Ambushed by Babies

Ambushed by Babies is a memoir told in a series of independent stories about the author’s experiences with pregnancy, birth, and mothering. Her journey begins as an astute and spiritual child who is the responsible oldest daughter in an Irish Catholic clan where a new baby arrived almost yearly. With her signature honesty, the author invites us into compassion for the psychic clash within her in 1971 when Irish Catholic sexual mores met up with the burgeoning Sexual Revolution. We watch with dismay as this disconnect creates the heartbreaking journey of placing her first child for adoption, a trauma which haunted her for decades. Yet magic abounds in Mary’s life, and she follows a dream’s guidance to move to another city, where she meets her soul mate, now her husband of nearly forty years. Together, they meet the power of the Goddess at the peak of her home birth experience, and they meet Her again as she lies on the bathroom floor bleeding out in a life-threatening miscarriage. We witness with wry amusement Mary’s 180 degree change from being a vocal ProLife activist to being a vocal ProChoice activist, and one can only admire her athletic spiritual surrender as she welcomes her surprise baby (11 lbs.!) at age 42. Her twin grandchildren arrive a few years later, and The Reluctant Grandmother makes room in her heart for more unexpected babies. And when her lost daughter returns, four new grandchildren enter the picture, in a reunion story that is epically fulfilling.  

Mary Hayes Grieco’s “reproductive adventures” span six decades and reflect our cultural changes about women’s sexuality, childbirth practices, and the ProLife/ProChoice debate. She powerfully straddles an amazing variety of female experiences for one little “stressed and blessed” woman. A seasoned and delightful storyteller, Mary invites us into a friendly and intimate space to share with us how each baby journey brought her to a new understanding of her power as a woman, and into her conscious participation of creating her life with the wisdom and guidance of her Creator.  

I invite you to enter my stories with me. They were given to me by a Great Mystery,
and I now give them back.

The Sacred glows silently at the center of every good story, and
In the silence after the telling of a story is a fertile darkness
where seeds are left behind – and new understanding may grow.
And whatever of these seeds may sprout and take root within you –
May it be your own fertile offering to that Mystery.

From the dedication, Ambushed by Babies by Mary Hayes Grieco

Listen to Mary read the foreword of Ambushed by Babies


“Ambushed by Babies is sweet and deep and funny!
It’s a fat, feisty feast of storytelling
through the lens of one woman’s reproductive experiences.”