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And Now We Have Everything
On Motherhood Before I Was Ready
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When Meaghan O’Connell got accidentally pregnant in her twenties and decided to keep the baby, she realized that the book she needed — a brutally honest, agenda-free reckoning with the emotional and existential impact of motherhood — didn’t exist. So she decided to write it herself.
And Now We Have Everything is O’Connell’s exploration of the cataclysmic, impossible-to-prepare-for experience of becoming a mother. With her dark humor and hair-trigger B.S. detector, O’Connell addresses the pervasive imposter syndrome that comes with unplanned pregnancy, the fantasies of a “natural” birth experience that erode maternal self-esteem, post-partum body and sex issues, and the fascinating strangeness of stepping into a new, not-yet-comfortable identity.
Channeling fears and anxieties that are still taboo and often unspoken, And Now We Have Everything is an unflinchingly frank, funny, and visceral motherhood story for our times, about having a baby and staying, for better or worse, exactly yourself.
Smart, funny, and true in all the best ways, this book made me ache with recognition.” — Cheryl Strayed
Who has not asked himself at some time or other: am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person?
—Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star
Oh dear, they say. Poor baby. They do not mean me.
—Rachel Cusk, A Life's Work
A baby was the thing we were trying to keep out. A baby was a consequence. A fuckup. Or it had been until recently, when, like a joke that slowly becomes sincere, I started imagining myself pregnant in a nightgown. Strangely, I never imagined the baby. Only me, a mother. How it might change me or wake me up. Make me better.
I had a hunch I was pregnant when we rode our bikes to the book fair on a Sunday in mid-September. We were taking wide turns through backstreets—the air perfect, the sun just out—and suddenly I stopped in the middle of the road, unable to keep pedaling. "Hey!" I called after Dustin and he looked back from his bike and gestured over his shoulder for me to keep going. When I didn't he looped back to me and stopped, one foot on the ground, one still hooked into a pedal.
"We're almost there," he said, "come on," and rode off without asking me if I was okay. I was confused by my body, near tears, and now full of little-kid rages at this man I loved and his disregard. I got off my bike, shaking my head, and spite-walked beside it along the side of the road. I hated him. I'd just agreed to marry him the week before, which made every interaction between us extra-meaningful. I wasn't just calling after him on my bike today, I was facing a lifetime of it.
And now I had this hunch, a feeling—call it women's intuition—centered in my tits, which at first simply ached and now were full-on itching, like an allergic reaction to all of this. I was sure, scared of how sure I was.
He came back. "What's up?"
"I don't know," I lied, really crying then. "It's fine." There was so often no way to tell the truth without it sounding like a whine. I wanted to be strong, to shrug it off, shake it off, as ever, wait it out, give him the finger. But I knew. I had no proof, no test, just this body that I'd presided over for twenty-nine years, a mystery still. There was no note, no alarm sounded, just the quiet organization of cells while you wait to be let in on the joke.
"I still haven't gotten my period," I had said to Dustin that morning when we were getting dressed.
"You say this every month, though," he'd said. He wasn't wrong. I was one of those women who managed to be caught off guard every single month when their periods came. I never had a tampon on me when I needed one. I had the litany of pregnancy symptoms memorized, though. All women do.
"Okay, okay," I said, raising my hands in surrender. I didn't mention that the night before I had to look away from The Sopranos on my laptop during a bar scene at the Bada Bing. The strippers' breasts, full of silicone, looked like mine felt.
I figured either I was right and would be able to say I told you so or I was wrong and this would go down as just another week spent in suspense, obsessively Googling my symptoms with that jumpy, forbidden feeling, wondering what I'd do.
Just one more week spent thinking about what I'd read on the internet once: that leftover sperm can live in a man's urethra for a few hours, and if he jerks off right before he has sex with you? Even if he pulls out, you're doomed. Or blessed, depending on how you look at it, although who wanted a baby from that piss sperm anyway? It was quite a mental image, blown up in the microscope of my mind's eye, sperm like pinworms crawling around that mysterious hole at the tip.
When I was in the eighth grade, my teacher kept me after class because she'd found a torn-out article in my desk from Cosmopolitan magazine wherein the author assured an inquiring naïf that no, you couldn't get pregnant from making out in the hot tub. "I'm concerned," my teacher said. I had been too, until I read the article. My best friend had brought it to school for me after I'd spent her birthday party rubbing against my boyfriend's public erection in the swimming pool.
We were just that week deep into Googling wedding places. Or I was. We were talking about doing it in Montauk in early spring. On a sand dune or in a state park or somewhere cheap enough that we wouldn't have to go to our parents for money. When Dustin got down on one knee and asked me if I'd think about marrying him, we were on a mountain, had just stopped to pee in the woods. He said it like that—"Will you think about marrying me?"—and I laughed, because, well, hadn't I been thinking about it pretty much nonstop since I'd met him?
Before it was official we'd broached the subject over dinner every few months. The marriage question. There was no definitive position, or if there was, it was always shifting. Once I overheard him tell someone at a work party (mine) that he would be happy to stay with "someone" forever, have babies together, and never get married. He didn't see the point of a wedding. I suspected he just really hated to dance.
Some days I couldn't tell whether I wanted marriage or not. Were the parts of me that resisted just trained to construct elaborate rationalizations for why I didn't want this thing I might not get anyway? And weren't the hesitations all some version of It might not work out? Sometimes it felt like I spent my whole life trying to tell the difference between fear and circumspection. I was always trying not to want things.
I knew I could convince Dustin to get married; he had told me as much: "You wanting it makes me want it too." But did I want it enough for both of us? Did I want to be married enough to campaign for it and risk taking the blame if things went south?
Then I would go for long runs around the neighborhood and cry, imagining us dancing on our wedding day to Sufjan songs or some shit.
On one particular night in a restaurant, he raised his glass, nodded in this sexy, decisive way, and said, "Let's do it, let's get married! When should we get married?" I shrugged and laughed in his face.
"I dunno," I said, as if all of me hadn't just risen up and sighed with relief.
"Come on," he said, exactly like I'd always wanted him to.
We walked home arm in arm that night, giddy, but then I lay in bed wondering, was that it? Were we engaged? Should I tell my friends? (Answers: No; no; no.)
I cried when he finally did propose to me on that mountain, not because we loved each other and it was beautiful but because he looked so vulnerable, so silly down there on the ground, gazing up at me with little-boy eyes, doing it just for me. I felt like I saw the whole history of him, his boyhood, his teenage years, and I was in love with all of it. I said yes to all of him. He put a ring on my finger, one I'd pointedly sent him a link to on Gchat a few months earlier. (ME: I like this ring, ha. HIM: Oh, really?) It had a small turquoise stone next to a diamond, tiny and antique. I twisted it around my finger, privately and inevitably worrying marriage was a mistake as we hiked up and then down the stupid mountain in our sneakers and jean shorts.
By the time we got back to the car at the bottom, I was done freaking out. I looked at him in the driver's seat. Oh. It's you, I thought, and felt a wave of peace wash over me. How good it was to have something I was scared to want but wanted all the same. When we had sex that night—we had to; how could we not?—I told him it was fine, he didn't need to pull out, my period had just ended, don't worry about it.
Now we had been officially engaged for a week, and my woman's intuition and I were mentally canceling all of my wedding fantasies.
At home that night after the book fair, we unpacked all the books we'd gotten. I was getting ready to meet my friends for a drink at a bar around the corner and I stopped mid-shirt-change to scratch my boobs. Dustin looked at me.
"How would your grandma feel about a shotgun wedding?" he said. We laughed but then got quiet, suddenly needing things on opposite sides of the apartment. A bobby pin, a pair of socks.
I walked to meet my friends at a restaurant a few blocks from our apartment. I found Halle and Sara at the end of the bar, talking about some night they'd spent there together recently. Lindsay was late but would inevitably show up perfectly dressed and maybe with Brian, whom she was going to marry in less than two months. We'd all been friends for years by then, since our early twenties. Halle and I had gone to school together at Notre Dame and both ended up leaving our Midwestern Catholic university to move to New York City—Halle to go to library school, me to be a live-in nanny. She was funnier than me, wilder and crasser and more outgoing. I was her straight man, always shocking her with my naïveté. ("He said he really liked me, but then after we had sex he never called!" "Oh, Meaghan…") Ultimately both our short- and long-term goals were the same: (1) lose our virginity; (2) find love; (3) make enough money to stop shopping at Forever 21; (4) become famous writers.
Halle had introduced me to Lindsay, a tall, beautiful art history major who moved to the city a year after we did and also had no idea what she wanted to do with her life aside from watch reality TV with us all weekend and complain about men. I met Sara when I interned for her at a kids' writing center in Park Slope. She was a year older and had gone to college in the city and so was light-years ahead of us in terms of worldliness, which is to say she knew what restaurants to go to in each neighborhood and had an established brand of cigarettes. We hung out and did what young people do: reenacted weird encounters, overanalyzed text messages, made grand plans to exercise and never followed through. We'd all grown up religious and had a shared guilt, a shared self-loathing, and a shared dark humor. We were miserable half the time but also sure things would work out eventually.
Now that we were approaching thirty we'd coached one another through countless disappointing nonrelationships and had slowly shuffled our way from shit jobs to work we actually wanted to be doing, or at least work we didn't have to feel bad about when some asshole at a party asked, "So, what do you do?" Somewhere around twenty-six or twenty-seven we had started taking better care of ourselves, drinking less, cooking more, getting our hair dyed at the salon instead of using a box at home. Maybe what I'm saying is we just had more money.
Lindsay and I had been more hapless, romantically, than the other two, but now we were both basically settled down, separately trying to figure out how to balance our deep friendships with the desire to cocoon up with these men in our increasingly cute apartments. But my sounding board was still these three women, the first people I thought to tell anything.
Lindsay got there, and as we sat down at the corner booth, I was impatient, waiting for everyone to order so I could make my announcement.
"So, guys," I said once we all had our drinks. They all looked at me expectantly. "I don't know really when my period was due but I think it's late. I think I'm pregnant." I had an imaginary flashlight under my chin. "And my boobs hurt!" I expected a chorus of gasps but they seemed unfazed. In fairness, this was how we'd spent most of the past decade: huddled in the corner of a bar convinced we were pregnant even when it wasn't possible. It was our form of disaster preparedness, our emotional earthquake kit. "I mean, yeah, he wore a condom but you never know—" Was there some excitement there underneath the performance of panic? "I'd have to get a new job. Or move home and live with my mom? Or move in with him in Queens, depending on how he reacted, of course." It was a way of checking in on your life, on what you'd be willing to lose if everything changed. Didn't everything changing hold some appeal?
"I could always get a job, right?" I said. "Get health insurance." Months earlier I had sat at the same corner booth at the same bar and announced I was leaving my cushy tech job, where I made seventy-five thousand dollars a year doing copywriting with a bunch of other young people.
"Well, did you take a test?" Halle asked now, a fair question.
"No," I said. "I will." I knew she understood why I hadn't done it yet. There was something appealing about the not-knowing, living in suspense, trading worst-case scenarios, watching our friends react, watching ourselves react. We treated the possibility of pregnancy as a sort of litmus test: Were we grown up enough to have a baby? Nine times out of ten our worrying was unwarranted, but on the rare morning-after that it was, we just went to the corner store and bought Plan B. ("What if it doesn't work?" I said to Sara on one such Plan B afternoon. Later she told me I had a twinkle in my eye when I said it, like I was hoping it wouldn't.)
"I'm sure you're not pregnant," Lindsay said. "I'm sure it's just stress."
"Yeah," I said, suddenly feeling stupid for bringing it up. I turned to Lindsay. "What about you, are you freaking out?"
Lindsay was about to have the kind of wedding you see in magazines, with a big champagne-pink dress and invitations designed by her soon-to-be-husband, who was goofy and kind and whom Halle, Sara, and I loved almost as much as we loved her. I had sat on the stoop of Lindsay's apartment many times over the years trying to reassure her she wouldn't die alone. Sure, her wedding was real and my pregnancy was only hypothetical, but in my head I was still vowing to prove her wrong.
Back when Dustin and I first met, I told him over some postcoital breakfast (which they all were then) that I wanted to have a baby by the time I was thirty. I was twenty-six then; thirty still felt far enough away that I could say something like that.
He made an exaggerated gulp. "Well, okay," he said, laughing, putting bread in the toaster. He was twenty-eight and working in a bookstore in Lower Manhattan, where I'd met him. I'd known of him for a while; he was the cute guy who tweeted funny things on behalf of the bookstore, the guy who hated Jonathan Franzen, the guy who wore suspenders and blue jeans and rode his bike everywhere. I wasn't sure whether to swoon or roll my eyes. Both.
The afternoon I finally met him, my voice shook as I spoke and I felt faint, leaning on the New Fiction table. We spent weeks sending each other late-night e-mails until he broke up with his girlfriend. Before I met him, I'd spent a few years having sex with strangers and falling in love with guys who didn't love me back, small dramas my friends coached me through or distracted me from but that had left me feeling, if not hopeless, then jaded. Reckless. I told Dustin all about my latest heartbreak the first night we spent together and was shocked when I looked up and saw I'd made him cry. My first real boyfriend. I was madly in love with him, full of disbelief at how easy and obvious and scary it all felt. I didn't know what to do other than pace around my tiny apartment—the first and last apartment that I lived in alone—feeling like I was going to burst with…feeling.
"I love you," I whispered at him one night when I was sick and I thought he was asleep. He gasped, opened his eyes, and said, "I heard that." The next day he said he'd marry me if I wanted him to, that he'd never thought marriage or children were for him, but he'd do whatever I wanted. Thirty was so far away. It was just an idea. I was being stupid, of course. We shook our heads and buttered our toast.
"Promise me," I'd told Halle earlier that year, after I quit my job but before Dustin and I got engaged, "promise me you won't let me have a baby before I write a book." She agreed, nodding as we crossed the street on our way to a coffee shop.
"If you start talking about having a baby soon, I'll slap you," she said. "I promise."
"Good," I said. "Because I'm starting to see the appeal. You have sex and then it just happens to you. At you. You don't have to do it yourself, every day, out of nothing. And I'd have the perfect excuse to never write again."
I'd been with Dustin for three years then and the subject of babies felt more dangerous than ever. When he and I walked around the city and passed storefronts with baby clothes in the window, I held my breath, averted my eyes. I told him, in what I hoped was a neutral tone of voice, about cousins or old roommates getting pregnant. Just stating the facts. I handed him my phone in the dark of our bedroom with a daring "Look at this baby!" As if maybe if one of them was cute enough he'd sit up in bed, look into my eyes, and say, Let's do it. Let's have a child together.
Avoiding the subject with him meant hiding on the other side of our railroad apartment and reading worst-case-scenario birth stories of strangers on the internet. I'd send the scarier ones to Halle. Subject: harrowing!
Oh my Godddddddd, she'd reply, then she'd send me a link to the personal blog of someone with eight kids or a debilitating disease.
Motherhood was the farthest thing from the lives we were living but still out there waiting for us, the great "eventually," the great "inevitably." Of course we had more important things to do first, or that was the party line. We had our careers.
Was it a defensive act, our busy-ness? All those photos of how full and rich and happy our lives were, as if to say, See, we're fine without children. Quick, someone plan a dinner party or a weekend upstate before we start squinting at our boyfriends, wondering if they'd meet us halfway.
I would have said that it was with morbid curiosity that I spent hours reading the personal blogs of women, usually religious, often Mormon, who had gaggles of children all dressed in J. Crew and eating pancakes. Their lives, or what they presented of them, were startlingly simple. They seemed to do nothing but cook and clean and go on photogenic outings with their large families, all of them wearing spotless clothing. Their inner lives, or what they shared of them, could be broken down into a few themes and always included gratitude for all of God's blessings and the desire to slow down and be more present so they could better enjoy their precious time with their precious families. Oh, and their desire to have more babies.
After a couple of years of obsessively reading these women's blogs (ironically, I told myself), I began to see the appeal of their ethos. None of this deciding-how-you-feel-about-marriage crap. No weighing options, no making your case to a boyfriend who wasn't sure if he wanted to get married. No putting off babies to the very last minute, no pretending you didn't care, no playing it cool for so long you didn't even remember how to have real desire, real hope. These women, the dreaded mommy bloggers, at least knew what they wanted. They had a clear path, while my friends and I were looking at videos of their babies on our phones and handing them to our boyfriends, who rolled their eyes but—"I swear!"—cracked smiles. It would be all I thought about for a week, how he'd smiled at the video of a baby, and what did that mean?
Instead of asking direct questions—too risky—we took moments like these as signs, played them on loops in our heads, dissected them over drinks. If this was childish, it was a cultural childishness, that of the ambitious young woman too smart for her own good. We were city dwellers, and we were dating (if you could call it that) in a pool of men who always had other, better options. There was always someone younger, someone who expected less. We knew how to play it, how not to need anything. We could almost convince ourselves. Most of us swore we were not interested in having children, and those who might be were supposed to act blasé about the idea. The only acceptable response other than "God, no" to the question of wanting children was "Oh, maybe someday." Wanting to have a baby was a desperate quality in a woman, like wanting a relationship multiplied by a thousand, and it got more desperate with age. The possibility of ending up alone was always there, in the background. My friends and I all took turns being convinced it would be reality, with varying degrees of acceptance. Being alone in New York didn't seem so bad—exhausting, maybe, but stimulating, always something to do, someone to see. But admitting you wanted a baby—and wanted the pancakes and the maternity clothes and the chubby spawn around a table—and then not getting it because it just didn't pan out? That was too much, too cruel. Better to try for things more within your control: Better jobs, nicer apartments. Enviable vacations. Better to shrug and say, "Maybe someday."
(Except for Sara. Sara says she genuinely doesn't want to have children, and we believe her. I envy her decisiveness. She knows.)
The problem was that with every year of being by ourselves, of moving forward with work, of getting used to our freedom, of learning how to be happy, we got closer to needing to have a baby (Time's up!) and completely upending the lives and selves we'd been building.
Only at our lowest and most confessional, or our most conspiratorial, did we acknowledge that we had a deadline. If one of our childhood friends had just announced a pregnancy on Facebook, or if one of our moms reminded us she'd had three kids by the time she was twenty-nine, or if one of us was ovulating and had just run into an ex who was married now? Then we got worried. Then we started looking up fertility statistics and how much it cost to freeze your eggs. Other days, days when we saw a woman trying to carry a stroller up the subway steps or heard that a woman we were jealous of had just moved to Paris or published a book or bought a house or gotten a divorce, well, then we were still young, had so much living to do. Why ruin things now, just when they were getting good?
We told one another we had till we were thirty-eight but privately thought thirty-five. If you wanted more than one kid—and who would dare to be so greedy—well, best to start at thirty-three. Just don't share this out loud. Life math, years counted out on fingers across from one another in bars and diner booths in big cities across America, dictated that you needed a year or two of marriage before you had kids so you could "enjoy life as a married couple," which felt as compulsory as it was made up. Pregnancy was ten months. Everyone said nine but we knew better. Our expertise on the subject of pregnancy was a dead giveaway of our private preoccupation, much as we'd disavow it. A year to plan a wedding (though, if necessary, six months)…and there we were, back at our current age. Twenty-eight. Fuck.
Before we left the bar, Lindsay showed us the programs for her wedding that Brian had designed and we oohed and aahed. "I just hope I'll be able to drink for it," I said gravely, and she shot me a look. "I'm not trying to steal your thunder, I promise," I said, mostly joking.
"Unless you give birth at my wedding reception, you won't, don't worry."
Halle and Sara made faces into their drinks and I laughed.
When we said our good-byes, Halle called after me, "Take a test, dude!"
"I will, I swear!"
- "This honest, neurotic, searingly funny memoir of pregnancy and childbirth is a welcome antidote in the panicked-expectant-mothers canon -- though its gripping narrative will appeal to nonparents, too."—New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice
- "Meaghan O'Connell writes with bracing clarity about the milk-soaked days of pregnancy and early parenthood, and I (truly) laughed and cried reading her account of crossing the great human divide. The biggest compliment of all: I used several hours of daylight childcare hours reading this book, just because I didn't want to put it down."—Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of Modern Lovers
- "Smart, funny, and true in all the best ways, this book made me ache with recognition of what it felt like to be a new mom (and a human)."—Cheryl Strayed
- "A stunningly insightful book."—Lydia Kiesling, The Millions
- "The harrowing, hilarious, totally honest account of parenthood we've all been waiting for. O'Connell's story is compulsively readable for parents and non-parents alike, as much about being young and unprepared for life as bringing another human into this chaotic world."—Sarah Gerard, author of Sunshine State
- "As someone who hopes to have kids someday, but has no idea what that might mean, reading this book felt like getting the first honest glimpse into that world after a lifetime of clichés."—Julie Buntin, authorof Marlena
- "As any parent knows, having a child is akin to detonating a tiny bomb in the middle of your otherwise wonderful life. O'Connell is fearless when negotiating the mess and magic of such difficult terrain, the place where fantasy goes to die and a genuine adult must rise in its stead (and function perfectly on no sleep). And Now We Have Everything is like the very best conversations, the ones you have in lowered tones at the back of a smoky bar with a trusted friend-funny, dark, and threaded with just the right amount of hope."—CynthiaD'Aprix Sweeney, New York Timesbestselling author of The Nest
- "And Now We Have Everything shows how the most normal thing in the world - having an ordinary, healthy baby after an ordinary, healthy pregnancy - means being visited with all possible extremes of pain, fear, and love. O'Connell renders this normal and horrific experience real, in both emotional sweep and brutal particulars. The question she asks is simple: What is it like? And this joyous, useful, grim book tells it straight: 'F****** awful.'"—NPR
- "It's impossible to praise this book without realizing how the words we use to describe prose often originate in the words we use to describe the experiences of the body: laid bare, warm, ecstatic, brutal. And Now We Have Everything is a stark reminder of the beating, breakable hearts of the world's mothers."—AlanaMassey, author of All the Lives I Want
- "Meaghan O'Connell's writing hasmeant everything to me as I've navigated the identity-warping maze of earlymotherhood. She is the most honest, funny, gifted, natural storyteller, and sheshares her experiences generously and unsparingly, in a way that I hope willgive her readers permission to feel all kinds of different ways about their ownexperiences, without shame, without self-hate, without regret, and withoutfear."—Emily Gould, author of Friendship
- "For every What to Expect When You're Expecting (and its ilk), there should be a What to Expect When You Weren't Expecting. But, strangely, there isn't, so Meaghan O'Connell has committed her experience of accidental pregnancy and motherhood to the page."—Elle
- "I began And Now We Have Everything on a Friday evening and was finished with it by Saturday afternoon--and that was with house guests to entertain and two children to keep alive! Meaghan O'Connell's honesty, humor, vulnerability, and willingness to explore motherhood in all of its messy complexities made me feel understood in a way few books do. I never wanted it to end. A necessary, brilliant debut."—Edan Lepucki, New York Times bestselling author of California and Woman No. 17
- "O'Connell's honest, heartbreaking, and hilarious book about motherhood and identity is unlike anything I've ever read. And Now We Have Everything is a smart, tell-it-like-it-is essay collection from a much-needed voice."—Esmé Weijun Wang, author of The Border of Paradise
- "Stripping away the mythical fantasies of motherhood, O'Connell delivers a poignant and funny look at what it means to be a parent in our current time. The warts-and-all examination is powerful reading for anyone with or without kids."—Esquire
- "Equal parts anthropology and autobiography, And Now We Have Everything is a rigorous and thoughtful debut (and funny, let's not forget funny) from a fiercely intelligent writer. Meaghan O'Connell has done a great service to new moms and dads: showing that anxiety and humiliation are a part of being a parent, and best confronted with humor and honesty."—RumaanAlam, author of Rich and Pretty
- "The kind of book I wished for when I was pregnant. Pulling no punches, the writing is blunt, honest...This should be required reading that your doctor hands you after you see the two pink lines on the pregnancy test."—BookRiot
- "Part memoir, part guidebook, And Now We Have Everything captures all the fears and anxieties mothers-to-be have, but still aren't allowed to say out loud. Smart, insightful, and searingly honest, Meghan O'Connell's exploration of motherhood should be on every expectant parent's baby registry."—Bustle
- "Frankly speaking, this is a must-read for anyone with a mother, anyone with a baby, anyone who knows anyone with a baby - anyone."—Refinery29
- "O'Connell isn't playing a birth story for shock value or sympathy here, nor is she doing the written equivalent of shoving cute baby pictures into strangers' faces. She's cracking open her experience, analyzing the pieces, and gluing the resulting discoveries back together with perspective and artistry. To do so is an act of generosity."—LitHub
- "And Now We Have Everything isn't a book of parenting advice, but a story of the unvarnished reality of what becoming a mother meant to one woman. And for me, that's a survival guide."—Rae Nudson, Electric Literature
- "And Now We Have Everything stretches beyond the well-worn narrative grooves of the delivery room, although O'Connell's keen observational acuity throughout those pivotal scenes is nothing short of a blessing...I am, of course, slightly bitter I didn't have this book three years ago as I stared down the barrel of motherhood myself-but I'm happy to do my due diligence, and pass it on to other moms-to-be in need."—Carla Bruce-Eddings, The Rumpus
- "[O'Connell's] account is energised by her devotion to revealing the truth... Her book is a testament, a gift to mothers who might want their realities confirmed, as well as to everyone else."—R. O. Kwon, The Guardian
- On Sale
- Apr 16, 2019
- Page Count
- 240 pages
- Back Bay Books