Arlo’s Birth Story

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2weeksoldarlo

I’m so happy to finally share the story of how Arlo came into this world. Just like with Adriana’s birth story, I had Eric “vet” the story to make sure I remembered things correctly. (Labour Brain is REAL!) Eric added quite a bit of detail, and a few funny moments that I had no idea about at the time.

I had contractions on and off for a few days before this labour, so I started taking notes early on. I’ll share the time leading up to the labour below. I always find it’s interesting how the “pre-game show” unfolds…

Sunday, September 25th:

It’s one day before my due date. We had our maternity/family photoshoot in the morning—talk about squeaking it in! I must say, it felt so great to get glammed up as I had been feeling so blah the last couple weeks.

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The shoot was short and sweet because I wasn’t in the mood for outfit changes or a lot of walking outside. I’m happy we got some last-minute shots because we didn’t take many family photos (with myself included, anyway) during my pregnancy. It was nice to get some photos with the three of us. (Even if Adriana was running in the opposite direction laughing her head off most of the time!)

Later on in the day, I felt irritable and restless. I also had some shooting groin pain and regular contractions that lasted for a few hours. By the evening I was absolutely wiped, and I went to bed at 8:30pm, which is very unlike me. Maybe my body was resting up for the big day?

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Monday, September 26th:

My due date has arrived! Adriana was born on her due date, so I had a feeling this little guy might be timely too. Also, my mom arrived from out West; I’m so glad she made it in time for the birth!

Throughout the day, I experienced a lot of contractions and several shooting groin/leg pains once again. Despite this, I was bursting with energy: cleaning…doing laundry…wrapping up work stuff. When the  contractions stopped for a couple hours, I even decided to do my 15-minute Barre3 workout! Wtffffff. In hindsight, this burst of energy (madness?) was another sign that labour was near. I think I even shocked myself that I could get through my regular workout. (If I’m ever pregnant again in the future, I will definitely stick with this type of workout; I felt so strong right up until I delivered!)

That night, I had a dream about an earthquake. Our new baby was there and I was so scared he would be harmed. The next day I looked up the meaning of my dream, and this is what it said:

“Experiencing an earthquake, according to multiple dream interpretations, means that a change is going to happen, and it is going to be a very abrupt and startling one.” (Source: GoToHoroscope.com)

Labour…a new baby…changes in our family dynamic…I’d say that’s about right!

Tuesday, September 27th:

I had my last midwife appointment this morning. My midwife offered to check my progress and do a “sweep” (which could help get labour going), but I declined both. As much as I was curious and wanted to move things along, I trusted that things would happen on their own.

By the afternoon, though, I was totally regretting not getting the sweep, because I didn’t have any signs of labour at all. I started to worry that I was going to be a week late and my mom would miss meeting the baby. Feeling regret, I debated calling my midwives’ office and seeing if they could squeeze me in the next day for an “emerg” sweep, lol. But I resisted. Instead, I did my EPI-NO one last time and was feeling confident because I had worked up to 9cm in 3 weeks of daily use (about 20 minutes per day). I had no idea if it would help me during labour, but I sure as hell hoped it would. (PS—I have no affiliation with EPI-NO; I’m mentioning it because I think it might help some of you too. I wish I had used it prior to my first labour!!)

From 7:30pm until 10:30pm I experienced regular contractions about 7 to 9 minutes apart. Okay, now this is progress, I thought. The pain scale was only about 5. I said to Eric, “I bet that I go into labour tonight!” I spoke with my midwife over the phone, and she said to prepare for things to pick up very quickly since I had been having contractions on and off for a couple days. Once my contractions stopped at 10:30pm, I went to bed, mentally preparing myself to be woken up in the middle of the night…

I slept great, though, and much to my dismay I didn’t wake up to any contractions! I grew more convinced this kiddo was going to come a week late.

Wednesday, September 28th (40 weeks + 2 days):

Adriana woke us up at 5am. Around 5:15am I lost my plug, and I immediately knew (or had a strong hunch!) today would be the day. With Adriana’s labour I lost my plug and contractions started immediately and close together, so I was hopeful that the same thing would happen this time, too. We all headed out for our morning walk, and during the walk I had several intense shooting pains; they were so bad this time I had to stop walking until they were over.

After we got home I had a strong urge to tidy up. For some reason, having anything on the kitchen island drove me up the wall and I had to keep it completely clear. I think Eric and my mom thought I was nuts because their stuff kept disappearing from the island!! My mom commented that there was nothing left for her to clean because I had done it all.

I drank raspberry leaf tea (double bagged!) in hopes it would get labour going. (I’d been drinking one mug a day for the last month or two.) Around 8am, my contractions started coming 10 to 20 minutes apart. Other than that I was feeling normal (aside from starting to twitch if I saw any sort of mess). I did one minute of squats to try and help baby move down, but the squats seemed to intensify my contractions so I said, “F that,” and didn’t do any more! I Snapchatted a couple short videos talking about early labour and how scared I was. (I thought I was going to feel so confident this second time around, seeing as I had been through it all before, but I didn’t find that was the case. Nope, still scared. Excited too.)

Late morning, Eric and I headed out to the store to buy some ink for the printer. I wanted to get out of the house because I was feeling restless, but knew I couldn’t drive myself. I was getting some pretty intense contractions while shopping, but held it together…barely!

By 11:45am, my contractions were getting more intense and were consistently 10 minutes apart. I talked with Eric about the visualization that I wanted to use during this labour and how he could help me through it. I used it a bit for my first labour, and it worked well because I’m such a visual person. (I won’t be offended if you think it’s lame, because it kinda is.)

I’m on a surfboard riding a huge, massive wave. For the first half of the contraction (usually about 30 seconds for me), I’m riding up the very tall wave. And I’m KILLIN’ IT.

The first half of the contraction is always the most intense/painful for me. Eric would count down as I rode up the wave, saying, “15 seconds until you are at the top, 10 seconds until you’re at the top…almost there,” to help me get through the pain. After 30 seconds, he would tell me that I’d reached the top of the wave, encourage me, and tell me that our friends and family were cheering me on (this actually made me laugh in early labour because it sounded so ridiculous). When I needed a boost, I would tell myself out loud, “I’m so strong, You got this.”

The second half of the contraction is always a bit easier/less intense. Eric would say things like, “Only 15 seconds to go…you’re almost there…you’re doing amazing,” and I would picture myself cruising down the wave, getting closer and closer to everyone as the pain got less and less. Then I’d picture myself coasting effortlessly all the way to the sandy shore, hopping off my board, and running toward everyone. When I got to the crowd of people, baby Arlo and Adriana were there waiting for me and I gave them a huge hug.

The most comforting thing about this visualization was that Eric had such an essential role in it. He was basically my doula/coach, but even better because we are so comfortable with one another. I can’t even imagine going through labour without him by my side!

Between 12:30pm to 1:30pm my contractions became much more intense, and 7 to 8 minutes apart. My mom wondered if I should go to the hospital at this point. I could tell it was really hard for her to see me in so much pain. My midwife wanted me to call her when the contractions were 5 minutes apart, so I wanted to *try* to wait until then, if I could. So I laboured at home a bit longer…

By around 3:30pm, my contractions were every 5 minutes, lasting about 1 minute to 1 minute and 20 seconds. Bingo. And they were INTENSE. F-bombs started dropping. I was emotional. This is when Eric and I got into a little disagreement about when to leave for hospital. I said I wanted to leave now, but he suggested we have the midwife come over to our house to check and see if I was ready to go to the hospital. He was worried we’d get there too early and I’d be sent home. In fact, Eric’s was the plan we had originally discussed, but I quickly snapped back, “I decide when it’s time to go, and I’m telling you it’s time to go NOW.” Okay, then! Lol. My mom overheard my curt response and we laughed about it after (in between contractions). Eric knew I meant business, and there was no further discussion on the matter.

We called my midwife Joanna and told her we were leaving for the hospital. When Eric put me on the phone after a contraction, I could barely get out a “hello” and then I started to cry as I spoke to her. I think she knew at that moment that I was fairly far along!

Before leaving, my mom and Eric put on my sneakers because I couldn’t bend over to do it myself. I didn’t want to leave anymore (another sign it was time to leave!). I fought back tears as we hugged and said goodbye. I knew that as soon as I stepped out the door, everything was going to change.

I cried a bit in the car. I missed Adriana and almost felt like I was betraying her in some weird way. (In fact, I had felt this way for the last few weeks of the pregnancy.) We got to the hospital and my midwife was already there. I had a few intense contractions while walking through the hospital and had to stop each time so I could lean up against a railing. A couple got into the elevator with us, and I remember thinking, “Bold move.” ;)

For the first part of labour, it was just me, Eric, and my midwife in the room. My second midwife arrived during the pushing stage. I loved that it was so quiet, calm, and peaceful. With my first labour there were A LOT of people in the room (mainly during the 3+ hour pushing stage), and I found it to be overwhelming at times. This was a nice change.

Upon arriving at 4pm, my midwife checked my dilation and I was 5cm, maybe 6cm. I felt a bit discouraged because when I arrived at the hospital for Adriana’s labour I was 7cm. I started to doubt that I could handle the pain as well as I had the first time. Why did it feel so much more intense this time?! Little did I know, things were just moving much faster.

I told Eric I was considering an epidural for this labour. He supported whatever I wanted to do. I asked my midwife if she could explain the potential risks/side effects of the epidural so I could make an informed decision. Many of the risks I was most worried about were extremely low probability. She said, “Don’t forget, though, this second labour will likely be much faster than last time.” I knew she thought that I could do it, but the pain was super intense and I was filled with major doubt. At this point, the biggest obstacle I had to overcome was my own mind.

She asked, “How about we try the jacuzzi tub first?” I hesitated; I didn’t think I could wait that long! I was at my wits’ end. Eric reminded me how the tub had helped me so much with my first labour (in fact, I recall saying the jet tub was a DREAM and I would never labour again without it!), so I decided to give it a shot…albeit hesitantly…

Joanna got the tub set up. Eric kept helping me visualize through my contractions as we waited. When I was finally brought into the room with the tub, I immediately stripped and got in; it felt absolutely incredible. “This feels sooooo much better!” I was so glad that I gave the tub a try.

My midwife left briefly and told us to page her by pulling the string on the wall if we needed anything. She said, “If you get the urge to push or pressure in your bottom, make sure to page me right away.” We agreed. There was something amazing about it being just Eric and I in the jacuzzi room. I felt so comforted by his presence. There were no distractions…just getting through each contraction together. I asked for the lights to be dimmed so I could get into the zone.

During each contraction, Eric massaged my lower back firmly (I kept telling him to rub harder and I’m pretty sure his fingers were about to fall off by the end! Not my problem…bahaha.). The counterpressure helped my contraction pain a lot! He continued to talk me through our visualization. I had the tub jets on the lowest speed because I found the noise bothered me at higher speeds, and sometimes I just turned them off completely so it would be totally silent. The contractions were almost unbearable. My whole body started shaking uncontrollably. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was definitely in transition.

After about 30 minutes in the tub, I said, “I need to get out of the tub right now!” Eric pulled the string to page the midwife. Immediately after, I had a contraction and felt pressure in my bottom and the urge to push. My whole body jolted and felt out of control. The urge to push just takes over your whole body. My midwife came in during the contraction. I cried a bit and basically felt like I was losing it. She quickly checked my dilation and I was 8 or 9 cm (it was hard to determine my exact dilation under the water). She left briefly to prep the labour and delivery room. Eric told me to have one more contraction in the tub, and then we’d get out in between contractions and walk down the hall to the room. I agreed. During this next contraction I felt the urge to push again. I said, “Page Joanna…I need out…I need out!” I was pretty much in panic mode. Eric tried to pull the string again and the light wouldn’t turn on, so he pulled it harder and the entire string BROKE off! (I didn’t know this happened at the time, but he told me the next day and we laughed and laughed!) After the string broke he pulled the smaller (emergency?) string and it finally lit up. Poor Eric, heh. Joanna quickly appeared as Eric got rid of the evidence. They both helped me out of the tub. I put a towel over the front of my body and started walking across the hall. (Eric later told me that he covered my bare butt with a facecloth as we walked! I just about died laughing when he told me that. Apparently, modesty isn’t a big concern of mine during labour, but thanks, Eric, you got my back…literally.)

Upon arriving in the labour and delivery room, I immediately had another super intense contraction.

“I can’t do this anymore. I want an epidural.”

Joanna said, “Okay, but can I check your dilation first?” I agreed. Well, guess what? I was 10cm dilated!! The angels were singing! “Can I start pushing?” I asked. She said yes. I knew it was showtime. The jacuzzi tub worked wonders for relaxing my body. I went from 5/6cm to fully dilated in less than an hour. Things moved much faster this time around, that’s for sure.

During my first push, my second midwife, Wendy, arrived. After a few contractions (I’d do 3 strong pushes per contraction), Joanna said she could already see the baby’s head! I glanced up at the clock…just after 5pm. Umm…what!? Thankfully, I’d trusted my gut and left for the hospital when I did.

My water broke next, and just like the first time, it made me jump. I asked if Joanna could hold up a mirror to help motivate me. She held it up, and I saw a tiny bit of Arlo’s head. Instantly, I got this massive surge of the confidence that I had been looking for the entire day. I said to Eric and my two midwives, “I feel like I can do this!!” I felt so close. I felt strong. I got through about 5 more brutal contractions. Arlo started to crown and the pain level was almost at its peak. My breathing was now panicked, short, and choppy; I was gasping for air. This part is a bit of a blur. My midwives kept telling me to slow my breathing down, but I felt like I couldn’t. Though I’d tried it during my first labour and found it ineffective, I immediately asked for laughing gas, and this time it actually helped a lot! I breathed deeply and forcefully into the mouthpiece during contractions, and was able to regulate/slow my breathing immensely. I also found it was a wonderful distraction during the most painful part of pushing. Even though the laughing gas doesn’t reduce the pain, the fact that I could slow my breathing and feel distracted was a major, major bonus.

The pressure from the “ring of fire” was unreal, but I knew once I got the head out it was downhill from there. My midwives told me when to slow down my pushing so I wouldn’t push too fast and tear, and Joanna pushed on my perineum to stretch/support it. I was worried about my episiotomy scar tearing. After a couple more pushes, the head was finally out, followed by the shoulders and body. All the pain and pressure was instantly gone.

Our beautiful Arlo was born at 5:24pm!! Eric and I looked at each other, crying; I couldn’t hold back my emotions. I just kept crying happy tears.

As Arlo was coming out, Eric noticed that the cord was wrapped around his neck (I’m so glad I didn’t see this part). Our midwife commented that “he was born with a scarf” so as not to alarm us. They worked very fast. Through my tears, I kept asking if he was okay as it took a bit for him to cry, but soon enough he let out a very loud cry, and proceeded to cry loudly (the boy has some pipes!) for at least a minute as he lay on my chest. I was so thankful for that cry.

I delivered the placenta with one more push, and then received a couple stitches. I was relieved that my episiotomy scar didn’t tear. My midwife thinks that my regular use of the EPI-NO helped a lot. I couldn’t believe how much better I felt after this labour. It was like night and day.

Arlo latched after about a half hour, and then he nursed for 40 minutes or so. Eric brought me snacks from the cooler, heh. Boy was I hungry! Since we didn’t have any medical complications, we had the choice of going home that night or staying in the hospital. Our midwife would be visiting us first thing the next morning (and doing a few more home visits during the first week and a half). We decided to go home, as I felt good and we thought we’d have a better sleep in our own bed.

Here we are just before leaving the hospital.

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And with my midwife Joanna:
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The weather was super windy and rainy that night as we got into the car. Total snuggle weather. I sat in the backseat with Arlo and just stared at his sweet face in awe. We arrived home at 8pm—my mom could not believe her eyes when we walked through the door!!

We spent the rest of the evening snuggling Arlo in our arms and making calls and texts to family and friends.

Adriana was already in bed, so we did the official sibling meet and greet the next morning (which went well thanks to a cool gift from Arlo).

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“And when I touch your head you shall obey me for ever and ever.” heh.

Here is Arlo meeting his great-grandparents for the first time at 3 days old. One of his middle names honours his great-grandfather Harvey, so it was a very special moment for them to meet. My grandpa is one of the most inspirational role models in my life and we’re so lucky to have him and Diane in our family.

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Here is a sneak peek of our newborn/family photoshoot, which happened at 4 days old:

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Photography credit: Sarah Martin Photography & Ooh Ooh Darling

And here he is at 11 days old sporting his very first (non-onesie) outfit!

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We are so grateful for Arlo, and crazy in love. I know how fast the newborn days go by, so I’m soaking up every single second that I can.

Adriana lights up whenever “Lee-tle Bra-ther, Aar-lo” is around, and I can’t wait to see their bond grow over the years. I’m sure she’ll teach him all kinds of questionable things.

There have definitely been challenges and growing pains as we figure out the new normal for our family, but I know we’ll get into a groove by the time they move out, if not sooner. My emotions and hormones have felt a bit more out of whack than the first time around, so I’m trying to find my own personal balance too, and not put too much pressure on myself.

Thank you all so much for your well wishes and congrats over the past couple weeks! It means the world to us.

Big hugs,

The Liddon Family

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{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle June 23, 2017

Angela, I seldom comment on any blog, but I had to reach out and thank you for sharing your story. While my kids are 21 and 15, your descriptions immediately transported me back to 1995, and the intense “takeover” of my body as I labored and delivered through the wee hours without epidural, using the jacuzzi bath as you did. While unquestionably that was the most painful night of my life (I opted for the epi with my 2nd, 6 years later, thank you for very much!), walking through the memories “with” you reminds me of how surreal the process was, how our bodies act without our direct control, how we try yet fail to follow commands about specific breathing and not pushing when our bodies insist otherwise!

As is often said, ‘the days are long, but the years are short’ – and to even type out that my “babies” are 21 and 15 seems unfathomable, yet I marvel at the centering and common ground/unifying experience of childbirth – it is truly an experience that vividly etches into one’s soul.

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2 Alice June 20, 2017

I love birth stories! I guess it always brings up memories of my own and I love thinking back to the day my babies were born! Your little boy was adorable! I know this post is pretty old and he is much older now, but cutie-patootie for sure!

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3 Valerie Jensen June 19, 2017

The pictures were great. I loved reading your story. My daughter was thinking about at one point giving birth in a tub. She keeps going back and forth about the idea. Also her sister in law had a midwife and was wondering about that too. It was nice to read your story about both.

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4 kay April 10, 2017

CONGRATULATIONS! I’m many months late on reading about his arrival, but my 13 month old sucks up all my time and it’s rare for me to spend more than 2 minutes at the computer. I loved reading about Arlo’s arrival. I’ve been feeling pangs for baby #2 and am basically dead set on getting the epi-no now (did you buy it via amazon?). I used visualization, too and it helped so much! Although I definitely cringe a bit when I hear myself explaining it to other people who haven’t used it. Kudos to you for being an AMAZING superhuman — labour is intense and beautiful and the high is so fleeting. And high five to the awesome partners who make delivery that much easier.

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5 Dee April 3, 2017

What a good read — and what a terrific writer! Beautiful blog!

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6 forfio April 1, 2017

Hi Angela,

Congratulation !!! I learned about your second baby news this morning.
This is my first-time reading your website. I have two of your cook books but never have a chance to visit your blog until now. 
This is completely random —— I desperately need some suggestion on formula (or whether supplement formula). My son is almost 6-month old. Breastfeeding never been hard for me but his sleeping was. He wakes up every 45 minutes, every night, still. Other than this, he is a perfectly healthy happy baby. However, my sleep deprivation has been going on for 6 months. I am beyond exhausted and am considering to supplement formula one feeding a day after introducing solids. I am torn between the choices of cow milk based formula (I have an eye on Lebenswert by Holle) and plant based formula.
I sincerely hope that you would kindly share your research about formula with me. If you offer consultation privately with a fee, I would love to hire your service.

Thank you very much!

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7 Angela Liddon April 7, 2017

Hey Forfio, Thank you for your congrats! Congrats to you as well. I can relate to the sleep exhaustion! I hope you get some more sleep soon. It’s such a challenging (yet beautiful) time. I’m so sorry but I haven’t looked into formula before so I’m not able to help you with your questions. I would speak with your paediatrician or even a pediatric dietitian and see if they can help you. All my best!

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8 Vered March 30, 2017

Hi Angela, this is a beautiful story. As a mom of three I identify with the feeling of betraying our first. I also laughed about your earthquake dream. They do shift the ground we walk on. I wanted to check in and say thank you for your recipes. I am on a strictly plant based diet and it has been challenging to get my kids to also eat mostly that way and your recipes help. I am also inspired by your posts and the way you manage to blend motherhood with your career. I attempt to do the same (through song) although sometimes I don’t have the energy or the will power.
Anyway, as a token of thanks I thought you might appreciate this song. It is about the moments when we are NOT feeling like a mom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA42yJO6MSI

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9 Angela Liddon April 7, 2017

Hi there, Thank you so much! Your kind words mean so much to me. And I’m so grateful that you’re enjoying my recipes and having some success with your kids too. I have to say the song you shared blew me away…it’s so beautiful! Is that you singing? If so, you have a beautiful voice. It’s how I pretend I sound when I sing to my own kids (but umm, let’s just say I’m not anywhere near that! hah) Take care

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10 Sophia March 11, 2017

You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us.Congratulations to you both

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11 Sandhya S.Nayar March 4, 2017

Beautifully expressed !

Love and Light

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12 Robyn February 26, 2017

Late congratulations from another mother of an Arlo, now 25 years of age.
My Arlo has been able to meet the Arlo (Guthrie) for whom kiddo was named, a few times.
At the beginning of high school, Arlo started using the other name option, but when kiddo talks to musicians, the full name comes out.

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13 Clare February 10, 2017

Congratulations to you both! Such a lovely story to read. I am like you. I always say no epidural and then I scream I want one but it is always too late!! X

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14 Dee February 2, 2017

What a beautiful rendition of your labor and the birth of your baby. It is one of the most beautiful times in a family’s life. Thanks for sharing.

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15 Andrea January 22, 2017

This was such a beautiful post Angela! I have huge anxieties and fears about labour and childbirth, but reading stories like yours are inspirational!
I was wondering, where did you purchase your EPI-NO from? This is definitely a product I will be getting! Thank you again for sharing your personal story. You have such a beautiful family!

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16 Angela Liddon January 24, 2017

Thank you Andrea, I’m so happy you liked the birth story! My midwife ordered it for me, but I think you can order it from the EPI NO’s website too. Hope this helps, and best of luck to you!

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17 Meghanetta January 11, 2017

What a beautiful story, Angela. Thank you for sharing all the details. Me too, I’m finding myself teary eyed like some other commenters. I love the name, Arlo and as others have said, you look gorgeous after delivery!

Where did you get the dress you wore in your pregnancy photoshoot? It’s stunning!

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18 Angela Liddon February 22, 2017

Hey Meghanetta, Thank you so much for the kind words! The dress is from ASOS (online). :)

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19 Katie January 1, 2017

Congratulations!! I just have to say that I had our third baby November 10 at a birth center under midwifery care and they had laughing gas available. My previous two births I received an epidural. The laughing gas is not widely used around here so I didn’t know what to expect but I have to mirror your words. It served as the biggest distraction and allowed me to breathe deeper and calm down a bit!! I’m glad I had it at the end! Again congrats!

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20 Jessica December 29, 2016

First of all, thank you so much for sharing such beautiful pictures and such a beautiful story! It was inspiring to read. I think it is totally normal to feel like you are betraying the other child, but it’s clear that you will work through that and you’ll intuitively know how to support the older one and attend to her needs. You have great awareness being able to recognize that your greatest obstacle was your own mind, and clearly you overcame that! How impressive :) Thank you again for sharing your story with a twist of humour.

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21 Patricia Shih December 8, 2016

Love your posts!

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22 Angela Liddon December 12, 2016

Awh, thank you, Patricia! I’m glad you enjoy reading them. :)

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23 kiristina December 8, 2016

great work to you!. Thanks for sharing your advice. baby layette

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24 Kimberly November 30, 2016

I was just browsing for some vegan and gluten-free cookie ideas. I haven’t visited your website in quite some time, so I didn’t know you had another baby! Congratulations!!

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25 Hilary November 21, 2016

Thanks so much for sharing your story of sweet Arlo’s birth! Having never made it to active labor with my daughter (after being induced for two days), you presented a very real picture of it! In some ways maybe I am glad I missed all of that! lol You are one strong Mama! Congrats again!

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26 Barbara B. November 18, 2016

Angela, I have been periodically checking here on any baby news. I was just looking through the new cookbook, checking ingredients for several things,one being the amazing gravy, and thought I better check for baby news! Congrats to you all, such a beautiful family and great account of the wonderful event.

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27 Kathy Patalsky November 11, 2016

Congratulations sweet Angela and fam! Xoxo

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28 Nikki November 9, 2016

Huge CONGRATS to you, Arlo and the whole family! He is so beautiful. I am about 7 weeks from my due date with my first and getting real nervous, so thank you for sharing!

On another note, where does one find this gorgeousss dress Angela wore for the family pre-birth photoshoot? You look amazing! I am desperate to find a dress that will fit (reg or maternity) for Dec events and shower, and I LOVE it :-)

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29 Angela Liddon November 16, 2016

Thank you so much Nikki! And congrats on your pregnancy! I bought it from ASOS (online). They have a lot of maternity dresses. Hope this helps!

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30 PinaColada November 5, 2016

Welcome to the world, baby Arlo! :) Thank you for sharing your birth story Angela!

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31 PinaColada November 5, 2016

(well, I mean his birth story!) :)

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32 Anne November 3, 2016

I think I’ll try that epi-no for our next baby. We
Had done the perineum massages but during pushing i still got 4 tears.
My midwife said she never recommends an episiotomy, but she said ‘for you it would’ve been better than this’. Week later and I’m still crying in pain! SO glad it was better for you this time around. Hope you guys are still continuing to be well.

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33 Celeste October 30, 2016

Beautiful baby boy! Congratulations Angela!

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34 Tiffany October 28, 2016

Aww, I loved reading Arlo’s birth story! I always, always, always get choked up when reading birth stories…giving birth is maybe the most amazing experience we as women are privileged to take part in, IMHO. Congratulations!!!

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35 Stella @ Stellicious Life October 28, 2016

Thank you for sharing Arlo’s birth story, I was waiting for it so much! You are an inspiration to see how one can give birth naturally, so thank you for sharing all your experience and tips (love the visualization technique that you used) and how great that Eric could help you in such an active way!

Arlo is adorable, and wow leaving the hospital right away, that’s brave! Congrats and hope you got some rest since then :-)

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36 Nancy October 27, 2016

Wow! what a wonderful story! and I still can’t believe that you went home on the same day! Congratulations again!

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37 Anna Lee October 25, 2016

This was so beautiful. I absolutely loved reading Adriana’s birth story, so I was antsy awaiting this one. Your “I decide when it’s time to go to the hospital” had my cracking up- I would have been saying the same thing but with a few choice words added to it haha. And how Eric broke the paging string, ha! Arlo is so precious looking. I hope your new family of four savors all the fantastic newborn moments these next few months will bring! (:

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38 Sarah S October 24, 2016

Thank you for sharing your birth story & pictures. They’re so beautiful they just melt my heart. I also got a good kick out of the string breaking & Eric covering your butt. Also wanted to say thank you for all your dedication & hard work on your blog! Your recipes are amazing & I love knowing that I am feeding my family nothing but the best!

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39 Sarahd October 24, 2016

What a super cool birth story! Congratulations!

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40 Ashley William October 23, 2016

What a beautiful birth story! I laughed and cried(pregnant). This is so encouraging. I’m due with our 2nd baby in May. I hope to have a non-induced unmedicated birth this time. I was induced and had an epidural with our son. I’ve researched a lot since then and I want a natural experience next time. Thank you for sharing the story of Arlo’s birth!!

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41 Sarah October 21, 2016

I don’t ever comment but have been reading your blog for over a year now. Just wanted to say congrats! Children are such a blessing and a heritage my third little guy was born exactly a year ago on Arlo’s birthday except my guy was born at 5:45pm and his due date was the 26th. Reading Arlo’s entry story it was neat to see how many similarities there were to my little guys entry a year ago. So glad everything went well and he and all are well. Thank you so much for sharing. May your family be blessed!!!!

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42 Angela October 21, 2016

OMG, I cried while reading this whole thing and I don’t even know you. I love your recipe blog though. Reading this story was really beautiful. Thanks for sharing this. For someone who doesn’t have any children it was really interesting to read such an honest description of these moments. Best wishes to you and your family.

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43 Crystal Mears October 20, 2016

Congratulations! I admire your strength. It’s really phenomenal! Thank you for sharing your story – I love reading about your experience with a midwife. I had to have an emergency c-section at 32 weeks and never got to feel anything remotely connected to labor, but I’m really hoping to have a redeeming experience with baby #2. Thanks again for sharing – it’s so inspirational!

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44 Karen October 20, 2016

Thank you for sharing your beautiful birth story and introducing us to baby Arlo! So happy for you and your family!

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45 Cassandre October 20, 2016

Thanks for sharing Arlo’s birth story Angela. I am due any day now and truly enjoyed reading your weekly updates and this birth story. Congratulations to you and your beautiful family!

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46 Sarah October 20, 2016

Reading this gave me all the feels! Anxiety, laughter, tears…I especially love the part where Eric covered your butt with a face cloth, lol!

I’m amazed at how great you look for just giving labor and am so happy it was quick. Arlo is absolutely beautiful. Congratulations to you both!!

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47 Maggie October 20, 2016

Ah! I cried! So Beautiful!

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48 Hannah October 20, 2016

Congrats Angela!!!! My husband and I have just started thinking about kids, and truly, the scariest part for me is the actual act of childbirth. Not just the physical process/pain, but all the decisions surrounding it about what’s best for myself and my (future) baby. Thank you for being so open with your journey and putting my mind somewhat at ease. Even though there’s no way to feel TOTALLY in control in the moment, it seems like having a plan (and speaking about it openly with your partner/birthing team) can really aid in making your experience the best it possibly can be for you. I’m so happy for you and your beautiful family <3!!!

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49 Hanna October 20, 2016

Congrats! He is just beautiful, and so is your story. Thank you for sharing that part of your life with us :) Just a fun fact – I totally have the same midwives as you (I’m due in the new year). Love them so much!

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50 AGS October 20, 2016

Congratulations – wonderful to hear how you met your sweet little boy!

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51 Chelsea Lee October 20, 2016

Congratulations !!! You are one very brave woman and your husband is super lovely.

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52 Cait October 19, 2016

So sweet, I visualised going up a mountain however I did not practice just went inside myself and would not answer. It really helped so not silly!

He is so beautiful and from Australia I wish you all the very best a fantastic story, it made me cry.

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53 Lauren October 19, 2016

Congratulations! I loved reading this as my 9 month old played at my feet. Reading your account of how Eric supported you was lovely. I was in the hospital for 4 days with no progress when I was told I needed to have a c-section and I was a mess. During the surgery I asked my husband to talk about all the places we’ve traveled to so I could visualize those places and ignore what was happening behind the curtain. It worked great!
Adriana looks so grown up! Such a little lady :)

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54 Nicole October 19, 2016

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your story. My second birth was also quick compared to my first. I didn’t have the pleasure of either labour starting on it’s own though. I did enjoy my 2nd natural-birth more than my first one with an epidural.

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55 Lindsay October 19, 2016

Congrats Angela! I have been a big fan of yours for a long time; love your website and cookbooks.
I really enjoyed Adriana’s birth story: I read it more than once before my own home birth six months ago. I had an amazing first experience, but even thinking about a subsequent birth makes me nervous (ignorance is bliss the first time I guess). Arlo’s birth story reminds me of how amazing and strong birth can make you feel though and I look forward to doing it again someday (maybe…;).
Hope you and your family are doing well and congrats again :)

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56 Nicole October 19, 2016

Congratulations on the birth of your son! Loved reading your birth story… I went from laughing to crying, back to laughing… Thanks for sharing!

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57 Melanie October 19, 2016

Congratulations Angela and family! My second daughter was born on Sept. 25th, nearly 2 weeks early, and I was looking forward to reading how your experience differed this time around! I found my second pregnancy harder, but delivery, breast feeding, sleep deprivation, etc. much easier this time! I’m cherishing every moment in a way I just couldn’t with my first as I tried to come to terms with the huge responsibility having a baby was, while not sleeping well, and crying through every painful feeding.. This time, I’ve got this! Bless you all and thanks for all the amazing recipes that will be feeding my family for the months to come.

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58 Kayla October 19, 2016

Congratulations! Best of luck to you guys! :)

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59 Kristi October 19, 2016

Congratulations!! What a beautiful birth story. I love your comment “Bold Move” when the other people got in the elevator! And so funny about Eric “having your back.”

I remember reading Adriana’s birth story as I was preparing to give birth. You really inspired me that natural childbirth was a real possibility, and I’m so grateful.

Wishing you all the best as you transition to life with 2!

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60 Kirsten October 19, 2016

Congratulations! What a great story. I had to stop by and read when I saw Joanna’s face, she delivered my daughter last year ?

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61 Jillian October 19, 2016

Beautiful story ?- So happy for you and your family and thanks for sharing!

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62 Connie October 19, 2016

Aw, that photo of Adriana with her baby brother is just precious! Hah, I love your comment about having it figured out perhaps by the time they move out. That’s my hope with my two as well (-: I actually kind of like that there is always a new situation that challenges me and I think it’s a strength for any parent to admit they may not know everything or they may have to rethink an approach. Your two are incredibly lucky to have you and Eric and I’m so happy for you all!

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63 Megan October 19, 2016

CONGRATULATIONS! Reading your story just made me cry. My son was “born with a scarf” too. I’m so happy for you. We left the hospital as soon as we could this time around, too. Sleeping in your own bed is just so much better! Sounds like little Arlo was ready to meet you ASAP. He’s adorable!

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64 Emilie October 19, 2016

Oh man I am 8 weeks away from having my second this made me cry! I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you are betraying the older child, but also being SO excited for newborn snuggles. Thanks for sharing!!

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65 Jessy October 19, 2016

Just found your blog and I love it already! I’m 20 weeks with my second and just found out we’re having a boy (we have a daughter already) and we’ve decided to name him Arlo as well! Great name!!!! Can’t wait to read more!

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66 Kate October 19, 2016

Congratulations Angela to you and all your wee family. What a great story to read. Lots of love from us here in Scotland.

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67 Katie October 19, 2016

Congratulations to you and your family! Thank you so much for sharing, I loved reading your story!

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68 Sonya October 19, 2016

Congratulations on the birth of beautiful Arlo! I have been a huge fan of your blog for years now, and how exciting it was for me to read that Joanna was your midwife. 20 months ago, she delivered my daughter Iris. She was so wonderful and so much of how you described this story brought me back to that life-changing day. Thank you!

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69 Julie October 19, 2016

This made me cry! We are thinking about #2 right now and I am super emotional/nervous about it. Congratulations <3

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70 Jackie October 19, 2016

Omg I cried. I’m 11 weeks with my second. Scared about everything. Thank you for sharing and congrats!

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71 Christine October 19, 2016

Congratulations. Thank you for sharing your birth story…it is beautiful… (I’m still crying and gooshy, and I’m not pregnant, lol).

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72 Jill October 19, 2016

Good work, he is beautiful! I understand that feeling when the oldest goes from looking like a baby to looking like a big kid overnight… and feeling like you are betraying them or are somehow disconnected from them. I read a great book called “Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings” by Dr Laura Markham when I brought baby #3 home. It really helped in our family’s transition, as it really helped me to empathize with my older kids. And I was able to read it in no time, given the constant nursing, hahah.
I hope you are gentle with yourself in these early days and mother yourself the way you would mother your kids. I also hope you have a fantastic support network if you need to reach out to anyone. I had postpartum depression with my first two (despite the encapsulated placenta everyone said would help, ha), and that is just so tough. Some good support (professional and loved ones) really carried me through in the darkest hours.
Sending happy thoughts for the days ahead! I know every family is different, but for me, going from one kid to two was like moving up to the varsity parenting team. :) You’re going to do awesome!! Congrats to your whole beautiful family!

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73 Truan October 18, 2016

Aww such a good birth story! Congratulations! I’m expecting a little boy in just over 2 months and your story had me excited and terrified! xxx

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74 Your Partner in Passion Kait October 18, 2016

I literally jumped off the couch and screamed, “THE BIRTH STORY IS UP!” when I saw your instagram stories post! I laughed, I cried, I gasped, and my beau was like, “everything alright over there?!”

Love love love you’re birth stories and transparency about this process. Thank you so much!

And congratulations again!!!!

xo

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75 Jennifer DeGowske October 18, 2016

Beautiful!! <3

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76 New mom October 18, 2016

Congratulations! I just had a baby too (2 mos old little girl!), and I hear ya about the hormones and trying to find personal balance. I recommend you read Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman. It’s about the differences between Anglophone and French parenting. It’s a fun read (during nap times or quiet breastfeeding sessions!) and helped me reflect on how much it can help my own child if I was easier on myself too. Our approach to parenting can get a bit imbalanced in English-speaking countries! Anyway, sounds like you have quite a lot on your plate – wish you the best of luck, and looking forward to more posts on Arlo and Adriana! I loved following your pregnancy as I went through my own :)

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77 Shannon Pendleton October 18, 2016

Congratulations Angela, Eric, and Adriana! I love your recipes bit I also love reading about your family, so thank you so much for sharing your birth story! Much love to you and your family! ❤

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78 Julie October 18, 2016

Congratulations! Great birth story. I had my second son sept 9 also with a midwife/natural birth. The one thing I wasn’t prepared for and am still struggling with is how much you “miss” your older child. Newborns take up so much time, particularly with nursing! I find my older son is much more daddy’s boy as I don’t have the time or arms to do things. I know it’ll change as the baby gets older but for sure tough. If you’re feeling that way too you’re not alone!

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79 Jess October 18, 2016

As a new mama I feel such a connection to this post. What an amazing story. Congratulations and thank you for sharing this with us!

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80 Jessica October 18, 2016

Loved reading every word of this. Congrats to you and your family!

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81 Kaylie Northrup October 18, 2016

So, you came home from the hospital 5 hours after delivery AND you had movie star hair after giving birth = you kind of beat Kate Middleton on that one!! Thanks for sharing your birth story– it was so cool to read! Congrats on your new bundle, and I’m loving your cookbook!

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82 Jen October 18, 2016

Wow. I am not a baby person at all – hardly a maternal instinct in me (except where our cats are concerned, lol) – but Arlo’s birth story actually has me sitting here teary eyed! Congratulations on your beautiful little boy! Um, if there’s a next time, could you please not look quite so stunning after delivery? I don’t look that gorgeous even after putting in serious effort, lol. Congrats again – I hope the little guy is letting everyone get some sleep!

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83 Johanna October 18, 2016

Oh, wow, what a great birth story, thank you for sharing! Congratulations on your beautiful newborn and your lovely family!
I’m due for end of March, first time pregnant. Hopefully it will relatively peaceful as well :)

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84 Barbara October 18, 2016

Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing this beautiful and happy event. I know that you are enjoying these precious days!

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85 Kristen October 18, 2016

What a beautiful birth story and a beautiful family! I’m expecting a baby boy next spring and I have a little girl who will be just shy of two when he makes his arrival (similar to your family!) I’m so happy to hear that everyone is doing well!

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86 Sue October 18, 2016

Thanks so much for sharing. I was hoping you would!! Enjoy your beautiful family and be good to Angela.☺ Congratulations.

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87 Anne October 18, 2016

So happy he’s here and everyone is happy and healthy! My little guy was due 3 days ago so I’m getting anxious, I wish we had the laughing gas here in the US! That’s the best part of getting a cavity filled at the dentist! :) anyway, congratulations again and hope you guys are getting into a great routine! Also made the banana bread, delicious, my husband polished off a half loaf himself!

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88 Julie October 18, 2016

I’ve been checking every day for Arlo’s birth story! :) And what an amazing story it is! I can’t believe you were home 4 hrs after you left!!! I don’t think your visualization technique is silly at all; I think it’s brilliant! I actually remember during my Lamaze class (17 yrs ago!) that they told us to try to visualize a calm, happy place during labor. Obviously this worked for you – you did an amazing job! And it sounds like Eric was a HUGE help (other than the call string snafoo… LOL!). Many congrats on your beautiful little boy!

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89 Iliana October 18, 2016

What a wonderful, magical (and FAST) birth story! So many congratulations to you, Eric and Adriana. He is beautiful <3

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90 Reiki Nurse October 18, 2016

Congratulations to you all! Welcome to the world, Little Angel! Beautiful family, Angela! I’m so very happy for you all <3

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