• Anonymous

    What a great account of your experience. I love birth stories. Having gone med-free I could identify with parts of it like retreating inside of yourself, letting contractions wash over and the high afterwards. It’s a very satisfying thing to go through.

  • http://www.superlefty.com Emily

    Good for you, Heather. YOU DID IT! Amazing story. I don’t have kids yet but I was right there in the room 26 years ago when my little brother was born (I was 3 years, 9 months) and I saw the whole thing. It’s fuckin’ awesome. You already were tough and now you’re…insanely tough. Or maybe you just know something else new. It’s great to hear that the experience of giving birth can change your life and blow your mind, among other body parts. That’s what I’m into.

  • http://www.oneofthesedaysalma.blogspot.com Denise

    OMG. I have not even had time to read this yet. I just scrolled through the pics and I’m bawling like a little girl. I will wait until I’m home to read it!

  • http://www.meditations.theinsidelife.com Ruth Anne

    Truly beautiful story! I had a son 29 years ago drug free ad I still can feel his little chin trembling against my body as his head came out. It was a truly amazing experience that I am glad you shared so eloquently here. I had twin girls via c-section with drugs 5.5 years ago, and although they are wonderful and I am grateful, I do wish that had been another drug-free vaginal birth. Anyway, thanks for a wonderful story and congrats!!!:)

  • Jamie Smith

    I did that three times. Lots of people thought that I was crazy. I guess I wasn’t as good at explaining it as you are. But I wouldn’t do it any other way (given the choice, which I totally think everyone should be free to make).

    It really is such an awesome experience when they are born and you are totally *there*. And very tender and real. You just can’t be fake when you are in that much pain.

    btw, my first delivery I drove to the hospital in transition. I walked in at a 10. I know what you mean about driving in labor. I wanted to jump out of the car and JUST WALK to the hospital but my husband wouldn’t let me!

  • http://web.me.com/angelaflicker/Baby_Blog/Welcome.html Angela

    Heather -

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have tears in my eyes as I hold my little one and remember back to the day she took my heart. Never did I understand love like I do now.

    Thank you,


  • Laura R

    26-Damn! That was amazing! I’m a big puddle of tears right now. What an incredible journey for you and your family! WOW! All I can say is, WOW!

  • http://amandacoughlin.com Mandi

    Wow, what a great story. Congratulations to you and your family, Heather. The end actually brought a tear to my eye. Just fantastic.

  • Lizzie

    This is the first time comment posting for me but am a very long time reader. I laughed and cried – thanks for posting this. This is why you’re 26, Heather B. ArmSTRONG. Congratulations to you and your family, Chuck and Coco included.

  • http://brandistrand.wordpress.com Brandi Strand


    This story is beautiful, truly beautiful. I laughed, I cried and most of all I can see everything happening and the elation you felt.

    I had a baby 10 months ago and I, for fear of pushing way before it was time, gave in and got an epidural. This was after I said, I’ll give it a try without it. You’re right…nothing can prepare you for the amount of pain you go through when giving birth to a child.

    But your story has inspired me to do the research and study. In about 2 months we’re going to try again for kid #2 and I will never forget yours and Marlo’s story.

    Thank you for sharing it with us, number twenty-six!

  • http://www.meganithappen.blogspot.com/ Meganithappen

    Long time follower, Dooce. You effing rock. Totally inspiring. Thanks for taking us along for the ride, mucus plug and all.

  • http://modadimagno.blogspot.com Lori Magno

    She did change everything, but you helped make that change. Congrats and joy to you all – you deserve it.


  • Shannon

    Thank you so much for sharing that incredible story! I’ve been reading all the parts of your labor story and I couldn’t wait till you posted part III. I’m 3 days away from my due date for my first and also plan on a natural childbirth. I wasn’t sure I’d get to read your story before I went into labor myself. I am so glad I did!!
    I feel like I’ve been struggling with incredible anxiety, fear and excitement, but it gives me great reassurance and strength when I hear your story. Thank you!

  • Mama B

    Heather, I have never had the pleasure of meeting you, but reading that post made me SO PROUD OF YOU. Your descriptions of what you went through was amazing. I can’t wait when we have baby #2 to think about my options like you did. Thank you for all you do.

  • http://www.diapermonologues.com/ mrs.notouching

    Are you tired of hearing how beautiful that story was? I didn’t think so. BEAUTIFUL!

  • http://www.myfunnyfunnyfamily.com Carrie

    What a great, GREAT birth story. I had the best natural birth myself just 3 weeks ago — I was luckier than you in that my baby came more quickly and more easily, except for the pushing.
    Yeah, my mom told me that she was so glad when she got to push and it felt great. It was hell to me. I pushed 3 hours with my first, 90 minutes with my second, and half an hour with my last little guy, asleep in the sling as I type this. Hands down, worst 5 hours of my life.

  • liz

    I do not usually laugh outloud while reading blogs, or much else for that matter. But your story was HILARIOUS and so very touching. I’m tearing up. She’s beautiful. Best wishes!

  • Jen

    Your story is so similar to mine (minus the toe part!). I was induced because of my sky high blood pressure, but other than that, was all natural. I too remember focusing on the side of the bed and my wonderful husband’s arm. Between him and my midwife, I don’t know what I would have done had they disappeared! Everyone thought I was crazy afterwords, when I was on such a high I couldn’t sleep! Now I can just point to your blog and say, “see, there are others!” Congrats on your beautiful new girl:).

  • http://gracejunkie.wordpress.com/ Connie

    Thank you Heather!!!!!! On September 21st, I will take all that I have learned; from you, my childbirth classes and readings and make it into my own spiritual life changing experience! I will be induced due to Gestational Diabetes and am expecting my very first baby, a boy! :D

  • Liz

    A friend shared this post and I saw it at midnight so I blame you for sucking me so wholly into a wonderful, funny, and moving birth story that I only got two hours sleep before my daughter wanted to eat again. I gave birth to a baby girl seven weeks ago at home so I identified so much with your story. And your pain. And the swearing. And the moose going into the wood chipper. And the truck dragging you down the highway… I could go on. Anyway, all that to say, thanks for sharing your story and thanks for the flair you add to your writing!

  • Anonymous

    The husband and daughter are looking at me like I’ve lost my fucking mind. I am full-on ugly crying – crying at the humor and beauty of this story, and for the gift of motherhood. Heather, thank you! Thank you for making me grateful for being a woman!

  • http://cheaptarts.blogspot.com/ The Tart

    Wow … The story, the pics! Am reduced to happy tears for you & your family. Marlo is a cutie! Dimple & all.

    The Tart
    ; *

  • http://www.projectsupermom.com Amber Shah

    Thank you for sharing your birth story. It was so beautiful and cheesy not not-too-cheesy. The whole denial thing was absolutely hilarious – I can totally see myself doing that the second time around. After all, there is no rush to go sit in a yucky hospital room, that much I learned.

    I love that you decided to try a natural birth and then did it and told everyone about it. I think sometimes the natural birth thing gets a bad rep – as in, yeah, sure, everyone wants to but no one actually does it. I did it and it was the most awesome thing ever. Granted, I can’t say what it feels like to have a c-section or an epidural or anything, since I’ve never had one, but having my son naturally was amazing.

    Also, you might want to watch out for that caffiene intake, not because I judge you about it, of course, I used to have tea and soda at first, but at some point I noticed that it was in fact keeping the baby up. As much as I like the tea and soda, there is really no way that it begins to compete with a sleeping baby.

    I totally hear you on the whole getting-stiches-after-really-sucks thing. It seems like you should be done already. And it hurts! And the doctor’s all ‘uh, you just gave birth to a baby, this shouldn’t be a big deal’

  • http://marcoda.wordpress.com marcoda

    My baby boy (who is my second child) turned one year old yesterday which happened to be the day you posted this. Memories of my labor and his birth came flooding back while I read about yours. Just…thank you, sincerely and with all my heart. Thank you.

  • outdooridahoan

    I just think you’re terrific!

  • kelcut

    Best.Freaking.Birth Story. EVER.

    Thanks for sharing this with your readers. I have never laughed so hard and teared up at the same time. The toe story totally killed me.

  • Katharine

    Thanks for sharing your birth story. Just a day after Marlo was born I had my first Child, Wesley.I had planned a birth much like yours but he had different plans! He came 4 weeks early and was breech. And because my water broke the day before (we didn’t know it- I thought I was just peeing myself!) there wasn’t enough fluid to even think about turning him. So I had a very unplanned c-section. I wish I Could have had him naturally, I mean I know I gave birth. But I didn’t even have a contraction. You are blessed to have had that experience. Sounds like hell but blessed all the same. Congrats on Marlo! She’s beautiful.

  • Jessica

    I love that your contractions went from a sale at Macy’s to a Samuel L Jackson movie! I’m sure you did not love this but your writing is so perfect that I cried when I got to the end of this because I felt like I was right there with you!

  • Mandy

    Awesome. Loved reading this and hearing about it. I’m in awe.


    Am I the only one here who has had both a vaginal birth and C-section and would a million times over rather take the C-section healing pain over the epiosiotomy healing pain and accompanying hemorrhoidal issues? And let’s not forget said huge hemorrhoids that I endured for 20 years and the excruciating agony of having them surgically removed. Ugh. We all certainly do have drastically different birthing experiences, but does it really matter how that perfect little being came to us? I am an adoptee and my mother would certainly tell you that she knows the joy and euphoria of first holding that baby in her arms—without any labor pains at all. :-)

    I am very happy, Heather, that you had the wonderful birth experience that you had. Your description of the process just blew my mind. Great writing!

  • http://www.theprimamomma.com Kristy Merrill

    Oh my God Heather, thank you for sharing that birth story! I felt like I was right there with you. I so wanted to have a natural birth with both my babies, but ended up with an epidural both times. I’m really going to prepare for number 3!!!

    I posted my birth story as my first post on my blog. I love reading other women’s stories, and am proud to share my own.

    Thanks again. You are woman – you are Dooce – you are twentyfuckingsix!!!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing. I now think it may all be worth it.

  • Anonymous

    Long time reader… I am addicted to your blog. Thank you for sharing this amazing story. Only you can make someone laugh out loud and cry in one single posting. Your girls are beautiful!

    I have a question for you, how did you manage to not get an IV, a blood pressure cuff and be strapped with the fetal monitor? From what I have been reading it’s protocol in hospitals. Did they do intermittent fetal monitoring with the Doppler? I am four months pregnant and really really want a natural birth, I want to be allowed to move and find a good position, which is hard when you have all these wires and tubes sticking out of you. Any insight would be appreciated.
    Thank you again.

  • Mormon girl

    Oh my heck, this is amazing. Definitely the best thing you’ve ever written.

    I really wish I had the words to say how much this means to me, but I do not have your gift. Thank you so much for sharing your gift with the rest of us.

  • Lilliah

    Ditto to what #645 (Diana) said:

    I want a Jon.

  • http://jayesel.net Jen

    Beautiful. And congrats :)

  • http://quasicrafty.blogspot.com/ Amy

    Twenty SIX!!!!! I love this post so much!

  • Sarah

    Awesome story. I am also breastfeeding, and I drink coffee every day. I even drink coffee while my son is eating.

  • http://moodychick.wordpress.com/ Moody Chick

    I gave birth July 2nd this year. 7 bloody days past her due date. Which means, of course, I totally resented you and your baby born right on time. Fortunately, Marlo is pretty damn cute and you are pretty damn hilarious so I continued reading til it was FINALLY my turn.

    With my first child, my birthplan consisted of lots of drugs and a clean baby. I got no drugs and a hell of a lot of goop. So I figured this time I may as well make the choice to go natural. And I did. So having just been there too, congratulations on an amazing job well done and can I just commiserate- F*&*n’ S&*% A%# and well, OUCH!

  • anita

    I read this post and laughed and snorted and understood every line of it. I am so happy for you that you were able to experience this. Having one medicated and one not medicated birth the difference is astounding. Women are seriously amazing – strong.
    We rock sister.

    And Marlo is as beautiful as her her big sister.

  • http://www.boobugblog.blogspot.com Debbie

    Thank you.

  • http://grandadsays.blogspot.com/ Eric

    I am welled-up and runny nosed,
    A great story,

  • http://www.barelycontrolledchaos.com carrie

    That high lasts forever, Heather.
    And it astounds me that you can capture all of the emotions and phases of childbirth so perfectly and succinctly. I was reliving the births of my two girls as I read your story. Thank you!

  • Kellee

    Never have I went through the ringer of emotions with you like when reading this. I felt like puking at one point, I laughed my ass off and then I was crying for you at the end. A very beautiful post, and am so glad you shared it. Brilliant.

  • Charlotte

    If all this pregnancy stuff is fake, then you surely deserve a Bloggy, a Pulitzer, an Emmy, and an Oscar. Did you sing along with Radiohead? Because we might be able to swing a Tony. Sort of a Mama Mia 2.0: Now with the musical stylings of Radiohead!

    Here in the real world, you have been blessed with a lovely additon to your family who, I’m sure, is the best possible reward life has to offer.

  • famousamy

    Thank you for something so beautiful, joyous, humorous and inspiring. You’re much higher than 26 in my book.

  • http://www.besthomesystems.com Beth C

    Wow. First: *waving* HI!!!! Been reading you forEVER, and this is the first time I’ve commented. I’m so very sorry. Moving on.

    This…this! Wonderful, and you made me cry. I’m a non-parent, and am confused in the rare moments when child-creatures do not run away from me. Yeah, I like kids THAT MUCH. But you, your fam, your Leta, and now – your Marlo – have really opened my heart.

    This is the best. What an amazing story, and incredible retelling.

    I’m gonna go hug the puppy now.

  • Heather M.

    Thank you so very much for sharing your story. I am teary eyed and sitting here in wonder of it all. You’ve got me thinking that should number 2 ever come along I too can ROCK a fully natural birth.

  • Michele

    9 days after the birth of my first child (a son, he is a beauty) I couldn’t be more teary (or hormonal :) ) after reading your labor story. Nothing about my labor went as planned for reasons out of our control and this resulted in several moments I was looking forward to post-delivery being completely dismissed for our son’s well-being. I can’t wait (and can’t BELIEVE I am saying this a mere week later) for our next chance to try again to have the labor I desired.

    All that said, I could not be more blissed out. :)

    Well done you, for having the courage to change your mind and your birth plan towards the end of your pregnancy. Well done for just getting though all that effing pain. I felt everything through 9 cm before the epidural began to actually work. I can’t imagine dealing with that pain AND the hard work of pushing. I don’t know you, but I am proud. :)

  • Pools

    You are so inspiring to young girls who look at motherhood all confused, but come here and go, Wow. It is beautiful, amazing, and I am breathless.

    Thank you so much for sharing!