Karen's Reviews > It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita

It Sucked and Then I Cried by Heather B. Armstrong
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's review
Mar 02, 2011

it was ok
Read in February, 2011

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 her depression. She's a "funny" writer, in the sense that every other sentence is some kind of quip, a la Rodney Dangerfield. The problem is that the quips aren't amusing, at least not to me.
When she wasn't trying so hard to be "funny", there were some good moments. I identified with her crushing anxiety in the evenings, knowing she wouldn't sleep that night, and I thought she wrote well in general about the around-the-clock hell of dealing with an infant that doesn't sleep: "Being a mother was the hardest thing I'd ever done. It was really, really hard. It was impossible to make a single coherent decision when I was completely beholden to another creature's sleep schedule, and that creature happened to sleep in random 90 minute blocks. It wasn't so much sadness I felt but utter delirium, and by the end of the day when we faced another night of not knowing if she was going to sleep, it was hard not to ask myself, how the hell can I do this another day?" Well said.

I'll check out her blog (apparently it's hugely popular and makes her millions and somehow I've never heard of it) but I don't recommend this book.
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