It was a brutal 2 and 3/4 hours, with Laura working hard during every contraction. I’m very proud of Laura, who didn’t have any pain medication. But, at 10:44 pm on 8/7/2009, Athena Madeline roared into the world weighing in at a whopping 8 lbs 8 oz and a respectable 20 inches. She has lovely dark brown hair, and a striking dark spot of a birth mark on her right thigh.

Much to her mother’s relief, Athena has taken to breastfeeding like a pro, needing little to no coaxing to get started and stay latched.

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