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

In the moment

A couple of days ago I volunteered in Leta’s kindergarten class for a writing workshop they hold every week, and since I show up early for everything I got to talk to her teacher while the kids finished playing outside. She said Leta was integrating well and asked how it was at home with the newborn, and suddenly I’m reflexively gushing about how much I love it and can’t get enough.

GAH?

WHA?? WHO???

And I found myself wanting to talk about how that morning when Marlo woke up at 3 AM to feed I couldn’t wait to snuggle her up under my arm and lie there with her fuzzy head up under my chin. OH! And our favorite part of the day now is the moment Leta pokes her head into our bedroom in the morning and whispers with a scream, “IS THE BABY AWAKE?!” Her head a giant mushroom cloud of tangles as she runs and hops up in between us, and Marlo looks up with a grin so wide there is no room left on the bed.

Yeah, there are really frustrating times, experiences everyone has as they juggle this kid off to school while trying to make the house quiet for the other kid’s nap. And work and errands jammed into the tiny cracks of time left in the day. But that baby… I don’t know how to explain what she’s done to me, to Jon, and especially to Leta who loves her more than anything else in her life, who now shows a level of tenderness and generosity that I didn’t know she possessed. It’s like Marlo has brought us to Here, with the capital H, that place we’ve always been trying to get to, the place that always seemed unattainable and out of reach. She’s brought us into The Now, and it feels absolutely magical.

I will always remember how hard it was the first time, and I will always sympathize with women who struggle they way that I did. But now I feel like I can understand the others who beamed when talking about life with an infant. I get it now. Yes, I know this makes me some droning mommyblogger, but I also hope that this, from the perspective of someone who has lived through the blinding demons of sadness and hopelessness, might give someone out there a glimpse of what it can be, and maybe they’ll go for it.

  • Trina

    I can’t look away from the “Hate” pages. I LOVE that you finally put the names in of these idiots, but most especially, Michelle Rebeiro Yoakum Mcbee. She sure has a lot of time to post on a website she HATES!

    You two are doing a terrific job with your girls. Cherish every minute because as you know (from Leta) it goes WAY too fast.

    P.S. Love the video and the interaction between your daughters. More of that please!

  • This feeling doesn’t ever go away. After they’re older (mine are 11, 13, and 16), you still look at them and have those moments of pure overwhelming love and wonder how the hell you ever got that lucky. And when you realize that your eyes are tearing up, you’ll ruffle one’s hair or poke one in the ribs or stick your tongue out at the other… and smile even bigger.

    🙂 Thanks for today’s reminder.

  • Not Impressed

    Wow. The favoritism you show towards Marla is blinding. Droning mommblogger is right. Too bad Lotta is gonna need a Lotta Therapy to figure out why her mommy hated her so much. At least she can take comfort in the fact that even though she made mommy suicidal, mommy did some of her best/funniest/most honest writing during that time. It’s been all downhill from there. PPD was the best thing that ever happened to you.

  • wow…wow… I don’t think one of your posts have ever left in my tears like this one!

  • Cornelia

    That was an incredibly touching video. I can’t wait to have a family like yours!

  • Thank you for writing this. AS someone who really wants a baby, but knows the depths of depression, this is really inspiring. 🙂

  • Jenny

    Love to see Leta interact with Marlo and show how much she loves her baby sister. I don’t have any kids (just yet) but I imagine no matter how much frustration siblings may cause in the household it’s worth every second.
    I’m an only child and, although I wouldn’t have changed my life, I find myself a little envious of those with siblings. That is a very unique connection (oh and there is no way I’m only having one child).

  • Heather, I woke up this morning after a night of unexplained insomnia. My “baby” is five and going to Kindergarten, she’s been sleeping through the night for a year and a half now, and she’s the only one, so there’s no baby to wake me. Just me, and it happens now and then, as it does to most of us. And as I was laying there feeling groggy and unmotivated (having finally squeezed in a last hour of restless sleep), I found myself wishing that, way back about 3 years ago, when I went through a brief period of thinking maybe I could do it again, oh I wished this morning that I had done it again. I’m so happy for you that you did, and that you have found this joy. And I sure wish I had a fuzzy little head to kiss again. 🙂

  • I am no where near the point in my life where I will be having children, and I am scared to even think of that moment. But that video, that pulled my heartstrings, and not just a bit. A whole lot. It reminds me of photos of my brother and I (Marlo and Leta respectively in age difference) lying on the living room floor, or I holding him. Those moments are happy moments. I’m just glad technology is better so that they can be captured so much better now. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I cried… I am even more suspicious than ever that I am pregnant.

  • Chris

    So good! Thanks for the video! The music makes it perfect.

  • Jenny

    Wow #53. How about you stop judging other people. If you don’t like the blog, just don’t read it. Found your comment a little judgemental….are you casting the first stone?

  • Hello Reality TV: Heather plus Jon and their Lovely Spawn.

  • Michelle

    I am a long time reader of your blog, but I don’t ever comment. In light of the all the hate, I came to bring some love. Congrats on turning something foul into something useful for your family (and entertaining to your readers.) I hope this doesn’t increase the incoming hate mail, just to see if they can be featured on the hate site!

    Your daughters are beautiful, Keep up the great posts, pics, videos, you are a highlight in my day!

  • This gives me a lot of hope that the second time around doesn’t have to be so bad. I’m hoping and praying.

  • V

    Yay YOU!
    I just want to say, as a strong believer this is true, that it might be possible that your AMAZING (and awesome and courageous) birth #2 might MIGHT have something to do with where you are now.
    You worked hard for things to be different this time. Enjoy it!

  • I think your CAPTCHA says it all: dimple finishing

  • C h r i s t i n e

    Sweet!!! ^_^

  • Carly

    I have two little girls and nothing makes me happier than watching them play. My husband and I have been debating about adding another one to our clan and when people ask us why, we just say “love”. I liked your explanation better. To #53- You need help, you are not normal. I hope you are not a mother.

  • Catherine

    Congratulations! Who could ask for more?

  • Anonymous

    no where in my post did i mention hate – i said to enjoy it now cuz it changes

    get over yourself and out of heather’s ass.

  • Terra

    I have been trying to get pregnant for many months and ironically conceived in the same week that I was reading your book. While your book has prepared me somewhat for the negative aspects of having a baby, reading your blog and your experiences as Leta grows older, has reminded me of the positive aspects of having a baby. Thank you so much for sharing and being so open.

  • What a beautiful, amazing, beautiful family. I feel so lucky to be able to see this and know that I’ll get to feel that kind of joy someday. And, what’s more, is that now, in my mid-20s, as a pre-school teacher, I appreciate my parents more than ever. And I am so happy to see how beautiful they have become as they have aged. So you’ve got that to look forward to… the day when your girls tell you how beautiful you are and it’ll be after they’ve lived long enough to see plenty of beauty.

  • Kate

    Yes, thank you. That’s exactly right.

  • Kiley

    Absolutely beautiful video.

  • Daphne

    BEAUTIFUL! Love it! My boys are 7 yrs apart and my husband had to leave with the US Navy on a 6 month cruise when the baby was 3 weeks old. I had to work full time and take care of a 7 yr old with homework and an infant (and after 7 yrs felt like a first time Mom). It was hard…..HARD! But the bond between them, the look on the little one’s face when he sees his big brother not only fills my heart, but fills my whole entire body with more happiness and love than I ever felt was possible to experience. And I can feel the same love seeing your girls there!!! You and Jon are AMAZING people and I feel like maybe your haters should just STOP READING! They have to make a conscious effort to open YOUR webpage and read YOUR blog and then send you hate mail. Seems they should have better things to do in my opinion!

  • alison

    thank you.

  • Mo

    I like the way she and Leta are in focus, and everything else is blurry. Definitely Mommy-vision.

    Love this! It makes me happy!

    (My two year-old demands that I show her the “babies kissing” again)

  • I’m so excited for you & so proud of Leta. What a great gift to give her, someone to love unconditionally, who will worship her for years, and will probably say her name first. I love watching your family grow. Thanks for sharing.

  • Yep. Crying. You made me do it.

    What a beautiful family you are. x

  • Shannon

    Been reading “The Hate.” Wowwweeee. Michelle Rebeiro Yoakum Mcbee, you are crrr-ra-zy! I cannot imagine investing that much of my time and energy into hating anything. ANYTHING AT ALL! And you choose Dooce?! Really? Of all the things on earth to hate, you hate DOOCE the most? And of all the amazing things you could be doing with your time, this is the best you can do? The time you invest in sending these emails- yikes, girl. I’m baffled.

    Effing awesome that you guys called her out. LMAO!

  • Lauren

    That video was beautiful. I hope to start a family within the next year and watching a video like that makes me want to start RIGHT NOW. lol! Moments like that are priceless! How sweet you have it on video 🙂

  • Kirsten

    I just watched this video, then the one of Leta dancing and I can safely say: if I have daughters one day, I can only hope they are as half as cool, beautiful and joyous as yours are 🙂

    Sounds really weird coming from a stranger but I am so glad you got the chance at being the ‘mommyblogger’ who things are wonderful for!

  • ohhhh, you made me cry. I am 14 weeks pregnant, very excited.

  • Sara

    HAPPINESS

    Can’t wait to read the hate, which I love.

  • Oh Heather, this may very well be my favorite post of yours ever.

    No, scratch that it, it definitely is.

    From someone new to your blog who has poured through the archives and dealt with depression myself, I am so thrilled for you!

  • I haven’t commented before, but this pretty much made me cry. So I figured, if you moved me to tears, it deserves a comment. What a beautiful moment you have captured both in video and in words.

  • Marcie

    My little sister and I are 8 years apart…and it’s only us two. She made my life complete..from the time she was born up until the present…I am now 25 and she is 17…but she is always that little baby in my eyes. I am here to tell you that my sister and I NEVER got to the “hating each other” stage. We have always been best friends…as I’m sure your girls will too. Congrats for having such a beautiful family.

    PS- I cried my eyes out while watching the video…I remember those days so well…Watch, Leta will become a “little mother” and be super protective of Marlo as she grows…

  • They’re beautiful. 🙂

  • Ang

    Thanks for the beautiful video!

    OMG. I read your hater page. For someone that supposedly hates you, they sure do follow you quite religiously!!

    I have SO many things/questions/curiosities about them. If they dislike you, why don’t they just ignore you and not come to your blog anymore? Isn’t that normal behavior? I mean if I hate a store because they wronged me and didn’t want to rectify the situation, I’ll probably rant and rave about the store to my friends, but then I would STOP GOING THERE.

    These are some deeply unhappy people I guess. Also, this is YOUR BLOG. We all have a right to our own feelings and emotions, why don’t they start their own blog and rant over there??

    Okay, I’m on my own rant here. ha ha ha ha!

    I just wanted you to know that they have motivated me to state that I enjoy your blog. I also have the self-monitoring ability to ignore anything if I don’t like it. DUH.

    Hope you’re having a fantastic day!

  • Sharon

    I have been a huge fan of your blog for a while now, but THIS post just brought me to tears. Thanks for reminding a scared first-time mom-to-be of some of the wonderful moments I can look forward to!

    PS – I’ve been reading “The Hate” and I can’t believe anyone would write such cruel things…why do they still read your site? WTF. Reason #10957 why people suck.

  • Michelle Rebeiro Yoakum Mcbee and Krista French are the same “person” and after a google search, my computer tells me that there is a virus involved. Interesting.

  • beautiful.
    (and now my ovaries hurt.)

  • eva

    Love it.
    Your daughters are sweet.
    You’re loving parents.
    What more is there?
    Enjoy being in the moment!

  • Well if that isn’t the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.

  • Liz

    You know, I hated when you wrote about your miscarriage between the girls (it made me terribly sad for you), but I’d have to say Marlo was meant to be a part of your family. I’m glad she finally made it.

    With some families you can just tell those were the kids that were meant to be. Our second child is our “easy one”, too. Lucky, because there may not have been a second one based on life with our first child.

  • Rachel

    Aaaaawwwww! I love Leta’s lips like they have vacuum suction in that first kiss, and how she keeps repeating “You’re so tired,” looking at Jon and then you to see how if/how you’re reacting to her.

  • Love the video – your girls are precious. I’ve been reading for a while, but never commented. Just wanted to say I think you handle grace under pressure – the public eye, the scrutiny, the hate comments – very well. Love the Monetizing Hate. I’m a new blogger and I think those comments wouuld just make me fold up my tent, curl up in the fetal position and expire. Thanks for being such a strong example.

  • Love it! Definitely made me tear a little. I obviously don’t know you personally, but being a long time reader, and having read your book, I’m glad you are enjoying the second time around so much. Thanks for sharing!

  • AmyS

    Anonymous 24 is right, exception (s)he seems to think it that is a bad thing. I am four years older than my sister, and we used to beat the shit of each other, and perfect our psychological warfare skills (pouring salt on her bed when she was showering, is my favourite). But when we went on vacation or it was too late for friends to come over and we were bored, we were best friends. That is the magic of being a sister, especially when you only have one.

    And there is nothing sappy about Jeff Tweedy!