Monday, January 5, 2009

"It Sucked and Then I Cried" Heather B. Armstrong

Heather Armstrong, the blogger from Dooce.com, gained popularity online when she was fired from her job after blogging about her boss. She has since changed the tone a little and now blogs about her husband, Jon, her daughter, and her dogs. I personally have never heard of Dooce.com prior to reading this book. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I've always preferred books to blogs and online newsletters. I can cuddle up with a book, I have a harder time cuddling up with my computer.

"It Sucked and Then I Cried" is a book chronicling Armstrong's nine months of pregnancy, followed by the first nine months of her daughter's life. Although some bloggers are unable to make the transition from blogging to writing a book (I can think of one example in particular), Armstrong makes the transition flawlessly, writing a book that is as touching as it is funny. Armstrong first shares with us her decision to go off medication for her depression in order to try to conceive a baby with her husband, and tells us that coming off of her medication was one of the hardest experiences that she had to go through, although worth it in the end. She shares with us her nine months of pregnancy, which were not always easy, and then her first nine months of parenthood to her beautiful daughter.

Armstrong held nothing back in writing her story. Her version of pregnancy and new motherhood was above all realistic. While reading the book I caught myself nodding along to what she was saying because it is JUST SO TRUE. So many women go into their first pregnancy with a rosy view of what things will be like, but until you've dealt with morning sickness, and the sore boobs, and heartburn that is brought on by simply blinking one simply has no idea what pregnancy will be like. It's the same with new motherhood: babies are cute and adorable (especially when they are someone else's!), but for those first few months they barely sleep, you're exhausted, and those little creatures are the most demanding thing on the planet! Heather Armstrong manages to capture these things about pregnancy and motherhood, but she also captures the pure joy of being a parent. There are so many moments in those first few months when you just can't believe you gave birth to this amazing child! Even though I'll tell anyone who asks (and even those who don't!) that I'm pretty darn happy with only having three children, not to mention the fact that I have my hands full, this book actually made me want to have another child (I think that I will just re-read those chapters about not sleeping until the feeling goes away!)

Beautifully written, with humour and wit and sarcasm, ths book is a must-read for any parent or parent-to-be. Thanks to SimonSays Read! on Facebook for this ARC.

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