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

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  4,081 ratings  ·  731 reviews
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,
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 mo
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Simon Spotlight Entertainment (first published March 5th 2009)
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The Brave Art of Motherhood by Rachel Marie  MartinBelly Laughs by Jenny McCarthyStrong As a Mother by Kate RopeThe Second Nine Months by Vicki GlembockiIt Sucked and Then I Cried by Heather B. Armstrong
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Purl Scout
May 05, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: new moms, very pregnant women
Despite the obvious flaws about this book, that it is poorly written by someone who thinks she is far funnier than she actually is, I would actually recommend it to very new moms. The author does a really good job of relaying the isolation and upheaval that accompany the arrival of a baby, especially one's first. Some of her anecdotes are insightful, and could possibly be a beacon of light much needed by a frazzled and overly emotional new mom. I personally had a problem with the prose. Every pa ...more
Apr 12, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is by the author of, a website/blog that I love. In many ways, this is just a compilation of her (hilarious) entries over the years. She covers her pregnancy, her delivery, her struggle with postpartum depression, and how hard it is to get to Starbucks with a screaming baby.

I'm not so sure that what works in the small format of her blog translates that well into a book-length project. I also think that the author isn't clear on what, exactly, she wants this book to be: a desc
Jun 24, 2009 rated it liked it
I'm gonna go with the positive-negative-positive form for this because, really, I do like Heather as a blogger and momversation panelist. I get a lot of little laughs from the (often) dark humor in her blogging style. Most of her writing can be viewed as raw, rational and relatable.

But... in her memoir, the exaggerations are just too much for me. She gives the worst Negative Nancy a run for her money in this one. Even in her attempts to be warm and fuzzy and shed some light on the positive aspe
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
I bought this after being intrigued by its mention in an article in the NYTimes magazine last week. I'd never heard of the website dooced, which is the source of this author's fame. I wanted to read this because it is supposed to be about her postpartum depression. But, despite the supposed depression taking a starring role in both the introduction and the acknowledgments, there is surprisingly little of it in the book itself. There are more stories about her dog and her hemorrhoids than about h ...more
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
I had been an avid Dooce reader since before she had Leta, but have greatly tapered off my reading in the last few years. I felt like her writing became more "gimmicky" (ALL CAPS! WOO!) and too quick to make a "let's shock my dad by saying BALLS!" joke. That said, when I saw this book on the library shelves I picked it up because I thought, hey, I've liked her stuff before, so why not?

Much of it is reprinted from the blog. I recognized not only specific anecdotes, but actual phrases from her blo
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
although there were times when this book did make me laugh out loud, i'm conflicted as to whether or not i could honestly say i enjoyed it. i guess i did. but there were a few things that made it hard to enjoy:
-this lady needs to learn about italics. while it may be acceptable to put things in all caps for emphasis when you're writing on a blog, it's pretty ridiculous when you're writing a book. and this lady uses a lot of all caps for emphasis. i feel that if you're going to change format, you
Apr 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
So, so funny. I absolutely loved it! Heather is truthful, hilarious, blunt and so real.
For someone like myself who is planning on having children in the next few years and deals with anxiety, I felt like Heather was writing me a manual. Not telling me what was going to happen necessarily, but preparing me for what might. She forcefully and eloquently removes the stigma attached with mental illness and the inability to always be in control. She shows that you can be a good mom, a good wife, and
Mar 30, 2009 rated it liked it
I had already read a lot of this book's content on back when I was pregnant. At the time, I was reading as many different perspectives on pregnancy, labor, delivery, & new motherhood that I could find. I enjoyed this author then, as she is so brutally honest & funny. I found reading this in book form less enjoyable though, because it starts sounding like an awful lot of hyperbolic complaining. (Like, comparing an extra long hike to Starbucks through a parking lot to Moses wandering the ...more
Mar 11, 2009 marked it as to-read
I never heard of this lady, but she says she's a "recovering Mormon". Ha, ha. She left the church before having a baby? No wonder it sucked! Doesn't she know the Relief Society brings you free dinners after you give birth??

Looks like she is speaking in Salt Lake two days after my due date with this baby. So, I probably won't make it. Plus probably I don't want to hear about post partum depression right before/after getting a newborn. Maybe I'll read it AFTER I'm past that stage.
May 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Library Biography # 27 – technically the Library discarded this book, but I bought it at their book sale so I’ll be counting those that I’ve purchased as well.

While I felt that Armstrong gave an honest portrayal of emotions and experiences of a new mother – those that we all like to hide behind a smile – I felt like maybe I read this book too late. Meaning that it would probably mean more to a new mother, someone who was currently going through the waves of adjustment after the baby arrives, and
Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Humor is a strange thing...what some people absolutely love, I've found I just can't stand. The author of this book is apparently one of the most popular, if not the most popular blogger on the internet (I have no idea how such things are measured). This is her semi-serious book about giving birth, the miracles of motherhood, and how she dealt with it all given her history of depression. I found most of the things she joked about to be tiresome, and her effusive emotions about her love for every ...more
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Although I was an active reader of (I've since drifted away) at the time that the events in this book were happening, I have a whole new appreciation of them now that I am at the end of my pregnancy and about to enter motherhood. I applaud Heather's honesty and forthrightness regarding her depression before and after childbirth, the trials of being a new parent, and most of all, the joy and love she feels for her daughter.

While I still don't think I can fully appreciate her story unti
Dec 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, blogger
For the eight hundredth time, I really don't like books that used to be blogs so I don't know why I keep reading them, but here I am. Once again. Here is the book version of's pregnancy, birth, postpartum depression, mental breakdown, and healing process. I liked this book because Heather B. Armstrong is a very funny person. She overshares. She says the things you are not supposed to say. She's a little blue island in the middle of big red Utah, and her mom is the Avon World Sales Lead ...more
Jun 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this book from Casey because I had recently gotten hooked onto Heather Armstrong's blog ( via friends who had been reading it for a while. Heather is witty, brutally honest, and so human in her writing. I love that she is able to take something like pregnancy, labor & deliver, and having an infant and be more honest and raw about it than anyone out there has ever been, but have it still be thoughtful and carry a message. Sometimes the things she says in the book and her blog ...more
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: family, memoir-ish
I would have liked this more if it had been a full-fledged story instead of a bunch of anecdotes tossed together, seemingly at random. I read her blog, and I like it a lot - she's funny and honest and very genuine - but I had hoped that the book would be more than that, funny and honest and maybe a little bit more like a memoir than like a bunch of blog entries. I thought that there would be more of a story about what happened after her daughter was born, how postpartum depression affected her, ...more
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Almost the entire time I was reading this book, I had a nine week old baby on me nursing. This was, therefore, the perfect time for me to read this book. There were moments that made me laugh out loud as well as moments that made me cringe with recognition and commiseration. This would be a great gift for a new mom.
Mar 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mothers, people who love Dooce
God bless Advanced Reader Copies. (My only complaint is that I've read about 30% of the content on her blog already and I wish it had been less of a re-tread.) Fastest I've read a book in a while. ...more
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would rate this about a 3.5... I feel like new mothers would appreciate this book more so than anyone else. I enjoyed the sarcastic humor, some parts i laughed out loud. However, it was hard to follow in some spots from how it was written. But the honesty of motherhood and what one has to go through was great to read. The postpartum depression, that SO many people go through and it is even still, never talked about- i feel like it was wonderful for her to be so open about this very real illnes ...more
Jessica (thebluestocking)
Apr 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jessica (thebluestocking) by: Lauren
Shelves: utah-author
I’ve been an avid reader of for over a year. I’m addicted to that blog. It makes me alternately laugh out loud, purchase new, funky items, and tear up with emotion. So, when everyone at work was talking about the book written by the Dooce creator, Heather B. Armstrong, I knew I had to read it.

For those of you not addicted to Dooce, Armstrong has been a blogger for almost ten years. She actually got fired from a job because of the items she posted about that job. (Now getting fired beca
Aug 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
If everyone contemplating having children read this book, there would probably be fewer births - that being said, Armstrong has written the most truthful book about the first few months of being a parent that I have ever read. She is a brave author, never flinching from the gross or from events that might put her in a bad light.

It's been a long time since I have read a book that was truly laugh-out-loud funny but "It Sucked and Then I Cried" did it for me. Armstrong is hilarious. She is also bra
Apr 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-stars
The description of the birth is the most disturbing, horrific thing I have ever read. I am getting married in a few weeks, and you know, think about babies and stuff. This is knocking it right out of me.
The style of writing does not differ substantially from the blog, and I don't remember since I originally read the entries so long ago, but the text is directly adapted from the blog entries, with a lot of similar anecdotes. So, if you are a long-time dooce reader, this will be familiar.
Aug 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, non-fiction
THIS is why I love Heather Armstrong:

"For nine months I grew a human being inside my belly and then pushed it out my vagina. Afterward I fed it with my boob. Biology is so fucking weird.

I just really needed to point that out." (p 103)


The book is great, but like some other reviewers, I was disappointed that 95% of it is straight from her website. So 3 stars for recycled material, but 5 stars from when I read it the first time = 4 stars now.

It IS more convenient to read compiled into a book thi
May 07, 2009 rated it liked it
A couple chapters in, I had already decided that this was just another one of those "I'm going to write a kooky offbeat book about being a first-time mom" things. But once I got past the pregnancy chapters (she was sick all the time, it was horrible, okay, okay) and baby Leta entered the picture, I decided to stick with Armstrong and see how she did. In between the chapters about breastfeeding trials, the torture that is a screaming infant, and the (predictable) geez-being-a-mom-is-HARD stuff, w ...more
Dec 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've been reading Heather Armstrong's blog,, for quite a while now, so it was a natural next step to read her first full-length book. It's easily as funny and snarky as her blog. I did not read it because it was about giving birth, but that has proven to be an interesting perk to the experience; she does not mince words or descriptions of what it's really like to be pregnant, and it's both entertaining and intimidating to read such an honest account. More importantly, she deals with po ...more
Apr 07, 2011 rated it liked it
I didn't read Armstrong's blog, although I was familiar with it, so all of this material was new to me. While it was definitely not great literature (and the phrases in all caps got really old, really fast) the material really struck a chord with me. If I had read this book when I was pregnant I probably wouldn't have taken it seriously, and if I'd read it during the first few months of my daughter's life--well, let's just say I was in no place to read anything during that time. But reading it a ...more
Emily Rhoads
Jun 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-2011
This book hurt me from start to finish. As a person that lives with mental illness, I guess it hit a little too close to home. It scared me. I don't know now if I am strong enough physically to carry and birth a child or mentally to raise a child. I honestly wish I hadn't read it for those reasons, though if these things do happen to me, I'll know I'm not alone. Also, can't help but feel a little angry about how she describes second-daughter Marlo as a "second chance" because she didn't get a ch ...more
Aug 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Ugh. Once upon a time I went to the blog to see what all the fuss was about. I wasn't impressed. She was just one of earliest to the blog party, plus she got fired for it so she got lots o attention. Anywho, I was poised to turn my nose up at the book. But she got me. I must admit, the seemingly fresh take on this particular subject matter forced me to check it out (I hate my biological clock, but it ticks anyway).

It's funny enough at times that I snorked and tsk'd out loud even thoug
The Rainbow Zebra
Oct 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents, survivors of PPD
Recommended to The Rainbow Zebra by:
Heather Armstrong has always been "Dooce" to me, ever since I began reading her phenomenal blog. I was delighted to get a copy of her book. Though much of it reads like her blog, it has differences and drew me in immediately.

This book is funny, humbling, and at times, actually brought me to tears. Like Heather, I am a survivor of severe postpartum depression (PPD). Unlike Heather, I was always afraid to talk about it, the stigma too great, especially since, like Heather, I was hospitalized for f
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, parenting, funny, memoir
An honest and often hilarious account of one woman's experience with post-partum depression after having her daughter. It's not just this though...she also talks a lot about her pregnancy, her experience w/ depression beforehand, parenting and her relationship with her husband.

What made it even more interesting/entertaining for me was that Heather is a recovering mormon and lives in Salt Lake. Being from what is essentially northern Utah and being from a large mormon family myself made reading
Mar 30, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a 3.5. I could have written most of this book. If I were funny, that is. She does a great job of describing new motherhood. For a book about postpartum depression, however, there seemed to be a great deal missing. All of the details of that battle seem to have presented late in the book, and received almost no mention during the time she was suffering. As a result, if you did not read the last portion you might not know of her suffering at all. But don't let that stop you from reading; A ...more
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Heather B. Armstrong is widely acknowledged to be the most popular “mommy blogger” in the world. Her website, dooce®, has twice been listed as one of the 25 best blogs in the world by Time magazine and Forbes listed it as a top 100 website for women. In the eighteen years that Heather has been shaping the internet writing community, she’s worked to create targeted content not only for fellow paren ...more

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