IT SUCKED AND THEN I CRIED: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita

Heather Armstrong’s first memoir explores becoming a mom with a voice that's damn genuine and insightful.

Heather Armstrong’s first memoir is a frank and hilarious chronicle of her existence as a recovering Mormon, a newlywed, and a naïve new mother with postpartum depression (PPD). Having won awards for her blog, Dooce.com, Armstrong brings largely original content to It Sucked, writing with the ballsy and irreverent style of Anne Lamott on the absolute wonder and fear associated with having a newborn. Whether she’s analyzing diaper doodie art or dealing with her three-month-old daughter’s need for physical therapy, Armstrong woos the reader with humor. Every month she records is celebrated with a heartfelt letter to her newborn to read later in life, and these tender passages are reason enough to read the book. Conversely, she describes her pre-water-breaking contractions as “REALLY FUCKING AWFUL,” and with equal lung strength demands the return of the two weeks she spent needlessly worrying about the nominal pain of her epidural. The author has a heart of gold and the mouth of a trucker, and it’s easy to forgive Armstrong’s propensity for “screaming” in ALL CAPS, as the book is just so damn genuine and insightful. The balance of It Sucked covers Armstrong’s battle with PPD, which affects 10 – 20 percent of new mothers. She writes with aplomb about her “craziness,” the effect it had on her new family, her stay in a psychiatric hospital, and her recovery. Her compassionate choice to share her experience will benefit many women and, more important, make them laugh.