Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

Just in case you were having second thoughts about that vasectomy

Friday morning I was minding my own business when out popped my mucous plug. Guys, I don’t know how to put it more delicately than that. It is what it is.

I wanted to make sure that it was, in fact, a mucous plug, and not, say, the leaking brain of a reptilian parasite, so I retrieved it with a piece of tissue and set it on the countertop in the bathroom so that I could cross-reference it with a slew of images found on Google. You just go ahead and process that, DUDE WHO REFUSES TO WEAR A CONDOM. Because this was not a scientific experiment I was willing to go alone. No. In fact, I called out to Jon from the bathroom, “Hey, SPERM PROVIDER. OPEN UP A WEB BROWSER.”

Yeah. So. My mucous plug. Are you one of the innocent little kittens who has never heard of such a thing? Let me give you the brief explanation I gave to Leta when she got home from school, ran unknowingly into the bathroom to go potty, and came out going WHAT IS THAT THING ON THE COUNTER?! Hoo boy! And you thought blogging about my kid was abusive? I’m not so sure I’ve done anything as reckless as leaving my mucous plug just lying there in plain sight of a five-year-old. Because one day she’s going to be talking to her therapist about the recurring nightmare she’s suffered for the last twenty years, the one where a giant slug crawls up through the sink in the bathroom, jumps off the edge of the countertop onto her head and sucks her face off.

So I pulled up Wikipedia, showed her what a uterus is, and explained that what she saw in the bathroom was a collection of mucus that seals the opening of the cervix. And since I’m so close to my due date it’s not a big deal that mine sort of fell out. She said it looked like what happens when I blow my nose, and Jon, a writhing mess of nerves who had just combed through hundreds of images of SOMEONE ELSE’S MUCOUS PLUG, goes, “Yeah, her bottom nose!” Haha. Funny one, Sperm Provider! Go crawl into your dark corner and nurse your fragile emotions, because I am about to give birth! TO A HUMAN! OUT OF MY VAGINA!

It must be so sad for men to live their whole lives knowing that they can never say anything that trumps that particular declaration.

When I twittered about this development several people replied to tell me that they had given birth within 24-48 hours of passing their own plugs, and suddenly Armstrong Labor Watch 2009 was on. Except, nothing has happened since then. Not a damn thing, not even a fake contraction. And today four of our siblings have called to ask if we’ve had the baby yet, and I’m all, you have got to be kidding me. Do you think we’d up and have this kid and not call anyone? YOU WILL KNOW WHEN I GO INTO LABOR. Anyone living west of the Mississippi will hear the screaming.

  • june 11 is my birthdate so i’m rooting for that. my name is also not maria!

  • Shannon

    Hey-it’s one step closer to D day, you know?

    When I tried to explain to my oldest about the birth process (he was 4)-he listened to the whole story, then said, “OK, I know how the baby gets out. But what I wanna know is, how did it get IN there to begin with?”

    Now THAT’s a go-ask-Dad moment….

  • Carrie

    I seriously had no idea about this whole “mucous plug” thing. Clearly another fact they had from the childless so that we’ll be willing to have kids someday, ha ha.

  • I love how you asked Jon to Google it. What a devoted hubby.

  • wannabemom

    Inconsequential nether-loogies?

  • typingelbow

    feel free to twitter through the whole labor! Then someone on etsy can cross-stitch a transcript and frame it for you! Best wishes, Dooce!

  • Carrie

    Sorry, that should be “they hide from the childless,” not “they had from the childless.” Guess it would’ve helped if I’d actually previewed my comment during the “preview” portion of posting. D’oh!

  • I will again say how thankful I am for being born with a penis.

    (And, for the record, I had *no* second thoughts about getting a vasectomy.)

  • Anonymous

    The best part is, your body continues to make it after it falls out, if you haven’t gone into labor. So, maybe you’ll get to see another one! Lucky day!

  • Lisa

    Heather, you never cease to make me laugh. Who would have thought a mucus plug popping out would be so humorous!? Good luck on the birth. Can’t wait to hear about it.

  • Anonymous

    Good luck to ya! I just lent my supercool boss your “Father” book, he loves it. We were just talking about you this morning.

  • Jackie

    I’m super excited for you. I never had the joy of finding a mucus plug as I had a scheduled c-section, but I enjoyed the post all the same. I will be cheering for you in California. Hugs to the Armstrong 3 (almost 4.)

  • Anonymous

    i don’t remember losing my mucus plug. i could have been in heavy labor at that point and just overlooked the mucus.

    i was so overcome by the laboring, that when my water broke i yelled “holy shit, i just pissed myself.” cuz i really thought i had just peed the bed.

  • ktm

    I am beginning my 15th week of my first pregnancy today. I am scared – shaking over here.

  • Anonymous

    Google gave this great piece of information. This should really brighten your day!

    Loss of the mucous plug means that labor will most likely start within the next 2 to 3 weeks, sometimes sooner.

  • admin

    I’m so much more than a sperm donor. SO MUCH MORE.

  • Hmm, interesting. I never had the pleasure of loosing my mucous plug. I just thought it came out in bits….which I guess it does for some. I wonder how much it would fetch on eBay…hehe 😉

    Sending you lots of labour vibes!!!

  • Wow, I never got to experience that due to my freakishly small pelvis and my boy who thought hanging out way up in my ribcage or grill as I ended up calling it. Good luck and here’s hoping to not a massive number of calls and emails asking you: are you in labor yet?

  • Katy

    At the moment she said it looked like a booger, did you kick yourself inwardly that you didn’t think to say that’s what it was? 🙂 I love you guys.

    Unfortunately, people group the mucous plug coming out with labor, when they do not always go hand in hand. Sad but true.

    C’mon Not Maria! The Internet is waiting to meet you and criticize your choice of tile!

  • Ann

    Man, you are killing me! I can’t laugh after throwing out my back having sex this morning (not kidding!). I am flat on my back trying not to laugh. But it doesn’t hurt as much as labor.

    Good luck!

  • I hope you have a healthy and happy baby, and that labor is easy…but really? This is getting creepier by the minute. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to call my mom and apologize for being 9 lbs and 4 oz — her “mucous plug” (yes, quotes, I’m pretty much convinced you made that up) must have been the size of a baseball.

  • LD

    Dude. I am at work laughing hysterically AND suppressing my gag reflex = awesome.

  • Cat

    Is it the same as a bottle of wine, and the baby will go stale after leaving the cork out too long? Perhaps a tampon will keep the baby fresh and full-bodied?

    Bon chance to you all.

  • mary

    you must make love to the sperm donor tonight
    stimulating your nipples bring on labor big time
    it worked for me – don’t delay getting to the
    hospital – i had no time for drugs – and i was
    43

  • siobhan

    Dammit. Because it’s my birthday today, and I was hoping to share it with Not-Maria Armstrong.

  • Kristine

    Can’t wait to meet Not Maria!

  • swerld

    *two thumbs up* all the best! 😀

  • Jennifer

    Nothing like sitting down to eat a pudding cup with whipped cream and reading that first line… To quote Rachel Ray: YUM-O. 🙂

  • Yeah, I am not gonna lie. I have totally been checking Twitter and your site every couple of hours for an update.

    Does this mean I a) have no life, b) am obsessed with you or c) am crazy curious to hear what you name the runt?

    I will let you decide.

  • Rachel-Also Pregnant

    Poor men who dont understand what pregnancy is really like. My husband was complaining that I have been breaking into sweats from my hot flashes in the middle of the night and it makes him feel “sticky”…I about socked him in his junk.

  • ME

    I know this isn’t supposed to be funny but- hahaha! You crack me up consistently- Have you tried to take a teaspoon of Caster Oil? I have heard that with a long walk can help… but who knows. Come on baby Anderson!~

  • hippittee

    my earplugs are ready!!

  • Erinn

    Is it wrong that I want to see the picture you took of this? Because I know you did. Maybe that is wrong of me. \

  • Ramsey

    Supposedly eating basil induces labor, also a spoon full of caster oil will help things along. Plus there is some reflexology you could have John do on you feet if he or you are up for it. Hope this helps, may the force be with you.

  • Katy

    ***And by mucous plug and labor not going hand in hand, i mean the latter does not always happen directly after the former, of course.

    Just correcting so that the vultures don’t do it for me 🙂

  • msh

    I was a bit worried about scrolling down to read the post. Thank you very much for not photographing it for the internet. Whew. Best of luck on labor and delivery–

  • Shelly

    Come one baby Not Maria! Make your way into the world…

  • Sounds like you’ve got one On The Way. “OTW” is usually code for “I am going to poop” at our house, but it works just fine in this situation, given the similarity between taking a dump and birthing a child, no?

    Sending you happy, easy labor vibes. Yay new baby! Yay OTW!

  • Thank you #9! I swear my body made mucus plugs for like two weeks before I gave birth. Such a cruel, cruel game mother nature likes to play. I think what brought on my labor was my coming to terms with the fact that the baby was NEVER coming out…as soon as I was ok with that TA-DA!!! That’s just my own personal mind over matter whack method.

  • Ninabi

    Not-Maria Not-Today.

    Aghh- those last few days of pregnancy feel like forever.

    Sending positive wishes for a quick, easy delivery- soon- your way.

  • Wow! I hope baby Armstrong comes soon! 🙂

  • Ramsey

    sorry I meant Castor Oil not Caster Oil.

  • Carmen

    I’m just wondering how many people have asked you to post a pic of it? You did take a picture right?

  • Allison

    Yeah, if you’re just DONE. WITH. IT. ALREADY. — the castor oil thing worked for me with both kids.

    I’m still snickering at Jon, though. Your “bottom nose!” SNORT.

  • Melanie

    Heck, I walked around for 3 weeks after my mucous plug fell out. Could be all the screaming and wretching outside that made my daughter stay put, though….

    Same daughter, when learning about where babies come from at age 6 (2 weeks before her baby brother was born) came rushing into my room yelling “Mamma! Peter’s going to come out of your BAGINA!? That’s gonna hurt!”

    Truer words were never spoken.

  • May

    Me and my two little siblings were born at home… which led to my seeing a placenta floating in blood in one of our mixing bowls one morning. If that didn’t mess me up a smidge I’m sure you’re daughter will be fine seeing some mucus.

  • Tracy H

    I’m totally gonna go google pics of mucous plugs right now!

  • Christie

    Ah the joys of childbirth.

  • bohica

    Who knows why certain things crack people up? Of all the things I’ve read here (and I’ve read them ALL), THIS is the thing that made me start laughing. Laughing so other people could hear me. The visual of a five-year-old finding *that thing* on the bathroom counter is just too much for me to bear without giggling my fool head off.

    I’ve had a shit day. Thanks for this. Bless ya and yers and the new one.

  • Anonymous

    Oh man!!! you are so funny!
    I wasn’t aware of the mocous plug until i got pregnant, and i bet not a lot of people know about it neither, good you mention it here.