• http://girlonawarpath.blogspot.com/ TJ

    Wait, you have meds that allow you to think of your daughter’s sleep schedule while having contractions? I WANT THOSE MEDS! Sure, I’m single and with no kids, but if I could focus on stuff I’m supposed to be doing (like cleaning up my apartment or doing my college work) instead of whether or not I DVR’d that last episode of the Real World, I might actually get something done!

    Beautiful, beautiful story. A little scared to have kids in the future, but, hey, maybe I’ll one day be in labor and think of this story and curse my rationalization.

  • http://jennadesigns.blogspot.com Jen

    Very beautiful story, Heather. I’m envious. I just welcomed my daughter 5 months ago, by planned c-section due to horrific complications from a vaginal birth 6 years earlier. I love how your story speaks to making peace with your body, with your decision – something I hope every woman, regardless of her situation, can attain. Because, in the end, it’s all about falling in love with a new life.

  • http://www.nolitamorgan.com Nolita Morgan

    Beautiful! What a blessing…thank you for sharing.

  • Sarah

    WOW. WOW. WOW. You are superwoman and an incredible writer. This gave me goosebumps. Thank you.

  • ell.uu

    wow. you are a rock star. i had a way medical birth with my daughter and hope to have a different experience the second time around. thanks for the inspiration.

  • Karen

    i felt like i should read this entry out loud in order to really get the full effect, so I did. I laughed several times and felt truly touched at the end. you made a great case for natural childbirth, what fantastic writing! Congrats to you and Jon, Leta the amazing big sister and Marlo the adorable!

    twenty six DAMN RIGHT.

  • http://www.meet-the-bautistas.com Denise Bautista

    You. R.O.C.K.

  • Anonymous

    goosebump moment for me…i have 3 kids all by c-section and have felt totally ripped off by the fact that i could not have a vaginal birth…thanks for sharing your experience-i could almost feel myself there in your room…

  • http://www.thedoggymommy.com/ Diana

    WOW! I couldn’t stop reading, and for some reason right now I can’t remember how to spell any words! I felt like I was there in dream state. It definitely brought back so many of my childhood memories of mothers telling stories (of horror to me) just like that. I know why I decided to be the eternal Aunt Diana to all kids of my friends and family, that I really love children but could NEVER go through that kind of pain(WHAT AN ACHIEVEMENT)! I really do understand now why I elected to only be an Aunt to humans and a Mommy to the four legged kind of kids.

    Everyday since I saw you on Oprah I have been so inspired, moved and touch by you that it brings me to tears sometimes, and the laughter OMG! It’s why everyday I say to myself, let’s see what dooce it up to today! I wished I could actually transport the feelings in my heart and yes my soul to you right now. Your magnificent, thank you!

  • Telaina

    if you were so aware of the time it felt like there was only you and jon in the room, why on earth did you have a whole entourage? it is something so very magical between two parents, I can’t imagine having the world and his wife in there with me. I think it would take away the intimacy. you should have tried it with just your husband,

  • Clarabella

    I did opt for the drugs during my labor & delivery, but I didn’t get them for a long time, and therefore the contractions were one on top of the other for hours. And I think I know what you mean about crawling into Jon’s palm, because I wedged myself into the far upper corner of my hospital room and the only thing I could think about was breathing. I spent over an hour that way and thought it was maybe 15 minutes. It’s amazing what our minds can get us through to cope, huh?

  • Lisa

    And THAT is why I teach natural childbirth. And THAT is why going to births is amazing. I am SO glad you had that experience. Feeling all verklempt for you. :)

  • http://katehopeeden.blogspot.com katehopeeden

    Totally made me cry Heather.
    Children change everything.
    Doesn’t matter if it’s the first or fifth… although, I don’t have five so I don’t know about that but the three I have made such an impact on me at each arrival.
    you did a great job, congrats!

  • lsm

    Are you kidding? That was the best story every! I especially like the party where your husband told you to calm down. My mother shushed me when I was in labor and ended up spewing out a stream of explicatives at her!

  • Alisa

    That was fucking hilarious. I laughed. Out loud. Sitting on a soundstage.
    In the middle of a scene. ( people get fired for that sort of thing here in lala land).
    Didn’t even mean to, but godDAMN ,that was funny.
    I planned for natural too, got to a 5, but I had NO support ( I also, didn’t take my labor pain seriously, so my doula was late and the nurses pushed the fucking drugs) and, shamefully, I caved. I’m convinced that the ensuing drugs, (pitocin), made my son halt his progress, be ‘sunny side up’, and Dr C-section said they HAD to cut him out of me.
    It triple super spineless jellyfish SUCKED….
    Just wanted to say Thank You for talking/writing about the documentary ‘The Business of Being Born’, I wish it were required viewing for all pregnant women. We need to take back control of our birth experiences!
    I am 1000% sure if I’d had a village of my own, in that labor room, my birth experience would have been what I’d planned for. I don’t know you (saw you on oprah, came to dooce very recently), but I’m proud of you.
    You saw your Mt. SuperOlympus, and you clawed and screamed your way over it. Proud. Vagina vagina vagina!! Thank you.

  • Nancy A.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful and amazing story. I had two, drug-free childbirth experiences – each time it was as you described – amazing, painful, incredible and a blessing that my babies (now 13 and almost 10) were healthy.

  • http://themommylane.blogspot.com Gretchen

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing experience! If I ever were to have another child your account would make me want do it naturally.

  • http://mysideofthemoontoday.blogspot.com/ Holli

    Damn Girl! That was awesome. I mean, I am moved in a deep down in my belly kinda way. I love that you just illustrated how even when we find life to be a sarcastic funny adventure, we can also be touched in a very deep spiritual way…at the same time and it changes us. It opens the world up in ways that we could not before even imagine. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Kirstin

    Thank you so much for sharing your story!! Having one drugged out of my mind birth (granted I’d had a seizure from eclampsia so it was warranted) and then one natural birth…the difference is incomprehensible. It was easily the most beautiful – and painful, can’t forget painful haha – moment of my life. Reading your story brought it all back. 15 months later I’m still in awe of myself and of the countless women who’ve done it before. I hope that reading your story can encourage other women to at least attempt natural birth.

  • Anonymous

    I want to have a natural labor now. Gross. Ew. Yep. I’m changed.

  • Cindi

    After hearing that you gave birth to Marlo naturally – I started thinking, hey, I could do that someday! But after reading about it – NO WAY IN HELL I’m doing that – EVER! However, I have complete respect for you to survive the pain and loved hearing your story. And I loved the part about Jon’s palm. LOVED. Congrats. She is beautiful!

  • http://cakeissweet.tumblr.com/ Cake Is Sweet

    Cheers to womanhood! oh, and also, VAGINAS! okay, now I might go barf. But, props to you guys and the hilarious and wonderful birth story.

  • EOMama

    Okay, you suck because now I’m crying. Like, real tears in my eyes. And also you suck because now I want another baby just to see if I could have a do-over from the horrible, awful, terrible, traumatic birth and PPD I had with my twins.

    But seriously, you don’t suck at all, Heather, because you just proved to the whole Internet that it is totally possible to have the kind of experience you just did. So that means you actually rock, sister. Thanks for sharing.

  • Megan

    Ah, Heather, you had me crying and laughing out loud throughout. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • DB6 in Oslo

    WOW! I am bawling…. tears running down my face…
    What a description! So to the point, so alive, and so accurate! I will force my hubby to read this – so that maybe he will have a clue as to what PAIN is like. I don’t think anyone can truly understand until they have been there – felt the “Im dying, this is the end”-pain that labour is.
    I am so glad it all worked out for you. I’ve had med-less births as well, and that was the way to go for me. You truly come out changed – knowing your capabilities and strengts in a whole new way.
    If you are having another – some day – I truly recommend giving birth in a bathtub….if you are given the option. That was my true saviour – that and deep, slow breating.

    And Marlo – what a beauty!!! The dimple is adorable.
    Best wishes to your whole family.

  • http://footnotes4steph.blogspot.com steph

    I agree, it is the most amazing thing I have ever done in my whole life – twice. Congrats to you!

  • Kelli

    Amazing! Never have I left a comment after years of reading your blog…but you have outdone yourself this time. I’m crying, laughing and speechless. What a beautiful birth story. Congratulations to you!

  • Edith

    I think next time I’m gonna try it natural. That was beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • beth p

    This was a great baby story…… BUT, I LOVE the picture of your new baby and your “crazy” Granny Boone. She is one of the CUTEST ladies I have ever see! That little pearl brooch, and her proud granny smile. That is one sweet picture, it made me cry. Blessings.

  • http://www.theportablebaby.com Laura Hamilton

    You made me laugh out loud all the way through, and then cry at the end. Excellently and eloquently written. I can so relate. Thirty-six hours of back labor in an attempted homebirth.

    Oh god, writhing in the front seat of a Honda Civic on the way to the hospital, wracked with contractions. Totally agree about the horror of labor in a car seat.

    I gripped my husband’s hand too. Crushed it into a pulp. I had a spot on my lower back that, when pushed with great force, made the pain just ever so slightly more bearable. So my husband, doula and midwife were taking turns pushing on it but sweet jesus, when the pushers changed shifts, god help us all because THE PUSHING STOPPED FOR A SPLIT SECOND.

    You had a happier ending than me. I had to get a C-section, because my baby was posterior and my cervix wasn’t opening up all the way, and then my uterus got too tired to push anymore. That C-section was a freakin’ nightmare and a half. But oh, up until the actual pushing part I was right there with you.

    And then the blissful, joyous, obsessive bonding with that new baby. Gazing into his tiny face for hours and hours, examining every square inch.

    Thanks for this today. It’s the best thing you’ve ever written, I think, and that’s saying a lot.

  • gutsandgrace

    thanks for that, reminded me why i’m so adamant on a natural birth for my second child. you are a birthing rock star momma.

  • http://jetsetcarina.blogspot.com Carina

    So glad to know that I’m not the only idiot who took a sleeping pill an hour before going into labor.

    And those second babies really do change everything.

  • Cortney

    You ROCK #26!!!! Loved that you were listening to “In Rainbows” during labor, LOL. It’s my favorite CD.

  • http://www.leasaidwhat.blogspot.com Lea

    You cuss like a sailor, you have no inhibitions and you are VERY refreshing! I’ve got baby #3 on the way and after two epidurals and lots of disappointment I too would like to try for a natural childbirth. I really appreciate your honesty and wish your expanding family the best!

  • http://myspeck.wordpress.com/ rakster

    Loved the ending! surprise – a baby!

    Sounds like an amazing experience.

    I had a similar experience with the birth of our son and am so glad we were lucky enough to get through without the need for intervention – it was amazing!

    Beautiful! (all of you)

  • Anonymous


    Beautifully and uniquely written. My guess is this will up you to number fifteen, at least.

  • Sarah

    I am so very proud of you. So very proud.

  • Liz

    Amazing. I am sitting at my desk with tears in my eyes. You have brought me back to my own two natural births and it is a beautiful thing. SO HARD AND PAINFUL, but so beautiful. And to know you did it – you went through the pain and got out the other side. It’s something you have with you forever. Thank you for sharing, and for bringing my own moment back into my life.

  • Alexis

    Congratulations on your birth experience. I had my three children naturally, and my husband’s hands and eyes were what made it possible. You did an amazing job of describing the indescribable.

  • http://aidynstephany.blogspot.com/ Liz

    Love it! Great job, Heather! I too gave birth all natural… on the spot, no planning. My Aidyn was 6 weeks early and I too thought I was having Braxton Hicks contractions. I haven’t been following you since I gave birth back in April and now I’m back. I miss reading your writing. I’m so happy everything worked out for your little one! Mine has been handed the biggest challenge of anyone’s life (read here, http://aidynstephany.blogspot.com) and will for the rest of his life. Cherish every moment with your kids (I’m sure you do, just a reminder) cause you never know when and if their lives will take a sudden turn.

  • Nadine

    My youngest child is seven, but your story is SO close to mine that the memories came flooding back. I burst into tears when you arrived at the hospital and cried uncontrollably right through the rest of the story . . (I’m OK. Just need a tissue. You?)

  • Cris

    Thank you for writing, for sharing. You’re beautiful.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a 33 year old guy who has been reading Dooce for the past 5 years. I must admit that this is probably your best post…I’m sitting at work at 10:30 in the morning at a large bank surrounded by suites and I’m shedding tears. This was a beautiful story, and you are a master story teller. Congratulations to both you, Jon, Leta, and the dogs.

  • http://notbychoice.tumblr.com/ Kristina

    Not to quibble, but a moose being shoved headfirst into a woodchipper isn’t going to be moaning all that much.

    I laughed out loud so many times – I’m not even done yet!

  • http://sistaintokyo.blogs.com SistainTokyo

    Girl, beautiful baby, and bad-ass labor story :) I’m inspired and watched ‘The Business of Being Born’ based on your recommendation. Thanks!! When the day comes and we are expecting, I’m certain I’ll read this story a few hundred times. Bad ass Dooce!

  • http://maybenextweek.wordpress.com/ Francesca

    Beautiful, amazing story – congratulations for Marlo and congratulations for a perfectly written piece! Thanks so much for sharing. Hugs from the internet :-)

  • http://www.redmittens.com Mary

    I had the exact same reaction when my daughter’s head came out.
    I laid back and sighed and closed my eyes for a second and the nurse came to my ear and whispered “You have to do one more push to get the shoulders out”
    and I opened my eyes and said “What Did You Say?” and I remember LOOKING at her with so much disgust.

    But another contraction came and I pushed and she came out. And that was 23 years ago.

    My husband held her while I got up and took a shower about an hour later.

    LOVED natural childbirth. Did it again 4 years later.

    Thanks for your story.
    EVERY birth is the right birth.

  • Anonymous

    That was such a beautiful story. Now I want to get pregnant just to have that. You are so amazing, number 26!

  • dre

    Fucking awesome. I just don’t know what else to say.

  • First Time Mom

    The paralells in our life our uncanny! I was due exactly 1 week after you and I can’t begin to tell you how much your postings have saved me! It’s absolutely scary how similar our labor, pregnancy and “baby blues” experiences have been. Thank you for helping me survive one of the most challenging times in my life and giving me a good dose of the laughs when I’ve needed them most! P.S. I also have a crazy herding dog – a border collie/black lab…who is a crazy licker as well! Maybe you are me in a weird paralell life. Hmmmm….