An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

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.

  • At least you know when you lost yours… I no longer remember, it could be anywhere!

  • You’re dying to post a picture of it, aren’t you. Well, on behalf of your readers, thank you for squashing that little impulse. The mental picture is plenty, thankyouverymuch.

    Oh Leta, how long will it be before you tell someone about the boogers from your mommy’s “bottom nose”? I would LOVE to be there for that….

  • Michelle

    Two weeks before my due date, I had an internal exam and was 3 cm dilated. My plug came out about an hour later.

    I’m sorry to say I still made it all the way to my due date…

  • Thnx

    And with that, you have officially jumped the shark. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

  • Midiane

    Boy: Humphrey. Girl: Hyacinth.

    Like standup, I really wonder what is actually real, as in what is actually said in the Armstrong household, and what is delivered to us on here or Twitter as a way to promote the Dooce brand?

  • Katie



  • You really have an amazing way of turning absolutely any subject at all into brilliantly hysterical comedy – from bathroom tile to the things you can balance on your dog’s head to mucous plugs. What I love even more about you, though, is that you seem to know just when it might be a good idea to NOT include a photo. Thank you for that.

  • I’m very grateful that the Daily Chuck did not contain a picture of him balancing *that* on his head.

  • Amity

    I am SOOOOOO jealous! Today is my due date and everything is right where it has been the past 9+ months! I too get the phone calls and e-mails asking if the baby has been born yet. People do not get how annoying this is . . . I’m waiting anxiously too!

  • April

    I highly recommend opening a bottle of your favorite drink (mine was red wine) on your due date, having a small glass each night, and declaring that there had better be a baby before that bottle is finished!

    Sending good wishes for all of you. Thanks for having us along for the ride!

  • My son is 7 weeks old now but in the weeks leading up to his birth my mother asked me whether anything had happened yet every. single. day.

    Seriously? As if I would give birth and not bother to mention it to her? “Oh, I tried this new brand of Rice-a-roni today and stopped by the bank. By the way, would you like to come see your new month-old grandson this weekend?”

    Non-pregnant intimates: Stop asking. We will tell you!

  • Ah, the mucus plug. I was a week later that I had my son after losing mine during my first pregnancy. Four kids later I’d stopped counting but for some reason that first kid sticks out in my memory.

    You and Jon now need to go have sex so his sperm can do that thing it does which softens the cervix and can make you go into labor.

    You’re welcome, Jon.

  • I’d never heard of a mucous plug until today — just a few minutes ago, in fact. Now, I feel a little nauseous. On the bright side, I plan to go home this evening and show my 14-year-old son pictures of the aforementioned mucous plugs that apparently are available for viewing on Google. That should slow him and his hormones down for a little while. I hope so, anyway.

  • Maybe you should, like, plug it back in. Before it goes flat.

    Then again, there’s nothing quite like DOOCE: UNPLUGGED.

    Can’t decide if the fact that we both posted about vasectomies and genitals today is a cosmic sign that we’re linked at the soul or a harrowing sign that the apocalypse is upon is — and it’s going to arrive through our crotches.

  • Candice

    Heather, I am due 6/25 and mine came out Friday too. And nada here. No contractions or anything. Good luck to you though! I hope labor starts soon!

    P.S. How ironic is it that the recaptcha I am typing in has the word “snotty” in it? hahahahaha

  • carrie

    Wow. This post was birth control & appetite suppressant rolled into one. I had no idea about these mucous plug things & my (curious but terrified) brain is still waging a fierce internal battle as to whether or not to google the images. Reading this post reminds me of the time I discovered that most women shit at the same time they give birth (hello doctor!). What other delightful things do pregnant women have to look forward to???

  • SB

    WHYYY do i want to google images of mucus plugs now?? seriously lady.

    won’t be long now…good luck to you all!

  • SB

    WHYYY do i want to google images of mucus plugs now?? seriously lady.

    won’t be long now…good luck to you all!

  • For lack of anything more profound to say… EEEEWWWW.

  • I admit I didn’t know what it was so had to google it when I saw you twittered about it.

    … and now I won’t be having kids for the next 10-15 years.

  • I read this post and followed it up by automatically googling “minimum age requirements to get tubes tied if you have no kids”

  • You know, I had a horrible sense of sadness when my mucus plug fell in the toilet. I knew that no rational human being would retrieve it for an inspection, and wanting to appear rational (knowing that for the prior 9 months I had been anything BUT), I let it sink under some tissue.

    Sigh. You better flickr the thing.

  • Yvette

    I just read that post while eating banana cake with mucous-y looking icing on it. Delicious!
    Love your work 😀

  • Lost my mucus plug at 38 weeks. Had the baby at 42.

    But, you know, better luck to you 🙂

  • OMG! OMG! OMG! I can’t wait to read comments about saving the mucus plug in a DNA bank (or something even grosser than fishing it out of the toidy and putting it on the counter)

    Welcome new baby NOT MARIA Armstrong!!


  • Helen

    Please tell me you didn’t save that plug for the baby book. I am fixing to go sign up for Twitter. I need to know when the little punkin doodle arrives. Can’t wait! Best of luck, Armstrong family!

  • Christina

    Dude. I love that you always push the envelope. But I’m so gagging over here. Burned into my wild imagination are the series of events that start with you fishing it out of the toilet – followed by (*gag) you putting on the counter (*lurch, eyes watering) It might take me a few days to shake this…and by then I’m hoping the image of the plug will be replaced with a graphic description of NOT Maria’s birth – please PLEASE don’t leave out a single bloody, screaming detail….

  • Anonymous

    Going anonymous b/c this is seriously embarrassing.

    I was a big fan of brazilian waxes during pregnancy. I went in for one last waxing on my due date (3 yrs ago today, actually), saw my usual aethetician, chatted happily about “no signs of this baby coming any time soon!” and so on and so forth. Well, I drive home and immediately go to the full length mirror to check for any lingering bits of wax…. and lo and behold, a big fat nasty mucous plug is staring at me from the exterior of my lady parts. *GAG*

    If you’ve had a brazilian wax before, you probably realize that the little strip of paper they call a “panty” covers nothing. So that poor girl who did my wax had to avoid making eye contact with a huge gelatinous mass of gunk that was just hangin’ out mere centimeters from her workspace. God bless her, she didn’t so much as blink. Three years later, I still feel like I should have sent her a giant bouquet of roses for the trauma.

    Oh, and it was another four days before I went into labor.

  • *snort!!* I love you. 🙂 And arcing back to the Old News Files, I also thought the picture with a beer tucked into the maternity jeans was CLAS-SIC. 😀

  • Liz

    I lost my mucous plug and continued to walk around very pregnant with my first for two very long weeks, losing more and more mucous plug every day. I found out later that those little buggers can regenerate themselves. I’m pretty sure mucous plug loss is another of God’s evil tricks to mess with us in the last weeks of pregnancy.

  • Thank you for the update. We were wondering.

  • Kristie

    With my third son (2 1/2 weeks old), I didn’t go into labor until 6 days after I lost my mucus plug. First son was only 12 hours. Also, in case you are wondering, it’s not so easy to type while breastfeeding. Good luck Heather.

  • Ok, this might be a case of way to much information.

  • Queen Zucchini

    a) jealous. even if it could still be weeks, at least it’s something. a little sign your body’s gettin’ some where with this whole getting the baby out of you thing. i’m starting to think mine will never come out.
    b) you were actually able to grab onto it and put it on the counter??? fascinating…my first was not exactly something to grab onto. curious about googling images….but not curious enough 😉 Good luck. I hope you soon have a gushing of water and real contractions and out pops that baby in record time 😀

  • bonnie

    Thank you for not posting a picture of your mucous plug. I will take your word for it that it looked exactly how you described…

  • Prue

    The single most annoying thing about nearing your due date in pregnancy is the idiots who ring up to check if you have had it yet. I am with you. As if we wouldn’t have f*&king told them… And those people could never understand why you got annoyed with them!! Idiots.

  • Jen

    Good Luck! I’m just jealous that you had a noticeable plug-none of mine popped like that! BTW-My 3 yr old son saw the “Looking West” photo and said “OOOO-I love that place, can we go?” LOL! Again, best wishes with baby.

  • Lesley

    Your courage to write humorously and openly about “this sort of thing” rocks my world.

    Counting down 5-4-3-2-1 for the first shame-filled loon – who is disconnected from the physical world except when it comes to stuffing her own face with cheetos – to comment on how terrible you are for describing a biological reality. (One that God made, for all those God-believers out there. Yes, God made mucous plugs.)

    That said, can’t science find a new name for it? Something like Female Champagne Cork?

  • With my first pregnancy, I lost my mucous plug and went into labor within the hour. With my second, I lost my mucous plug on Dec. 4 (the day after an exam to check my cervix, fwiw) and had the baby Dec. 27.

  • jessica’s mom

    After that visual I am going to embrace my hot flashes. Good luck.

  • Meagan Dockens

    I love you guys! You can always make me laugh =)

    Heather – best wishes with all this, I am sure that you will do fine

  • All i can say is– enjoy it while it lasts. time still still for nobody. We are all getting old, and will get sick and die. We will ALL Die! every one of us. all our parents, our partners, our kids, our relatives and our friends… we will , someday, be alone with nobody who loves us unconditionally.

    On that note-

    Good Luck

  • Tori

    I had my son within 24 hours of the mucous plug extravaganza. Though, in that same 24 hours I ate a whole pineapple and a clove of garlic and got one of those supposedly labor inducing pedicures. I was desperate.

    Good luck!

  • Lesley

    P.S. I pray for your sake you don’t have a Gemini baby. I was born June 12th and have a few issues.

    Seriously, the whole family, including the dogs, will need Prozac to keep up with a Gemini. Think of a human Cocoa.

  • Amy

    I don’t think I can emotionally handle the physical happenings of being pregnant and giving birth. I am one of the innocent little kittens that had never heard of such a thing and HOLY HELL I had to google it myself. YIKES.

  • Nicole

    I agree with #188. They should rename it.

  • I answered the phone the other night and my friend goes, “I LOST MY MUCOUS PLUG!” and I shouted out to my husband on the deck, “L. lost her mucous plug!” before I realized our neighbor was out there with him. I didn’t think anything of it until I saw the look on their faces. After the gross stuff of pregnancy and birth, my modesty is gooooone.

  • When I lost my plug with my second son, I got all excited and had my parents make the 10 hour drive to our house. 6 days later, I was begging my doctor to induce me. Thankfully, he was a sympathetic soul.

  • I never lost my mucous plug, except I must have because I have a 14-month-old baby. Still — I hope your labor starts SOON and is EASY!

  • Michele

    Maybe someone said this already? I haven’t read all the posts. I’ve lost three mucus plugs in the last 9 years & time is of the essence around here, dig?

    Anyway, I’m an L&D nurse and I’m sorry to say, this could mean you’ll have your baby tonight or in 3 weeks. The docs throw this tid-bit around to keep you off their backs. Trust me.

    Open a bag of chips and settle in for some Deadliest Catch tonight.


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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