64 ounces a day. I mean, that’s a butt-ton of water, y’all. Yes, I can count other drinks as my fluid intake, but I JUST DON’T FEEL LIKE DRINKING.

Unless it’s a beer. Because I really super want one of those right now. I sipped one of Jethro’s crappy Coors Lights and it was like ambrosia dripping from the petals of a flower held by an angel.

Hell, if I’d had a Paulaner Hefe, my face might have exploded.

Second, I’m irritated with my belly. I blew right past baby bump and went straight into baby GUT. Which is cool, means I don’t have to suck in when waddling around anymore, pathetically trying to NOT look like I have a food baby rather than a real baby. The baby gut is mostly hard, but there is definite jiggle. Now, I realize most of the gut is my own organs and that nice layer of fat that I lovingly crafted of bacon cheeseburgers and sushi, but does there have to be JIGGLE? It feels funny. Not gross, just WEIRD. Aren’t pregnant bellies supposed to be all hard? Has Hollywood LIED to me?

Also, my gut has consumed my feet. I think feet are gross in general (Jethro has almost been stabbed many time after sticking his toes on me) so I don’t miss them. But did they have to go away so soon??


And by covering my feet, this also means my gut sticks out farther than my chest. Where are these amazing pregnancy ta-tas I’m supposed to get??? Why are they not growing in direct proportion to my stomach? I’ve always had a big chest and never once have I lamented their size, until now. I want bazongas that cannot be contained. I want boobies so big that I need a Hooter-Hider even in the privacy of my own home. I want the La Leche League to be knocking on my door, offering me endorsements. WHERE ARE MY GIANT BOOBS?

Third, we have decided to find out the gender, but for completely selfish reasons. I keep referring to Tater as “she,” mostly because I really do feel she’s a girl. This makes Jethro reflexively respond with “he,” because Jethro is scared of girls. He knows that a teeny little girl with giant eyes and curly hair will break him like nobody’s business and he does not want that. He also knows that one day she will have a boyfriend and considering how he feels about any wrong done to his sister, we know he will be possibly looking at future assault charges.

Previously, we thought we’d wait to find out. The ultimate surprise! No gender-molding! No pink onsies OR sports-themed baby tees! We are so progressive! However, because our relationship is built on a mountain of snark and bickering, Jethro and I have decided to find out the sex of the baby at our next appointment at the end of February. JUST TO PROVE EACH OTHER WRONG.

We are terrible people. Me moreso because I am bound and determined to get Jethro to bet on this. Mama needs some Kate Spade.

Finally, I am ambivalent about making the house baby-ready. I’m sure a nesting phase will set in, but right now my nesting consists of me wanting to buy baby stuff very badly. Which doesn’t count because I look for any excuse to buy things. “OMG, IT’S ARBOR DAY? There’s got to be a sale somewhereโ€ฆ.” However, Jethro is on a baby-proofing kick. It started with him wanting to add a railing to our stairs. We have the second and third floor of a condo, so we have return stairs that take us up the bedrooms. The bottom set doesn’t have a railing on either side and I made the mistake of joking about tumbling over the side and my ever-cautious husband now has a phobia of dropping the baby off the stairs. I want to tell him that you can drop the baby anywhere and it would be bad, but I don’t think I need to continue to contribute to his neuroses.

It probably won’t happen in the beginning, but eventually I’m going to stop sterilizing the baby’s binky after it falls out and just blow on it to remove the dog hair and pop it back in her mouth.

Jethro’s next pet project is that he thinks we need to replace our living room carpet. We have hardwood floors throughout, with the exception of a teeny square-footage where our TV and couches are. Apparently, this carpet is now “nasty.” This carpet was brand-new when we moved it. It is not pretty because it is brown and boring, but any part of the nasty is completely achieved by us. Does it need to be shampooed? Sure, we have a dog and I craft on it too much. It wouldn’t hurt. But I really don’t plan on serving the baby any of her strained carrots on the carpet, so WHY replace it? And shouldn’t the baby get USED to our brand of “nasty”?

It probably won’t happen in the beginning, but eventually I’m going to stop sterilizing the baby’s binky after it falls out and just blow on it to remove the dog hair and pop it back in her mouth. Because as fussy as we are right now, once we get the hang of this parent thing, we’re going to relax. And then we’re going to realize that we can’t protect Tater from ALL of the gross things in life, so we just need to protect her from the MOST gross. One day, we will find her licking the dog and we can either flip out, or just sigh and rescue poor Maggie. So we might as well start now and just clean the carpet and call it a day.

Because if this child is anything like me as a child, she is going to do enough damage that we will HAVE to replace the carpet before we move.

So, yeah. Bad Mama already. And I’m trying to be a little better. I’ll drink more water, stop glaring at my stomach as it jiggles as I walk upstairs and let Jethro plan on saving the Tater’s life before she even has her first breath. (PLAN, not actually do. I’m not endorsing the crazy.)

But don’t hold it against me if I count a Cherry Coke as part of my water intake. I got up to pee three times last night, Mama is TIRED.

Comments on I’m 17 weeks into my pregnancy and I am already a bad mother

  1. Love this post! I’ll be 18 weeks on Saturday, and I feel the saaaame way… how do all these other girls get these non jiggly stomachs? I can count coffee as water intake right? best of luck and love to you and your little family!

  2. I’m with you on just about every point you make here. What is with those crazy pregnancy acronyms for WORDS THAT TOTALLY DO NOT NEED TO BE MADE INTO ACRONYMS?!?! I can understand shortening “mother-in-law” to MIL, but what is all this “DD” (dear daughter) and “DH” (dear husband) crap? No adjective is necessary! We’ll be kind and assume your relatives are dear to you.

    I hate some cocktail wieners at a Super Bowl party and felt a wave of shame roll over me after I realized hotdogs were on the “Don’t Eat” list. I’m finding being pregnant is preparing me for motherhood more than I realize. Rule #1: Forgive Yourself of the Small Mistakes and Move On.

      • I had a craving once for a certain warehouse chain hot dog since being pregnant. My husband shuddered at the thought because he works for that warehouse chain. I never got my hot dog. ๐Ÿ™
        And I’m totally sure a hot dog ONCE in awhile is fine, like deli meat and soft cheeses.

      • they’re on the list because of nitrates, a preservative put in processed meats to prevent the growth of bacteria like listeria. like anything else, the occasional isn’t likely to be a problem. but nitrates have been linked to birth defects and miscarriage. the good news? i forget which brand, oscar meyer i think, offers hot dogs and other processed meats WITHOUT nitrates ๐Ÿ™‚

        i DID eat one of those “warehouse” hot dogs… one and a half actually… and as soon as i realized i paniced, jumped on the internet, and learned all the above ๐Ÿ™‚ personally i didn’t finish the second hot dog because for me it just isn’t worth the risk but that doesn’t make me right!

      • Hot dogs are fine as long as they’re cooked. you’re just supposed to avoid deli meats (including cold small cocktail dogs) unless they are heated up to a certain temp right before you eat them. They can have listeria. So well-heated hot dogs should be fine.

    • Don’t get me started on the “don’t eat” list. A lot of them have to do with fear of food born bacteria, except in many cases they’re outdated / irrelevant. If there’s something you want to eat and the internet has you scared of it, talk to your doctor for the real deal.

      • Yes, like all the soft cheeses you aren’t supposed to eat. Except, you only need to avoid them if they aren’t pasteurized. In America, unless you’re buying them from a specialty shop, this is pretty much a not issue. I’m sure European mom’s need to be super careful, but I never came across unpasteurized goat cheese while I was pregnant.

      • Hahaha. For the longest time, whenever I would see a commenter refer to herself as an FTM, I would think, man, there are a LOT of female-to-male trans folk on this board. That’s cool.
        Turns out FTM means “first-time-mom.”

    • I sat in a hot tub on my honeymoon (while 6 weeks pregnant) for about 10 minutes before jumping up and yelping “I can’t be in here! I’m boiling the baby!”

      Everything turned out okay. Phew.

      • While pregnant with my daughter I worked 2 jobs, no car, and everything was miles away so I walked ALLOT while hips were spreading. I took boiling hot baths to soak my sore muscles… never even thought about boiling my daughter till after she was born and read it lol.

  3. I relate to this so many different ways… from impossible acronyms, to being 17 weeks (We just found out it is a girl!!) I still haven’t reminded my husband about what a difficult time he had when his much younger sister went through puberty. To him wanting to rip out all the carpet in the WHOLE HOUSE!! I didn’t used to like drinking that much… but now that I can’t have it. I WANT!!
    Thanks for writing this!

  4. I can totally relate to the “I’m not drinking enough water” thing. Where’s all this pregnancy-induced constant peeing I’m supposed to be experiencing? Am I the only pregnant woman on the planet NOT running to the bathroom 15 times a day?

    Anyway thanks for this ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post!

    • The water craving may kick in soon. I didn’t want any water till some where in my 20’s weeks and now I can’t have enough (36 weeks now.)The peeing non stop thing, for me, didn’t start till about 2 weeks ago once the baby got big enough to sit on my bladder all day long.
      My doc’s advise is to “make your pregnancy your own.” Nothing will seem “normal” to you if you compare yourself to others (or others constantly remind you how abnormal you are compared to themselves.) Shrug it off and do you best to just be who you are at any given day over the entire 40 weeks.

    • I have only had a handful if nights where I woke up at all, let alone to per and I do drink enough water. I am an opera singer and NEED water constantly, I drink about a gallon everyday. Even with a basketball hard tummy you feel akward. Even when you do everything right you can be a bad mom. I’m 3 days overdue and while I really really can’t wait to meet my little monster, I also can’t wait to have my body and margaritas back. These are major concerns of mine. I want all of them!!!! Now.

    • With my first pregnancy, I was peeing normally until about 8 months. My mom was convinced something was wrong with me, it was just how the baby was positioned in me.

  5. This made me laugh out loud at work, oopsies. I’m not going to be a mom anytime soon but I hope I maintain a sense of humor like yours to deal with all the frustrations pregnancy brings. You sound like you are going to be an excellent and hilarious mother!

  6. I absolutely agree with the not drinking enough water thing! I can get through the first 30 ounces, but it’s a struggle after that. I try and stop drinking before bedtime too, because our bathroom is down a flight of stairs, not keen on navigating them at 3 in the morning!

  7. I’m the last of 4 kids. My mom always says that when my (oldest) sister dropped her pacifier, they’d pretty much always boil it. When my brothers were born (they’re twins), they just rinsed it off in the sink. When I dropped it, I was lucky to get it wiped off on a shirt!

    Guess what, I’m perfectly fine! Being not crazy does not make one a bad mom!

  8. I’m only about 6 weeks in, but I already totally relate! Is it awful that I’m not reading every book/web site and watching baby documentaries? My friends are watching them for me, and I haven’t even been to my first doctor’s appointment yet.

    • Don’t watch them. Honestly. The more I read the more symptoms I got and the more fear and anxiety I had. That’s worse for you and the baby then lack of knowledge on every little thing you probably won’t encounter. Get information on a need to know basis only. My2Cents.

      • I completely agree. I’m a huge fan of information — the more, the better, as far as I’m concerned — but I’ve deliberately not learned yet about later stages of pregnancy and birth. I know I’m going to stress and fuss and worry and second-guess myself on a lot of it, and if I don’t need to do that now, why do so? I’m looking forward to learning more when the time comes, but for now ignorance *is* bliss!

  9. Yes, hilarious! I am a big lady and it took forever for my belly to look like there was a baby in there. Don’t worry you got some time left on that baby making and your belly will get un-squishy!

    Finally: Oh knock it off already! I can totally tell you’re going to be a great Mama! Congratulations!

  10. During my pregnancy I kept being told about all the things I couldn’t eat and was finally like, “If I actually follow this list, my growing baby and I are going to fucking STARVE!” So I decided, if it doesn’t smell like poison and I’m craving it like crazy then I’ll just use my pregnancy-brained sense of reason. My kid got here safe and there was no food poisoning anywhere in there so I guess it worked for us!

    And the waking up to go pee all the time is training for waking up with a crying baby all night! ๐Ÿ˜›

  11. I’m with you 100%. I have 5 much younger siblings and a 7 month old nephew, babies are not new to me, and I will never be the suburban supermom. Pacifier on the floor? Lick it yourself and stick it back in his mouth. Birthday cake frosting at 3 months? Why not? Heck, my nephew is obsessed with my dogs rubber ring toy. Sometimes he chews on it too. My mom calls it “antibodies”. You should have seen the look of horror on the sales lady’s face when I said no, we don’t need corner bumpers. Dude will learn to look where he’s going… none of our tables are made of steel or have massively sharp corners.

    My mom was the same way, and my siblings and I are all perfectly healthy with no allergies. I’ve been eating deli meats and drinking soda, and nugget is growing wonderfully at 25 weeks. My family’s just a little white trash, but whatev.

    Also, I’m jiggling all over the place, and I’ve been totally screwed in the boob size department… but that’s not new – I’m a chubby chick anyway and I never got my chubby chick boobs either.

  12. Yay for this.

    It seems like there’s this false assumption that obsessing over details automatically makes something better. I didn’t obsess over the details of my wedding, and it was an effing blast, so I’m not going to obsess over the details of my pregnancy, either.

    But, seriously, why is it so hard to drink enough water? I feel like I’m drowning and it’s still not enough!

    • My doctor said I should drink 12 glasses a day! That seems like a near impossible task like drinking a gallon of milk in five minutes or something.

  13. LOL! Love this. I’m certain I’ll have this same attitude about pregnancy and parenting. Being “serious” about your new role as a parent doesn’t mean that your sense of humor about this crazy journey is gone!

  14. I’m with ya!!! I can relate in so many ways.
    I hate my belly as well. It is so strange! Some days it’s harder than others, and on some days its squishy and jiggles as well. I recently started getting stretch marks and even though I know this is part of being pregnant, I HATE it, it honestly upsets me and I just want the lil bugger to move out already. How much more damage can he do in ten weeks? I had worked so hard right before getting pregnant to get into shape and look good and this whole experience is taking away from all the hard work I accomplished. Back to square one, darn it!
    It drives me crazy that I can’t see my feet, or even worse, my vagina. I haven’t seen that in a few months. Very hard to do maintenance if you can’t reach it or see it for that matter. Ugh.
    My husband has to remind me to keep drinking water. If it wasn’t for him, I’m sure I’d only have a few cups a day. I’m just NOT thirsty.
    The one thing I have going for me is that I naturally eat healthy. However, I hate it when people tell me I’m not “eating enough” when I’m downing handfuls of fruits and veggies and other various health foods. I like my turkey burgers without the bun, so what? I’m a bad mom cuz I don’t want a whole wheat bun, and would rather have steamed veggies instead of fries? Really? Leave me be cuz I’ll eventually shove a hot dog down my throat, followed by some ice cream, just to satisfy a craving.
    I haven’t had any large amount of alcohol to drink at one time since becoming pregnant, but when I entered into my 2nd trimester I started having a sip of my husband’s beer (few times a month is all). Just a sip and I can’t help but think “Sorry kiddo, Harvard wasn’t in our budget anyways.” Ok, that one I don’t mean…entirely.
    I hate anyone trying to talk or touch my belly. Until the baby comes out, I’m still here. You’re touching me, and talking to me. I don’t care if doctors say it’s great to talk to the baby to stimulate him. I talk enough, he hears my voice. He’s stimulated enough.
    We don’t need any more stuffed animals in the house. If the kid wants one, he can borrow one of the dogs. Maybe I’ll even toss it in the washer before I give it to him. Either way, by the end of the day I know my dog will be making any stuffed animal his bitch.
    Sorry no, we’re not using a crib, bouncer, swing, or even highchair. I don’t have the space for any of those. We’ll do without. They make it work in Africa.
    You’re not a bad mom! I don’t think I’m going to be a “bad” mom either, but after being a nanny for 7 years to 12 different kids from newborn to 16yrs, I’ve learned a few things that don’t make me feel like I have to be “perfect”. I just have a different style. Or at least that’s what I’m going to call it.

  15. I’m 32 (eeps! ) weeks along, and I have never cared for any of the preggo lady rules they insist on implementing. There was a week where i ate nothing but hot dogs. A a whole first trimester where I lived off of crackers and peanut butter. I’ve eaten sushi, tuna, medium rare steak (SO MUCH BETTER WITH THE SUPER TASTE), and I haven’t been taking my prenatal vitamins. Okay so maybe I should take my prenatal vitamins but I CAN NEVER REMEMBER. When the baby gets here, she will be loved, but never coddled. She’ll probably eat peanuts. Me gasp.

    • I’m always forgetting my vitamin too! How is it so hard to remember when I was on contraceptive pills for ten years before getting pregnant??

        • I’m on the pre-trying wagon, and I keep forgetting to take mine as well. Because we havent told anyone we are trying, they get put away when we have visitors, so I have to remember to get them out again.

          I am so totally planning on continuing to maintain myself while pregnant. I might not have time once I have a baby!

    • I never took my prenatal vitamins either. I always forgot which is part of the reason that I got off the pill in the first place and onto the ring. Regardless, I remember sitting across the table from a newly pregnant friend of mine discussing her pregnancy. She was going on and on about how she might need to up her folic acid and was going to ask the doctor for more recommendations on vitamins and she looked at me and said “what prenatals did you take?” Sensing that my friend was wound up entirely too tight, I looked her dead in the eye and said “none.” She about keeled over. But seriously, after that I told her to throw out that stupid What To Expect book and just enjoy being pregnant and only consult the doctor when there is a real problem. All the hype and neuroses regarding pregnancy only sets people up to be helicopter crazy parents.

    • I take pre-natal (gummy!) vitamins every day and I’m not pregnant (nor planning on being so any time in the near future)!
      I just love what they do for my hair and nails so I pop a dose (or four) every night after dinner as a little dessert.

  16. Haha oh man, I do not think I have EVER related so closely to a post on this website in all two years of reading! So awesome. Just, so awesome.

  17. I just LOVE this!! I just had my 3rd baby (and last, might i add) and I completely agree with you. The weight gain, excessive trips to the bathroom (even when I thought I was going to burst and all I got out was a trickle) and the cravings. I think it’s okay to eat some of the do not eat list as long as it is in moderation, just my personal opinion since I did that myself. I followed lots of rules, I did NOT do any drugs, drink any alcohol, or smoke, so what if I ate a hot dog?? I even drank an excess of fluids,plenty of water but even some coffee, some milk, and I LOVED sweet tea and all of my babies are healthy!

    Good luck with your baby. You will be a GREAT MOM!

  18. You know, the beer cravings might be a legitimate pregnancy craving. They were for me. Try eating some barley or, even better, pick up some nonalcoholic beer (there’s something in the barley that helps with milk production). Yes, I know its gross, but it satisfied my cravings. I just needed about one a week. At least until I got gestational diabetes and couldn’t have *that* either.

  19. My mom drank beer, smoked pot and didnt get a Dr apt for me until she was 5 months along and I turned out fine, so I gave myself permission to eat a turkey sandwich every once in awhile during my pregnancy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Indeed, be careful what you wish for.
      Mine were pretty huge to begin with, and they’ve only gotten bigger — they feel *so* heavy, and they hurt, and my nipples are bumpy and flaky, and I have to wear a bra to bed, and I’m having to buy bras in sizes that are closer to Dan Savage’s GGG than any letter used to grade papers.
      I know they’re doing this so they’ll be in shape for the Peanut, but is it necessary to start at 10 weeks?

  20. I’m due with my first on Tuesday, and I *still* haven’t had a nesting phase. I’m not entirely convinced nesting isn’t a myth. We have the same issue with the carpet and the dog hair, too. Basically, I love this entire post. I still eat turkey sandwiches, and parenting board acronyms are ridiculous. Am I the only one who thinks DH, etc. sounds vaguely condescending?

    Oh, and I totally count my Cherry Coke. It’s liquid, baby.

  21. I craved tequila and I made my fiancรฉ rip up all the carpet because it was gross. haha and I won’t even pretend I didn’t sushi for 9 months. I’m sure prego Japanese women do…?

  22. I hate to tell you this, but the only “nesting” I did was to make a list of stuff I thought I should get around to doing before I had the baby. I did none of it.

      • My husband had a giant, giant nesting binge a few weeks before the baby came. I mean, he rearranged all the furniture and scrubbed the kitchen floor twice. I… baked muffins once?

Read more comments

Join the Conversation