Adriana’s Birth Story

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The day I went into labour, I had a major burst of energy. I heard about this from so many women (including my own mom) during my pregnancy and sure enough, I got it too. Despite my bump that got in the way of just about everything, in my own mind there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. I was on fire!

I’m going to describe the day in quite a bit of (mundane) detail because I always found it helpful to see how other women’s labours started out in the very early hours.

I woke up the morning of Saturday September 20th feeling antsy and distracted, despite a large to-do list on my desk. After breakfast, I went on a long walk with Eric to try to get out my restless energy. I was getting some pelvic pressure throughout the walk, but thought nothing of it since it had been happening on and off for a few weeks.

Later on, we took my final pregnancy photos (I just didn’t know it at the time). The weather was gorgeous and warm – hence the summer clothes! Oh how I miss that weather.

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Once home, I wrote and published my 39 week post, all while convincing myself that our baby was going to come a week late. I made lunch, and then went on a couple errands. I got a few intense pains while out and just felt off. All throughout the day, I had menstrual-like cramps and pressure in my vaginal/pelvic area. I thought maybe it was due to my cervix dilating a bit more. We got home and worked on the new business for a couple hours. After that, I tested a new recipe and shot the food photography in the late afternoon. Have you ever seen an almost 40 week pregnant lady doing food photography? What a sight! hah. Eric thought I was nuts. After all of this activity, I was still feeling restless. We headed out on another short walk after dinner.

I should also mention that my body was “cleaning itself out” several times during the day (a sign of impending labour everyone warned me about). Another major clue.

Later that evening I still wanted to get out of the house. We went to Crate and Barrel. While at C+B, I started to get intense pain shooting down the back of my leg and butt. I hadn’t felt anything like this before so I knew something was up. I told Eric I wanted to leave the store asap and didn’t buy a single thing (yea, that rarely happens at C+B!). The car ride home was pretty painful and it felt like it took so long to get home.

We came home and snacked on Honeycrisp apples with almond butter (oh yea), chilled on the couch, and decided to go to bed at 10:30pm. But before bed, I had an urge to scrub the kitchen sink. Little did I know this would be nesting’s last hurrah! So scrub the sink to a brilliant shine, I did. It gleamed and I felt better. Peculiar.

Eric gave me an amazing back massage in bed – my lower back was especially sore that night. God, it felt amazing. After the massage, almost instantly, I started to get intense pelvic pain (it was probably 11:30pm at this point). I joked to Eric that he sent me into labour with all the oxytocin flowing from the massage! My stomach was hardening up so much, but I didn’t know if it was Braxton Hicks contractions. I felt a soft “pop” in my pelvis area and couldn’t tell if my water had broken or not. But after going to the bathroom, I realized I lost my mucus plug. My water had not broken yet. At this point, I started to get super cold and shaky. I said to Eric, “If this isn’t the start of labour I don’t know what is!” I put on his robe to stay warm.

We started to time contractions around midnight. Well, that is, once we figured out the damn app! The contractions were coming every 2-2.5 minutes already, lasting for 45-60 seconds, and felt very intense quickly. I couldn’t believe how quickly things progressed! And holy hell the contractions hurt. I had to breathe deeply through the contractions to get through each one. I bounced on the exercise ball for a bit. I said to Eric, “We might be having a baby TODAY!” We looked at each other filled with excitement and nerves.

We showered and got cleaned up. Eric started packing last minute things, like our huge cooler of food, which I of course had planned way in advance, hah. Priorities, right? I took out a frozen soup and put it in the fridge so it would be ready when we got home from the hospital. It was now 1:30am.

I took these notes in my Google document so I could remember the unfolding of events. I wrote, “I am humbled by labour already. Scared. I’m thinking an epidural sounds really good right about now. I’m impressed though by how nice it feels when a contraction ends! Maybe I can get through this??” That was the last note I wrote to myself. After that I had my game face on. aka…shit got real.

Once we were certain I was in labour, we messaged our doula around 2:30-3am and she came over shortly after. When we were waiting for her to arrive, I told Eric I wanted to go to the hospital…now. I started to freak out a bit. I was already in so much pain and wanted to meet our doula at the hospital rather than wait for her to come to the house. I recall saying something like, “I want to get an epidural as soon as I get to the hospital.” Eric encouraged me to wait until our doula got to our house so she could see how I was doing. After all, that is part of the reason why we hired her; I wanted to labour in the comfort of our home for as long as possible. She is very familiar with the signs of how labour is progressing so I agreed to wait. When she got here, it was such a relief!! She helped me cope with contractions using breathing techniques, the exercise ball, and she also hooked me up to her TENS machine. Best of all, she calmed my nerves. There’s something to be said for having a woman there with you who has been through it (and many other labours). Her and Eric applied counter-pressure to my back to help relieve some of the contraction pain. I was feeling most of the contractions in my lower back (I had mostly back labour throughout) with pain wrapping around the front.

It was now 6am and the sun would be rising soon. By this point, the contractions picked up to 1.5- 2 minutes apart, lasting about 60-75 seconds long. They also got a lot more intense on the pain scale. I started to cry during one of the contractions because I was so scared of the car ride to the hospital (and subconsciously, labour itself). I didn’t want to leave the house! Earlier in my pregnancy, I remember someone saying, You know it’s time to go to the hospital when you don’t want to go to the hospital anymore.” I was confused at the time. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to everyone’s labour, but it couldn’t have been closer to the truth for my first labour. By 6am (which was 7.5 hours of intense contractions), I felt like I was in too much pain to leave the house. Meet Irrational Ange. Luckily, Eric and my doula talked some sense into me and we left quickly after. My doula said, “I promise the baby isn’t going to just fall out of you!” Oh how right she was! I had about 3 intense contractions during the car ride to the hospital. Every pothole in the road was majorly painful, but I just focused on my breathing techniques and I handled it ok.

Once we arrived at the hospital, it was a long walk to the triage because I was doubled over in pain from the contractions every minute. I locked eyes with a tired looking man in the waiting room who gave me a concerned, yet knowing, look. Once inside, I was brought into the triage room. They put me on a bed and hooked me up to a monitor for 20 (long) minutes to check the baby’s heart rate and monitor my contraction patterns. I disliked being confined to the bed and not being able to move around like I could at home. Finally, the nurse checked my cervix and found that I was already dilated 7cm! I was absolutely thrilled. I would’ve danced on the bed if I wasn’t in so much pain. All that labouring at home paid off. I felt like we might not be far off from meeting our baby girl!

But oh there was plenty more to endure…

After triage, they checked me into a Labour and Delivery room. Back when we pre-registered at the hospital a few weeks prior, I thought I was going to be nervous about being in a hospital setting, but the pain from the contractions was so intense I barely even noticed where I was. I was only concerned about getting through the pain! Plus, Eric, the nurses, and our doula were amazing and made me feel so comfortable. Being in the hospital was a non-issue.

After an hour of labouring in the delivery room, I was checked and found to be 8cm dilated. I was hoping to have progressed more than 1cm since arriving, so I was a bit discouraged. I knew it could be worse though. Plus, I was happy that I could have intermittent monitoring, meaning that I was free to move around during labour.

Time went by soooo slowly though. At 8cm dilated I started to feel desperate for relief. I asked what pain killers they could give me –  epidural, laughing gas, extra-strength Tylenol (yup, that got a few laughs!!), whatever. I wanted ALL THE DRUGS. I was feeling major self-doubt at this point which I hear is very common during transition. Everyone knew that I wanted to try to have a drug-free labour, so they didn’t overly encourage the epidural, but they would have given it to me if I did want it. The nurse said, “You are so close!! You totally got this.” My doula suggested that I try out the hot jacuzzi tub and see how I felt. I cautiously agreed, but it felt like hours before the tub was prepped and ready. I was getting desperate for relief!

Finally the jacuzzi tub was ready and the nurse brought us in. I stripped right down (yup, it’s totally true about how modesty goes out the window when in labour) and eagerly got in. It felt like the best thing in the world. I sunk down really low into the hot water and the jets blasted me from all sides. My hair was soaked and I was a crazy hot mess. But I couldn’t have cared less what I looked like. I was so happy to experience some relief. The contractions still sucked, but I found them more manageable in the hot water. I never thought I’d be a hot tub person during labour (it just sounded like a big pain to get undressed, soaking wet, and then dried off, etc), but I can’t recommend it enough. It was a life saver!! Jacuzzi tub for the WIN.

In between contractions, I found myself doing something I never thought I would do – I started dozing off. Yes, me, the girl who never naps was sliding in and out of sleep in the bathtub during labour, of all things. What the heck? I was so out of it, unconscious at some points. I heard the doula and Eric talking beside me, but I honestly felt like I was in another world just watching everything happen from afar. Eric said he was talking to me and I fell asleep mid-convo while my eyes slowly rolled in my head. Creepy, right? I can only imagine what poor Eric was thinking! haha. I’ve heard that this is a common “out of body” coping mechanism during labour. I felt myself getting more and more inward focused. It was my body’s way of coping with the pain and I was so thankful for it. I would drift for a minute and be brought back into reality with the next contraction. I was shaking uncontrollably with chills at times despite the hot water.

After an hour or so, I wanted to get out of the tub because I was getting an overwhelming sensation to start pushing. I was not so secretly hoping that I was 10 cm dilated by this point. I got checked and was 9cm. Close, but no cigar. It was really difficult because sometimes the urge would literally take over my entire body like some other life force was in control, but I couldn’t give in unless I wanted to risk swelling. After what felt like hours (which was probably only an hour), I was 10cm dilated and got the go ahead that we could start pushing! I was relieved. Let’s get this show on the road! This was around 10:20am – about 12 hours of consistent, 1-3 minute apart contractions by this point. The nurse talked me through how to push and after several tries I got the hang of it. Basically, I waited until a contraction hit and then I took a huge breath and pushed with all my might for 10 seconds or so. I did this three times, back to back, without stopping. Sometimes the nurse would press on the area where I needed to focus the pushing energy and this helped a lot. Pushing was physically exhausting, but I was hopeful that it wouldn’t last longer than an hour or so. Plus, it finally felt good to be able to work with the contractions rather than just getting through the pain. Everyone kept telling me I was so strong, had amazing lung capacity, and was a great pusher. I welcomed the ego boost because I didn’t feel overly confident.

Right after we started pushing my water broke and it scared the crap out of me! I couldn’t get over the loud POP and all the water that gushed out. I actually thought it was the baby bursting out for a split second (umm, NO…lol). My doula said it was the loudest water-breaking pop she’d ever heard! I guess that was one strong push? Shortly after my water broke, the contractions felt even more intense. I kept saying, “One contraction closer to meeting our baby.” to boost my faltering energy. Our doula and Eric kept offering me coconut water in a glass with a straw. It was the only thing that I could stomach and even so I could only take tiny sips. But I think that coconut water gave me life. I also managed to choke down a glucose tablet at one point when my energy dropped.

As it turned out, my pelvis was tilted on a bit of an angle so the baby was having a hard time maneuvering down the birth canal. Well, shit. It took a long time to see any progress. The nurse kept saying that our baby still had to “turn a corner” and I started to feel so discouraged. Turn a corner? Shoot me now! I admit, it wasn’t the most encouraging visual. One and a half hours of intense, pushing went by and I started to lose hope that I was going to be able to have the vaginal delivery I hoped for.

While the progress came slowly, it did come. Eventually I was able to push baby around my pelvis and “turn a corner” and she started to crown. The nurse held up a mirror so I could see her head. Unreal. I thought we were so close!! Eric started to cry….we both thought it was any minute now!

But there was another big hurdle to overcome. We found out my perineum was having a very hard time stretching so that the head could fit through. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed with little to no progress. I was spent and honestly gave up hope at many times. “I feel so discouraged and can’t do it anymore.” is what I whispered to Eric. I could see the pain in his eyes; it was as if he was feeling my pain too. Our doula kept getting me to look into Eric’s eyes as he counted, I gripped his hand, and I pushed through the pain. I was getting so desperate I started to hold my pushes for a crazy long time – some of them were over 20 seconds – but still nothing. Eric kept telling me how strong I was. I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done without him beside me throughout the labour. He was my rock. I just kept thinking of meeting our baby girl at the end and when I wanted to give up, I used her for motivation. I just wanted her to be ok. And I wanted to be strong for her because she was being strong for me. I felt so close to meeting her, but so far away. Each series of pushes didn’t bring us much closer to meeting our baby. The perineum just wouldn’t stretch as much as it needed to. The OB tried manually stretching and massaging it many, many times, but it would not budge enough.

The OB told me that she could perform an episiotomy which would be a small incision in the perineum to enlarge the vaginal opening. I didn’t want any interventions unless absolutely necessary, so I told her I would try pushing a bit longer. (Meanwhile, I couldn’t believe I was saying I wanted to push longer…) She agreed we could keep pushing since the baby was doing great and showed absolutely no signs of distress. I was happy that I wasn’t pressured to speed things up. Well, after 45 long minutes, and trying all kinds of crazy labouring positions (it was like Cirque du Soleil up in that room!), not much progress was made. I had been officially pushing with every ounce of energy I had for 3 hours and 15 minutes. And I was absolutely done. Wrecked. I started to feel desperate and panicked that she was never going to come out. I just knew that if I didn’t get the episiotomy I would be destined for other interventions. I decided to go through with the episiotomy and everyone agreed it was the best decision.

After the procedure, I pushed 5 more times. On the sixth push everyone yelled, “She’s almost here!! Keep going!! Hold it!” The excitement in the room was unreal. I gave one last crazy long push with all my might and our sweet baby girl was born and let out a big cry. What a total high.

I’ll never forget that moment of pushing her out. It felt better than I could’ve imagined. I always heard women say that pushing the baby out felt so amazing, but I didn’t buy it. Well, it surely did feel amazing! It is the best release ever – all that intense pressure is instantly gone!

Adriana’s birth was the happiest moment of my life, by far.

Eric wrote this part of the birth story in his own words and let me share it in this story:

“It was a long morning of pushing for your mom.  It was raining in the early morning. As your mom was pushing the nurses kept saying “she’s almost here”. In anticipation, I burst into tears on three separate occasions. Little did I know your mom had a couple more hours of pushing to endure. In the final moments of pushing, the rain cleared and the sun came out. It was beautiful outside. Your mom’s face was beet red and her energy levels were completely drained, but she kept going.

Finally, you were born at 1:34pm! I burst into tears once again and your mom looked up at me with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. All the pain washed away. You were already squirming and crying loudly. The nurses were surprised with how alert you were with your blue eyes taking their first gaze of the world. You were immediately put into your mom’s arms (for skin to skin) and we soaked in the happy moments of you in our arms at last.”

[Yup, I totally cried reading his account of the birth. It was really nice to see it through his perspective. For one, I had NO idea what the weather was like outside! lmao]

As Eric mentioned, the doctor placed Adriana on my chest for skin to skin and they delayed clamping the cord until it stopped pulsing. While she was on my chest, the OB stitched me up, but I barely noticed it. I was on such a high and after the intense pain of labour, I was not fazed by stitches. I also delivered the placenta right away with one final push, which was effortless. Adriana got a 9 on both her Apgar scores. I was on a total euphoric high even though I should have felt exhausted.

During the final few hours of labour, I said to Eric that I would never do a drug-free birth again, but by the next day I was already saying that I could probably do it again. It’s so true that you forget about the pain of childbirth once it’s over. I had a lot of new postpartum pains, but I felt like I could handle anything after going through labour and delivery. Even by the next morning, I was having a hard time recalling how painful the contractions were. My memory is now fuzzy (thank you, brain).

Even though my labour didn’t unfold exactly as I imagined it to (and I’ll admit, my recovery has been rough), labour was still a very positive experience and it taught me many things. Our story is one I will be forever grateful for and immensely proud of.  After all, it brought the sweetest baby girl into our lives and that is all that mattered to us in the end, no matter how she came into this world. We love her to pieces and can’t imagine life without her.

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{ 221 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ewelina October 15, 2014

Absolutely incredible! I read in one breath! Beautiful story of an absolutely gorgeous family…wish you all the best, you soo deserve it xxx

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2 Amy October 15, 2014

You go girl! A natural, drug free delivery. Sincere congratulations! Thank you for sharing. I LOVE reading baby stories. Yours brought tears to my eyes. Happy tears for you and Eric!

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3 Daniela October 15, 2014

Thank you for sharing your birth story, it was wonderfully written.

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4 Leah October 15, 2014

What an amazing birth story! You did so well Ange! I was rooting for you the whole time while reading it (and obviously knowing the outcome hehe). Eric sounds like he was a trooper too. Best support ever. Adriana is so worth it!

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5 Erika October 15, 2014

Wow. This was an incredible story. I felt like I was right there with you, and was shedding tears by the end. Thank you for sharing and congratulations!

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6 sonia the mexigarian October 15, 2014

Beautiful. Eric’s included words were lovely. Thank you for sharing her birth story. <3

If I may ask, how has recovery been rough? Lack of sleep? Residual pain? Breastfeeding issues? If it's too personal, it's okay not to answer. Just curious to hear what I may possibly have to deal with after labor :)

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7 Shannan October 15, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing. These stories always bring tears to my eyes and yours was no different. Congrats, she is so beautiful!

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8 Lia @ Luscious Living October 15, 2014

Wow. I got so emotional reading that. That’s amazing. What an intense thing! I don’t even have words for how intense that sounded. Congratulations on the whole experience.

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9 Sheila October 15, 2014

What an incredibly beautiful story! You should be so proud for the immense struggle you endured to have such a perfect delivery for Adriana. As a labour and delivery nurse, I can relate to so many parts of your story, and I am just so proud of you! You are a very inspiring woman. Congratulations!

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10 Sandra October 15, 2014

What a lovely heart-felt story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us, it really helps encourage other women to take the natural path and follow the natural process that our bodies are made to withstand and endure. So incredible. Very happy for you and your gorgeous little girl and so happy that Erik is such great support. Congratulations and all the best!

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11 Ivana October 15, 2014

Congrats! A great story, you did so great! I totally understand the postpartum recovery issues, for me it was the roughest part of the entire experience (painful stitches for 2 months, mood swings etc…But it gets better I promise, I’ve been through it two times. It just takes longer than you might think. And definitively longer than 6 weeks (more like 6 months to be honest).

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12 Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen October 15, 2014

Angela (and Eric), thank you so much for sharing your wonderful birth story! It brought tears to my eyes. The photo of Eric looking at you, you can literally see the love gleaming from his eyes! This is a wonderfully written post and I can only imagine what a relief the jacuzzi was!! I love that you were able to stay home as long as possible before going to the hospital and that they were so happy to accommodate your birth plan! Congratulations to you two and your new little angel – she is absolutely perfect (and I loooooove her headband in the last photo – adorable).<3

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13 Kelsey October 15, 2014

Thanks for sharing your birth story! You are such a strong woman. It will be nice for Adriana to one day read these posts and see how loved and celebrated she is.

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14 Cherie October 15, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing your birth story! I have been a follower of your site for nearly two years, and would not have had an easy transition to vegan without you. We found out we are expecting our first baby during this past summer and you have been such a huge support for me. It was very uplifting to follow your updates during my awful first trimester. I was terribly sick but seeing how wonderful you were doing helped me to push through! Now that I am nearly 18 weeks, and feeling more like myself, I cannot get enough of birth stories. Thank you for the detail and time you took to share your experience with us. I will certainly be giving the jacuzzi a chance! Congratulations to you and your family!

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15 mary beth einhorn October 15, 2014

What a great account. I had a very similar transition and pushing experience, so I read that part with full empathy! I pushed for almost 6 hours with no epidural (no episiotomy, but sunny side up, unknowingly). I do not know ANYONE who has pushed longer than 2. Can I say I feel slightly better knowing you are in my company? Thanks for the read.

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16 Jess (will run for cheeseburgers) October 15, 2014

What a beautiful account of your childbirth. You are such a strong woman for doing a drug free birth. I definitely had an epidural with my first and now pregnant with my second I can’t imagine not having the pain killers. She’s a gorgeous baby and I hope youre enjoying your time with her. Congrats!

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17 Ashley M. [at] (never)homemaker October 15, 2014

Angela, what an amazing story. And so well written! Hope you’re enjoying these early days of parenting <3

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18 Lisa October 15, 2014

Congratulations! This story was so touching and real and honest. Definitely teared up!

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19 Jen October 15, 2014

Oh my goodness…I am not a kid/baby person at all, and am even less a fan of the birth stories I’ve read on other blogs, but I literally got teary eyed reading about Adriana’s entrance to the world, and then, those beautiful pictures. Dying over here! Your entire description, from start to end, of her arrival is just lovely, and Eric’s words are just the icing on the cake. I love that you peppered the story with a few swears, too, lol – keepin’ it real! I can’t imagine life getting any more perfect for you these days!

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20 Anna Lee October 15, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing your birth story! It was absolutely beautiful, and I loved every little detail. Little Adriana is so lucky to have such a strong and inspiring mom.

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21 Erin October 15, 2014

Thanks for sharing. You actually brought me back 13 and a half years to my first labor, with my son. So many similar things–the jacuzzi tub being the biggest relief, falling asleep between contractions in transition (in the tub), having to get an episiotomy after an hour and a half of pushing! Wow. (Never an urge to push though on my part.) My second (and last) labor was totally different. How funny to hear a story so much like the one that brought Sam into my life. Congratulations…I hope you are enjoying the ride and getting more sleep than I ever did in those early months!

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22 MsM October 15, 2014

I am so glad you posted this! It is so beautiful to read about others’ experiences. I just had a baby girl in July, and your birth story had many similarities to mine (I laughed out loud when I read that you told Eric you’d never do a drug-free birth again, because that was me to my husband for days afterwards…). When you posted previously that you were thankful for epidurals, I don’t know why, but I thought, “She won’t get one!”–and you didn’t! Congrats to you on making it through! Adriana is so lovely and I’ve felt honored to follow your experiences of pregnancy and now parenthood as I’m currently living my own versions of these stories. The day you made the pregnancy announcement here, I shouted to my husband “Oh She Glows is pregnant, too!” Anyway, know that a random stranger on the internet is super stoked for you and your new family. :)

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23 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

That’s so sweet – thank you for your support! :)

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24 Marija October 15, 2014

Well, I had tears in my eyes reading your birth story! And, a few giggles reading Eric’s poetic noticing of the weather :-). Big thank you for sharing!

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25 Sarah October 15, 2014

OMG it just makes me want to cry! Such a beautiful story so well written!! All the detail makes me feel like I was in the room. I have three babies and I love being a mom so much. It is exactly like childbirth, so crazy, so painful at times and so beautiful all at once. Enjoy every second. It truly goes so quickly. My best parenting advise is be confident in everything you do. Think, decide then go with it with full confidence!! (they can smell fear) LOL
Sarah

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26 Franziska October 16, 2014

Sarah i love that advise! I don’t have children (yet!) but I think I will always remember this.
I think your children are very lucky to have a mom like you. Wish you all the best!

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27 Felicity October 28, 2014

Great advice Sarah! I think that could apply to everything in life – think, decide, then go with it with full confidence. Love it. Thanks :)

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28 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

“they can smell fear” haha…so true!

Glad you enjoyed the story :)

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29 Sandra October 15, 2014

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful experience with us.
xxxx

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30 Elizabeth October 15, 2014

brb crying

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31 Karen Wellington October 15, 2014

Thanks for sharing. That was beautiful. I love love reading and hearing about the birth stories of women. Giving birth is such an empowering experience. Congratulations. I have three children, three great birth stories, and many many memories and moments of good and bad with them. ;).

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32 Giulia October 15, 2014

Oh, Angela, this might be the first time I comment. I cried as I read this story as it reminded me so much of the births of my own children. That agony, that exquisite joy, once they were out and on my arms. It brought back very sweet, sacred memories. I am so proud of you. Thank you for sharing this. And, last but not least, your Eric, he’s a keeper! Congratulations! What a beautiful family you have. xoxo

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33 PinaColada October 15, 2014

That was amazing, so well written, I couldn’t stop reading.. thank you so much for sharing all that, it was brave to do so! And you were so brave during the birth too, wow… that was just incredible to read! The 3 of you make such an adorable family, congratulations!! :)

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34 Khushboo October 15, 2014

This is so heart-warming, Angela! Congratulations to you & Eric on the birth of beautiful Adriana! I have just forwarded this on to my sister who is pregnant…such a touching read :)!

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35 Lynn October 16, 2014

Your story was beautiful…thanks so much for sharing it with us.

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36 Andrea October 16, 2014

Wow congratulations Angela! This is the first time I have commented, thank you for sharing this story. I have always been terrified of giving birth, but you made it sound almost bearable. Thank you and what a beautiful family!

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37 Andrea D. October 16, 2014

First of all, congratulations! I’ve been a fan for a long time and I’m currently expecting my first child March 2015. From the beginning I knew that I want an epidural, but after reading your story, I’m considering a drug-free birth. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us; Adriana is absolutely beautiful! Much love to you all! You have a beautiful family!

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38 Lauren October 16, 2014

Yep, you got me crying. Such a beautiful story!! Congratulations to you both :)

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39 alex October 16, 2014

This was so beautiful and touching I would have beeen sobbing loudly if not sitting in an office with colleague just in front of me! :) Like this, I only wiped out a few tears discretely…CONGRATULATIONS !!!!

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40 Jade October 16, 2014

Congrats and beautiful story. Just saying next time the labor could be vastly different. I just had my second tthe day after you and instead of like last time being extremely long I has this baby out in less than four hours. I did both drug free but I seriously doubted myself this time around as I really wanted the epidural since I stalled last time at a 9 fir hours but when the dude came in to do it I was already a 9 and pushing was right around the corner.

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41 Franziska October 16, 2014

Angela, this story is so beautiful and scary at the same time. You are a very strong woman and I wish you just the best!

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42 Ashley October 16, 2014

I laughed, I cried, and at the end I felt really happy for you all!!
I had a very similar birth story so I could totally relate.
Congratulations on your baby girl and for all your hard work bringing her into this world.

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43 Sarah October 16, 2014

What a wonderful birth story! I still have 2 months to mentally prepare for my own birth experience, and hearing yours gives me hope that I can get through it despite all the fear that typically surrounds the experience. It sure doesn’t sound like a walk in the park, but the best/most rewarding things in life are the hardest things to come by, right? :) Thank you for sharing your beautiful story!

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44 Leanne October 16, 2014

Beautiful! I don’t know if there is anything that can make a woman feel more empowered than bring your child into the world, no matter how it is done! Isn’t it funny how we forget so quickly and are willing to do it again?! I also had an episiotomy with my first, but didn’t need it with my 2 and 3rd. Labor also went from 13 hrs to 4 hrs. But healing from the episiotomy, oy vey! Baby makes it worth it!

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45 Laura October 16, 2014

Congratulations! What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing! You did so well and it was so nice to hear your husband’s perspective too. All the best for your family!!

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46 RachaelB October 16, 2014

What a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing. I cried like a baby while reading. I love reading stories like this. It makes me feel like I, too, can make it through a natural birth. She’s precious, and I’m so happy for you and Eric!

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47 Lisa October 16, 2014

This was such a joy to read! Reminded me of my own experience and all the emotion that comes with it. Thank you for sharing it. I think natural childbirth is where it’s at! Good job Angela!
My mommy advice into keep writing things down while they’re fresh in your brain. Your baby girl will love reading about herself later, and so will you. If you don’t write things down, you will forget because there is just so much going on each day.
Enjoy!

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48 Jessica October 16, 2014

What an amazing and beautiful story. I’m with everyone else–I too got a bit misty eyed reading it. Congratulations on it ALL! The baby, the natural childbirth, and for being a total powerhouse! Wishing you, Eric, and Adrianna every happiness, and blessings to you and your beautiful, sweet, family. :)

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49 Lauren October 16, 2014

Congratulations again, Angela, and thank you for sharing this really wonderful (and super intense) story. It is a reminder that women really are amazing. I don’t really understand why everyone was so against giving you an epidural, but the important thing is that Adriana was born healthy and that in the end you did everything right for yourself and feel good and happy and powerful. I wish you much love and happiness and continued delicious treats for us all!

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50 Kris | iheartwellness.com October 16, 2014

Awww, congrats to you and Eric! Adriana is beautiful and I am so happy for you!

I’d admit, half way through reading this I was thinking “no way am I having kids!” and then at the end, when you share the emotion of having your little girl in your arms, I started to cry and thinking I can’t wait!
Thank you for sharing, Angela!

xxoo
Kris

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51 Natasha October 16, 2014

thanks for sharing your story – it is so lovely to read an honest but positive birth story, and the photo of you three together is just beautiful

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52 Julie October 16, 2014

What a beautiful (& well-written!) story! It made me emotional just reading it. You should be SO proud of yourself! You really did an amazing, amazing job! Just wow! I’m so impressed by your strength & courage & endurance. Just really, really impressive, Angela. Congrats to you both! The pic of the 3 of you is beyond gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

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53 Cathy October 16, 2014

Thanks for sharing your birth story! Your daughter is so beautiful and looks a lot like your husband :) xo

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54 Michelle | LALL nutrition October 16, 2014

Thanks so much for sharing! I love reading about birth stories :) I’m due in February and love the natural birth inspiration and how labor starts. Amazing!

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55 RNPattiD October 16, 2014

Congratulations to the whole family! You did great. My own children are in their 30s, born when having a drug free birth was a lot more common than it is now, from what I hear. So glad to know that some younger women are willing to do it the way Nature intended!!! And, yes, she’s beautiful!

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56 Laura @SheEatsWell October 16, 2014

Not pregnant, don’t plan to have kids for a few years. But man, your story left me balling…so beautiful. Congratulations on your amazing little family!

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57 Kate October 16, 2014

What a great story! You are one tough lady, and should be so incredibly proud of yourself! Aren’t women awesome? I love us :)

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58 Lauren October 16, 2014

I don’t usually post on birth stories, but I cried when you said that Eric cried. Ha, I have always been a “sympathy crier” :) That was a truly beautiful (and beautifully written) birth story. Love to your little family, you all are so cute!

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59 Sabrene October 16, 2014

Such a beautifully written inspiring birth story. I started following your blog around the time you announced you were pregnant and have thoroughly enjoyed your posts about your pregnancy journey!

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60 Lori October 16, 2014

Yay! I’m so proud of you, and I don’t even know you! Hahaha! I knew you could do it! I am so happy for you! This was a great birth story! Like everyone else, you had me tearing up. Isn’t it just amazing? I, for one, wanted a drug free delivery because I really wanted to know what it was like, and knowing that our bodies are meant to give birth, I knew I could. Just like you, I said I didn’t want to do that again! But I just did, 7 weeks ago :) I’m so happy for you that it went so well! Thank you for sharing!

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61 Talisa October 16, 2014

OMG I’m crying. Congratulations Angie. Much love to you and your beautiful family.

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62 RM October 16, 2014

Oh how wonderful of a story. I teared up a little. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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63 Eleni October 16, 2014

Crying over here!!

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64 Nicole @ Broken Road Creative October 16, 2014

I can’t even find the words to comment! Just know that as a fellow mama, I’m so, so happy for you! <3

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65 Lauren October 16, 2014

Thank you for sharing! It is so interesting to read other people’s experiences. You are STRONG! Eric is amazing too!

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66 Milissa October 16, 2014

What a beautiful and amazing birth story. I am so happy for you that you had the drug-free birth you hoped for. I laughed at the part where you requested pain relief…with my first daughter I remember, at nine centimeters, screaming that I was ready for my epidural and everyone in the room chuckling softly! The episiotomy is what it is…and it enabled you to have that vaginal birth you wanted, so it’s all good, right? Congratulations on your wonderful experience, your lovely new daughter and the crazy, awesome and blessed days to come!

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67 Jacquelynn October 16, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I was in tears by the end. She is perfect, and your family looks so beautiful!

I hope you post more about your recovery and time at home with the new baby. I am expecting my 2nd in February :)

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68 Caroline October 16, 2014

What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing such intimate details. Adriana is a very lucky little girl to have parents like you. Enjoy every single moment and treasure it all!!!

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69 Michelle October 16, 2014

Thank you for that story! You did amazing!

Who was taking pictures?

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70 Anne October 17, 2014

That was incredibly well written. I cried the ugly cry while reading (30 weeks pregnant..). The picture of you and Adriana, and the expression on your face, says it all.

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71 Chase October 17, 2014

I can’t tell if it’s just my pregnancy hormones or what, but oh I’m crying! What a beautiful story. I can’t wait to meet my little man in just a few months. Thanks for sharing, Angela.

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72 Emily @ It Comes Naturally Blog October 17, 2014

Wonderfully written account. I was going to ask to hear Eric’s account, and there it was.
Thank you for sharing. xx

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73 Liane October 17, 2014

So beautiful! Thank you for sharing… I’m due to have my first in about a month and I’ve been looking forward to reading your birth story. Congrats on your beautiful new daughter!

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74 Sherry October 17, 2014

Thanks for sharing and a HUGE congrats for making it thru drug-free. The human body is an amazing thing when you treat it properly. You are incredibly strong

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75 Nicki October 17, 2014

This is a stunning story. You and your family are beautiful. thank you for sharing how Adriana entered the world. I’ve read a lot of birth stories on blogs over the years, and yours touched me so much more than any other had before – though I honestly can’t tell you why… just lovely. Congrats!

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76 Katelyn October 17, 2014

Thank you for sharing. It brought me back to my birth story. It’s so amazing
what our bodies can do and the pain that we can deal with. That is the hardest but most rewarding experience ever.

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77 Megan Wall October 17, 2014

Oh! I couldn’t help but cry while reading this!
I am not yet a mum nor a wife but my fiancee and I are getting married next June and even though we’ve got a few more years of school left (graduate & phd) we have been dreaming about our future children… reading your birth story has got me excited and terrified at the same time!
Sincerest congratulations! So happy for you :)

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78 Allegra October 17, 2014

Gosh – as so many others have commented, your beautiful birth story made me very teary! Congratulations to you and Eric on Adriana’s birth, and thank you for sharing your experience. I can’t wait to hear more stories as she grows up.

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79 Dayna @ The Kitchen Library October 17, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing! Angela, you’re a super hero!!!

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80 Britt October 17, 2014

Isn’t labor wild? I don’t think anything can really prepare you for it mentally; your body just takes right over and does its thing! I had completely forgotten about the dozing off between contractions by the way! And by that I mean I probably wouldn’t have even remembered it the day after Roman was born. But your story totally jogged that memory! There was definitely a point where I (now) remember checking out and sort of falling asleep/slipping into another universe between contractions. So funny–total coping mechanism.

You’re amazing, mama–truly. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story, and congrats again on the birth of your beautiful little girl!

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81 Sarah Colony October 17, 2014

Wow!!!! I haven’t been on your blog for a little while but your little girl is absolutely beautiful! Enjoy every minute but try not to get too scared about the time passing because every new stage is so much fun! I had a little girl (Audrey) in March and breastfeeding is the most amazing thing (after about 3 or 4 months!) it really takes a whole for baby to figure it out! I am sure you are doing everything just right! Keep it up and one day they just latch on like we latch on to our morning coffee! So so happy for you! Can’t wait to read your homemade baby food recipes! Love from Iowa :)

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82 Beth October 17, 2014

Beautiful story and I have to say I was holding my breath towards the end! What a strong, powerful mama you are.
I am 37 weeks today and your birth story helped me mentally prepare myself for what will be baby number 4. Thank you so, so much for sharing.

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83 Krista October 17, 2014

Angela, I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and never commented, but I have to say I appreciate your honest, down-to-earth approach about sharing your pregnancy and birth stories with your readers. Very real and interesting to read. As someone who doesn’t have kids yet, you get sick of hearing the same stuff all the time. Your entries sound very true to your own experience and I enjoyed them all. Thanks and congratulations!

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84 cassandra October 18, 2014

Amazing! Thank you for sharing your birth story, It defiantly made me cry. I am also going to be having a drug free birth, but i am having a home-birth my due date is November 11th but we shall see when he decides to come, the anticipation is crazy. Your story was so empowering, Congratulations again, and thank you again for sharing!

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85 AGS October 18, 2014

Great job Mom. Great job Dad. Great job Adriana! What a wonderful family story.

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86 Lindsay October 18, 2014

Wow, that was like reading a gripping suspense story! Well written. :-) She was SO worth all that work, you are a rock star! You have a gorgeous and healthy looking family, hooray for vegan babies & mommas! I’ve been following you since my 2nd pregnancy, and am currently a month and a half away from delivery of our 3rd. Your cookbook is my all time favorite, in fact I should probably buy a back-up because it’s already starting to fall apart, I use it daily! Both my girls love almost everything I make from it, I think you’re amazing and can’t wait to see what you come up with for baby food! :-)

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87 Kristina October 18, 2014

What a beautiful story – thank you SO much for sharing! I am all teary-eyed and grateful to you and Eric that you want to tell us all this story. I am finding it hard to express how impressed I am with you, your body and your spirit throughout the many many hours of delivery. You truly are a super-woman!!!

This story will be read and reread many times. And in the years to come, I am sure you will be happy to have included so many details, because they DO disappear from memory.

I am in awe of you and empowered for my upcoming delivery in May!

Much love and thanks again for sharing :)

/Kristina from Sweden.

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88 Marie @ Eating Life October 18, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing! I love how honest your writing always is. How did you feel during the episiotomy itself? Just curious….

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89 Dagne October 18, 2014

What a wonderful story Angela! Congratulations to you and Eric!

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90 Pam October 18, 2014

Dear Angela,
I read the story of your labor and delivery with tears in my eyes because it brought me right back to when my two boys were born 24 and 25 years ago. You will never forget that experience and I don’t know about you but I never felt so incredibly powerful before or since then. I worked many years in an Emerg. Dept and one day an elderly woman came in for something minor. As I was talking to her she told me that that day was her son’s 66th birthday. She then, honest to God, told me his birth story just like you shared Adriana’s. The years literally melted away for her- it was beautiful to see and hear. Someday I want to be that old lady. Congratulations to you all and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

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91 kath October 19, 2014

Loved your story Ange! Thanks for sharing!

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92 Carolyn October 19, 2014

Many congratulations! I had a doula too and that was the best decision ever!
Enjoy every day!

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93 Melissa S October 19, 2014

Absolutely beautiful story!!! I am so happy for you and Eric!

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94 Lisa October 19, 2014

I love the name you picked! Vince Gil has a song called, “Pretty little Adriana”. Thought you might like it. Enjoy your little one.

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95 Lauren October 19, 2014

I couldn’t imagine pushing for that long! I had an episiotomy too but because our baby was being strangled by his cord and his heart rate was dropping quickly so I only had to push a few times with the assistance of forceps BUT my perineum killed for 10 days after. I couldn’t sit or walk without being in horrible pai .
My midwife had me manually stretch and massage my perineum for many months before giving birth which really helped my perineum stretch out. It definitely helped

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96 Anya October 19, 2014

Almost cried. What a beautiful story and a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing <3

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97 Anna October 19, 2014

Beautiful! What a wonderful birth story! I absolutely adore your honesty: it’s hard, its scary, it’s filled with doubt…It’s beautiful and magical and precious. It shows you a side of your partner you didn’t even know existed. There are highs and lows and in the end, you wouldn’t change a thing! In the end you would do it all over again. Congratulations on the birth of your precious daughter. May you be blessed this day!

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98 Tess October 19, 2014

I’m reading this story while 32 weeks pregnant with my second child. Your account brought tears to my eyes, partly in reminiscing about the birth of my first child, and partly in anticipation for my next! I love hearing birth stories because no matter how they vary from woman to woman, they are all the same at the core. This is what bonds us as women, and as mothers. Kudos, as well, to our dear SO’s who put on a brave face to help us through, even though they must be enduring their own private versions of hell, watching us and feeling helpless.

Congrats on making it through! Now the fun begins :)

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99 Em @ Love A Latte October 20, 2014

You are champion for all that pushing!!! The jacuzzi tub helped me so much too. My baby boy is 10 weeks today and the memory of labor is fading away. I wrote mine down too because you really do forget the details. I’m so happy for you! Great job mama! :)

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100 Rachel October 20, 2014

You are amazing!!! Holy cow! What a strong woman. I totally cried!

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101 Ashley October 20, 2014

What a heartfelt, emotional story, Angela. I caught myself holding my breath at certain parts of the labor story and tearing up at others! You recount the details so clearly and beautifully. Congrats again to you and your family!

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102 Ashley October 20, 2014

Loved reading this. Such a beautiful recap and what a strong mama you are!!! <3

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103 Monica October 20, 2014

Such a beautiful story! I kept tearing up, and remembering my own baby girl’s birth.

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104 Erica October 20, 2014

I love this honest and detailed account of your labor! Beautiful story that made me teary! You are an inspiration! Also, Eric’s description was so crazy sweet! Love the pics too! Congratulations!

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105 Kyla October 20, 2014

What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing. And how fantastic that Eric wrote one too! It’s truly amazing what a powerful and empowering experience it is, isn’t it? Congratulations.

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106 Allison October 20, 2014

Thanks for sharing a beautiful birth story and congratulations! This story reminds me of my first birth with 3 hours of pushing as well. It felt like a marathon! My second labor was only 3 pushes total! So it really does get easy the second time around.

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107 Sue B October 20, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing this most wonderful experience. It’s been almost 33 years since my daughter was born; some days I can remember every single moment, every breath, misgiving, but most of all the joy.

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108 Brandi October 20, 2014

Congratulations! I gave birth to my first in July and I couldn’t help but laugh when I read your account and how you asked for Tylenol. I did the same thing during transition! My husband looked at me so sweetly and said, “I’m sorry Brandi, but that isn’t going to do shit.” Haha!

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109 Amanda Burger October 21, 2014

I’m so glad you posted your birth story, I’ve been eagerly awaiting it! I love that you stuck with the natural birth plan even though you had a long labor. I’ve been following your baby posts from day one and now that I’m pregnant too I’m so glad to have them to refer to. I must admit I bawled my face off reading this. I’m really truly happy for you and your family and I’m so glad you shared your journey with us!

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110 Megan October 21, 2014

My goodness, Angela this is the most beautiful, hilarious and joyous account of birth I’ve read. You are an amazing woman! I’ve not got kids, but it was so inspiring to read your story and how strong you were. Respect. It amazes me what we as women can do… things we’d never think were possible but yet… here we ALL are. And of course the best part of your story is the beautiful girl you have now. I’m so excited for you and this next chapter of your life. What a gift it is to be mother to your own child. I laughed so many times throughout the post – glad you still had your sense of humour then! Lots of love and can’t wait to see more snaps of your gorgeous baby!

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111 Lauren October 21, 2014

Holy shit girl, that is one incredible story! It reminded me a bit of my first baby girl and how easy it all seemed to do it naturally, untill the pain ensues. With my first, she actually got stuck and had to be suctioned out, which was a bit terrifying at the time, but I’m glad that I didn’t have to have a c-section. If you guys decide to have more, just know that it is sooooo much easier. My first daughter took about 12 hours of labor, while my second only took about an hour (and only 15 minutes of pushing). We just found out we’re having a third, so I’m hoping and praying that it’s even easier this time! Congratulations on your new beautiful girl! :-)

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112 Stephanie October 21, 2014

This is such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us! Congratulations, she’s beautiful (and holy cow, you looked amazing in your hospital pics! I only pushed for about 45 minutes, after about 4 hours of labor, and I still looked like I’d gone about 20 rounds with Muhammad Ali!). :)

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113 Alice Gardiner October 21, 2014

Thanks so much for posting this! What a beautiful and encouraging story – so thrilled for you all :-) xx

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114 Lindsay October 21, 2014

Isn’t it the most amazing thing ever?! Your making me want to do it again :) So happy for you and so glad that you had such a good experience.

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115 Lana October 21, 2014

I cried as well, thank you so much for sharing. 81 days till my due date.

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116 Chelsea October 21, 2014

What a beautiful story! Definitely teared up a bit reading it, especially having just gone through my own drug free labor 6 months ago. It’s quite an experience. Thanks for sharing :)

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117 emily October 21, 2014

What a beautiful birth story. Your story makes me laugh because it so true. Its so nice for you to explain the process for the new moms that are waiting to birth. I wish I would of had your to read a year ago. I gave birth almost year prior to you and it was just an amazing feeling and experience. Its amazing how afterwards your brain only remembers the high joy of our little one. My experience was similar. The tub was so soothing and made the time fly bye so much faster. After pushing for 3 hrs they cut just a little bit and that all he needed to come right out after a few pushes. Im so happy you had a nice experience and you and the baby are completely healthy and happy. Enjoy being a mommy and soak it up because it goes by so fast.
emily

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118 Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty October 21, 2014

Way to go mama!! amazing story, thank you for sharing!! Big tears over here!! Child birth is the most amazing empowering experience! Women are so powerful and amazing!!

Can’t wait for more updates!!

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119 char eats greens October 21, 2014

Beautiful, Ange!!! Parts of your story felt a lot like mine! I’m glad you were able to deliver her after the episiotomy! I really, really, really am hoping for a vaginal birth next time around (emergency c-section totally sucked haha!), but it’s also what is scaring/preventing me from jumping on board of a second child! I hope your PP recovery is going better now!! Loved reading every detail of this story – thanks for sharing! :)

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120 Kathy October 21, 2014

Loved, loved, loved reading your birth story….it’s been 26 years since my 3rd child was born, and yet so delightful to read and relive your daughter’s entrance into the world! Ty for sharing!

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121 Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine October 21, 2014

Such an incredible family shot! And an inspiring story. I haven’t had a baby yet, but I am already pretty sure I wouldn’t even try to do a natural birth. Ouch! But so glad to hear how quickly the memory of all the pain fades away.

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122 Mj October 21, 2014

Thank you for sharing your story! It was beautiful. That second picture of you, after Eric’s post, is amazing. I looked at is like 5 times and said, there’s no way she just delivered. You are GLOWING! But then I saw the gloves. haha.

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123 The Vegan Cookie Fairy October 22, 2014

I got pretty emotional reading this! It reminded me of my sister’s labour, though hers was a lot less complicated and a lot quicker. She had a drug-free birth as well.

So glad you and Adriana are happy and healthy! Wishing you all the best! xoxo

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124 Lisa October 22, 2014

Awwwww!! That’s all my tired, pregnant brain can manage right now. 128days for me (but I believe plus a week, too haha) and I can’t wait! Labor doesn’t scare me (yet) but who knows what happens once I get there. So excited and I found your story so encouraging! I will definitely pack coconut water for the hospital!
All the best to the three of you!
Lisa x
P.s.: YOU LOOK STUNNING IN LABOR!! Incredible <3

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125 Lisa October 22, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing your birth story! I love reading birth stories and yours definitely had me in tears!! What an amazing & beautiful experience. I’m due any day now with my first baby and am so looking forward it. :) Love to your and your family!

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126 Staci October 22, 2014

Wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing.

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127 Alexandra October 22, 2014

I thought I was over reading birth stories but yours totally captivated me! The part that Eric wrote was so moving too.
I had my daughter 2 and a half years ago at home (natural birth), so I can relate to a lot of what you describe. The only thing I can’t relate to is the part where you had already forgotten the pain the next day… hmmm, it took me several months, maybe even a couple of years to bring myself to even consider doing it again someday :)
I’m pregnant again and after reading your birth story I am almost looking forward to doing it again, so thank you!
Oh and I finally bought your book. Thanks for publishing such a beautiful work of art!

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128 Jackie C October 23, 2014

Omg I cried reading this!! So amazing!!! :)

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129 Nat October 23, 2014

Beautiful birth story, angela! Thank you for sharing.

I was wondering if you’d be willing to share your journey to conception. Any tips, advice, support you can offer some of us readers?

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130 Suzanne October 23, 2014

Congratulations! The most amazing experience in the world. I miss pregnancy and even delivery after reading your story! Cliche coming…IT GOES FAST. I know you will enjoy every moment of it, maybe not at the time, but in retrospect. Thank you for sharing your miracle!

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131 Colleen October 23, 2014

I definitely welled up reading your and Eric’s accounts of this beautiful (and painful) process! Adriana’s gorgeous, congratulations :) p.s. this provided a bit more insight on the biological side of things, and being under 20 years old, it certainly is interesting.

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132 Karen October 23, 2014

Thank you for sharing your beautiful love story. You look so radiant. There is no better feeling than to bring your child into this world. :)

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133 Karen October 23, 2014

Daddy is in love! :)

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134 Hollyce October 23, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS! Welcome to the world, baby girl and GREAT job, mama! <3

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135 leslie @ definitely not martha October 24, 2014

My goodness, our birth stories are quite similar. I too had a super long pushing stage (4.5 hours) and ended up with an epidural + vacuum at the very end to help get the baby out, and I totally hear you on just how rough recovery can be. I know for me, it was a few months before I actually felt completely normal – it’s just such an incredible strain on the body.

The good news is that with my second baby, even though I had to be induced for health reasons, I had less than 10 minutes of pushing and going pain-med free was not nearly such a challenge. So if you decide to have another baby, you’re not doomed to a repeat of those long, terrible hours of pushing.

I really appreciated reading your story – thank you for sharing it.

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136 Deirdre October 24, 2014

I didn’t expect to be in (happy) tears on a Friday afternoon, but your birth story called up my own (I hadn’t thought about the specifics for too many years.) I want to say thank you, reading this was an expected and lovely gift.

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137 Adriana Perciballi October 25, 2014

Hello Angela & Eric, Congratulations on your birth of your daughter Adriana! Beautiful story and beautiful baby girl! What a beautifully told story to go along with all the wonderful moments with your history of starting Oh She Glows! From one Adriana to another ~ all best best in the days and years ahead! ~ Adriana

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138 Candice October 25, 2014

Beautiful! And I’m very impressed that you worked through the doubtful moments… My first birth was similar, but I took the epidural, and it was a long long long reconciliation (not reconciled until my 2nd birth 3 years later!). Bravo. If you like to read birth stories, here it is:
http://sometruthtothat.blogspot.com/2012/06/nugs-birth-story.html

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139 Stacie October 25, 2014

Thank you Jesus! Best birth story ever :) and the picture of you with Adriana on your chest…absolutely beautiful! God is so good to us! Thanks so much for sharing :)

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140 Annie October 25, 2014

Angela, Ben, and Baby – I am thrilled for your family! Thank you for sharing bits of your life with us. Grow up strong and healthy, little one. :)

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141 Annie October 25, 2014

*Eric, not Ben! : / My apologies.

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142 Tatomme October 25, 2014

I cried reading Eric’s perspective as well. But this story in its entirety was also so beautiful. I am so so happy for you two.

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143 Amber October 26, 2014

What an amazing story! I’m glad your birth plan went well!!! Having a doula makes all the difference in the world!!!!!! Xoxo enjoy these moments.

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144 Lauren October 26, 2014

This made me cry so much. Love love love it. Thank you for sharing. I also had a drug-free birth and also ended up needing an episiotomy. The feeling of the baby being put right on your chest is just the best feeling in the world. I will never forget that moment!

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145 Meg October 26, 2014

Love you birth story. I’m almost 39 weeks right now. I would love reading about how you’ve handled breast feeding too, as that is what I’m most anxious about.

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146 Caitlin H. October 27, 2014

Thank you for posting your birth story, all the details too! I think pregnancy, birth and post-partum should be talked about much more openly and I commend you for sharing. As someone who’s rapidly approaching the childbearing years of my adulthood I really appreciate your honesty (not to mention I’ve been a longtime follower of your blog and am genuinely interested in your experience!). Thanks again Angela! Lots of love and support!

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147 KARLA October 27, 2014

AWWWW!!! Congratulations!!! so happy and she is gorgeous! (like her mama) Oh She Glows Baby ;)

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148 Bridgid Gallagher October 27, 2014

Congratulations, Angela!!! The photos are gorgeous. What a beautiful family! Thanks for sharing your experience. I have been so grateful for all of your pregnancy posts. :)

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149 Marisa Tomasella October 27, 2014

Beautiful!! I cried the entire time. Thank you for your story.

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150 Marykate Rossi October 27, 2014

Beautiful story .. thank you endlessly for sharing :) You inspire me to stick with my hopes for a natural birth in the future (my mom had all 7 of us vaginally and drug-free, insane!) And I appreciate your detailed and honest detection of the whole thing. Enjoy the bliss. I look forward to reading how you’ll be raising her plant based!

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151 Karyn October 28, 2014

Congrats on a beautiful birth, and a beautiful baby! God is a giver of such amazing gifts!

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152 Rachel October 28, 2014

Wow what a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing. I am reading at work and am in happy tears. So excited for you and your family ;-)

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153 Alicia Vittone October 28, 2014

Congratulation on your baby girl! This is a very moving story… I had a few tears rolling down my face while reading it. I loved it! I’m 32 weeks pregnant, expecting our first baby. You’ve been such an inspiration. I hope I can be as strong as you during labor. Wish me luck! :)

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154 Gracie October 28, 2014

Angela,

Your birthstory of Adriana was so touching to my heart. You see, I was unable to have children and after years and years of trying to understand why not, I realize today that it’s such a wonderful way to bond with another human being in a very special way and that is something I will forever miss. Thank you for sharing yours and Eric’s story of that special day that will be in your heart forever.

Once again, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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155 Sarah October 28, 2014

Wow! My baby boy was born on Sept 2 and my birth story is almost the same! I also went drug free, used a doula, used the tub when the contractions became unbearable and pushed for 3 hours before finally agreeing to an episiotomy. I can honestly say I know how you feel! I wanted to congratulate you on your strength and thank you for all the wonderful recipes! Your book has been on my counter since he was born and your meals have been keeping me nourished and healthy as I focus on my son. There is a wholesome simplicity in your food and I’m loving every recipe! Thank you for all that you do!

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156 Aliaa October 28, 2014

Such a beautiful story! It reminded me of my son’s birth three years ago. You’re so strong for not taking anything for pain.
Congratulations for having precious baby Adriana, I hope she turns out to be a good sleeper, that would definitely make your life so much easier as a parent :)

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157 Felicity October 28, 2014

Congratulations Angela! What a beautiful and heartfelt story – both yours and Eric’s. Even though I don’t want kids for another decade it’s really inspiring and beautiful to hear about your pregnancy journey, birth story, vegan lifestyle, but non vegan labelling of Adriana, and of course now your whole parenting journey as a very healthy and happy couple – it definitely inspires me to want to be as healthy and beautiful-soul-ed (totally a thing-right?! :P) as you are before I become a mother in the future. All the best! :)

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158 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

Thank you Felicity! I appreciate your support. :)

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159 Felicity October 28, 2014

P.S. Angela – LOVE your final pregnancy photos. You are stunning! Absolutely oh she glows now. I thought you were glowing before, but that pregnancy and post baby parenting glow is amazing! You shine health and wellness!

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160 Tiana October 30, 2014

Thank you for sharing your birth story! You are such an inspiration!

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161 Caitlin October 30, 2014

thank you for sharing such a detailed account of your birth story. i started to tear up. i am so happy for you and eric and adriana <3

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162 Janna October 30, 2014

Such an amazing story! Congratulations on your new family adventure!

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163 Lisa October 30, 2014

Congratulations and way to go on the natural childbirth! I was wondering if you considered placenta encapsulation? Would this be inconsistent with your vegan lifestyle or would it be different because it came from you? Just wondering!

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164 megan October 30, 2014

That is such a beautiful story. Thanks for not glossing over thigns and embracing the scary, the real,and the miraculous. Congrats to your family!

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165 Cadry October 31, 2014

Congratulations! Your story brought tears to my eyes. You look so euphoric in the picture holding Adriana in your hospital bed. I’m so happy for all of you!

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166 Karen Luening November 1, 2014

Wow Angela!

Thank you for sharing! I gave birth almost exactly 1 month before you and we have very similar birth stories. I found recovery VERY difficult, but the baby definitely makes it all possible. Unfortunately, in my case, there was meconium (baby’s first poop!) in my water when it broke our baby’s heart rate did drop. It was all a mad rush at the end to bring her into the world and in addition to an episiotomy, we needed a vacuum to bring her safely into the world. To be honest, I found it difficult to get over the fear of the experience, and I mourned not being able to have a completely natural birth…but as time passes, it’s definitely getting easier and I am grateful my little girl is safe. I wish you, Eric and Adriana the very best. Thank you for sharing!

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167 Shawnna November 1, 2014

Thank you for sharing your beautiful birth story. You are a real warrior mama!!

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168 Amey November 2, 2014

such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with such honesty and precision. So many emotions. It’s so amazing how you started dozing off between contractions… almost like getting your “self” out of the way, so that body could find its own intuitive rhythms. <3

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169 Vibeke November 4, 2014

Your labour story is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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170 Lindsey MM November 7, 2014

Angela,

Thank you for sharing your story – it made me cry so much!! ::My boyfriend’s response: glad you have feelings haha:: I don’t have children of my own and I can’t relate – I love that many women love being moms, but I don’t usually get overly worked up over it. But your honest story detailing the ups and downs of your experience is invaluable. I find myself loving the baby updates on the blog (along with the amazing food) in a way I never expected. Because you shared your whole experience is such wonderful detail I have found it so much more meaningful than what is publicized (i.e. like what is shown in those breast feeding videos). I can tell by the comments on this post that this experience is truly amazing and each woman’s story is unique yet so similar! Congratulations and bunches of love!

LMM

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171 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 10, 2014

Thank you so much Lindsey! Your comment means a lot to me. :)

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172 Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness November 7, 2014

I loved reading about your birthing experience! Labor scares the crap out of me, but one day I hope to be as strong as you were in delivering a precious little person into this world. That last picture is beautiful, I hope that you’ve framed it in your house!! :)

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173 Michelle November 9, 2014

I’m a little late in reading this, but thank you so much for sharing! I’ve always been terrified of giving birth, and this is one of the first posts I’ve read that makes me feel like maybe I could survive it. Angela, you are amazing!

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174 Helen Gatenby Holt November 10, 2014

You are an artist, a wonderful writer, a beautiful mother. What a heart-felt account of one of the most precious events that women undertake. So important to share this. Thank you. Well done mothers all over the world. Forces of nature, profound.

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175 Josefa Ciccarelli-Natural Well Nest November 13, 2014

Congrats to you on your beautiful baby!! I wrote to you on instagram just now as well but wanted to write you here in case you didn’t see my comment. I know I sometimes miss reading mine! Anyhow, I am so happy for you and really enjoyed reading your story. It brought back so many memories for me! I also had natural births with both my boys. One at the hospital and one at home. What an amazing experience!! You are a true inspiration and a fighter! I really enjoyed reading your birth story and would be honored to have your story featured on my site. I would LOVE to share your story with my readers! They would be so inspired. I am passionate about this topic and love to inspire other moms to birth naturally. You can check out some of the other stories on my site as well. Please contact me for more details if you would like to share it. There are just couple questions I would ask you and I would link the story back to your blog. Please let me know either way. Thanks so much!! Blessings to you!! This is such an awesome time! Enjoy it! It all goes too fast. My youngest will be ONE next week!!! Where did the time go!?

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176 Linda November 17, 2014

I’m a labour and delivery nurse and I appreciate you sharing your story. It gives perspective to what women are going through who want a natural labour but after hours of pain their perspective changes. I wish we had tubs at my hospital. Showers are great but I think tubs would be better. I am happy for you that the only intervention was an epis. Only in delivery is being a fit person a downfall….all working for you right up to trying to get the baby out…..
I have tried many of your recipes and love them (I’m an omnivore currently practicing a week of veganism for my health and the challenge of finding yummy recipes…many coming from your blog.) Of to buy your cookbook.

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177 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 17, 2014

hi Linda, thanks for your comment! funny you mention about being fit because the l&d nurse said the same to me(she had asked if i was a runner as she often sees runners with super strong perineums).

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178 andy November 17, 2014

What a beautiful birth story. It made me teary. Thank you for sharing…I just love birth stories. I totally empathize with you as I had a really long labour with my first also…sooooo long…but worth it. And if it eases any worry you have of enduring another long labour next time around…my second was born in our bathroom with only my husband and 2 yr old there to catch him…the midwives didn’t even make it. And let me assure you, that was not the plan. They say #2 comes faster so I wish you that blessing…well maybe not bathroom floor fast…but faster than round 1. Congratulations mama!

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179 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 19, 2014

haha wow!! Now that is a story. :) Yes, I’m hopeful the 2nd will come quickly and without any intervention!

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180 Jenn November 18, 2014

Congratulations on your beautiful girl!! I am headed down the baby path too and I am wondering if you would be open to sharing what you packed for food for going to the hospital?

THANK YOU!

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181 Charlotte November 20, 2014

You have had me crying and laughing throughout your story. So beautifully written and I actually felt like I was in the room with you!
Congratulations and your Daughter is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story.

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182 Katie O November 20, 2014

What a wonderful memory if your daughters birth! Loved it.

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183 Amy November 21, 2014

Sounds much like mine:) I did it drug free too and pushed for 4.5 hours! Way to go momma!

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184 Nikki November 21, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing – that was wonderful to read, from the perspective of you and your husband!

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185 Julia Kristina November 22, 2014

What a great story! Totally bawling right now.

Julia Kristina
http://juliakristina.com/blog

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186 alisha November 29, 2014

What an awesome Birth story! Congrats on your little one. My daughters birthday is the 22nd, and she just turned one. These viragos are too precious for words.

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187 Railya December 16, 2014

amazing feelings, my baby boy is 3 weeks now. Your story made me relive those unbelievable moments.Tears of joy here =)
congrats to your family and Happy Holidays

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188 Vanessa December 17, 2014

Hi Angela,
It was so great reading your birth story! It brought back some memories, although as you mention, you seem to forget the pain afterwards and some or a lot of details.

I wanted to mention that something that was incredibly helpful for my natural childbirth was the Epi-no (UK site: http://www.epi-no.co.uk/about-us/). It’s an apparatus that you use to stretch and strengthen you perineum starting from your 32nd week of preganancy. It takes some dedication to do it everynight before bed, and is not pleasant physically, but I don’t think the pushing phase would have gone so smoothly without it.

My daughter was born after only 4-5 rounds of pushing (*can’t be quite sure ;)), – no episiotomy nor tearing. Of course, not everyone is built the same way, but I do believe it is very very useful!!

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189 Catherine December 23, 2014

Angela, you and your husband are truly amazing and an inspiration. Reading your story made me cry the happiest of tears. I am so thrilled for you and your journey. Thank you so much for sharing everything with us. I can’t wait till I can go through the ups and downs of childbirth. You make me feel like I can do it, too!

Happy first Christmas with your beautiful Adriana. xoxo

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190 Angela (Oh She Glows) December 23, 2014

Aw thank you Catherine!

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191 Jackie December 26, 2014

Congratulations! I love hearing other women’s natural birth stories.
You should feel proud of your accomplishment! I think the recovery is a lot faster after a natural birth.
We had a Doula with our 1st and a midwife with our 2nd.
I had both of my children naturally and what a rush both times.

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192 Meg December 29, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing your story. This gives us future moms a great idea of what to expect. I appreciate all of it- I hope to have a drug free delivery too

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193 Tracie January 5, 2015

Beautiful birth story, had me in tears! I am so thrilled for you and your husband! I had my fifth baby, Aliza, on Sept 10, 2014 – my first intentionally prepared for all natural birth. A friend sent me to your site today as I embark on healthier eating for my family. Your recipes look amazing! I just have to get myself educated on some new items to stock up my pantry with. Gute Fahrt – Happy Journey from Germany! :)

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194 Michelle January 7, 2015

I’ve never read another birth story so similar to my own! Thank you for sharing-it gave me goose bumps and brought tears to my eyes as I was brought back to my own labour experience 2 years ago. I’m now pregnant with my 2nd and really hoping I can do it drug free again, even though I know how hard and painful it is, it is so worth it in the end! Congrats on your lovely baby girl.

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195 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 8, 2015

i was wondering if anyone reading wouldve had a similar experience! It was wild right? I’m pretty nervous to go through it again someday but holding onto the hope that the second one is quicker ;) congrats on your pregnancy, you’ll rock that labour!

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196 LauraMD January 12, 2015

What an inspirational, moving story. I’d never heard of a Doula before but after doing some brief research and reading about how she impacted you, I’ve drank the kool-aid. Congrats on your baby.

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197 Amanda January 13, 2015

Absolutely beautiful – an inspiration and exactly the way I would love to do it down the road when I have kids – thank you for sharing your amazing story truly truly amazing.

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198 Monica January 19, 2015

Her birth story was amazing. I cried multiple times…remembering moments of my own daughter’s birth…and reveling in your love for one another and the beautiful baby you created together. I am so happy for you, Eric, and Adriana. Many congrats!

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199 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 19, 2015

Thank you Monica…I’m so glad you enjoyed it! xo

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200 Sarah January 19, 2015

Hi Angela! My sister is 33 weeks pregnant and she has made me her unofficial labor nutritionist/food supplier. Any advice on what foods/drinks you liked in the hours before, during and after labor? Thanks so much!

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201 Tanya February 1, 2015

I’m way late to the game here, but congrats, Angela! Beautiful story, beautiful baby and beautiful family.

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202 Jen February 5, 2015

What a beautiful child birth story! It is so nice to have such an honest, candid, detailed description. Much happiness to all of you!

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203 Yuna February 7, 2015

What an amazing birth story! I have 2 little ones and pregnant with my third. I totally agree with the drugs! With my first right before she came after over 20 hours in labor, I said I’m done being strong, just give me something…but she was almost here…Anyway, did you eat your placenta? I’ve been reading a lot about it. I didn’t with my first 2 but not sure about it yet.

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204 Erika February 12, 2015

Hi, I love you’re site and you’re book. The recipes have greatly encouraged the incorporation of vegan meals into my diet. I have been reading your posts about Adriana and all the adventures of having a new baby. Reading this post about you having had a completely natural birth has given me some hope that maybe I can do it too. From the beginning of my pregnancy I’ve wanted an all natural birth but was warned by my OB of the possibility of an emergency c-section due to several large uterine fibroids (although the largest of the group is not blocking the birth canal thankfully). And that some women cannot effectively push through the pain of labor which would warrant the need for an epidural. My hope was to not expose my baby to any drugs upon his birth and to come out of labor with the complete experience of having lived through it. My boy is due any time now as I am 40 weeks and 5 days as of today. But if he doesn’t make his appearance before Monday I will be induced. I do not have a doula to help coach me through the pains of labor, only a loving husband who ( along with your story) will hopefully help me find an inner strength I don’t know I possess to bring my boy into this world in all its painful glory.

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205 Monica February 16, 2015

This was so incredibly beautiful. I am sitting here prepping for the birth of my third child in a few weeks and found myself in tears by the time I had finished reading your birth story. I can relate to your entire experience. I had natural births with my other two children and the experience was incredible – especially that moment when you meet your child for the very first time. The feelings of euphoria, relief, and joy are indescribable. I am hoping to do another drug-free birth with this baby, but am getting very nervous as the time quickly approaches. I find a lot of strength in reading about the experiences of other women! Thank you so much for sharing your birth story!

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206 Joanna Bach Photography February 26, 2015

What a great birth story. I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing! Almost makes me want to have more ( I have three).

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207 L March 5, 2015

Thank you for this great story! I have a one year old and unfortunately had to have a c-section and never actually went into labor, so labor is a foreign concept to me, which is a major sore spot even still. I hope that I will get to experience labor with the next and this was such a great play by play! Hope you’re all doing wonderfully!

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208 Lauren J @ The Barn March 11, 2015

This sounds SO similar to how my birth played out. I did crossfit for a few years leading up to an during pregnancy, and had developed a very strong pelvic floor apparently. It took 18 hours of later and just shy of 4 hours of pushing for our baby to be born! Congrats on your little one!

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209 Willow @ Will Cook For Friends March 23, 2015

Your story is beautiful, Angela! I laughed and cried reading it. I love that you shared it here in such detail — you are so brave and strong. So glad your little girl made it into the world safely. She’s beautiful!

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210 Maria March 24, 2015

It’s the first post I have ever read from you and I almost cry! Huge congratulations to you and your growing family!

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211 Drew April 22, 2015

Thank you for sharing your story and for being so brave. I can’t imagine how rough that would be.

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212 Juli Williams July 18, 2015

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am currently pregnant, and I want to have a natural birth but it’s been so difficult to find natural birth stories. So I just wanted to say thank you. :)

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213 Bryn July 21, 2015

I’d love to feature Adriana’s birth story on our new birth story podcast called The Birth Hour!

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214 Micaela July 25, 2015

Wow, this is the greatest narrative I’ve read in some time!! I really enjoyed going through your feeings, almost cried at the end (I’m not a mother, I know I still don’t know anything about this). It has been a while since I connected to the writer like I’ve connected to your writing today. Thanks a lot for that. And congratulations for your child!!!

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215 KC August 3, 2015

Your birth story is sooo similar to mine. You reminded me the details that I already forgot. You are a gifted writer! Thank you for sharing your experience. I still have tears in my eyes :)

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216 Lisa October 8, 2015

You all are beautiful !

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217 Kim October 20, 2015

I know this is an old post but i’m gearing up for delivery of my baby girl any day now and I am hopefully for the most natural childbirth possible. i’ve been trying to do a lot of preparation and visualization and ready positive stories and this really helped me. amazing! thank you for sharing

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218 Keele November 18, 2015

I made the mistake of choosing this for my casual lunch read. I’m at work, which is in the basement of a health center, bawling. Thank GOODNESS all my office mates went out to lunch. What an experience Angela and thank you for sharing it! I too plan* on a drug-free birth, although I’m currently not pregnant, and I’m just emotionally rocked by your personal account. I can’t imagine a journey more insanely spiritual that creating life and fighting to bring it into the world.

Okay – back to work! Beautiful story Ms. Angela!

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219 Kai March 20, 2016

Lovely story, gripping, vivid and scary – we’re having our baby girl in 11 weeks from now. Wish us luck! Your story really helped us. Thank you!!!!

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220 Angela Liddon March 25, 2016

Congratulations and best of luck, Kai! :) :)

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221 Patricia May 10, 2016

Incredible. I got emotional and cried during Eric’s perception of the birth as well. This was so beautiful! Your baby girl is very lucky you wrote this so well and passionately. Loving vibes to your family!

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