It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita [NOOK Book]

Overview


An irreverent and captivating memoir about the unexpected joys and glaring indignities of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood - from the beloved creator of the most popular personal blog on the web, dooce.com

Heather Armstrong gave up a lot of things when she and her husband, Jon, decided to have a baby: beer, small boobs, free time -- and antidepressants. The eighteen months that followed were filled ...
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It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita

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Overview


An irreverent and captivating memoir about the unexpected joys and glaring indignities of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood - from the beloved creator of the most popular personal blog on the web, dooce.com

Heather Armstrong gave up a lot of things when she and her husband, Jon, decided to have a baby: beer, small boobs, free time -- and antidepressants. The eighteen months that followed were filled with anxiety, constipation, nacho cheese Doritos, and an unconditional love that threatened to make her heart explode. Still, as baby Leta grew and her husband, Jon, returned to work, Heather faced lonely days, sleepless nights, and endless screaming that sometimes made her wish she'd never become a mother. Just as she was poised to throw another gallon of milk at her husband's head, she committed herself for a short stay in a mental hospital -- the best decision she ever made for her family.

To the dedicated millions who can't get enough of Heather's unforgettably unique style and hilarious stories on her hugely popular blog, there's little she won't share about her daily life as a recovering Mormon, liberal daughter of Republicans, wife of a charming geek, lover of television that exceeds at being really awful, and stay-at-home mom to five-year-old Leta and two willful dogs.

In It Sucked and Then I Cried, Heather tells, with trademark wit, the heartfelt, unrelentingly honest story of her battle with postpartum depression and all the other minor details of pregnancy and motherhood that no one cares to mention. Like how boring it can be to care for someone whose primary means of communication is through her bowels. And how long it can possibly take to reconvene the procedure that got you into this whole parenthood mess in the first place. And how you sometimes think you can't possibly go five more minutes without breathing in that utterly irresistible and totally redeemable fresh baby smell.

It Sucked and Then I Cried is a brave cautionary tale about crossing over that invisible line to the other side (the parenting side), where everything changes and it only gets worse. But most of all, it's a celebration of a love so big it can break your heart into a million pieces.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Don't let the pristine needlepoint and cross-stitching on the cover mislead you: This book is not something you will ever encounter at your grandmother's backyard sale. Author Heather B. Armstrong is the owner and proprietor of Dooce.com, one of the most visited autobiographical blogs in cyberspace. At her hip website, she shares her strong opinions about her life and other catastrophes, including -- but not limited to -- pregnancy, parenting, unruly pets, antidepressants, Christmas music, family gatherings, rubber spiders, and shopping.
Kirkus Reviews
Feisty blogger and relapsed Mormon Armstrong takes her no-holds-barred approach to life from screen to page as she dishes on the elation, transformation and despair that mark pregnancy, childbirth and parenting..The author abandoned her rigid religious upbringing upon hitting adulthood in Los Angeles, where she developed a desire for Interpol, tequila, her husband Jon, cursing and eventually offspring. Pregnancy delivered Armstrong to the folds of Utah and the joy of her mother, here dubbed "The Avon World Sales Leader." The Utah setting provides comic relief, as the author expatiates on her family's five minivans and the mortal sin of bottle-feeding. Describing the period after daughter Leta was born, Armstrong occasionally interrupts her account to reprint letters she penned monthly to her budding baby. Tender yet mature in tone, these convey the miracles and catastrophes of motherhood from a perspective that contrasts interestingly with the day-to-day narrative, which reflects Armstrong's blogger roots. Among the never-ending—and occasionally repetitive—string of incidents for which new parents are rarely prepared, she chronicles a colorful apology to a Starbucks cashier and a crazed hunt for a missing infant sock. Self-admittedly not a poster child for stability, the author chooses to give a leading role to her history with chronic depression rather than sweeping it under the rug. (Only her anatomy gets higher billing than her low spirits.) She's forthcoming about the strain depression placed on her otherwise solid marriage and the fact that it sometimes impaired her capacity to care for Leta. Armstrong places herself on the chopping block so fellow mothers can follow her withoutguilt through such common experiences as the debate over pacifier abuse, the horror of hemorrhoids and the agonizing slowness of postpartum recovery..A truthful picture of what it takes to bring a life into the world, exposing Achilles heels large and small.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416959144
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 3/24/2009
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 291,026
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Heather Armstrong
Heather B. Armstrong is an American blogger who resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. She and husband Jon Armstrong have a daughter and two dogs: Former Congressman Henry "Buck" Chucklesworth, called Chuck, and Dame Eleanor Ritzford-Fitzsimons Puffs, a.k.a Coco.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 281 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(101)

4 Star

(79)

3 Star

(48)

2 Star

(28)

1 Star

(25)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 283 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    I don't get it

    This book was a little all over the place; happy, then sad, then happy, then sad. A little confusing. So while the writing wasn't bad at all, the structure was off. Plus if you've been through pregnancy and childbirth yourself, her story is nothing new or unique. She's just not as interesting as she thinks she is.

    And I really disliked her tendency to use frequent ALL CAPS FOR COMPLETE SENTENCES.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2009

    It sucked and then I cried because I could't return it.

    I have been a long time reader of Dooce and I was excited to read this book as I thought it would provide more details and insight than her daily blog. Unfortunately I just paid $25 to re-read blog entries I read for free a few years ago. Very disappointing.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    Just OK.

    I recently discovered Heather's blog, and enjoyed reading that, so I decided to give the book a try. Her sarcasm grew tiresome after only a few chapters, and I lost interest about halfway through. Her writing style is better suited for a blog - not so much for an entire book.

    Not terrible, but I probably wouldn't recommend it...

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    hysterical

    I found this irreverent look at pregnancy and childbirth hysterical. I live in a house with three people who have mental illness and could empathize with the author; however, having been pregnant twice, I found it refreshing that someone would expres their true feelings about the experience and that it could be so funny. I would recommend this book to all women who have been pregnant or are about to be pregnant.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    It's a yawner

    I kept thinking this book was going to get interesting, but it never did. I was not familiar with Heather Armstrong or her blog because I find personal diary type blogs to be hideously boring and don't read them. This book is kind of like one of those blogs, only in book form.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2009

    Very disappointed

    I am a long time reader of Heather's blog and I just can't help but thinking she's losing some steam. Maybe if she had written this two years ago when her blog was hot, I would think otherwise. It's just the same stuff we've already read...I think she's an excellent writer, but there is no reason to waste your money on this book if you've read her blog more than twice...we've got it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2011

    Disappointing

    I was hoping to enjoy this book as I'm a newish first-time parent myself,but I thought it was terrible.Everything was so ridiculously over-exaggerated in an attempt to be funny,that it had rather the opposite effect and was extremely annoying. Since I'm one of those people who hates leaving even a bad book half-read,I did finish it but didn't enjoy it at all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2009

    Boring-Please save your money

    Wow- I seriously can't believe I wasted money on this book! I used to love Heather, but I think her time may be up. I couldn't make it half way through the book. I finally just put it down and gave up. What used to be creative wit and humor is now just recycled garbage. Please save your money- there are much better ways to spend your time and hard-earned cash.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    The title is great, but if ur planning to have a baby soon its not a good choice!

    This book has its funny parts, but overall I think it puts too much of a negative tone on pregnancy and having children. If she thought it sucked that much, then why did she have a second! I couldnt finish this one...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2010

    whiny

    one star..want my money back

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2010

    I Laughed, and Then I Cried

    It Sucked and Then I Cried / 978-1-416-95914-4 I haven't really followed Heather Armstrong's blog, although I've read just enough of her to know I find her truly hilarious, so I picked up this book in an off moment figuring I'd read it "later". Somewhat ironically, I mindlessly turned to this book when I was in a depressed funk over my complicated journey trying to conceive, and I'm amazed to say that this book was the ONE thing that would lift my spirits back to a happy place. For me, at least, this book is *hilarious*. I didn't just laugh - I snorted, wheezed, and chortled my way through the first half of this book. I howled so hard that tears streamed down my face and my throat hurt from laughing so hard. Hearing Heather detail all the ups and downs of her pregnancy didn't - of course - lessen my own intense desire to conceive, but rather made me laugh at all the "fun" I have to look forward to. There's something very wonderful about Armstrong's writing - she reminds me somewhat of a modernized Erma Bombeck, with her ability to combine sarcasm and gallows humor with a strong streak of self-parody, and yet - underneath it all - you can still see how fiercely and passionately she loves her family. "It Sucked and Then I Cried" covers all the hilariously fun things that you don't learn in the pregnancy magazines, from the contortions you'll go through just to empty your bladder, to the sleepless nights from being crushed by the gravity of your own body, and it is a testament to Heather's writing skills that all this is rendered completely, totally, breathtakingly funny. Later in the second half, Armstrong details her own "breakdown", culminating in a hospitalization for her postpartum depression, and I am so humbled at her matter-of-fact tone and her willingness to share these personal experiences. The tone throughout is still very funny, but the laughs lessen slightly as the tears take over. It's impossible to not feel sympathy for this vulnerable woman wracked with chemical depression, and for her patient and wonderful husband who helps her through this time. And it's impossible to not feel grateful for her sharing these experiences, because when and if it hits in your life, you're grateful to know that there's not alone, there is hope, and life can get better. I loved this book from start to finish, and I really think this is the best book I've read all year. I'm baffled by the poor reviews, but apparently there's some overlap between this book and the author's blog? (This confuses me, really, because when I like an online humorist I WANT to get a "book version" of their blog - I didn't buy all those "Best of Dave Barry" books for nothing, after all.) My recommendation would be to download a sample of the first chapter, and see how it goes - if you're crying with laughter from the sample, you'll want more, I promise. ~ Ana Mardoll

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    Wouldn't recommend to read if you are planning a family!

    I this lady had a very hard time with her pregnancy and there after, but this book culd scare anyone into not having children. I have 3 kids and and never in my life have a heard or read a story as detailed as this one. We get it...you have anxitey. My advice, even you don't want it, don't have anymore kids. If you are this way with one, just imagine if you have two and they start fighting in public or don't get their way. Good Luck, but I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone thinking of having children because this would totall freak them out.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2009

    A good book

    I'm not a mother, though some day I hope to be. I've never suffered from depression and hope I never do. I have been a fan of heather's web site for years though and this book was an extremely good read. As someone who has never experienced any of the topics in this book first hand I still enjoyed reading this book. It's written with a sense of humor and intelligent wit which I really enjoyed. I even read the part about her time as an exchange student to my boyfriend and he enjoyed it too! Would recommend to anyone, not just new moms.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not as good as I expected

    I read her blog, dooce.com, quite frequently and find it very entertaining. So when the book came out, I was excited, but I think the longer form of writing doesn't suit her style completely. The sarcasm gets a little tired after a few chapters and the attention she gives her postpardum seems sort of glossed over, meaning, the emotion that is usually infused in her writing and her ability to communicate an experience in very tactile ways seems to be missing so the reader comes away with only a surface review of what she went through. It's a fun, fast read, but not as deep as I expected.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2009

    Skip the book, read the blog.

    Like many of the other reviewers, I was really excited about this book and I had hoped it would give more of an insight than her blog... however, it ended up being just her old blog entries.

    Seriously, just read her archives and save the money. The content was good, it's exactly what you would expect from her, but it was nothing new.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2009

    Said what NEEDED to be said!

    I have been a fan of her website for a few months. I heard about the book and made a passing remark to myself that I should read it.

    I have been on medication for 11 years straight. I spent 8 months getting off the meds and then 3 months going through various forms of hell due to the withdrawels. Only someone with this kind of history can not only understand but appreciate when I say that my biggest fear is PPD. Not labor or when I will loose the weight but how badly can I fall to pieces. How fast can it all unravel.

    She wrote what needed to be said. So many people do not think that depression is real or that people are just to weak to face life. This book can help woman that are going through those first few months and wondering "when does the bliss part happen". Not everyone is educated on PPD and not everyone knows how severe it is.

    Is this a reference book for PPD - certainly not. Can you compare this to the great works of amazing writers - nope. But she never comes across as the know it all for PPD and she also does not claim to be one of the greatest writers of our generation. It is a book about her struggle. Take it for what it is worth.

    I personally thought it was funny and I also did not feel like she comes across as wounded by her religion, as a matter of fact I think she can totally have a laugh about it.

    So many times you ask a new mom "so how are you doing" and the response you get is "I am doing great, I am so happy, it is just bliss" Well I have some news - not everyone is happy or living in bliss. Some woman have a very hard time. Heather just happened to be one of the woman that wrote about her expereince and how she has come through to the other side.

    SoJaded

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not A Blog And Not A Book

    This woman is clearly very enamored of herself, which in my opinion does not make for good reading. If she spent less time making herself the hero of every situation (when she's not whining about how wounded she's been by religion, that is) and working so hard at being funny (which she actually ISN'T, poor dear) -- while making public the most painfully personal and often vulgar details of her life -- it might be different. How I wish I could have returned to me both the money I spent on this "book" and the time I spent reading it. If you are tempted to buy/read it, lie down until the impulse goes away.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Enlightning

    I bought this book because the title caught my eye, and because I wanted to do some reading regarding parenting.
    One thing you don't find often is a personal account of how complicated (both in a good and bad way) being pregnant is, since it's always depicted as an idyllic thing.
    This book definitely opened my eyes to the raw honesty and reality of post-partum depression, a taboo not many people want to talk about.
    "It Suck and Then I Cried" should be a must-read for any mother-to-be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2013

    Not terrible but i wouldnt recommend it.....

    This story tells about a womans pregnancy and the shock of parenthood. Book had some funny parts but overall it was ok. To much negative tone on pregnancy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    loved it!

    great book! hilariously funny!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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