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.

  • Perhaps googling mucous plug when one is trying to get pregnant is not such a good idea. Too late.

  • Every time the sperm donor living in my house whines about his back hurting or having to get a shot *boo hoo* or getting blood drawn. I lovingly remind him that I’ve had a needle put in MY SPINE!!! So that I could push a human being out of my VAGINA!! So get a grip donor!

  • Camilla

    Hi, first comment from me, have been reading your blog for a while.

    Just want to say good luck giving birth, whenever it happens!

    I had 3 kids (only 2 births though), and the mucous plug didn’t show itself the first time, and the second time it plopped out a week or two before the c-section, which would have been around week 35-36. No connection with giving birth for me then.

    Also I didn’t save it for or show it to anyone, but only because I didn’t think about it.

  • Jessica

    I’m at work, but you know as soon as I go home I am going to google pictures of mucus plugs. I’m THAT curious.

  • I have to google mucous plug now. I am grateful you didn’t post a picture – I feel like I know you too well even though I don’t really KNOW you at all and that would be too much.

    As always, thank you for the…insight into the pregnancy world. Wow.

  • June 11th would be an excellent birthday! According to the Farmer’s Almanac….. who reads that? Here are the traits of a person born on that day:

    If Your Birthday Is June 11…You are an omnivorous reader, intellectual, and a sparkling conversationalist. Your judgment is good, and you never act in haste. You have a great personal pride, like to dress well, and have a sincere devotion to your family. You form and keep friendships easily and will be very happy.

    Good Luck!

  • Alyxherself

    Hey! I have a life and I’m on baby-watch too, I can’t help but root for team Armstrong. Jon and Kate who?

    It’s Jon and Heather, all the way. Oh….Jon, you are so not a sperm donor, she means it with love. My bebe’s daddy’s are sperm donors, long gone and good riddance. You, my friend, are a Daddy, and a damn fine one.

  • I was really, really hoping that you would post a picture of said plug, so that I wouldn’t have to go searching for it.

    Now I realize that either option is really, disgustingly creepy and I am glad I have years before I get pregnant and forget about this post.

  • sarah

    I never lost my mucus plug! Consider yourself lucky, I looked for that thing for weeks every damn time I visited the bathroom (so like a bizillion times a day).

  • Anonymous

    I lost mine one week exactly before my water broke. I love that you blogged about it, that’s why I like reading.

  • lori

    I went 12 days from losing mine until labor started.

  • I’m the friend in my group of friends that everyone calls when they need to know something. I will never forget the day my best friend called and thought she’d lost her mucus plug… wanting my opinion if that’s what really happened.

    Me. Her single, childless, never heard of mucus plug in my life friend. I googled, too.

    And then decided having a dog was enough for me.

  • All this talk of mucous plugs and labor makes me SO JEALOUS that I can’t give birth. HA!

    Wow, this whole adoption thing sounds better by the minute. I highly suggest it should you and Jon decide to enlarge the Armstrong brood sometime after not-Maria is born.

    Hope not-Maria comes soon, is healthy, and causes you as little pain as possible!

  • Yay for mucous! Because I’m THISCLOSE to having my twins, I made the mistake of googling the mucous plug… and spent the next five days trying to scrub the image from my memory.

    Not Maria will be here soon! Good luck!

    LOL- my captcha is garments 14.

  • Chantel

    Holy. Shitballs. I’m a girl, familiar with the concept of a mucous plug, but could’ve gone my whole life without doing a search for it on Google Images. Wowee-wow-wow. It’s a snot clot. That’s what it is. A poon slug. Something that one doesn’t really think about in all of the baby fantasizing women do.

  • kat

    chortle…… still giggling……

    ah, childbirth. Good luck to you and Jon. It’s not so bad the second time around. You’ll do great. Keep us posted.

  • jaradee

    #16….you’re the SPERM ADMIN! You two are so damn funny!
    Hope all goes well with the arrival! After a “bonus” baby YEARS after the others, I’m just scared the vasectomy just might reverse itself. Then, I’ll be all….”well, Lorena Bobbit did it, and he lived!”

  • I just learned what a mucus plug is and now EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT THEM. They’re everywhere. I’m 37 weeks today and, you know, waiting…. oh, MP.

  • luvcatt

    YAY! I’m way excited for you Heather. I remember when I lost mine (at work, which was horrifying) and how much I freaked out. I made my boss send me home and then ended up not ever going into labor til they induced me a week past my due date. Which, coincidentally was the same day as yours is! You’re almost there darlin, hang on and keep the donuts close at hand. I’m thinking about you! ♥

  • Eva

    OK, I also wrapped up my mucous plug in a tissue and went to The Google to find out exactly what this thing was. Actually, mine fell out in two separate occasions on the same day. This happened on a Sunday, went into the hospital on Tues afternoon and gave birth on Wed morning. Wishing you a quick and as unevenful as possible a delivery!! Good luck. And I loved your book!

  • I want to say something clever about this but all I can come up with at the moment is: eeeeewwwwww!

  • the niffer

    You just get funnier with every passing day. Thanks for the update – we’re all waiting and wondering!

  • Go Heather! Go!

  • So I’m guessing the number one search on Google today will be “mucous plug.” Awesome job.

  • EOMama

    When I yelled from the bathroom, “Honey, I lost my mucus plug!” He yelled back, “Ok, sweetie, I hope you find it!” Dumbass.

  • Once again, you make me thankful I had my growths surgically removed via that wonderous invention called the C-SECTION.

    To hell with ‘the pill’….slug coming out of my special lady parts = no more babies. Well, having a toddler and a newborn also had that effect. Talk about mucus plugs in disguise….

  • mountain mama

    Hey, honey, I will be thinking of you until not Maria arrives. I hope that you have a wonderful experience bringing her into the world. I think when you have your second child, you are so much more aware of how fleeting the time is. You tend to soak up every moment. Gonna be checking in on ya. HUGS!

  • You could politely remind Jon that what came out of HIS bottom nose is what caused the mucus plug to come out of YOURS 🙂

  • again, thanks with the effective birth control you are providing me. i will stick with dogs for now.

  • Hahaha, I was sure you were going to say that you told Leta the mucous plus IS THE BABY. “Meet your new sister, dear!”

    My poor husband was traumatized to discover the existence of mucous plugs, fortunately I never, uh, *noticed* mine, so he was spared having to look at it. Now you guys can plant a tree on yours! Or something.

  • Yay! Who doesn’t love a happy little slime plug?

    As I was kicking my husband out of the bathroom the other day, I let him know that there are some lady up-keep habits that I keep to myself. He reminded me that he had already seen the whole of my insides while someone tugged a pooing, screaming infant out of there and asked if I really believed there was any “mystery” left to protect?

    He had a point.

    God love your Googleman. Brilliant.

  • Um… I think you’re gonna have a baby. And what #78 Coyote said! 😀

  • When Jon posted that link to mucous plugs on twitter I’m not going to lie I totally clicked on it. But maybe it brought up different results on my computer because what I saw wasn’t really that gross. It was like one picture of some snot-looking stuff, some regular looking babies, and porn.

  • With my first baby, I lost mine a full week before the event, and only then as the result of an internal exam. But I never had a trophy I could place upon the counter like that. Actually, I just felt wet and thought my water had broken.
    You should be proud of your husky mucous plug!

  • I’m already having nightmares about your mucus plug. And I didn’t see it. And I’m awake.

  • Did you know that shit regenerates? And just KEEPS FALLING OUT?

    I’m one of the lucky people who lost my mucus plug no less than three times. And told everyone within shouting distance about it each time.

    P.S. I’m highly disturbed that my word verification is “sprays lick”

  • Karina

    It’s like a jellyfish flew outta your yoni!

  • Helen

    hahaahahah!!! a post about a mucus plug was never so funny. good luck with the labor watch!

  • Kelly

    Story is great, but thank you for not posting a picture of your mucous plug.

  • I’ll be sending good thoughts your way!

    I’m just west of the Mississippi but I’m not entirely sure your screams will reach StL. But maybe. At least I’ll know what that noise is =)

  • Four kids and I’ve never seen a mucous plug… until Jon’s twitter feed. Thanks for that.

  • Karen

    Leta is ahead of the game! I’m 30 and childless (so far,) and my girlfriend only just recently turned me onto the magic of mucous plugs. Why had I never heard of them before!? That’s a google image search you can never take back, right up there with “lemon party!” Wow. Hysterical post!

  • Did you name the mucous plug Maria?

  • Vasectomy? After reading your book and your blog entries from this pregnancy I am seriously considering a hysterectomy. My one fear holding me back is that I will end up like sounding like Dr. Girlfriend.

  • At work resisting the urge to type “mucous plug” into google images.

    I’m less worried about HR than people walking by. Which, of course, would lead to HR, but in a worse way.

    It’s a sad day when you’re wishing you had the privacy of a cubicle so you can google image “mucous plug.”

  • On behalf of humanity, thank you for not posting a photo. Although if you had, I’m sure it would have been tastefully appointed and set up to highlight the accent colors in your bathroom.

    At this point in your pregnancy, there is officially nothing anyone can say to you by way of greeting or to ‘check in’ that does not merit a slap across the face. Have at it!

  • LindsayLou

    OMG. never having kids.

  • I, seriously, had a long talk with my husband, last night, about what I would have to look forward to after you had your baby….

    The end is near and I feel like the sky is falling! SHIT!

  • GOOD LUCK! And 78 is right. Too funny 🙂

  • Michelle

    Hey Heather! I recently gave birth (May 6th) and did the same exact thing (minus share with child)- including google image it. I excepted to go into labor any minute as well, but unfort, no hope! I had to be induced which isn’t so bad (I did have a 27 hour labor, I’m sorry to report). Hang in there- she’ll come out soon enough! I sometimes wish I could put mine back in long enough to catch a nap…ha! I’ll be rooting for you!!!! (also, I recommend turning off your phone from here on out. The family calls get annoying. Just claim you misplaced your cellphone and your house phone is not working…I WISH I had done this. Also, another thought: steal EVERYTHING in the hospital room- diapers, baby outfits, the booger extracter…including those net panties. I kept asking the different nurses for each shift for a new box- and it worked! I had a whole stash to use for weeks- note: you cannot find those net panties anywhere! When I ran out, I no joke wore depends for a week…it was the most unattractive I’ve EVER felt). Good luck and may the labor fairies grant you a painless, drama free birth!