Where the hell is my glow?

by Janelle Hanchett

I’m 27 weeks and 1 day pregnant. You would think I’m in Peak Glow Zone. But I’m not. I think somebody has stolen my glow.

Somebody has stolen my glow and replaced it with hemorrhoids.

What? Too much information? TELL ME ABOUT IT. It’s too much information FOR ME and I’m the one dealing with it. I know things about myself I’ve never wanted to know. Regions of my body that should be ignored at all costs have become the central focus of my day.

I have an idea. Maybe we can stop talking about this for a minute or two and instead, you can shoot me.


Oh that’s right. Old people and lucky pregnant women.

So you call your midwife and she’s like “Don’t use that over-the-counter stuff it’s got mercury in it” (you hang your head, having already used it for two days you are sure you ruined your baby with mercury poisoning) but then she suggests potatoes and you’re like “You want me to do WHAT with potatoes?”

I’m sorry. Is this unpleasant? Of course it’s fucking unpleasant. This is what I’m trying to tell you. I’m supposed to be glowing but instead I’m being told to do ungodly things with potatoes.

One thing I know for sure: My glow has definitely not been dimmed by sleep problems. I mean, provided I meet a few simple conditions, I sleep like a damn baby.
You know, as long as

I’m on my left side or my right side (but not either side too long)

and I’ve got a pillow between my legs

and one under my belly and

one to hug,

and I have eaten recently but not too recently because heartburn

and we have the rear bodily region taken care of

and I’ve peed within the last 15 minutes and

it’s not too hot and

there are no weird smells in the air

and my husband isn’t snoring

and the dog isn’t snoring either and there aren’t offspring taking up the bed and making me really super fucking hot and the

baby isn’t poking my bladder with one of its 12 limbs

and it isn’t between the hours of 2 and 4 because those hours are for thinking not sleeping dumbass,

I sleep fine. I sleep great. I’m out like a motherfucking light.

Now that I think about it, there may be a small sleep issue harshing my glow.

Or maybe it’s the fact that my 3-year-old has recently learned the word “Never!” but not just never like standard never, she’s learned the never that’s stretched out, like “Neverrrrr!!” You know, the dramatic one yelled in response to the enemy force demanding that you “Surrender!” but instead you charge forward in brave defiance, wielding a sword and screaming “NEVERRRRR!”

And Georgia now says it about 174 times a day.

“George. Put on your socks.”


“Georgia, come eat your dinner.”


“Georgia. Say you’re sorry for ramming your finger up Rocket’s nose.”


That shit will fuck with your glow, I tell you.

I should be a soft picture of maternal beauty, but at some point my softness morphed into a walking ball of STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING NOW or I may kill you. The other night at dinner I was literally going around the table telling each member of my family how they were eating wrong. As I was doing it, I knew it was insane.

Now ask me if I stopped.


Speaking of not stopping, maybe the glow diminishes with every empty carbohydrate you consume. If that’s the case, we have discovered the problem, folks. I’ve gained 35 pounds already (FUCK OFF SCALE) and it’s not healthy weight. I know this because I’m not eating healthy food. I mean I do sometimes. It’s not like I’ve consciously eliminated healthy food. I just supplement it with the occasional almond croissant. On occasion. Occasionally. Somewhat regularly.

Somebody give me a glow.

I haven’t bought any baby stuff because Jesus who has time for that shit?

I want to get excited but all I am is uncomfortable and tired and trying to figure out how the end of the third trimester has come 2 months early and how it is that my entire lower region is being held together by strings (that’s what it feels like, not actually what’s happening) and WHAT, exactly, compelled this whole circus.

I want to be glowing, but I’m a dim flickering bulb, barely doing its job and annoying the shit out of people.

The other day my husband watched our 3 kids walk out of the room and with a very serious face asked “Why did we think we needed another?” and the truth is I really couldn’t answer and NO it’s not that I don’t want this baby and NO it’s not that there’s any doubt in my mind that the second this child locks eyes with me and I inhale his (her?) heaven breath and watch the petal mouth root for my breast that I will think to myself “Oh. There you are. How did we make it this long without you?”

But for now, when I’m supposed to be “committing to a nursery theme” (we have no nursery) or joyously picking out a “going-home outfit” or planning a “baby moon” (what the fuck is a “baby moon?”) or laying around fantasizing all day about fingers and toes and dimpled elbows I’m like “Leave me alone so I can soak my ass in some Epsom salts.”

And then I hop onto Old Navy to buy my svelte little body some maternity clothes and I see this broad:


and while she’s skipping all joyous and shit like some sort of blond happy swan I’m like “Where’s the Metamucil, assholes?”

It’s all so hot. I’m just so hot.

My glow, it’s everywhere. In all the places.  Can you feel it? I’m a radiant ball of reproducing glory.

Somebody hire a photographer so I can take those maternity shots where the mom makes a heart with her fingers and holds it in soft sunlight over the gorgeous arch of her womb.

Yes. Please. Let’s do that. That will be cute. I feel so cute right now.

Can’t you see it in my face? The double chin? ANYWHERE? (No seriously I couldn’t even muster the energy to look away from the damn phone or attempt to “smile for the camera!” Couldn’t be funny. Couldn’t be cute. Could only push button.)

the face of joy

the face of joy

I’ve got 13 weeks to get my motherfucking glow back.


Think I can do it?

  • Katie Chapman

    Sorry, I couldn’t see your double chin–I was focusing on your perfect complexion, your super pretty haircut, that beautiful baby belly, and how much I love your verbage!! I used to tell people who said, “Oh, you’re gloowwwwing!” with “Yeah…it’s just sweat.” (which, incidentally, is the reason my doc gave me for MY boobs itching all the time lately 😉 I’m 30 weeks and looking forward to journeying through the last few weeks with you, mama!

  • Dani

    I’m pretty sure you’re only allowed a glow on the first one, when you’re lying around being fanned by your adoring husband who’s just so enamoured (I hope) with you and the family you’re creating for him with your body that no request is too inane and your insults land with soft feathers to bounce off his enormous heart. By the fourth, the first three are still requiring attention, your family are over it and you’ve realised that no, the hard part isn’t over once the baby crowns.

    On a different note, you have my sympathy for the bottom situation.

    • Stacie

      “I’m pretty sure you’re only allowed a glow on the first one, when you’re lying around being fanned by your adoring husband who’s just so enamoured (I hope) with you and the family you’re creating for him with your body that no request is too inane and your insults land with soft feathers to bounce off his enormous heart.”

      Haaaa!!! None of that here on the first one. I had no special treatment from my husband and still was working full time, doing all the housework, on my knees scrubbing the toilet, laundry, etc. No extra romance or appreciation here. I wish men had a better understanding of all we do.

      • sonia

        you need a better husband 🙁

    • KB: Mother of Gremlins

      ;___; Can I trade in my lack of glow these first three times for a hopeful semi-glow for the fourth? Due maybe never >__> I might just eat them all with BBQ and pretend I didn’t have kids ok. (morbid, I know…don’t worry, no one is eating the kids!)

      32 weeks and have given up on glow in favor of “The baby needs that, sorry” when I reach for the last cookie.

  • clairebear

    You should get a sick note for that! I once got a sick note when I was pregnant. It said I had “medical condition” and had to lie down with my feet up until baaby was born and/or symptoms abated. It did not say I had other, bigger babies, and fuck all chance of lying down. It didn’t say (thank you) that I had vulval phlebitis (Hemorrhoids of the cunt, and yeah…once I was sure it wasn’t life/birth threatening, I screamed). Incredibly, they got better, and went away. And so did the haemerrroids. Moral: random is random?

    • Dani

      Haemorrhoids of the oh my fucking god what? I’m sticking with one. I’m not running the risk of that ever happening. Clearly I was lucky the first time. I’m not pushing my luck. Or pushing anything ever again from anywhere, just in case.

  • John E. Keats

    Umm . . . baby wipes soaked in witch hazel might help, and should be safe, and sure as hell sound better than potatoes. But I’m no midwife. I probably don’t belong here. I came for the prose, the great voice, and God help me, now I can’t leave . . .

    • renegademama

      Best comment ever. Hysterical.

      Also, you totally belong. Clearly. And that was not sarcasm.

  • Vicky

    I feel ya, Sister. I’m 34 weeks and the next person to tell me how big my belly is is going to get a lead pipe to the throat. I woke up last night 2ce to pee and once with that mysterious ass pain. There will be no nursery theme. Any component of our potential nursery is in our garage, and I don’t care. I can wheel in a basanett thing to our room and we are good to go for a couple months. I’m too busy wrangling my 2 year old and waffle from “what a great gift we are giving our daughter by giving her a sister” to ” what the hell were we thinking??!?” So if you find any sort of glow, send some my way. I’ll do the same.

  • Erin

    When I saw the Old Navy mom-to-be skipping across the screen I secretly hoped she would smack her face into the wall. Where are all the mom-to-be models who can’t manage to get a shirt to fit over their sweet little bump and therefore walk around with the whole bottom of their stomachs hanging out all day?

    • Emily

      Am I the only one who noticed that Old Navy mom has a seriously broken left arm? Talk about unrealistic expectations.

  • Jessie

    Maybe your boobs are itching due to dryness? I was super itchy during some of my many pregnancies (ok, four)( but not the fourth, so had forgotten until you mentioned it), and unscented body cream did help. You know, when you have time. I used some with dead sea salts which was nice, but I was in Israel at the time.

  • Beth

    I got hemorrhoids from delivery. They were worse than the c-section pain. I could not use the hemorrhoid cream as it says not to use if you are on anti-depressants. I soaked mamacloth pads in witchhazel and wore those. The only relief I could stand.

  • Melissa Feliciano

    I will bet money that Georgia picked up “Neverrrrrrrrrr!!!” from a certain Disney channel show that involves pirates. I know, because my four year old son does the exact same thing. I feel your pain.

  • Kim

    OMG. Ok. Tmi? Maybe, for some people. BUT, as a person who has four kids and has experienced nary a pregnancy and who SUCKED so badly at having a uterus that they sucked it out through my belly button, I often get jealous of reproductive people. You have helped with that! I am NOT jealous of these things. Thank you for being honest with me, it helps me cope.
    Bet you didn’t foresee your talking about hemmeroids being a fucking service project, huh?

    • Jillis

      I’m right there with you, Kim. Most of the time I hear about the glow and the kicks that I am missing but every now and then someone pulls me to the side and tells me how jealous they are that I get to keep my vag intact. Grass is greener and whatnot.

  • Steffers

    All I can say is I feel your pain, literally. Try these – take 1 every night with a glass of water. Your dignity (& the potatoes) will thank you! http://bit.ly/1krLvBa

  • Steffers again

    And for the itchy boobs… stand over the sink & pour some plain old white vinegar on them! Easy peasy and super cheap!

  • Leeza

    Just wait til you get a varicose vein on your vajayjay. That’s when it gets real fun. I didn’t even know that could happen until it did. No one tells you that before you have babies, or even when your preggers the first time. Nope, its those subsequent babies. Luckily, once the baby is born you won’t remember any of this. It will be like a really weird dream that you’ll try to explain but will keep missing the key parts of….also, I hate when that happens.

  • Diana

    Wait. Like, mashed potatoes that you slap in there or more of a potato wedge, or are we talking thin-sliced a la scalloped? I can’t stop thinking about the logistics of this. In any case, that sounds insane! I swear by prune juice (drink) and coconut oil (smear on the rear)

  • Liz

    I am currently 17 weeks pregnant and in contemplating get an additional pair of maternity pants this weekend, because one of the pairs I have from my last pregnancy fits fine while the other is falling off my ass, I too came across this shot on the Old Navy website. Instead of buying anything I immediately got mad since the photos in no way reflect how I feel right now.

  • Nicole

    Somebody has stolen my glow and replaced it with haemorrhoids = tea spitting out material. Bahaaa. The gift that keeps giving that one . . . (says a mom of an 11 mth old who is still fighting the good H fight and wondering about what to do with a potato now . . .) Ha!!

  • katrina

    you are so awesome. I can’t wait to read your book. every blog of yours that I read I feel like it is me talking because I can relate yo EVERYTHING you write. uncanny. i have a 7 month old girl and a 4 year old boy and i definately had NO glow this last pregnancy. i was a compkete bitch 90 % of the time i was pregnant. my poor husband….but why did he smell so bad while i was pregnant? and why did he breathe like that??! Thank you for bringing a smile to my face once again, and giving me the validation that I need to believe that I am not as crazy as I feel…

  • Annie

    I’m so sorry you are not glowing, or sleeping and that your butt hurts:( Most of us have been there, done that. Not me, I will never admit that I had issues in the butt area. FYI: witch hazel on wipes works great, not that I know.

  • jaana

    pregnancy is the worst.

  • Renee'

    I never glowed. I never slept. I had hemorrhoids. It is all a lie! Also, I have three words; aloe vera plant!!! Works wonders!

  • Brandi

    No glow for me. I had backne, hotflashes, mood swings, and 45 extra pounds. Never a glow. Just misery and sciatic pain…

  • Sara

    I’ve decided that the “glow” thing is just a polite habit that non-pregnant people tell pregnant people because they don’t want to get punched in the throat…

  • catherine

    I’m 26 wks pregnant with #3. Thanks for this today. My car wouldn’t start today so I had to walk 6km in -20C to get the kids to daycare and school and me to work. It hurts to sleep and I’m cranky and yell at my kids too much and everything under my underwear has varicose veins. My hoo ha looks like it has grapes. I honestly read the part about the potato and thought “hmm, that sounds soothing”.

    • Diana

      You are so hardcore. I would’ve stayed in bed. I tip my hat to you, lady!

  • Siobhan

    Glow is a code word for barfing, right? Because I totally had that during pregnancy. 9 long months of “glowing” all over the place.

  • Carly

    Yes, another child happily overusing the word neverrrrrrr! Thought mine were the only ones. I put up with it only because they’ve taught their friends to do it now, mwah ha ha.
    Hope the piles shrink and disappear overnight, without the aid of potatoes. Think I’d rather have the piles than that cure!

  • Erin Smith

    I just wanted you to know how much I love your blog. I have three kids under five and everything you write seems like you took the words straight from my thoughts! I was a little worried when I started reading your last post because at first I thought you were giving up your blog all together. Weirdly (ok hope this doesn’t sound creepy) it would be like losing touch with a friend. So glad to hear you are getting something back for what you do. Keep up the good work, you are a very talented writer!

  • Bridgette

    Every time I read your blogs I think…what is wrong with her? Then I laugh until I almost cry and realize nothing is wrong. She just says it like it is and I’m wayyyyy to sensitive to say that stuff for fear someone will dislike me. So, rock on. Maybe you should make yourself a countdown calendar with a chocolate for every day until the baby gets here (only kidding..kinda). Love you!

  • JEBS

    I just stumbled upon your blog and its the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
    I mean, since my pregnancy hemmoroids cleared up and my ass stopped bleeding….of course.

    I also lacked the glow both times but baby number 2 liked to punch (punch or claw at) her gateway out.

    What a miracle.

  • Kelly

    Fuck I love this blog. I just had to leave that comment. Im 36 weeks myself, and full of ragey discomfort. So I relate. Thank you for all you write!

  • Sonja

    27wks 1d? Methinks we have the same due date.

    This is my second baby and hitting the 3rd trimester mark yesterday I nearly ran around the block screaming “OH MY GOD WHAT WAS I THINKING HAVING AN ACTUAL BABY?!” We’re moving soon and my husband and I are on opposite sides of baby prep. Him: “We still have three months.” My hormones: “WE ONLY HAVE THREE MONTHS.”

    I have a friend with a seven month old baby who misses being pregnant. I believe she is clinically insane and would happily let her finish gestating for me so that I can do something other than pee all day long.

  • Workingmommawithababy

    My almost 3 year old has figured out the phrase “never” too! It’s so super fun to hear during every conversation. Such a fun age of independence haha

  • marjorie

    Now ask me if I stopped.
    Dear lord I laughed like a crazy person all alone in my house. I suppose it’s only funny cuz it’s SO DAMN TRUE!

  • Mel

    Anyone who actually does glow in that mythical ‘wow I’m soundly not vomiting and my libido is roaring back’ 2nd trimester is either:
    a. lying
    b. not lying but for the sake of the rest of us should experience their ‘glow’ in quiet gratitude. Quiet people. The rest of us are/were cranky, uncomfortable bitches.

  • Liz

    Bwah ha ha ha! I love this post! It perfectly describes why my third pregnancy was my last. Even the joy of driving my husband to his vasectomy appointment couldn’t make me feel better about my state at the time. But, isn’t it so amazing that just about all of these complaints disappear as soon as the baby is born? Not much longer now.

    Also-I think it is great that you are adding sponsors and getting compensated for your work on this blog. Well-deserved!

  • Emilie

    I am 25 weeks pregnant plus 3 days with my second girl. I am exhausted, depressed and very emotional. I am not having a third one like this. No freaking way!

    Despite the fact that our oldest is almost 3, my husband is still wants to hang out with his friends all the time and leave ”the exhausted-pregnant-me” alone with our daughter.

    I read one of your other post where you were talking about how your whole personnality has to shift when you become a mother. And I told him about it and told him how hard I found it to change completely, to give up my personnal freedom. That I DID NOT KNOW it would be that hard.

    He does not seem to realize it is the same for him. He has to willingly give up his personnal freedom now. This time of his life is over until the kids are grown. We do try to keep time for ourselves from time to time but it is likely that it does not happend every week-end…

    Darn, sorry this is turning into a vent about my husband on your awesome blog.

    All I want to say is : I DONT FUCKING GLOW EITHER. I want this baby to come out and be awesome and perfect and be on mat leave for a year.

  • T.Nichols

    LOL … I really wish I had found this blog while I was pregnant (my little one is 6 months old now). Maybe then I would’ve had something to help me laugh my way through my pregnancy.

    You’re hilarious. I love it.

  • Jordan

    You’re my favorite. I’m currently 26 weeks pregnant, discovered a hemorrhoid at 24 weeks, and I lost the glow like a month and a half ago. Okay that’s a lie, I never had any glow, I had makeup. And that shit stopped like a month and a half ago.

    Can I just say that it looks like the Old Navy lady is about to walk into the fucking wall? If she’d wipe that smug grin off her face and watch where she’s going… But, hey, at least she’s not wearing heels like all the models in the maternity pants section.

    HEELS? Are you kidding me? My feet don’t even fit in anything but flip flops anymore, I sure as shit couldn’t wear heels.

  • Lola

    Lady, I love your writing, your honesty, and your awesomeness. Humor is a big part of that awesomeness. Thanks, as always, for sharing.

  • Rosa

    My 3 yo is into the same phrase and it gets old fast. It is cute and irritating. She is my last baby, sigh. Your fourth pregnancy sounds like my fourth pregnancy. It pretty much sealed the dealio that I was d-o-n-e with this pregnancy shite.

    I am reading your blog instead of everything else I *should* be doing.

  • bit.ly

    I rarely drop responses, however i did a few searching and wound up
    here Where the hell is my glow? – renegade mothering.
    And I actually do have a few questions for you if it’s allright.

    Could it be simply me or does it seem like a few of the comments look
    as if they are written by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing
    on other places, I’d like to keep up with everything new you have to post.
    Could you list of the complete urls of your community
    pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed,
    or linkedin profile?

  • Latonya

    I every time spent my half an hour to read this blog’s articles or reviews everyday along with a mug of coffee.

  • KB: Mother of Gremlins

    The almost rational human being in me wants to pretend you didn’t say potatoes….the big round fat gremlin with negative glow would like to know sweet or red or white? And what do I do with it again >_>?