Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

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.

  • When my mucus plug fell out with my first kid, I was sure I had somehow done something wrong. I suddenly remembered my grandmother telling me that if I had sex while more than three months pregnant, I’d turn the baby’s brain to mush. I actually remember thinking, “Shit! Is that baby brain?!”

    Perhaps I should have done my pregnancy reading a little more carefully.

  • Wow! Now Roberta has a friend!

  • tracy

    When I lost my mucus plug, it looked exactly like I had snotted in my panties. So gross! I thought my water had also broken that morning (no, hubby, I’m sure I didn’t just “pee” myself) so after an appt with my obgyn (leaking fluids, not amniotic…huh?? what the hell else is up there??), I was horrified when she told me losing my plug was not indicative of the onset of labor. BITCH! I am (as we all are) on the edge my of seat, waiting for the arrival of not-Maria. And on the name-front, I still have a secret fantasy of you choosing “Ellis” after meeting us in Portland & declaring how much you loved her name. Yes, I am that delusional 🙂

  • Anonymous

    As a twenty-something female who A: is contemplating giving birth sometime in the future; B: had never heard of a mucous plug; and C: foolishly Googled it…

    Let me just state that I hope I’ve forgotten about all of this by the time I push out my own spawn.

  • Noelle

    Oh, that was good… and I am strangely like the one person who said they wanted a picture… probably makes me just as weird…

    Good luck!! Maybe you can start with the late fees after the 11th.

  • I am at once horrified and curious. I never saw my mucous plug when I was about to give birth. Did it fall out into a nurse’s hand and she never told me? Or worse – did I leave it in public somewhere? Eck.

    Bottom nose — ha! That is funny.

  • Marissa

    Oh. MY. GOD.

    I did not know what a mucous plug looked like, so I had to go Google it too.

    Unfortunately I did so right after lunch…ughhhh.

    Well, reason number 347 why I should remember to take my birth control pills…

    Good luck with the labor! Can’t wait to hear when Not Maria finally shows up!

  • Megan

    Sorry Heather, I lost my mucus about three weeks before I actually went into labor…

  • Anonymous

    So funny. Poor Leta – such an education at such a young age. I bet she knows much more than any other five-year-old on the planet.

    I never lost a plug, but did lose an 8 week-old fetus, perfectly in tact (in its sac). While the miscarriage was the most traumatic experience ever, seeing and photographing such amazement before giving it to the doctor for testing (but not posting it to come up google images) was better closure than I ever could have asked for.

    Don’t know what’s going on with the comments on the last post. It does not say “comments closed” but is not allowing new ones. #402 Tori – Please do not encourage women to hardly gain any weight during pregnancy. Heather is Heather. Everybody is different. The norm is 25-35 pounds. My doctor told me to gain 40 (though I gained 35), and I was not underweight. Just trying to save some babies’ lives w/ this link!

    #409 Alyxherself – While you claim to have appreciated getting molested by your Kennedy-look-a-like OBGYN, how did your husband/partner feel about the pleasure the doc provided you?

  • I wish my parents would hurry up and go into the other room so I could do a Google image search without frightening them.


  • Mindy

    Congrats on your impending pregnancy!!

  • RebKas

    I also never had the joy of knowingly losing mine– I have 3 babies (2 C-Section and ONE WHO CAME OUT THE WAY GOD INTENDED AND I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ADAM AND EVE AND THAT DAMN APPLE SO WHY AM I PAYING FOR IT??). After seeing what Jon posted on Twitter– glad I missed it!

  • This is so like making hollandaise. You whip and you whip and you never think it is going to happen, then, suddenly, you have a hollandaise.

    I know, I know, it is disgusting. But that is what I thought of when reading your post.

    And if that is what I think of the next time I make a hollandaise, well, you’ve got no one else to blame but yourself.

    I think!


  • Ava


    I’m 6ish months pregnant with my first child and am reading a ton of ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ type books. These books are all ‘Death! Die! Bad! Don’t! Stop!’ and so I’ve decided to stop reading these books and only read your blog.

    This mucous plug though- do Canadians have them? Because what if I’m at the swimming pool or at the grocery store when it explodes forth from my hooner? The thought of that makes my vagina cry a little.

  • Margaret B

    Oh Heather… here’s what I typed up this morning, to all the strangers out there, you might get a kick from it. And since I am officially due before you YOU ARE NOT allowed to go into labor before me!! It’s NOT FAIR!!

    “No, my water will not break in the chiropractor’s waiting room, in the line at Chipotle, while browsing the movies at Target or just because you’re looking at me funny. Only one in ten women’s water breaks before they go into labor, and I am not in labor. I will try my DARNDEST not to sit down on the floor and have the baby right here in front of you. I would love to have my baby in a room with medical professionals far, far away from you and your establishment. If I do go into labor, I can assure I will leave, not spend the next 10-48 hours here waiting for the baby to crown. Furthermore, it’s kind of awkward to talk to you about my bodily fluids. So could you please not make a joke about it? Because I could start talking about bodily fluids and pregnancy and I can guarantee you would be shutting up pretty quickly. The horror, the horror…

    Secondly, yes I am due on Thursday. ThisThursday. In two days. But I am probably not going to have a baby on Thursday, because only 5% of women have their babies on their due dates. He might be late. He might wait til next week. There is little magic about Thursday except that it marks 40 weeks of pregnancy. And I can guarantee you that if I get past 40 weeks, I will not take your jokes about being overdue with a grain of salt. I will be a very annoyed pregnant lady.

    I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with your story of your sister-in-laws 60 hour labor with a ten pound baby. I’ll just leave it at that.

    Also, stranger, no, I will not have my baby on the 18th of June because it’s your husband’s birthday. I don’t know your husband, I don’t know you, so why would I wait?

    And finally, yes, I know what causes this. I went to middle school and I did not skip that PE class.

    Let me have my baby in peace, please. I’m already uncomfortable and your jokes about the way I’m waddling don’t help. You would waddle too, if you had a head living between your hips. I have a fully grown baby residing inside my body, and yes, I’m aware that it’s there. Just let me live out these last few days with whatever dignity and peace I can muster.”

  • Had to come back to say I couldn’t resist the temptation to google the image. Why I can’t say.

    I’m speechless. No, wait, I’m not.

    The first one I saw looked like a bad oyster. I almost dropped my laptop. Why someone would post a pic of this is beyond me…I suppose it’s helpful…but ewwwww!

    Keep your chin up, you’re almost there!

  • Hmm.
    I’m NOT childless and I was mucous plug ignorant as well!
    Or perhaps all those years of therapy and Zoloft have paid off and the damned memory is blocked forever.

    I don’t want to derail anything I’ve gained during therapy,… so I’m going to have to resist the Google urge.

    Darn. Yet another subject I’m going to remain ignorant on.
    (pay no attention to my cheerful clueless-and-happy-to-remain-so whistling…)

  • One step closer! Yay! Of course as you probably know by now, losing your plug does not mean you’re necessarily going to give birth within the next day or so. I lost mine three weeks before my daughter decided to make an appearance.

    Good luck with everything!

  • Seeing a mucous plug, even at Leta’s young age, might be good birth control for the next 20 years?!

  • Heather

    When my good friend (via mass text) that “her plug” came out…
    First, I asked my sister-in-law, who was pregnant at the time. She had no idea either.
    So out of curiously and because I felt it could be useful information for my pregnant sister…
    I totally googled it. Unfortunately I had NO IDEA what was waiting for me on google images…

    Nightmares. Horror. And gruesome fascination.

  • Following you on twitter now. I half expected to see a picture of your mucus plug. I am this close to googling it, but restraining myself. Ewww.

  • holy crap. don’t try to read this post while eating a late lunch of lasagna…

  • I’m impressed with how well you parented through Leta’s discovery of the mucous plug on the counter. Nice. I think I would need therapy if I found your mucous plug on the counter. She comes from good stock — she’ll be fine.

    It’s been a while, but I remember losing my mucous plug with all three of our sons. The first one came out about a week before labor, the second one about 24-48 hours prior to labor, and the third [and final] made an appearance about five days before labor. Baby girl will be here soon for certain!

    Sending you good juju and lots of warm wishes. I’m excited for you!

  • I went 5 more days after my stupid plug came out. Everyone kept saying “Oh, any day now!” and I would get all excited. I was cursing those people on day 4, swearing never to speak to them again on day 5. My Dr. finally felt sorry for me and broke my water for me. I swear I would have kissed that man if my husband hadn’t been standing Right there.

  • Lizzy

    I think “mucus” and “plug” are two of my least favorite words next to “vagina” and one that I can’t type here.

    I’m pleased and a little impressed that you used them in one blog. :o)

    Ironically, the two words I am supposed to type in below are “controls” and “single”. I hope this post does just that. Wrap that rascal, boys.

  • RzDrms

    it’s amazing to me that there are so MANY of us out here whose names are not maria…

  • Tara

    I just want to thank you from the bottom of my soul for not posting a pic here or on flickr. I’m due in 18 days and figure I’ll see my own soon enough.

  • kitchenbeard

    Somehow I pictured something akin to a boob implant ricocheting off the wals of your bathroom as you ducked like a pregnant ninja.

  • Karen

    Dear Heather,

    I have been reading your blog since Leta was two years old. I have read about your good and your bad times.

    I live thousands of miles from you and don’t even know you, but I cried a couple of tears of joy when you posted that you were pregnant again. You have helped prove to me exactly why I want to have children.

    I wish you all the luck in the world for the birth of little Not Maria.

    Can’t wait to hear what your really going to call her!

  • God, PLEASE do not post a photo of it, as at least one commenter so far, has suggested. Blech.

    I hope everything goes well for you during labor! 😀

  • I never lost my plug nor did my water ever break. They tried to break it at the hospital but when they did they said nothing came out as my daughter’s head was pressed RIGHT UP against my cervix. There’s a mental image I’ll never get out of my head.

    Not to get too personal but…have you and Jon gotten “funky” with each other? I won’t go into details but I will say this: I went to see my doctor on a Friday, a week after my due date and nothing was going on. Saturday morning my husband and I spent a little more time in bed than usual, then Sunday evening our daughter was born. I’m just saying. That’s all.

  • Seriously- the shit (and mucus) that woman have to go through to procreate makes me glad that it’s us and not men. If it were men, we’d have died out after the very first mucus plug hit the cave floor.

  • Ren

    I think if you cloned Jon you could make a MINT! What a surportive husband you have! I had my husband read your blog and he turned white. And he is the one that turned me onto your site in the first place. 🙂

    You are close! Good luck – I was close to finding a trampoline to get my daughter out…luckily we were able to get her out by using pressure points in the left ankle. Worth a try.

  • JEN

    What? NO PHOTO?!! You need to contribute to the internet by ADDING one more photo of a mucus plug. It is your duty!!

    Good luck and all that.


  • Erin

    Just hold your legs together, squeeze really tightly, and it will NEVER happen. That’s my suggestion. Or…EAT A DOZEN DOUGHNUTS, RIGHT NOW! WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!

  • I have never had anything “fall out of me” before. This makes me fearful.

  • Anonymous

    It will happen on Friday. Don’t shoot me. I’m not Maria and that’s my birthday.

    Thanks for the giggle and the best to you all!

  • #114 Ava-
    Canadian mucus plugs come with a side of poutine to comfort your crying vagina.

  • Renee

    Hi Heather
    I lost my mucus plug with my first daughter, now 4, three weeks before due date and my body was so clueless that it continued to wait untill we had to go in a surgically remove my by that point 9lb 11oz baby. The second time around, 4 months ago, I NEVER lost the durn thing during pregnancy and after the scheduled c-section, as I was “the worst candidate for VBAC I have ever seen.” – a direct quote from my OBGYN. I lost that mucus plug THREE WEEKS POST PARTUM!!!!! For those ladies out there who know that you are an emotional and physical wreak in the time after giving birth just imaging going to the bathroom to discover that your vagina has just blown the world’s most monstrous bloody lugie into your panties.
    I was so alarmed that I had to call the dr. just to make sure that mucus plugs could indeed fall out at this point. Fortunately my daughter was not in the bathroom with me at the time(as is her habit)cause I don’t think either of us could have handled that conversation at that time, she is already traumatized enough that lady parts have boo boo’s
    Good luck and thanks for making the day a little funnier!

  • Anna

    Oh yeah, I lost parts of my mucous plug over and over for days. If I remember correctly, it keeps on recreating itself, so if you’re dilated just enough, it just keeps on forming and falling, forming and falling. Mine was not followed by labor. No; the only thing my labor ever followed was a pitocin drip. (I’m a fan of the pitocin drip! It worked for me twice!)

    But, you know, at least something is happening. It wouldn’t fall out without some dilation happening. I know, Babywatch is maddening. There is no way to make it easier.

  • Shannon

    I am going to be looking forward to hearing about the arrival of your baby any day now. Seriously. If the plug thing is any indication like it was for me and all those twitters. I was in absolute shock after describing what I thought was a massive blood clot to the nurse on the phone and to have her tell me “You’re going to have this baby by the end of this weekend.” And she was 100% correct.

    Congratulations. I wish you the best with the arrival of your second daughter.

  • whipdizzy

    My sister is due one day after your due date. We got all excited last week when she was 1cm dilated, only to find out that meant pretty much nothing and she could be that way for some time (and still is this week). What a let down! She’s on mucous plug watch now and super anxious to go into labor and get this all over with (due only in part to having her mother in law staying with her until she gives birth!).

    And as someone with no kids (or plan for any), I’ll be really glad when I never have to hear the term “mucous plug” again!

  • Ted

    I’m with Jen(134).

  • Caitlin

    Mucous plug. Mucous. Plug. No one tells you these things! If they would just be really graphic about what actually goes on, teen pregnancy would drop off into the single digit percentile.

  • Anonymous

    Okay…of course I had a similar situation with my second daughter…and I got her out by a: going swimming b: having sex. I know you don’t want to have sex…just do it quick. Threaten him that he must do it, and it must be quick, it won’t be great for either of you, but he has got to take one for the team…you’ll get a baby quicker. Good luck and God bless.

  • My mucus plug fell out as well and everyone kept telling me that I was going to have the baby “anytime now.” Do not listen to them because it was not an instantaneous thing – she came when she wanted to, just so happened to be RIGHT on her due date. Good luck and best wishes.

  • Ah, the “beauty” of childbirth! Glorious!

    Lots of luck from the team at!

  • i had not a clue about this “plug” before pregnancy. but neither did the OB who checked me when i was in labor. he said it was a yeast infection & sent me home…after my water broke.

    at least you know what it is/does & that you are sure now. no 48 hour labor for you! my husband would NOT google other peoples nether snot, so you are lucky.

    congrats on not maria!

  • Anonymous

    Dude, west of Mississippi? I’m in Iowa for the next few days… so could you have this baby before Saturday? Not that I want you to be in pain… but hearing you scream all the way here would be so totally cool!

  • i dropped my plug on friday, but didn’t know what was going on so i went into my dr’s office. they ended up admitting to the hospital but let me go after a few hours [still no one explained to me wtf was going on]. healthy baby was birthed on tues – so you’re close!

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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