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  • Sharona Steed

Home Birth of Solomon

Preparing for Baby #3

A year was beginning to sneak up on me quickly, and I realized Sali’s birth story had still not been written. The birth of a third child may seem like a minor blip on the horizon, especially when it’s a repeat home birth that gratefully was uneventful outside the main event, but I feel that each birth deserves to be documented and memorialized. Perhaps I will edit the video footage someday. Most of the birth photos included were taken by Bree Garcia of J&B Photography. (Bree did not disapoint!)

My third pregnancy went about the same for me physically as the other two. The usual nausea, heartburn, musculoskeletal discomforts and so on accompanied the anticipation of welcoming a new little being into our family, but staying active (may a barefoot lap around the sand volleyball court) and our little above-ground swimming pool helped me cope. What was different was doing it all through a pandemic, while dry tandem nursing two older kids and while worrying about whether my hormone levels would sustain the pregnancy after having gone through fertility treatment to conceive. (Low progesterone at the beginning of the pregnancy combined with hellish lingering pain from PIO shots made for a rocky start.) This is what much of 2020 looked like for our family.

My midwife Lindsey Meehleis accommodated my request to be seen outdoors, and provided the same phenomenal care for body, mind as spirit as she did while I was expecting Wolf. Brittney Cicon took these pictures two days before I went into labor with Sali. Brittney alleviated my SI and SPD pregnancy woes - a HUGE thank you! And a shoutout also to my physical therapist Karis Wong and to pelvic floor specialist Whitney Sippl for the work they both did with me during pregnancy and postpartum.

Robert documented the whole pregnancy week by week, with "week 1," as I was beginning a new round of fertility injections. (You wouldn't guess it, but the only thing he despises more than taking pictures is being in them - so an extra THANK YOU for that and for making me laugh the whole way through, even as we pencil-whipped it toward the end!)

A few maternity pictures from our studio - once again, THANK YOU, ROBERT!

Testing out the birth pool and playing midwifery (this time Wolf was convinced he was carrying a baby, as Adiya had been when I was pregnant with him):

Lead Up to Labor

T minus 2 days: After what would be my last prenatal appointment, I took an afternoon nap in the kids’ bedroom since Wolf was napping in our bed next to Robert, which should have been a clue for me that labor was not far off. Late that night, while watching an eerie episode of "Hunters" with Robert, I found myself hoping dearly that labor would not start that night as I was overtired and enduring a headache. Thankfully I was spared!

T minus 1 day: I fell asleep with Wolf on the bean bag for a 1.5 hour nap. (Napping is rare for both of us.) Robert was convinced he knew what the naps were all about. I laughed, but did remember how tired I was the day before my last labor.

Evening before labor began: I took a 2.5 hour walk while mostly listening in on a heartfelt and eye opening conversation, followed by an additional 2 hour walk with my friend Karin with whom I enjoy walking and talking, and who got to feel the tightness of a strong BH contraction during our walk. In total I walked over 9 miles, and Robert told me he was going to pull a couple things down from the rafters, including the birth pool, to be a bit more prepared. I giggled, not as convinced that labor was really THAT close. He always knows. I picked up a pine cone on my walk, thinking about the baby I was getting ready to meet.

Early & Active Labor

7am (at 38+6 weeks gestation based on an early ultrasound, the exact gestational age I’ve gone into labor each time based on early ultrasounds for all three): My mucous plug and bloody show released with a plop and woke me up quickly - GAME ON! Robert told the kids as he got Wolf dressed that we were likely to have a baby that day. Adiya and Wolf began setting up the living room for what was to come.

7:26am I nursed the kids as per our usual morning routine, hoping nursing would help my labor move steadily along.

7:57am Robert sent me a silly text quoting what he must have said to Wolf, who at the time maintained a fantasy involving several Dads which read “'Wolf please tell your Dad he may not come to the birth.'”

8:18am I kicked off the day with a shower and a blow dry as I had the morning I started labor with Wolf. This time I was keenly aware of time passing and my productivity between contractions, as I had recalled in my previous labor feeling like I had all the time in the world when I wasn't contracting only to be hit with reality when a new contraction began. I would continue timing contractions with my phone well after my birth team arrived just as I had done with my first two, as though I didn't trust this was the real deal unless I was staring at numbers that confirmed it. Adiya brought over some books to read me.

8:30am I came downstairs to find Adiya placing a weight inside a plastic bag for the GoPro and Wolf inflating the birth pool with the electric pump. Wolf said to me “Mommy, if you do give labor, then maybe it will say ‘Thank you for letting me out!’” He also said “Mommy, uh, hopefully you’re not giving birth to twins…Hopefully you do not have twins in your stomach, because it would have to stay in longer.” Adiya and Wolf weren’t interested in attending their Outschool (virtual) classes for the day (Irish dance, German, oil pastels, etc.) Neither wanted anything to do with that which wasn’t directly related to my labor. Both kids helped Robert inflate and fill the birth tub. And happy helpers they were!

9:30am I braided Adiya’s hair up, pausing between contractions. It was nice having something to focus on. In the meantime Adiya worked on some birth art depicting pink smiling babies attached to placentas.

10am My photographer Bree arrived. I was thrilled that she came relatively early in my labor. She was 1.5 hours away and I felt good knowing that my labor would be well documented. Bree left to get some breakfast once she got her things set up.

10:29am Wolf was happily climbing and sliding down our backyard play set slide when I pointed out his socks lying on the grass. Robert reminded Wolf that he had been told to put them away and sent Wolf to the stairs for a “time out” (where Wolf counts or responds to some simple math problems and then his infraction is discussed and then remedied). He must have perceived some injustice and began crying bitterly. After a short lag Adiya began crying equally pitifully. I knew right away that her cry was in sympathy for him, and I wanted to change the mood for the day, and decided it would be a good time for a walk with the kids while Robert showered. Before that though, I invited Adiya and Wolf over to tandem nurse in the bean bag, hoping to help move things along. Nobody protested that arrangement!

10:46am I took Adiya and Wolf to the small grassy area near our house where the kids have celebrated several birthdays, practiced riding their bicycles, taken weekly pregnancy photos with me, etc. The kids went right over to the foliage to dig in the dirt and pick up sticks and rolly pollies. By the time we left they had amassed quite the collection of the little creatures. Adiya handed me a multicolored leaf and called it a “sunset leaf” and we all did what Wolf named “pump-squats” together (repeated squats with knees turned out) each time I had a contraction (which Wolf called “interactions”) as we did laps on the path around the grass.

11:23am I returned home with the kids from Trellis Park, and found that Bree had returned from her outing.

11:58am Apparently there was a Bear Bite balancing act in progress on while I labored!

12:03pm I wrote in permanent marker on our bathroom calendar for the day “Baby Day?”

12:08pm I began doing some stair climbing with the kids in hopes of keeping the contractions rolling, stopping on the landings to do “pump-squats” with them. At this point contractions were mostly under two minutes apart and approaching a minute long.

12:26pm My doula Bethany Ewers arrived and brought a fern she had picked up for me for its symbolism, and began working her magic through calming words and gentle touch.

12:43pm Adiya brought over her Hooked on Phonics book to read me an apropos story about a boy who had just found out he had a baby sister while Bethany put my hair up into lovely wrap-around braids.

1:06pm Adiya drew some more illustrations, for me, Bree and Bethany, depicting the pink baby and a red cervix in the process of opening, with another image of baby, upside down, getting ready to descend through the open cervix. I sent a message to my midwife Lindsey M “Contractions are picking up a bit.” She asked how far apart they were (2 minutes) and whether my doula was here (yes). She said she was close by and to keep her posted.

1:12pm A pandemic kiss!!

1:15pm I nursed Wolf in the bean bag and soaked in some extra snuggles knowing he wouldn’t be my littlest for long, and that the new child would bring about a shift in family dynamics. (Older siblings tend to seem much older and bigger suddenly when a baby is born!) I also took the time to admire the items I had carefully collected for my “birth altar,” items meant to help me feel the presence of people who could only be there in spirit due to death or distance. Included were some treasures that were once my Dad’s. After that, my friend Lindsey Adler in Colorado connected via FaceTime to wish me well, another boost for me, and for the kids who love seeing her and her animals. Next it was Adiya's turn to nurse. She knew full well what to expect having a new sibling due to arrive soon, and soon to share milkies with, and I knew that soon the queue would grow by one, which she seemed to accept gracefully.

1:42pm Robert got me onto Zoom with Lindsay A in Colorado, to offer some words of encouragement.

1:52pm I was working through contractions with the assistance of big and little hands and hearts. At this point my contractions were strong but manageable.

2:33pm Adiya showed me some illustrations from the Pregnancy Book she had made me at the very beginning of my pregnancy, a day before my first faint positive HCG test. At the time I had been suffering with miserable pain following my progesterone shots and the book brought some light into a dark period of limbo. Her fun pictures gave me a smile in labor too, as I remembered what it took to achieve this pregnancy.

2:37pm Robert and Wolf had some fun rolling my big green birth ball back and forth across the living room floor. Adiya took Robert’s place, and I decided to join in for a little while. At some point Wolf bumped into a doorpost while chasing the ball and began crying, and came to me asking for milkies. I nursed him while Adiya ran to grab him our frozen “Boo boo bear,” which, along with milkies, has helped soothe bumps and bruises since Adiya’s infancy. I continued to have more bloody show each time I used the bathroom, which I tried to do often.

2:51pm I cleaned off my feet as I had done during Wolf's labor, for photos' sake!

3:02pm Adiya and Wolf had some food just before my dear friend Barbie Lucas arrived. She had darted over after her own daughter’s anatomy scan, and once she was present I felt a wave of peace rush over me. Barbie had been at my two previous births as well and has been my rock alongside Robert for the others, as I knew she would be for this one as well.

I found that I preferred to move around at will away from the spotlight. I loved the playful chatter and laughter from the kids. My noise sensitivity was virtually non-existent this labor. The light chatter and laughter boosted my mood and focus, and I was able to go inward, assured that my kids had their needs met. At one point between contractions I asked where the birth ball was, remembering a moment later that Barbie and Wolf had last been playing with it in the entryway. Bethany asked if I wanted her to get it back and I said definitely not. I was thrilled the kids were having so much fun, and I knew I had lots of other options for objects to lean on and positions to get into. I used low tones and controlled breathing as I shuffled myself around the open space of our downstairs living area between contractions, and posted up against whatever surface seemed inviting as a contraction would begin.

3:48pm Labor had been progressing steadily, at a lovely pace - not so slowly as to be aggravating, but not so quickly as to feel out of control. Lindsey M, who had been waiting for me to give the word that I was ready for her to come, suggested by text that I take another walk, and I began feeling like people were waiting around for me to progress, from close and far. I acknowledged to myself that I need not internalize any pressure, but keeping active actually felt good, and gave me a sense of mastery over my labor. My labor would notably intensify when I intentionally moved my body and nursed my older kids, and would plateau when I was more sedentary, and I liked that feeling of control. Bethany asked if I wanted to take another walk, and I said sure, why not? The idea of a walk morphed into a quick little driveway run, and then I joked about doing a mini triathlon in labor since my plan was to get in the birth pool later on.

3:53pm I grabbed my bicycle shoes and decided to ditch the helmet since I was just planning to take a few spins in the driveway and didn’t want to mess up my braids. Despite my bulging stomach and having to stop and lean over my bicycle for contractions, that ride was absolute bliss. I had so missed the wind in my face and the freedom of graceful self-propelled movement. I was reminded of my endurance rides, recalling both the toil and the euphoria. Though short, this ride would be turn out to be one of my favorite rides ever, made extra special with my kids' company and Barbie (also an endurance rider) helping me ride out my contractions.

Transition & Pushing

4:08pm The bicycle ride and other outdoor activities seemed to boost the progress of my labor. As soon as I came indoors, I got on all fours and closed my eyes as I breathed steadily through contractions, verbalizing with low tones. Between contractions I turned my attention to Wolf while I was leaning up against the birth pool, as he had written the capital letters “W” “A” and “N” and wanted to know what he had spelled. Those were the best formed letters Wolf had written on his own up to that point. The kids were pleased to have another round of milkies.

4:32pm Lindsey M arrived and her assistant set up quickly. Lindsey came right in and checked baby’s heart rate and my vitals. Contractions were strong and required my full attention.

4:35pm Birth ball play continued!

4:38pm Contractions kept up their steady rhythm, and Robert caught a few candids.

4:41pm I marveled at the small pine cone I had picked up on the sidewalk the night before. To me the pine cone represented my unborn baby and gave me a focal point for a couple contractions. Robert squeezed my hips with his knees and Adiya brought over a lavender-oil doused washcloth. (The smell of lavender has been a strong birth panacea for me since my first doula introduced it on a warm washcloth at Adiya's birth 6.5 years earlier.)

5:02pm I got into the birth pool after asking if I could. (I’m not sure why I bothered asking!) I knew this part of labor well, where it completely overtakes and overwhelms you. As this was my third labor, I knew that I could and would push through this (thought I wasn't so sure I WANTED to), but the mighty sensation was nonetheless astounding and confounding. Not long after entering the birth pool, I was aware that I had instinctively begun the slightest bit of grunting, much sooner than seemed plausible given that I had just gotten off my bicycle and was used to this phase of labor seeming to take an eternity. I noticed something change during a contraction, and I verbalized as much. Bethany asked if I wanted to reach down and feel the head, which I did. It felt soft and fuzzy.

5:16pm During a contraction, my bag of waters popped loudly enough for me and the others in the room to hear, and for me and those pressing on my hips to feel. I verbalized several times from that moment that I was scared. I was suddenly gripped with memories of this portion of labor, remembering it would be was long, hard work, of the type you couldn’t take a break from - the most intense sensation imaginable. It feels impossible. But to my surprise, it was a much shorter sprint this time to the finish line.

I noticed during a pushing contraction that my legs felt weak, almost tingly - not a welcomed sensation. Adiya and Wolf were eagerly watching from behind, knowing they would shortly see a head emerge. My sweet Adiya pressed on my lower back as she knew I needed.

5:30pm I was only minimally aware at that time that my Aunt Carol was watching from Northern California and my friend Lindsey A from Colorado, but I'm thrilled they were both able to make it!

5:25pm Bree, who could tell by the quality of my moans and grunts that a baby was likely to show up soon, went to get Robert, who was busy manning cameras and communications, so he could adjust himself accordingly. Robert was apparently used to this phase of labor being much more drawn out. As I'm typing this up a year later he shared that day's communications with my sister Raina. (Time stamps are for Vienna.)

5:30pm Robert was squeezing my hips firmly with his knees from a standing position, and I was was on all fours with my arms crossed over the birth pool. Robert stopped squeezing, thinking for some (unimaginable!!) reason that I didn’t need any more pressure for that contraction, and I urgently yelled out to him to not stop. (The double hip squeeze has felt like a primal need for me in all three labors.)

Delivery of Baby & Placenta

5:34pm Bethany suggested I put one knee up to facilitate baby’s head coming forward instead of back out behind me, making it easier for me to catch, something I had expressed a strong interest in doing this time all throughout my pregnancy. I had envisioned giving birth in a squatting position, but kept an open mind about my expectations, knowing that kneeling over the side of the birth pool was the position I instinctively birthed in the last time. I was keenly aware of just how little I cared in the moments before birth the last two times about anything other than being done pushing the baby out. (At Adiya’s birth, when it was suggested to me to reach down and catch my baby, I yelled out “Just get it!” At Wolf’s birth, I was just glad that Robert was behind me to catch.)

Unlike at Wolf’s birth, where the baby’s shoulders required a renewed pushing effort to release the rest of his body, once this baby’s head was out and I announced as much, the body was quick to follow (a relief!)”. I reached down and felt a fuzzy head and baby’s back in the water, which intrigued me. It didn’t feel at all like skin. I felt the remainder shoot out, and I immediately pulled baby out of the water. The moment felt surreal in part because it came far sooner than I imagined so I was sort of stunned. I had the wherewithal to request then that no one announce the gender (as I had done at Wolf’s birth), though I had been convinced it was a boy for months based on a slip from the ultrasound tech at baby’s anatomy scan at 20 weeks pregnant. (“You may want to look away. This baby is really good at showing its gender.”) I also think I overheard one of the kids refer to baby as “He” just after birth too. I looked down and confirmed it was a boy. (Wolf told Adiya the next day “I wanted it to be ‘Sali, even if you were correct [i.e. that it was a girl, a prediction Adiya made at the beginning of my pregnancy].” For months Adiya and Wolf continued to refer to Sali as “it” since the gender was unknown before birth. The Hebrew song "Ki v'simcha teitzei-u u'shalom tuvalun" ("For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace...") was playing when Sali emerged, which seems rather fitting.

This baby looked so much like Wolf, especially with me cradling the back of his head in the water, and between the similarities in looks and the seemingly short duration of transition and pushing, I didn’t feel the instant bond that some some people describe, but I suppose I didn’t with either of my first two either. In some respects all babies are still strangers at birth. It only took a few minutes each time for me to grow smitten though, and that feeling has only continued to intensify with the passage of time. Barbie took this picture moments after I brought Sali up through the water.

Someone asked the name, and I announced it was “Sali,“ named after my Great Grandfather Sali Guggenheim, whom I took some time to learn more about during my pregnancy, as I dug into the story of my Father’s life. Sali means “My rock,” and is short for Solomon, derived from the Hebrew word “Shalom” which means “peace.” I also have fond memories singing the song “Sali um’tzudosi um’falti li” (“My rock and my fortress and my savior…”) in my childhood, and I‘ve sung it many times to Sali since his birth.

Adiya and Wolf showered their new little brother with love and kisses, and welcomed Sali into our family officially, while the birth team quietly monitored to make sure baby and I were thriving.

We all got a kick out of Wolf having a grand timing swimming in the birth pool. He's not one to pass up an opportunity to enjoy himself!

6:13pm Sali had been in no hurry to open his eyes in the birth pool after his birth. It seemed like perhaps he hadn't yet realized he'd been born! His first time nursing was a near non-event for him as he was so placid, unwilling or uninterested in concerning himself with the goings on around him. A lazy suckle here and there were as much effort as he would lend to my primary mission: GET THE PLACENTA OUT!!!

I absolutely love this photo of my older kids bonding with their new brother.

My after birth contractions continued to be strong and unrelenting (which seems to be my norm), and the placenta took awhile to be ready for me to release it. It had been my strong desire to stay in the birth pool this time until my placenta came out since I wanted to avoid feeling so exposed lying on the couch as I had last time. I had a strong desire to be in control of this part of labor, just as I had wanted no help with stage 2.

6:50pm It must have been evident that I was struggling with the seemingly endless barrage of after-birth contractions (not notably less intense than before baby came out), so Lindsey asked if I wanted to gently feel if the placenta was ready after I had tried nursing and bearing down seemingly to no avail. I gently tugged at the now white and limp cord and it didn’t budge. A few minutes later I tried again, and someone mentioned that the placenta was likely stuck behind my pubic bone. Pulling downward did not work, and I decided to stand up up to see if that would help, with baby in my arms and cord still intact. After another several minutes, Lindsey told me that getting out the placenta would likely help with the contractions, and I agreed to let her give it a gentle tug. She finally released it and I had a small break, but then the contractions were back with a rigor. I gladly took some AfterEase and Advil. (My placenta emerged 1.5 hours after I gave birth to Sali.)

I'm particularly fond of this image Bree took of Baby Sali still connected to the placenta which had sustained him for most of the nine months prior as he grew inside me, providing his growing body the blood, nutrition, hydration, filtration and a appropriate hormonal levels needed to sustain his life, growth and development.

Robert captured this series, including Wolf offering me a Cheerio he had prepared for me in a dental floss container months earlier labeled “Doula Wolf.”

7:02pm After marveling over our new baby in the birth tub, and the older kids having cast many affections on him, Robert finally got to hold Sali for the first time.

Postpartum & Beyond

7:05pm I exited the birth pool and decided to indulge Wolf and nurse him on the bean bag after exiting the birth pool before heading upstairs to our bed, even though my birth team tried to dissuade me from making the pit stop in order to keep the show rolling in the right direction, but Wolf’s request had been earnest and I knew that he needed to feel that closeness and comfort right then. I could sense the transition would be hardest on him as the next youngest child, and he seemed to really soak up that time with just me. (To this day it’s challenging for him to find space on my lap without his little brother crawling all over him to secure his own spot.)

7:10PM We all headed upstairs so that I could be tucked into bed and baby could be examined.

7:25pm Sali's "cheese" (vernix) was so thick, I thought it might make a good cracker smear! I let Sali go through the motions of the breast crawl for awhile (incredible to watch), and he got another chance to practice nursing.

7:59pm Robert picked up the Nikon again, knowing how much I would cherish these pictures for years to come. I asked him to take one including my photographer Bree (in the yellow shirt) since she deserves to be seen. (Clearly I'm smitten with her work!)

8:02pm My wonderful birth team!

8:14pm Sali's last moments connected to his placenta - another knockout photo from Bree!

8:16pm Nearing three hours after Sali’s birth, Lindsey M clamped the then very white and limp cord. Given the choice of cutting or burning the cord, Adiya opted to cut, and Wolf to burn with a beeswax candle. Adiya had a go at cutting through the then very white cord (not easy!), leaving a little bit attached for Wolf to work on. Wolf got started burning the cord with Robert, and I decided to lend a hand too. (I was still in the throws of contractions at the time and feeling rather protective of the new little guy!) Robert and Wolf finished the job with the scissors. We inspected the two arteries and single vein inside.

8:24pm “During the newborn exam, Wolf said “I like that we got this baby.” While holding down Sali’s arms on the bed to provide comfort while waiting for Lindsey M to set up the hanging scale to weigh Sali, Robert commented “This is a baby that responds favorably to singing and shushing.” I asked “Are you sure he’s ours?” Robert “I think we might have a unicorn after all. Are you sure this is the one you caught?” I said “I don’t know. Maybe they switched them out in the hospital.” (Sali has since lost his official unicorn status, and currently upholds the status of a Tasmanian Devil, or affectionately "Taz.")

8:25pm Lindsey M weighed Sali, who I guessed was 8lbs even. (During pregnancy I had guessed baby would weight a little more than Wolf, who was 7lbs, 9oz and 19.5", but everyone commented that this baby looked “big,” so I took that into consideration.) Sali was my biggest and longest newborn, at 7lbs 12oz and 20” long. (Adiya was tiny, at 5lbs, 6oz and 18.5”.)

8:25pm Robert and I took a few minutes to admire our little guy and take in all that had transpired over the last 13+ hours.

8:42pm Wolf tenderly held Sali for the first time, reminding me of Adiya holding him for the first time 3.5 years earlier. Next, Adiya held Sali. She was so sweet and nurturing.

8:42pm Look at those precious roles! What a wonder that just a couple hours before he had still been inside me.

8:54pm Wolf got to tandem nurse with Sali for the first time, introducing a new level of closeness with his little brother. Wolf and Adiya took turns resting their hands on Sali while I tandem nursed the boys. (Thank heavens nursing aversion hasn’t been quite as strong with the older kids during and after my third pregnancy as it has been around the time of my second, though still no walk in the park.)

A few detail shots of Sali:

Robert took a quiet moment to hold and admire his new son.

9:13pm Adiya helped me get Sali dressed for the first time, in the outfit the kids had helped me make. Adiya had drawn an airplane with a baby and pilot, airplane barreling down through an open cervix to fly the baby out. Wolf had drawn a house with separate rooms for each of us, including the new baby. I had forgotten to reverse the letters of “Baby Steed” so they would come out in the correct orientation after ironing, but had laughed to myself at the time that it would be forgiven since this would be my third baby.

10:07pm With Sali asleep on my chest and Adiya falling asleep next to me, a very tired Wolf asked sadly for me to get him ready for bed and put him to sleep, a feat I needed to partially delegate to Robert given the baby on my chest and still very strong after birth contractions. Wolf started to unravel, and I realized that he was overtired and likely hungry, and offered him some more of his tuna wrap from his dinner. He fell asleep leaning toward the wrap in my hand, attempting to get his second bite. (I ended up finishing his wrap, my first post-birth meal.) A few minutes later, Robert lifted him up and brought him to bed. He barely opened his eyes along the way. I was glad he had gotten milkies in the bean bag en route birth pool to the bed upstairs after Sali was born. Though still “dry nursing” at that point before my milk came in a couple days later, the ritual and the closeness are still very important to him, especially at bedtime.

And one more - a beautiful spiralina placenta print from Bethany.

T plus one week: Adiya and Wolf helped with the ritual disassembly of the birth pool after I had had a week to admire the incredible feat that had just occured inside. Adiya added an illustrated instruction sheet for folding it to fit back into its box. With everything packed away, Sali's birth began to take a backseat to life with three, but it will forever be stored with my dearest memories.

Here are a few pictures from early postpartum checkup visits. If all women received this level of care surrounding the births of their children, I think the world would be a better place!

We took a final picture for the pregnancy series, with Sali 3 days old, at what would have been 39+2 of my pregnancy, also featuring the animals we all gave Sali as welcome gifts.

Here are some of my favorite newborn photos of Sali from our studio.

And one very last series..I promise!!

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