Elizabeth Vick knew that the contractions she'd been having for the last month were normal. The official name for them is "Braxton Hicks," after the nineteenth-century doctor who first recorded the intermittent uterine spasms that often accompany the final trimester of pregnancy. But Elizabeth liked to think of the involuntary cramps as "baby hugs," a more maternal-sounding term that she'd picked up from an online forum, one evoking an image of two little infant arms giving reassuring squeezes to her womb. Photos pasted in a journal charted the growth of her belly month by month as it ballooned from the center of her 95-pound frame like a... More >>>
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Feel the painless: Laura Shanley is considered the foremost authority in the freebirth movement.