An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

The labor story, part one

I have sat down to write this post so many times and abandoned the effort because I didn’t know if I was going to be able to summon the words to describe what a sacred and spiritual experience labor was for me this time around. Yes. Sacred and spiritual. Words you never thought you’d hear from someone who can talk about breakfast cereal and hemorrhoids in the same sentence with the hemorrhoids being the part that didn’t make you throw up.

Up until about the 30th week of my pregnancy I hadn’t given labor much thought, only that I was going to ask for the epidural two days before contractions started. I’m not kidding, that was the extent of my birth plan. There was no need to experience any of the pain, I thought, especially since I had been through this before and I remember thinking that the pain was so awful that it was going to kill me. Give me the epidural and any other pain relief, maybe throw in a couple dozen shots of bourbon, oh and how about you just put me under general anesthesia and wake me up two days later. I’m not good with pain. I tend to complain and holler and call people regrettable things. It’s like the Hulk, only he’s on his period.

I was also under the impression, having never really researched the subject whatsoever, that any woman who would opt for a homebirth was not only COMPLETELY OUT OF HER MIND but also not interested in the safety of her unborn child. I mean, there’s a reason that infant and maternal mortality rates are so much better than a hundred years ago, right? HOSPITALS. And MEDICINE. And smart people we call DOCTORS. Yes, women routinely used to go out into the field by themselves and give birth without any assistance, and many of them routinely did not return BECAUSE THEY DIED.

But then out of no where the publishers of Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein’s book Your Best Birth sent me a copy, just like the publishers of many books send me copies of other books all the time. Internet, I have rooms full of books that publishers have sent me. ROOMS FULL. And I was just about to toss this onto the mountainous pile of ones I’d eventually drop off at Goodwill when, I don’t know, I flipped through a few pages and gave a full minute to one or two paragraphs. And those two paragraphs happened to be ones that really pissed me off. So much so that I read them aloud to Jon and said something like GOD, THOSE HIPPIES! or I BET THEY SMELL LIKE PATCHOULI!

You know, something totally open-minded.

Those paragraphs pissed me off so badly, in fact, that the one part of me that resembles my father the most — no, not the pointy chin or the metabolism or the absolute inability to watch a movie where everything goes wrong and the protagonist just keeps getting pummeled by life and I’m all MAKE IT STOP and then I have get up and actually leave the theater, no, none of those things — my righteous indignation, it flared up so magnificently that I sat down to read the whole book, just so that I could be angry at it. WHO DOES SHIT LIKE THIS? Me and Michael Hamilton, that’s who. Both he and I will go to our graves filled with an inordinate amount of unproductive anger, but a smile will mark our faces because we will feel so justified. So RIGHT.

And then, oh God, the worst thing happened. And I didn’t even see it coming, but I’m sitting there reading that book, gritting my teeth, shaking my head when all of a sudden it started to make sense. I started to see just how medicalized labor and birth have become in America AND THERE GOES MY WORLD VIEW.

I’m not going to get into the specifics and the really convincing and at times jaw-dropping statistics of it here, there are so many other places and people who can write about it better than I can, but I will say this: if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, GO READ THAT BOOK. From now on when someone asks me what is the one piece of advice I would give to a pregnant woman, it will be: GO BUY A COPY OF THAT BOOK. Listen, I am not affiliated with that book in any way, I do not know Ricki Lake, she and I do not vacation in St. Tropez together (although if she’d like to come ride four-wheelers at my Mom’s cabin in Duchesne, Utah, THE OFFER STANDS), I do not owe that publisher any favors. But IT CHANGED MY LIFE. I’m not even kidding, I’ll say it again: IT CHANGED MY LIFE.

So then I watched the documentary Ricki Lake made, The Business of Being Born and that sealed it for me, I got my hands on everything I could read about natural childbirth. I read websites, forums, several other books including the excellent Birthing from Within, and then I talked to everyone I could find who had experienced birth without drugs. It just made a lot of sense to me, and after working through the specifics of what I went through when I was in labor with Leta — what I would call a classic example of a medicalized American labor and delivery minus the c-section — I decided that I wanted to have a natural childbirth this time. A very personal decision that made Jon go, HUH?????

And then he choked on those questions marks and fell over.

First, there were several obstacles to overcome. One, I had to convince Jon that I wasn’t crazy. I had done so much reading and research that I had gone from thinking homebirthing was NUTSO to wanting to push the baby out in the tiny tub we have in the bathroom next to the garage with no one in the room but Jon and a midwife. Oooh, and lots of candles!

But I knew Jon would never be okay with a homebirth, and since I was going to need his help getting through the pain of a drug-free labor even in a hospital setting, having him on board was critical. Two, what was my OBGYN going to do when suddenly the woman who was all EPIDURAL ON THE ROCKS, PLEASE! suddenly starting asking about the c-section rate at the hospital, and what was her policy on episiotomies? And this? And that? And, what do you know, she started fidgeting nervously, biting her lower lip, subtly shaking her head, and that was the quickest check-up I’d had the whole pregnancy!

Now, I really like my OBGYN. She’s the complete opposite of me, very cheery and all smiles, and I bet she was popular in high school, as in, when she thinks back on those four years she doesn’t SHIT HER PANTS like I do. And instead of writing her off as someone who would purposefully stand in the way of a natural childbirth and seeking out another doctor or midwife at such a late date, I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.

And I’m glad I did, because she did nothing but encourage my plans throughout the subsequent check-ups.

And hoo-boy, there was planning. Because if I was remembering correctly there was a point in my labor with Leta when the pain had become so unbearable that I think I may have actually died, gone to Hell, and when Satan saw that it was me he was all, no, no, no, not that woman, I am not about to spend eternity with someone so crass that they would casually talk about duck farts while I’m eating small children for breakfast. Send her back!

I was going to need to prepare myself for the pain, mentally, physically, and emotionally, and surround myself with a team of people who could help me through it. So I hired a doula, and then I gathered the people who were going to be with me during labor and we worked through what I wanted and how to make that happen. Mind you, I went into this knowing fully that what I wanted to happen could be completely derailed by any sort of crisis concerning me or the baby. Making it out alive with a healthy baby was my top priority, of course, but if there was no need for pitocin or an epidural or intravenous drugs or a vacuum or forceps or an oxygen mask or an emergency c-section, then that’s what I wanted.

And really, that’s not a lot to ask.


Jon just walked in with Marlo and my milk came in so hard that it exploded all over the keyboard. Imagery! And I just realized how long this post is already, and I haven’t even gotten to the part where I asked our server at Outback Steakhouse if she’d be willing to cut the umbilical cord. Part two coming soon!

  • Can’t wait to hear part 2, I’m completely fascinated by birth stories lately. If you have a moment, I think you’d really appreciate this one, esp given your desire for a natural birth. This is from the father’s perspective & is just awesome:

    Also, he did a fantastic photographic maternity series, really really good stuff.


  • Anonymous

    I worked at a maternity store for years
    heard HORROR stories and great ones too, as you can well imagine

    NEVER read a book (except for books on Nursing) used books for advice on ONLY the info I wanted or needed
    but did get a DOULA

    DOULAS ROCK- seriously!
    I LOVED/LOVE mine and would HIGHLY recommend them!

    I have two lovely born at the hospital but au natural babies
    and would not trade it for the world

    my reasons were different…HATE needles and the thought of not moving below the waist TERRIFYING
    I stub my toe and get sick but this..THIS I KNEW I could do and did

    so congrats to you
    cannot wait to hear the rest of your birth story

  • Lisa

    I feel a book coming on….Patchouli Birth! How I did it without Vodka!

    I had a c-section and one natural. Absolutely hated both. Am glad I can never get pregnant again. I did not find birth to be any sort of spiritual experience.

    Now when my Dad passed away, it was the most incredible spiritual experience I ever had. I felt honored to watch and feel his soul leave his body. It was almost like his soul came to me. Just awesome. I am hoping my kids will get to experience the same thing.

    Can’t wait for the next chapter, Heather. Great reading!

  • Stephanie

    I can’t wait to read the rest of your story! I just read the book and saw the documentary. We are thinking it’s about time for baby #2 but I need to know I have a “better” plan in place than with baby #1. The labor wasn’t so traumatic, it was everything that happened right after the epidural. You know how the snowball effect works, right?!?! Let’s just say it was the biggest snowball known to man and I want to avoid that with our next child.

  • Courtney

    I was my mom’s labor coach for her natural birth to my 10.5 lb baby brother 14 years ago(I was 14). She had me there in part to make me not want to have babies for a long time, but in part for her own little campaign for natural births. I saw her do it, with minimal screaming and teeth-gnashing and realized even at 14 that I too could do it someday. So that’s my eventual plan and I am glad to hear it was wonderful for you as well.

    plus the idea of a needle in my spine is g-ross and bothers me more than the thought of losing an arm or something.

  • Heather,
    I’m the crazyass who emailed you, in sincerity, and with a wide open heart, a few times saying things like “Please, can I be your doula? Oh won’t you have your baby at home?”.

    When I first read the news that you birthed Marlo with all of your sacred power and spiritual might, I about fell to my knees in utter bliss for YOU.

    And now this story, which I’ve been waiting for. I can’t summon words. I await anxiously. And I’m over the moon that it’s given us natural/home birthers even a teeny Dooce nod. I mean, that’s cool. That’s actually been a dream of mine…get Dooce to endorse supported, loving, powerful natural birth and “BAM! There goes Medicalized birth forever!” Um, yeah, you are pretty powerful.

    Enough of my rambling. I can’t wait for details.
    You rock, birth warrior!

    Leigh, your not-doula but doula in spirit
    PS (I secretly also dreamed you’d somehow, last minute, choose a homebirth.)

  • i have never had a child, and perhaps i never will, but i, too, watched ricki’s documentary and it totally changed my thinking about homebirth, midwives, and the whole ‘business’ of the hospitals. having worked in hospitals in the past (good ones, even), it’s clear to me that SO much of what is done in those institutions has much to do about the almighty dollar and so little to do with what’s good for the actual patient (imagine that!). if nothing else, it definitely makes you think!

    love your stories; can’t wait to read the next part:)

  • I’m shocked! Not because I even know you and think you are lying about the pain, but that’s just it, the pain! When I had my son two years ago, labor was very hard for me. It was somewhat short I guess (4 hours) but it was hands down the worst, indescribable pain that I ever experienced and I thought I was going to die. So, that said, I am planning on having another baby, I’m not pregnant yet, but my husband and I are in negotiations, and I will surely pick up a copy of this book if you say it’s THIS good. Because I wanted to do it naturally, but mostly, I wanted some way to work through my pain, because my only form of relief came through the epidural and even then I was very uncomfortable. BUT if you say so…….. (;

  • Tara

    I read a bunch of natural birth stories on to get an idea of what I would be in for. Surprisingly, although I am all about natural birth, the stories that made me feel better about everything were the ones where the natural birth didn’t result in bliss. Knowing that things may not go according to dreams and plan and knowing it will be okay and there may be disappointments, put me at ease. No one is less of a mother for having more medical intervention, but reaching for the ideal of a natural birth should be a societal norm!

    Like other posters, I am grateful for you publicly putting your story out there and giving this option such a voice. Thank you!!

  • Callista

    Thank you so much for writing about this experience!

    I too saw the Epstein and Lake’s documentary, “The Business of Being Born,” and like you, it completely and totally changed my life. Mind you, I am currently a 21-year-old college student who is not planning on having children for quite some time, but I think homebirthing and midwifery is something every woman she know about. I spent an entire term researching the topic, writing a paper, and presenting my discoveries in my classes. It is such amazing, empowering information to have.

    Thank you for taking the time to read their book. Thank you for being open-minded enough to consider a home birth. And perhaps most of all, thank you for sharing your experiences with the world! I’m sure that, like Lake and Epstein, your posts will change someone’s life.

  • I am so jealous. Once you have one c-section you’ll be lucky if they let you go into labor on your own . . . I am green wtih envy and delighted for you all at the same time, because you got the birth experience I dreamed of. Well done, Dooce!

  • Charley

    Yay Heather! Now PLEASE POST PART 2!!!!

  • I bow down to all of you who go drug free. Kudos to you! I’m not sure I could do it.

    Can’t wait for part deux!

  • I’m not pregnant…but I’ll be netflixing the movie for sure. Can’t wait to hear about the rest of the story!

    Oh and please tell us about when you take your comp back to the apple store and tell the geniuses there that your macbook is fried due to lactation. That’ll be a classic no doubt.

  • Jaclyn

    I am HAPPY for you….but a little sad too. I think that the natural childbirth option is great, but some moms really dont get to make that choice. Some of the issue I took with that movie (loved it, by the way) was that it makes the non-natural births sounds “less-than.” I know that isnt the intent–or maybe it is, but it does feel that way to me as a c-section’d mom. When I hear from champions of natural birth, I wonder if I am supposed to feel bad about my own experience? For what its worth, I took natural birthing classes, a natural birth just wasn’t in the cards for me.

  • I had a natural birth and it sucked rocks. But, once it’s over you have other things to worry about. Which is wonderful.

  • Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story! Though I don’t have children and generally believe any way babies make it into the world safely is okay by me, The Business of Being Born was an incredible eye opener about the over-medicalization of labor. Thanks for sharing your thought process.

  • Nancy W

    Congratulations Heather!! You had what I call a BREAKTHROUGH! I am so happy to read this I had to say THANKYOU! So many of my friends have had “natural childbirth” and even tho it is not the same experience for everyone, it is the first part of having a choice in how we do “birth” our children. I am so happy for you!

  • My favorite post I’ve ever read of yours. Of course, I’m pro-natural childbirth and pro-doula and I just love hearing about your own change of heart when it came to this subject. Plus, I’ve always thought you were a pretty spiritual person simply because you react so strongly to spirituality and religion.

    I can’t wait to read part two!

  • I work in a genetics center and we are VERY pro natural childbirth I have a doula in the office next to me -my kids are 16, 9 and 8 but I want to have another and she has given me some great books to read – you’re right the statistics are insane- im so excited to hear the rest of the story 😀

  • Yay! I’m so excited to hear how everything went. I’m also really pleased to see someone that has as much public influence as you taking resources like The Business of Being Born and Birthing from Within so seriously.
    I had a beautiful natural birth. It was hard damn work, but certainly nothing to be fearful of, and I’m so glad for the experience.

  • Leila

    Congrats! It’s wonderful to hear that you had such a great birth, and also wonderful that you were able to change your plan so late in the game. I’ve had two drug free deliveries, one at the hospital and one at home, and I wouldn’t change anything about either. It was hard, but so worth it. I live in Ontario, where midwifery care is covered by our provincial health care plan. I feel so fortunate to have had this option, but it sounds like your OBGYN was just as supportive. Lucky girl 🙂

  • mags

    I am a convert to natural childbirth too! My first baby was induced in hospital 10 days late. Like a domino effect, we suffered through every intervention possible, barring a c-section and most complications resulting from the interventions such as hemorrhaging, blood pressure drop, and many others. It was a train wreck and a bloodbath. He was a big boy, 10 lbs with a 15 1/2 head, but I was having no trouble at all til the epidural was administered. I still have an episiotomy scar on my inner thigh even though it was 19 yrs ago. I swore afterwards he was going to be an only child.

    He was the best baby ever, as perfect and happy as a human can be, so I later decided to do it again but entirely differently. The next two babies were also born in hospital (I have two hour labors and the only birthing center was too far away) but had wonderful midwives, no meds, no episotomies. I was walking to the shower within two hours, and the babies were alert and nursing within minutes. They were 9 lbs and 9 lbs 8 oz each so the size was not significantly different. If I could have done a birthing center I would have done it without question.

    I have so much trust and confidence in and respect for my body as a result of these births, and I would do it again in a heartbeat if my life allowed it. This was especially powerful for me since I also suffer from chronic profound depression and anxiety and had often felt like my body/brain was flawed because of it. (I have been living better with pharmaceuticals since the 80’s!)

    Congratulations, Heather and all the Armstrongs!

  • I love it when you hit your writing pace. It is thrilling to behold! Excited for the rest of the parts. 🙂

  • Lori

    When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I wanted to arrange for the epidural in the hospital parking lot. I loved reading your post and can’t wait for Part 2. It’s so great that you admit openly about changing your mind about something you already had a strong opinion on. I love reading your blog. It encourages people to be authentic.

  • Mia

    YES! It sounds AWESOME! Can’t wait to read the rest.

    My family thought I was bat shit insane when I told them I was having my first child at home. (I’m not exactly granola material)
    But it was so peaceful and empowering. It is a memory I will have for the rest of my life and I sincerely hope other women who have the inclination will have access to good info so they can make an informed choice.

  • Gail

    Oh, I *remember* those days of looking down at my breasts and knowing that they had their own agenda and then just giving in and going “Mooooooooooooooooo”. The oooooh and owwwwww of fullness and the sweet release and aaaaaahs of successful nursing. I actually miss the absurdity of those days. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Carolina

    Dear Heather,

    I have followed your writing since god knows when. I am Chilean (living in Chile).
    I am so proud of what you have achieved throughout these years. My mother suffered a very deep and difficult depression a few years ago and I know how hard it can be… so I am very happy to see how happy you are now enjoying the health and love of your two children and your incredible husband.
    I hope one day I can be as strong as you are!
    You are my hero!
    Love, Carolina.

  • And now the Outback Steakhouse has its new t-shirt saying.

  • I’ve never given birth. I’ve never been pregnant.


    I watched “The Business of Being Born” and LOVED it. I recently checked out that Ricki Lake book and look forward to reading it. I just reserved “Birthing from Within,” because it sounds like something I’d like.

    Way to go, you!

    BTW, you might also like the book “Baby Catcher.” It’s about a lay midwife. In fact, based on what I read here, I bet you’d LOVE it.

    Yay again, you!

  • I haven’t even finished reading this post yet and I had to comment. I’m pregnant with my first, and a friend of mine recommended that I check out the midwives at UCLA. I, too, had always thought that “midwives” and “homebirth” were something for crazy hippy people who didn’t shave very often.

    But from there, I went and rented The Business of Being Born – I was probably only about 2 months in when I watched it, and I was HORRIFIED, after watching that movie. Horrified at the state of birth in the United States, that is.

    I immediately decided that I was going au natural, using midwives and I have to say – considering this is my first child, with all the research and reading I’ve been doing about natural childbirth, I’m not the slightest bit scared. I’m not even afraid of all the pain – especially after hearing about how all the drugs, and that nasty pitocin they give women, actually makes the pain WORSE.

    There’s so much research to prove that giving birth naturally is SO MUCH safer & better for your baby, and isn’t that who you should be most concerned about?

    Anyway, so – YAY! Thank you so much for writing about this, because I feel like the truth about drugs/birth/natural childbirth really needs to be told to more women. Before someone suggested the midwives to me, it never really occurred to me that I had other options.

  • forkboy1965

    That’s nothin’….I once ate two Whoppers meals and didn’t burp once!

  • Amy

    I sincerely believe if they could capture and bottle the amazing cocktail of hormones you get after a natural birth, it would be illegal. THE HIGH IS THAT FUCKING AMAZING.

  • kim

    For me it’s all about the woman having the power to make her own choice about how her birth should go, and not turn all the decisions over to the doctor’s and labor nurses.

    I started out like you with my first–really wanting a delivery without drugs–but it just so happened that the baby was transverse (big bummer for a natural childbirth) so I ended up having a c-section. My doula was worried that I would feel like a failure, but I was actually SO thankful for modern medicine because 100 years ago I would have been one of those women who died in childbirth (and the baby as well). Because I was involved in the decisions I had no regrets, even tho I ended up with the c-section I was adamantly opposed to in the months before my baby’s birth. In the end I had a healthy baby and I never felt like I was at the mercy of the medical establishment.

  • Holly

    Oh wow didn’t see this one coming. Can’t wait for the rest of the story. I’ve had all my children natural (the last two at home..including a 10lb 4oz baby while standing in my bathroom). Now if we could get you to open your mind up about vaccinations. Baby steps I guess.

  • RichardK

    You are a wonderful writer. I don’t get too excited with the dog pictures and the artsy craftsy stuff, but it’s a nanoscopic price to pay for having the pleasure of reading your posts. Please, whatever you do, don’t stop writing. BTW, what’s the trackback to the post on duck farts?

  • Awesome, Heather!

    I didn’t think I could love you any more, and then you wrote this post.

    I planned on a intervention-free birth for a long time, reading everything I could find (esp. the Ina May Gaskin books), taking a Hypnobirthing class and also hiring a doula.

    But then my OBGYN was all, HELLO! You’re having twins and that’s a whole OTHER deal.

    And then I ended up getting sick in my 38th week and a scheduled c-section was penciled in to my Kate Spade organizer.

    I went from home birth candlelit tub birth to a planned section, but in the end both of my babies were born healthy and that’s what mattered.

    I can’t wait to read the rest of your story!!

  • Roryx

    I do the same angry thing with books and movies. I will get so worked up about a book and I just can’t give it up! I read Twilight because I had nothing else to read at the time and I HATED IT. I then of course read the rest of the series so I could hate it and critize more thouroughly.

  • Gabby


    I’m only a lowly 17 year old but I would desperately love to be a homebirth midwife one day, so obviously I’m a massive advocate of natural birth. When I read you were pregnant this time around, I was actually convinced that exactly this would happen to you. I’m just so glad you took the initiative to educate yourself and had the birth you wanted 😀

    And yeah, those statistics are terrifying. C-section rates up to 80% in some states, where the maximum safe rate is 15%? Ow.

  • Ummm…I seriously laughed so hard that it took 10 minutes…that’s right 10 MINUTES! to stop laughing. Note that I am at work reading this….good thing no one else is in the office today, otherwise I might have been fired.

    Thankfully Satan decided to spit you out of hell because the people here on Earth reallye enjoy reading your blog.

    Can’t wait to read part 2.


  • Joy

    I went through a similar shift, and ended up with a totally natural homebirth. It was safe, it was awesome, and I felt empowered to make a peaceful, responsible choice.

    It’s my hope that every woman has the opportunity to make that choice–whether it finds her in a remote cabin in the woods, or with every medical intervention she can get her hands on–and to feel totally comfortable with her birth decisions.

  • Shylo

    I also changed my provider at 30 weeks after asking the same questions. I had midwives deliver my son at a hospital. It rocked and I highly recommend it to others.

  • monique

    Interesting comments re: the bikini wax as prep for birth (#50).

    I forgot that waxing was a critical step to labour preparation. Since having a sparkly clean bikini line is going to make a big difference when you’re pushing so hard you’re shitting yourself.

    PEOPLE. WE HAVE PUBIC HAIR. Get over it!

  • I just did a little happy dance reading this. I had this epiphany when I pregnant the second time (the first ended in miscarriage, and I had a horrible experience with an OB). And it really is a personal epiphany. And I LOVE when other people have the same thing happen. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.

  • Mo

    Rikki Lake? I had no idea.

    My first (only) childbirth was natural by default. It really IS everything they say it is and more.

  • All 4 of my births were natural. The first took place in a non-hospital birth center, and the other three were at home. The home births were much better, even with my 10-pound #2. I’ve always been of the mind that all women would prefer a natural birth, and only choose drugs and/or intervention if absolutely necessary. Apparently, it’s the other way around! Good on ya, Heather! I’m glad you had the balls to buck the trend 🙂

  • The only things that could have thrilled me more about this post would have been if 1)the rest was already written and 2)I had been your doula. And I mean that in the least-stalkerish way possible.

    As a hippy-crunchy-crazy-homebirthin-doula, I’ll say nothing makes me more excited than seeing women take back their births.

  • Heather

    My fiancee and I watched the Biz of Being Born a couple of years ago, and it completely blew us away. We are both from MO (a state in which until pretty recently midwives weren’t even allowed to practice except in conjunction with/under the care of an OBGYN). We recommend the movie to people all the time–it really opened our eyes to the powerful experience that childbirth can be. If/when we have kids, we are totally on board w/natural (and preferably) home birth. It is rad to see the dialogue about this opening up!

  • Wow! Totally unexpected, and possibly … inspiring? I’m 26 weeks pregnant and I’m not SWEARING to anything, but it sounds … intriguing. Tell more!

  • Trish


    I didn’t do any planning at all. That is awesome that you had such a great plan! I knew I wanted to try going natural, but I was sure I woud chicken out.

    My second birth was a natural birth and it was the best experience. I wanted to kill people after the first time. I was in hell. The recovery SUCKED. But when I had my second naturally, oh man, I recovered so quick and I felt like Superwoman!

    Best experience ever and yes, I’m describing childbirth. WEIRD!

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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