14 most spectacularly uncool moments of my pregnancies, summarized for women waiting for a baby who will never come.

by Janelle Hanchett

My friend is 38 weeks pregnant and I sense she feels a little guilty about not enjoying these final weeks of pregnancy at all.  

And so, for her and all the other mothers out there in their last few weeks of pregnancy wondering if it actually sucks as bad as you think it does, I offer this compilation of the 14 biggest bullshit moments of my four pregnancies, all of which occurred in the last few weeks of said gestational periods.

Now, before I continue, I need to warn you: This is for sure beyond “too-much-information” and possibly falls into the Do-You-Have-No-Dignity-Left-At-All category, but I’m posting it anyway because, you know what? The last month of pregnancy is TMI.

The whole fucking thing is too much information.

Women go through some shit – often literally – to have these babies. We endure a physical discomfort and bodily weirdness that defies all reason and decency, and yet we continue. We go on. We go on to birth these babies and mother them through it all, because we are badasses. Period. So I’m going to talk about the real things because they are the, um, real things.

Plus, I love you all more than I love my dignity.

So, here we go:

  1. The time with my first kid when my entire family showed up a week before my due date waiting for the baby and every day I got to waddle downstairs – having gained 70 pounds due to donuts and preeclampsia, resulting in ankles my husband used to indent two inches with his finger and roar in laughter, and though I wanted to tell the family gathered round to FUCK OFF AND DIE BECAUSE NO THERE AREN’T CONTRACTIONS,” I couldn’t say that because I was still trying to be “nice.” (I was only 22. Cut me some slack.)
  2. The day before that same first kid was born and I stomped downstairs like an irate penguin and my husband Mac looked at me and said, “Well, good morning, gentle feather.” And I couldn’t stab him.
  3. That time I was vacuuming and slightly lost control of my bowels, which nobody tells you is even a thing or could be a thing, but, apparently, IS, and then later that day had to stand on a scale while a male OBGYN looked at me and said, “We should probably talk about your weight gain.” And I couldn’t stab him either.
  4. Or perhaps it was the endless attempts at using sex to “induce labor” which really just meant my husband got to enjoy life even more while I prayed to baby Jesus mine would end if I couldn’t have this baby today.
  5. Or how about that time I had my first homebirth and had some bullshit bacteria in my vagina, so the midwives told me to take a clove of garlic, needle a string through it, and insert into my vag as a special device they lovingly called a “garlic tampon.”
  6. Followed by an injection of yogurt into the vagina. You haven’t known “low point” until you’ve inserted yogurt into an orifice you can’t even see.
  7. Waitwaitwait no. Fuck that. None of us have known “low-point” until you have hemorrhoids so bad you can barely walk and no medicine works so your midwife suggests “a potato suppository” and you find yourself at 2am cutting a potato into a thin strip to shove up your ass because life is no longer worth living.
  8. And then both dumbass hippie remedies work, meaning everything you knew about the world is wrong, and you’re still pregnant, so feel no joy. Because I want my baby. All I want is my baby, who is never coming. This is a fact. Never coming.
  9. Speaking of baby, my favorite is when the baby “drops” and everyone says “any day now” and “Aren’t you more comfortable now?” and you’re like NO MOTHERFUCKER NOW THE BABY IS ON MY BLADDER AND HALF OUT MY VAGINA INSTEAD OF WEDGED IN MY RIBS. How the hell do you define ‘comfort?’”
  10. With my last pregnancy, I taught college until five days before my due date and the only car we had for me was this tiny maroon Toyota scion with a stick shift and every single time I got in it, I was sure I could never get out, and I’d have to basically throw my upper body out the car and hope for the best, all in front of a bunch of perky ass teenagers with incredible optimism and zest for life while I attempted to launch myself out of a small, rusty vehicle. Who am I and how did I get here. I woke up every day for three weeks thinking, I cannot do this. I would give anything to not get dressed.
  11. My other favorite is the two weeks with Arlo when every time I laid down, contractions would begin – every night for two weeks – and when I got up, they’d stop. They would stop. So I couldn’t sleep, ever. They just kept me awake. That’s all they did. They didn’t dilate shit. THEY JUST KEPT ME AWAKE FOR TWO WEEKS.
  12. I peed 345,000 times a night, and every time I did, I’d gaze at the toilet paper hoping for a spot of blood, or the famed “mucus plug” which literally nobody has ever seen, only to go back to bed and have fake contractions for funsies.
  13. How about that time I decided, in a fit of unbridled desperation, to drink castor oil to induce labor and all I did was shit for nine hours? That was cool.
  14. There is no dignity left. I walk like a penguin. Nothing fits me and I don’t even care any more. If one more person texts me to ask if I’m still pregnant, I will in fact kill you. And then, the woman due two weeks after me, has her baby before me, and I am in a heap on the ground telling my husband we need to “try sex again.”

So yeah. Check it out. The last month of pregnancy is complete and total BULLSHIT and you get to be pissed about it no matter how grateful you are to be pregnant and nobody gets to tell you to be grateful because your entire body is hijacked and surely god or nature or whatever the hell made the last portion of pregnancy a total nightmare so we’re willing to go through labor, which is rad, because baby, newborn breath, and a vague remembrance of what it’s like to not be MISERABLE PRETTY MUCH ALL THE TIME.

Take it easy. Take it real easy. One moment at a time. Eat what you want, wear what you want, tell the world to fuck off and just be, however you can. And next time you’re thinking you’re the only one this miserable, think about potato suppositories.

I’m with you, sister.

You know what’s awful? When I see this, I MISS IT. Somebody help me.



You know what REALLY helps authors? When you preorder their book.

Also, real talk: I do not put anything in my ass in this whole book. 

We can all take comfort in that little factoid.

  • Cristina

    Oh J, i knew you were funny but this is a whole new level!!!! I can barely type from laughing!! You just made my friday so much better. While reading and trying not to choke of laughter had flashbacks from my third (and last) pregnancy when i was 180 pounds (BTW im 4’11) carrying a sleepy 4 y/o and an also sleepy 2 y/o and 2 backpacks and a purse and trying to open the tiny door of my full of moving in boxes house… so lovely, right? Or the lovely day when i threatened to kill my OBGYN if she didn’t gave me a C-section the next morning bc no way in hell i will carry this child in me for another day.. i was 38 weeks, i cant imagine how crazy i’d become if i waited to reach 40 weeks. Im a great mother, right?

  • Verity

    This made me howl! I think my personal favourite was going for a sweep and assuming it would do nothing – the midwife declared I had a ‘very favourable cervix’ (FOR WHAT, EXACTLY?), and then an hour later I went into labour. For three fucking days. My second favourite was when a midwife on the postnatal ward told me I had large, pendulous breasts while trying to force one into my none-to-pleased son’s mouth. He got the hang of it eventually!!

    • Kitten

      I completely get you on the breastfeeding thing. I was told my nipples were too large, dense, & meaty. Which is hilarious, because they weren’t that way BEFORE I was pregnant. *sigh*

      • Kelly

        MEATY!!!!!!!!! Tears rolling down my cheeks over here! Too funny!

  • Catherine

    I wish I’d known the potato thing worked the last time I was pregnant.

  • Maya Henry

    In my 41st week of my first pregnancy, I went to a photography exhibit at a huge museum. I sat down on a crowded stone bench in the middle of the room. And the bench broke. Like it cracked loudly. And no one said anything. Which was kind of awesome? They just slowly stood up and walked away like nothing happened.

  • Erika Jean

    Oh I love you so much! Thank you for sharing!
    I actually did lose my mucus plug during my first pregnancy, but it was more than a month before I was due, so my OB thought I was crazy and didn’t need to worry about early labor… then my son was born 3-1/2 weeks early, after my water broke IN WALGREENS and my husband had to come pick me up with a garbage bag wrapped around the cloth seat in our Jeep. I labored for more than 24 hours and had to have an emergency c-section, which totally traumatized me… then my son had severe jaundice and I got to spend a night or two with him in the children’s hospital AFTER we’d already gone home from the first hospital. Good times, LOL!

  • MaryEl

    Because we are badasses!!!!!!

    Thanks for reminding me of that.
    No matter what our pregnancy/labor/post natal story, we are all mama warriors.

  • Patti Schmidt

    That made me laugh.

  • Denise

    YAASS! Why should we hold back our gory stories? We’ve all sat through all the other gore, all around us, no one is going to die if we talk about things coming out of our vaginas.

    I wish I had something more exciting/bloodier than this, but just looking at pictures of pregnant people makes me nauseated because I was truly sick throughout 2 pregnancies. “Try another one,” they said. “Every pregnancy is different.” Nope, not for me. Sicksicksick all 40 weeks, both times. Just looking at that cute picture of you all preggo makes me feel a little green around the gills.

  • Jenny

    THAT post was hilarious. So good.

  • Lydia

    My last two months with my second son, I had to borrow my husband’s shoes because my feet were so swollen. I looked like a Cabbage Patch doll and stomped around like a penguin wearing overly-large clown shoes. It was ridiculous. I’m a substitute teacher and I was scheduled to work right up until my due date (apparently I’m a glutton for punishment). On top of being unbearably sick and uncomfortable the whole time, I have to deal with 30+ kids who have no greater joy than messing with the substitute? Good times! Two days before my due date, I was punched in the face by a disturbed 8th grader. When his mother was called from the office she said “So? The bitch probably deserved it.” I went into labour the next morning. It took a long time to decide whether to press charges or send the kid a thank-you note.

  • Emily Xaviere

    I embrace the schadenfreude of these stories. I can’t have children*, which devestates me. So unlike my friends who plan to have kids and are horrified, I can just cross my legs and say nopenopenope to my hearts content.

    *Hope I can get healthy enough to adopt older kids, which will be a whole different set of mama warrior stories.

  • Kathy S

    I had pneumonia during my last two weeks, and asked the Dr. for something to stop the coughing so I could just sleep at night. He prescribed codeine cough syrup. About a gallon of it! I dumped it out after the baby came…and I look back and ask myself WHY? I’d probably still have some….

  • Lorain

    Pregnancy rash. In the last month of my first pregnancy, I broke out with the most miserable rash in the entire history of my terrible rashes. There are entire storylines concerning “My Terrible Rashes,” but the pregnancy rash was the worst. I didn’t have them with my second child, and my midwife was confident that baby was a girl. She was right. Who knew that your body can be at war with the male hormones from the baby boy in your body? Not me!! Didn’t read that in any baby book. He was 11 days late during one of the hottest summers in Memphis history.

    Everything else you said is totally true. When you write it, it’s hysterical. Thank you for this.

  • Grace

    I’m sitting here near the end of my shift in L&D laughing my head off. Because it’s all true. (We’re not laughing AT you… we’re laughing with you, wink wink!)

    So glad my pregnancy days are over. And, yes, I miss it!

  • Caroline Kavin

    Thank you. After a month of surgeries (an “easy LAVH” followed by a nicked bowel and then a bowel reduction surgery and an entire week with no food. None) I have been looking at my two kids and a part of me wonders….should I have had a third. Thanks for reminding me that no I shouldn’t have, because I hated being pregnant so fucking much. And with the garlic tampon, which I too have done……did you taste garlic?

  • Sarah

    I just belly laughed so loudly that woke up one of the children I took an hour to get to bed!I love this blog post so much. Thank you

  • Danielle

    Ha! This is amazing and true, thank you for writing it. Home reading this with my two week old, who refused to be born until 41 weeks. She was my third baby and everyone I know (none of whom have three kids) kept acting like I must have failed at something crucial to stay pregnant so long. “But have you tried foot reflexology?” Oh and yes, I too had a homebirth, and my midwives tried the castor oil induction + herbs + plus a “cervical massage” — it’s less pleasant than it sounds — and none of it worked! Then she luckily came of her own free will two days later. The best thing is as I read this post I was like oh you can use potatoes as a suppository? Good to know!

  • Elysium

    Unless you get a stage III tear from your baby, then get ready for another 8 weeks or so of misery. Not that I have any experience with that or anything … :-/

  • Amanda

    Oh, OH! I can help you here! I can add to this!

    1. Peeing yourself every single time you cough or laugh!
    (happened to a friend of mine not me thank god!)

    2. First and only baby is due in a week, I have planned a birth in a water tub with midwives, and baby is upside down and backwards with his umbilical cord blocking attempts at turning him! They are starting to talk about C-Sections and I, a certified hospital-phobic, needle-phobic, surgery-phobic, am living in absolute terror and breaking down in tears multiple times per day at the thought of what is going to be involved in simply getting this little bundle of person onto the OTHER SIDE of my pelvis and/or abdominal wall. I’m standing on my head in swimming pools, going to a chiropractor for acupuncture and LIGHTING INCENSE ON MY PINKY TOES.

    I consider my now-ex husband to be pretty much a big teenager, but I saw him turn into a super-mature, super-capable, superhuman dude for about a month there as I was reduced to a gibbering mass of nerves before and then was recovering from abdominal surgery after.

    3. The baby kicking me in my leg-control nerve. I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as a “leg control nerve” but my son found it and kicked me in it several times a day. He’d kick and all the sudden I’d feel a twinge of pain in my hip and that leg would just go SPOING up underneath me completely beyond my control. I’d fall over if I wasn’t holding onto something.

    4. You are ravenously hungry. You eat a teaspoon of food and you are disgustingly, painfully full. Then five minutes later you are ravenously hungry again. Same with peeing only in reverse. Result: weeks and weeks of NEVERENDING, INSATIABLE feeling of hunger and need to use the bathroom, WHILE constantly eating and peeing. MY DEFINITION OF HELL ITSELF.

    • M

      OMG YES THE TEASPOON VS THE FRIDGE!!! It’s such a struggle. I’ve walked down to the grocery store with friends a couple times and they’re always laughing at me because I buy everything that looks good then don’t eat it until like 9 pm 2 days later.

  • Jay Bee

    I’m just a few days shy of 38 weeks and bless you for this post!!! I am waddling around, feet swollen, hemorrhoids raging and I was like I’m pissed off let me check out renegademothering. And voila! You have this timely post. Sending you a big ole virtual hug!

  • Linda

    At 39 weeks of my 4th pregnancy I measured my waist. I am 64.5 inches tall. My belly was 54 inches around. I hear you.

  • Oana

    The familiar horrors… but what slays me, after having been pregnant 3 times, and suffering those last few weeks (2 of them overdue), is how much I miss it… those belly pics that I thought were hideous? Come on, I looked so happy and round IN A GOOD WAY!

  • deb

    Last day of work before maternity leave and I get down on the floor to pack a box since my office was being moved. Aaaand I could not get up. REALLY stuck. I’m huge. Can’t roll over. Can’t reach anything to hoist myself. And I work in tech so it’s all men and they are all horrified to make a mistake and offend any women. And i just quietly start asking if anyone can hear me. Eventually someone walked by to give me a hand.it was hilarious. and ridiculous. And totally worth it.

    Thanks for the laugh tonight.

  • M

    Well, as a first-time mom who’s doing it alone, I can honestly say you’ve terrified me. I’m only 6.5 weeks along. How in the fuck am I gonna get up without anyone’s help? HOW?

    As a side-note, thank you for this blog. I needed some giggles to get through the tears. And I’m dying laughing. So thanks 🙂

    • Amanda

      In response to M: Hey, it might not happen to you. I didn’t need help getting up. Oh, except for those few weeks after the C-Section I didn’t think I was going to have. But other than that…

  • JayaMae

    YAAAASSSSSSSSSSSS! With my third pregnancy (which just ended on November 29th, 2017), I lost control of my bowels… for the first time ever. I was about 8 months pregnant, standing in the barn waiting for a client. I farted. LOUDLY. And then thought, “Oh my gawd… did I just shit my pants?!?!?” I high tailed it to the bathroom. And yes. Yes, I did. I shit my pants. And this is the first time I’ve told anyone. Ever.

  • MA

    I just came across your blog via Into The Gloss, where someone had posted a link to your letter to Amanda Chantal Bacon. I giggled, thought ‘this lady can WRITE’ and started reading.

    I’m currently 15 weeks pregnant and have literally been howling tears of laughter whilst simultaneously trying to control my full bladder because I couldn’t stop reading. The comments also had me struggling for breath in between tears of laughter … which are, let’s face it, also tears of fear and trepidation.

    Thank you for writing this. Pregnancy is such a wild roller-coaster of physical changes and EMOTIONS and it’s so refreshing to read something that doesn’t euphemistically refer to ‘uncomfortable physical changes’. It’s also nice to read something that isn’t all ‘Oh, it’s SUCH A WONDERFUL MIRACLE YOU MUST BE SO THRILLED’ and ‘Your first trimester sickness will all be worth it in the end’. I’ve had so many people tell me those two things in 15 weeks that I really want to punch them, but as you pointed out, can’t. Here’s to the glory of the last trimester that is to come and for the potato tip (which I will NEVER forget).