• http://thecaderchronicles.blogspot.com Hayley

    Best birth story ever. EVER.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.digibutter.com Digibutter

    Dooce…you absolutely ROCK! You made me teary eyed and then I cried from the absolute beauty of this post. I can not wait to experience how a child can change everything for the better. Congratulations to you and your beautiful family.

  • http://blog.sailorscorpio.com/ Meredith

    That was beautiful AND hilarious. I think this had to be the absolute best birth story I’ve ever read because of your style. Great job and congrats!

  • Kim

    Awesome story, Heather! I’ve been visiting your site for about a year now and you never let me down. You always get me laughing…but I also teared up this time. This part of your story truly touched me. You’ve got an amazing talent. Thank you for sharing pieces of your life with us.
    -Big Fan

  • http://www.thechroniclesofnicole.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

    awesome story. thanks for sharing!

  • http://writing-my-wrongs.blogspot.com Erin

    Yeah that just kicked my ass. That was awesome.
    Totally worth the wait. Awesome.

  • sl burke

    Your story made me cry, in the best sort of way. Congratualtions a million times over.
    And, most of all, thanks for writing this Twenty Six, it means so much.

  • http://www.justmetoyou.wordpress.com erin

    Wow. Crying. Thank you.

  • Frog

    I’m newly married and my husband and I have started talking about a family. I can’t deny I want one, but I also can’t deny that I’m scared witless about it all. I read your story and I laughed and sympathized and loved your baby too. I love the pictures of you with all those people around you to take care of you. I don’t have a lot of people to take care of me in that situation. But to hear about that moment where it was you curled in your husband’s palm and it was just you and him… that made me think all this could be possible for me too. I’m crying now. Thank you for that feeling of possibility.
    Best of luck!

  • Jennifer

    “…to prepare myself for the ultimate experience a human being can have: giving someone life.”

    Such sweeping statements perpetuate the notion that a woman only fulfills her ultimate purpose in life by having a child. The unavoidable corollary is that women who choose not to, or who cannot give birth are somehow lesser or other. A very dear friend of mine is struggling with infertility. She may never get to join your club. While the emotions are complicated, when all is said and done she absolutely feels joy and happiness for others who do have children and who feel strongly about their birth experiences. What hurts her terribly, however, are broad, aggrandized generalizations like the one quoted above because, no matter how you parse it, they exclude and marginalize women like her, and women who make different choices. That’s not to say you shouldn’t feel joy, triumph, and a whole host of other wonderful emotions about your own experience. It does not mean that you shouldn’t share. And I know that I seem to be quibbling with semantics, but you of all people must know how important language and phrasing is. This may have been the ultimate experience for you. But it is not (sometimes by choice and sometimes for reasons beyond anyone’s control) the ultimate experience for all human beings.

    That aside, congratulations on your new little one, and on a meaningful personal birth experience.

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful story. Beautiful pictures. Beautiful mother and baby!

    I too gave birth outside of a hospital without drugs. That high you’re talking about is for real! The first time I think I didn’t sleep for two days straight (not smart). The second time it was still there, but I made sure to find a way to sleep!

    Thanks for telling your story. Telling birth stories openly and often is, I think, one way we can help other women believe (again) that they too can do what you did.


  • Anastasia

    Wow, I mean, wow, I mean WOW WOW WOW.

    That was the best story ever. Best told, best experience, best, most amazing, most awesome thing you have ever shared. Thank you so much for doing so. I don’t even have the words. Just thank you for sharing your life altering birth. It was a huge inspiration. You have altered the way I will approach my next child’s birth. So many blessings upon you, Heather.

  • http://newmamamusings.blogspot.com/ New Mama

    My son just turned four two days ago, and reading this brought back so many memories of his homebirth. The pain, the high, the feeling of “I DID IT!” Incredible. Congratulations.

  • http://famousamys.blogspot.com/ Brooke

    BRAVO! Such an inspirational story, Heather. I am so proud of you.

  • http://www.cakehousedesign.com kc

    i laughed until i cried and then i cried for real. every pregnant woman should read this.

  • http://zakaryw.blogspot.com ZDub

    You nailed it.

    Great story.

    Yay Marlo!

  • Sarah

    I tried reading out loud some of your story to my husband, but I was laughing too hard, and the tears were too thick, it made it impossible. I passed the laptop over to him to read it. Then getting to the end of your story, I cried again, for many different reasons. I can’t wait to have a baby, but for heaven’s sake, must you scare me like that? But then again, I think, I want to feel what you felt. That high, that love that you have for Marlo. I WANT that. I can’t wait. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://scarletvirago.blogspot.com Audra

    I had to ride in my mom’s car to the hospital when I was in labor and I dented it. On the inside. With my bare foot. True story.

    I loved hearing about this experience for you. I had “natural” childbirth 12 years ago, but I was 20 and alone and it was just scary and painful. I confess to not just a little envy for what you went through with so many people who care about you. Not enough to EVER DO IT AGAIN, mind you. But still, envy.

    Congratulations, really and truly. You deserve such a beautiful reward.

  • http://mccathy.blogspot.com Cathy

    First – I loved your birthing stories. I shared it with my friend who is considering natural childbirth. Myself? I didn’t look into all my options and asked for drugs both times! Next time I might consider this drug free stuff… if there is a next time.

    BUT ANYWAY – I really just want to tell you I love the header. The cows! The milk stains! Cows! Makes me laugh.

    congrats on number 26.

  • Anonymous

    Natural childbirth rocks. Never been so high. Who needs doctors, surround yourself with loved ones and a doula. Woman are so strong, never doubt that. Way to do it…your way. Don’t diminish it.

  • http://mommysaidwhat.wordpress.com julie

    Great story, fantastic storyteller. All the best to you and your beautiful family.

  • Caitlin

    That was beautiful. I think this is the best and most important story you’ve ever written. Hearing your frank retelling of the events only makes me more eager to have a child of my own some day. Thank you!

  • Erin

    Best. Birth story. EVER.

    Thanks for sharing! It was fun, it was moving, it was hilarious, it was awesome all around.

    And, I have to say, even having never gone through pregnancy (or labor, obviously), my husband’s hairy forearm is one of my very favorite things in the whole world already. Can’t wait to really really USE it when we have kids!

  • Amanda

    Best post ever written.

  • Tonya

    Just beautiful.

  • Leslie Sierra

    After reading this, I think 26 is way too low on the list. Your best writing yet. This may be on the required reading list for my sons, one day.

  • http://hardtobehuman.com Amy

    Oh…gush. Just gushy. That’s how good it is. Thanks for writing it how you felt it, rather than tone down the new-age-esque bits. Or whatever. Glad it went well and you’re happy to have been able to do it your way!

  • http://receptionist.wordpress.com Emily

    I. Am. Crying. At work. Thanks.

  • Nora

    Mother of two homebirthed babies, right with you all the way and in tears. Congratulations to you and your whole family.

  • Pamela

    OMG thank you for sharing this story! I don’t think I could do it myself without having a stroke or some kind of blood pressure issue. I love the part where Jon is holding your hand and you are all, where did that hairy arm go? Wonderful. My own husband is not very hairy but I know I would feel the very same. I love you and your family you know in the “internet stranger far away who means you no harm kind of way”. We are still wondering about Leta and how she is dealing with the trauma of seeing you like that! And the wonder of a new baby sister!! xo Thank you for writing that and thank god for Jon.

  • http://spelhouseLove.com spelhouseLove

    I just wrote my son’s birthstory as well: http://spelhouselove.com/2009/08/04/joshuas-birthstory/. Thank you for sharing Marlos.

  • http://thesassymama.blogspot.com Heather @ Mama Sass


  • Kyla

    Wow I just have to say that never in a million years did I think I would ever want a natural birth, but your story has made me think twice. You are a rock star dooce.

  • http://recoveringfirecracker.squarespace.com Trude

    Awesome story, of course! But I just had to stop in and say those are some of the most beautiful and poetic photos of childbirth I’ve ever seen. :) I’ll definitely be thinking about your story when it comes time for me to decide whether to go drug-free or not!

  • http://jenniferslanguishing.blogspot.com/ Jennifer

    I mean, damn, girl, you can tell a story up right. Is it weird that this makes me want to have a second baby, so I can do it naturally too? Because it does.

    My husband is probably gonna wanna kick your ass.

    Thank you…

  • http://www.tenaciouslyyours.blogspot.com Kat


    Any words I could say are insignificant and puny compared to what you’ve shared with us. But thank you. Not only for this, but for inviting us all to embark on a wonderful journey with you and your family every day.


  • http://www.good-grace.blogspot.com/ Teresa

    This is such a wonderful post. So honest… and hilarious. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. Marlo is a beautiful little girl!

  • Sima

    this is just down right funny, encouraging, beautiful, sarcastic, heartwarming, charming, loving and fantastic piece of writing. I am crying and laughing at the same time. You made it and I am so glad you did. I had been waiting for this labor story and it was worth waiting every second of it. Congratulations on your beautiful family.

  • Beatriz

    What a beautiful experience. Thank you so much for sharing. As a woman who has yet to have children and hope to be as blessed you are, thank you.

  • http://i8thecupcake.wordpress.com Jo

    THANK YOU. What an amazingly beautiful story (and baby). Cheers to you!

  • Jennifer McGuire

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. Even the cursing parts. Thanks you for sharing it.

  • Jean

    Heather, you are a trooper and a funny, funny writer.

  • Barbara

    Great story! I have 2 children 1 C-section and 1 vaginally through the play-doe fun factory of life! Both were extremely painful and I needed drugs to help…but I am so proud of you for doing it “Your way”!!!

  • Anonymous

    Laughing and crying, laughing and crying. What a brilliant story Heather! You are amazing.

    I had my first baby 9 months ago today. I wanted a natural birth so badly too, but we’ve all heard the term “unexpected outcomes” and I ended up with an emergency C-section, something I never in a million years thought would happen to ME. C-Sections happened to “other” women, not me.

    And because of the complications I had with my first labour, I am pretty much locked in to C-Sections for any subsequent births. I absolutely loved your story, don’t get me wrong, and I love you! So I hope it’s not wrong that I am so jealous of your experience. well, not so much the pain, but more the whole woman-capable-bonding-strength thing. some unreasonable part of me feels like somehow less of a female because my body just couldn’t do it.
    and i guess what really matters is that I have a healthy, happy, and incredibly loved baby girl. but natural birth, well, what a miracle.

    the last line of your post is so beautiful, it made me cry right then and there.
    Cheers Dooce, you rock.

  • Kristen

    God Dooce, I lurve you. Absolutely gorgeous baby.

    And when you mentioned only being comfortable in the “face pressed into the bed” position, I had a flashback to my firstborn. I spent probably 4 hours at home in that position with him. Any other position caused me to arch and moan like a dying cow. You should have seen the car ride to the hospital. I’ve been told it really was something to remember. And then the triage nurse, may she suffer some terrible torment, had the gall to tell me WITHOUT CHECKING MY PROGRESS that she didn’t think I was in labor. I’m telling you, it’s a miracle that I went through with it a second time.

    But yes, beautiful baby. Beautiful mommy. Beautiful story.

  • Heather

    Thank you SO much for this. You are so amazing. I’ve been trying to convince myself that this is what I want to do when I have a baby. I’ve been reading as many stories as I can about it all. So thank you for yours.

    I hope that you’ll write about co-sleeping at some point too.

  • http://www.pregnancycalendar.me Michelle

    I am so not a churchy gal either, but I loved your spiritual moments. And the meditation – all that stuff. Those were wonderful to read. The laughter, the ick, the blinks – , everything – it was a very terrific story to read.

    You are so #26. I need to come and read more!

  • Kimberly

    You nailed drug-free birth on the head. I am expecting #4 soon, and after 3 drug-free births I am not sure I am ready to face labor and delivery again, Thank for reminding me what I need to think about- the place I need to be in.

  • Jae

    Awww, how wonderful! That picture at the end is perfect! Makes me want to go wake up my 7 month old and give him a big sloppy kiss! :)

  • http://www.digitalcatharsis.com the mighty jimbo

    seriously heather, thank you for sharing that. i am deeply and profoundly moved.