An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

The making of an older sister

Yesterday morning we dragged Leta out of bed very early in order to make it to my doctor’s appointment on time. We had not mentioned a word about what’s been going on, mainly to be cautious, although she’s very observant and has asked me out loud in front of strangers why my boobs are so sore. And I tell her it’s because Daddy won’t stop looking at them. That is not a lie, I can feel him thinking about them, staring at them, wondering why all of a sudden they’ve doubled in size, and when I see him walking toward me my instinct is to hide. The weight of a cotton t-shirt can be paralyzing, so you can understand that I might want to avoid the gravitational pull of two eager eyeballs.

I thought that having her in the room during my appointment would be a great way to break it to her that come June life as she knows it is going to be over, and when the doctor found the wiggly baby in my abdomen Leta shouted, “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT BABY FROM?” I was lying on the table naked from the waist down having just been through a pelvic exam, and was not prepared at all to talk to my four-year-old daughter about her father’s penis. So I lied.

“Magical elves,” I said.

She seemed satisfied with that answer, enough to continue with her list of questions. “HOW YOU GONNA GET THAT BABY OUT?” she said with a concern that made it sound as if she remembered the exact moment her shoulders left my womb. I assured her that such a process was something she didn’t need to worry about and was promptly interrupted as Jon pointed to a poster on the wall and told her it would come out my bunky. Awesome. Can’t wait for my four-year-old’s nightmares about spiders to be replaced with ones of menacing vaginal openings.

My doctor left the room briefly so that I could get dressed, and as I pulled on my black sweats Leta announced that she was willing to be nice to my baby. I thought that was very generous of her, and feeling safe enough to press my luck I asked her if she would feel that way even if it was a boy. “It’s not a boy,” she said confidently. “It’s a little sister, and I’m going to share my toys with her.” I certainly hope that Jon’s semen got that memo.

Both Jon and I were almost giddy with relief as we walked out of the building toward the car, and several times we silently squeezed each other’s hands. He was carrying Leta on his left hip and asked her if she was excited as we were about Mama’s baby.

“Um…” she hesitated. “I’m excited about Christmas.”

  • My four year-old asked if it would hurt when the baby comes out of my EAR!!!

    Love those big sibling questions and theories!

  • Oatsy

    BUNKY! I love it! That’s my word of the month!

  • Anonymous

    Eww. Yeah, I am sure that weird, special needs freak child will do great w. a baby. She can’t even handle a dog. Are you planning on ending up in the looney bin again? LOLZ

  • I’m reminded of an episode of one of those precious birthing shows on Discovery Health. Mom and Dad were going to have a family birth and were sure that having their four year old child present would amount to perfect togetherness. At one point in the show this poor little boy got a view of Mom’s bunky which prompted him to add his panicked shrieks to her birthing screeches.

    But…they’d explained over and over what was happening to Mommy…the child should have known that it was little sister being squatted into the world and not a squishy form of the boogeyman, right?

    God I’m glad I’ve had a tubal. Congrats to you Heather!

  • Ciara

    I just got over baby fever and now I have a sneaking suspicion it’s about to kick into high gear. So please, for those of us who are on the fence about this, give us all the gory details. I want to hear about every ache and pain and inconvenient moment when you feel like you’re gonna puke so I can climb back down on the kid free side. I love ’em, just not ready to completely change life as I know it 🙂

  • Anonymous

    By “bunky” I assume you infantilizing stay at home moms mean “vagina”.

  • Congratulations! What an exciting time for you! I am addicted to your site, and am reading your archives from the begining, like a treasured book. I look forward to reading and sharing all the things that are yet to come!! Your experiences and your frank honesty have helped me to realize that I too have experienced some post-pardum depression and anxiety and have come to realize it is OK to admit I too need to get some professional help. I am at the point where I need to wean my baby to get the meds I need, and remembering what you wrote and how it helped you is giving me the strength I need to do what is best for me and my family! Thanks so much & again Congratulations!

  • I dunno what the hell is wrong with the rest of y’all, but as far as I’m concerned, my mom only became pregnant with the help of magical elves 😉


  • bohica

    Don’t kids put everything into perspective for you? CHRISTMAS. There’s plenty of time for babies later.

    She’s so damned smart. I don’t actually ENVY you having to get her used to the idea. I had all boys and they didn’t seem to really care one way or another. It was just … “ok, there’s another one” (I had three). There really does seem to be a difference. Or maybe it’s because it was 20-25 years ago and we weren’t nearly as careful about their feelings then. We subscribed to the, “deal with it!” method of parenting!

    Oh, I can’t wait to follow this, as I have followed everything else that you have shared with us since your pregnancy with Leta: excitement, fear, happiness and the occasional tears. Good luck!

  • Bunky!!!! Thanks for the new addition to my vocabulary!

    And sorry about the boobs but HOW EXCITING! Maybe Leta will get her wish, or maybe her world will REALLY get rocked.


    I just love that.

    You guys are going to have so much fun with two children. I’m so excited for you!

  • Kat


  • Leta, I’m excited about Christmas, too!

    And congrats on the new baby sister! 😉

  • Erica

    Not to get too personal here, but are you going to post a picture of your ultrasound? I love those, they really bring it home for me 🙂 Congrats again!

  • Helen Tarnation

    Have been out of town sans computer and just read the news. Very wonderful news indeed!

    Leta will find lots of things wrong with having a new baby brother or sister, but she’ll have a best friend for life!!

    And….Jon must be so stoked about the boobs!

  • Terri

    Sure certainly has the priorities in order!

  • So happy for you! Reading about your new adventure in parenthood is going to prepare me for my next one someday!

  • What a doll face she is!

    Kid’s say the darndest things and I cannot wait to hear the one-liners Leta comes up with over the next 7 or 8 months!

    Emily June
    Emily June Designs

  • Steph

    Its so strange how hearing about someones pregnancy, whom I’ve never met, but have felt a strong connection with, can make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.


  • when i was five and my parents announced the pregnancy, i wanted to share my toys with the baby, too… changed my mind when baby sister arrived.

  • rebecca

    So very happy for you. I am due on the 4th of June after 3 miscarriges back to back, 2 years of trying and 3 IVF cycles. I know how you feel, I’ve been holding my breath till I got to 12 weeks and still can’t believe I am this far.

    It will be fun to see how Leta reacts as your body changes and the baby arrives. Jon is gonna be great, and he’s much like my husband who stops everything when I change in the evening!

    Hope its a smooth 9 months and looking forward to hearing all about it!

  • I wonder if Leta’s opinion about the baby’s sex will change. My daughter (who was three at the time) initially wanted a sister, but then decided she’d rather have a brother because she didn’t want the baby to be exactly the same as her.

  • Congratulations, Heather! I wish you all the best.

  • Jinx

    OMG! Congratulations Heather and Jon!
    Your hand squeezing moment got me all emotional.
    All the best!

  • julie

    How could you NOT be excited for Christmas?

    Congratulations on your baby. I hope for the best!

  • When my sister-in-law told her son that the long-awaited second child was on its way, he looked her in the eye and asked, “Does Dad know about this?”

    I’m so thrilled for all of you.

  • Ellen

    Okay, I’ve been pondering this.

    What if Leta is to Cocoa as the new baby will be to Chuck?

    But if it’s BOY, then won’t that mean that Leta is to Chuck as Stretch is to Cocoa? That’s how it is with my niece and nephew.

    Just a thought.

    I’m so happy for you and your family and wish you a quiet and wonderful pregnancy.


  • My daughter, who was 2 at the time, said the same thing when I got pregnant with our second: “It’s a girl.” We tried and tried to explain that some babies are boy babies, and we don’t get to choose. Fortunately, she was right, so we never had to find out what she would have done if she didn’t get what she wanted.

  • Anonymous

    it’s a girl. children know these things.

  • Congratulations!!! We just had a VERY similar situation as we adopted a baby boy and our 5 year old, was like {hello – where did he come from and is he going back anytime soon?!?!?!} but she has adjusted and is learning that he isn’t as {flexible} as her dolls.

    Best wishes to you ~~~

    jenny 🙂

  • too awesome for words. HER BUNKY? haha.

  • Kathy C.

    I commented yesterday but have to say again today how excited and thrilled I am for you all. Please post a LOT about how you’re feeling every day. YES !! We really DO want to hear all about it. I saw that somebody asked in their comment if the barfing was getting better. Haven’t read anything you’ve posted about that. Are you indeed feeling yucky? I’ll pray it gets better quickly. Take good care of yourself.

  • Congratulations Leta!! if it is a brother you can always give it to Coco.

    Congratulations to you all.

  • I was just shy of 5 years old when my mother gave birth to my brother. This was 1977 and that special about pregnancy was on PBS constantly. So my parents sat down with me and we all watched. I had a rudimentary idea of how this all worked, but according to my mother I needed to know exactly how the baby was going to get out. She gave me a 5 year old version of it, and when my father came home from work I ran up to him and said “Daddy Daddy! Guess what? When Mommy has the baby it’s going to come out of her vagina and then they are going to put a big band aid on it!” He said he just stood there staring at me like I’d grown a tail.

  • That’s great. But you know, it’s really a given that it’s the ELVES that will suddenly give her nightmares. 🙂

  • Very happy for you! I am extraordinarily partial to girls. I have three. Only on occasion do I want to ship them one way to Africa.

  • Tigress 49wa

    Just beware of the fairey tales (elves)
    Reminds me of finding my 6 year old son in the closet with the 6 year old girl I babysitted for.
    She ran out yelling ” I’m pregnant! He kissed me!” Kids are so cute.
    Had a “talk” with the other’s Mom.. Lol
    The things you get to look forward to…

  • Noelle

    Awwww, that last paragraph really got me as I remember that exact feeling SO very well. I loved this entry and I am so happy for you guys!!

  • Congratulations!! I’ll say a little prayer for you and the baby being healthy, if you don’t mind.. just for insurance!!LOL You’ll do great, I’m sure, and Leta will be a champ of a big sister…eventually…;)
    *easy hugs*

  • michele

    Congratulations Heather and Jon. I wish you both the best of luck in these coming months. Have fun designing that nursery, can’t wait to see it. 🙂

  • Katie

    Congratulation! I’ve got to admit I jumped in my seat a little more reading that you’re pregnant than when I found out that my cousin was pregnant. That’s bad right?

  • That’s incredibly cute 🙂


  • Now a “Gamma”

    My oldest son was 2 1/2 when I found out I was pregnant with No. 2. He didn’t really “grasp” the concept that I was going to have a baby so when I saw the cutest little bundle of joy while out shopping at the grocery store, I pointed it out to my son and told him I was going to have a baby – just like that one. He seemed totally satisfied…….until I brought his little brother home. The minute he saw him he started yelling and said “take it back”….I want the chocolate baby like you showed me! I didn’t even try to explain – lol. It didn’t take him very long to realize he was stuck with the one we brought home and became the most adorable, helpful, protective older brother.


  • Nicole

    codename for new baby, a la Fawnzelle Le Bon Marche Armstrong:

    Senator Beauregard Hijinx


    Miss Lambshanks De Cointreau

  • Lesley

    my older sister said the same exact thing to my parents when they broke the news that sometimes babies are boys. she said “not this one, it’s my little sister. she was right… she still thinks she is my mom and that my parents just fostered me for her.


  • Congratulations!! What fun news on this Thursday!

  • Hope

    My older son was 5 when I was pregnant with his brother. I took him to the ultra sound appointment thinking it would be fun for him to see his baby brother or sister in the “T.V.” The tech said “do you want to know what it is” and I said, “yes”. She said “it’s a boy”. My son piped up and said “good, because I didn’t want a baby sister anyways”. Congratulations! I hope all is going well. With your pregnancy and Leta.

  • Kathryn

    Glad to see Leta’s priorities are in order – Christmas is CLEARLY the more important event right now. So, I’m wondering, just how far should we all run and hide if, in fact, Leta’s sister is a brother? :o)

    Congrats again and glad she took the news well!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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