The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers has announced the winners of their 2017 contest, and the photos they chose show the struggles mothers go through to bring new life into the world, and the sheer joy that follows.

We took your breath away with last year's contest, and these new photos will leave you even more amazed. Each one tells a story of pain, perseverance, and finally, relief. They document a baby's first moments of life, and a family's first moments of unity.

Many of the photos below are intense and graphic, so reader discretion is advised. They are all, however, powerful in their own unique ways.

More info: IAPBB

#1

I've Been Waiting For You

I've Been Waiting For You

Vanessa Mendez Birth Photography Report

Birchy Cat
Community Member
4 years ago

The emotion

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#2

Best In Category: Birth Details, Pieces Of Me

Best In Category: Birth Details, Pieces Of Me

Kourtnie Scholz Report

Arty
Community Member
4 years ago

Is this still the placenta? :o

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#3

Best In Category: Postpartum, Straight From Heaven

Best In Category: Postpartum, Straight From Heaven

Natasha Hance – Birth Unscripted Report

Maria Lazaridou
Community Member
4 years ago

So serene..

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#4

That First Gaze

That First Gaze

Peanuts and Parents Report

mother
Community Member
4 years ago

Newborn has an eyes of an older soul...

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#5

Skin To Skin Today. Heart To Heart Always

Skin To Skin Today. Heart To Heart Always

Catherine Brown Birth & Lifestyle Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

Jesus. What's our society coming to?! That kid's WAY too young to be a parent.

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#6

Falling In Love All Over Again

Falling In Love All Over Again

KEDocumentary Report

Kristen Hdz
Community Member
4 years ago

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Uh, that baby's blue

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#7

Are You My Mama?

Are You My Mama?

Jennifer Mason Photography Report

Sheriann Luckie
Community Member
4 years ago

Great neck control at just a few minutes old. The neck control comes weeks after birth. Strong baby.

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#8

Best In Category: Delivery, With A Splash

Best In Category: Delivery, With A Splash

Elizabeth Farnsworth Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the Slip n' Slide!

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#9

Freshly Squeezed

Freshly Squeezed

Apple Blossom Families Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

AHHH!!! Oh well...I didn't feel like sleeping anyway.

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#10

First Place Winner. Road To Deliverance

First Place Winner. Road To Deliverance

Jaydene Freund – Cradled Creations Report

Candace Wiggins
Community Member
4 years ago

I hope they made it to the hospital.

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#11

Honorable Mentions. Catching Her Baby, Born Via Surrogacy

Honorable Mentions. Catching Her Baby, Born Via Surrogacy

Leilani Rogers, Photographer Report

Caterina Fontana
Community Member
4 years ago

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So terribly sad

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#12

Absorb

Absorb

Bailey Nicole Photography Report

Janice Takashima
Community Member
4 years ago

I'm surprised there are no comments here. I had the strongest emotional reaction to this photo. The image of encircling and comforting arms and hands around the new life with the potential for the same encircling and comfort. This photo tells a great story.

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#13

The End: A New Beginning

The End: A New Beginning

Caryn Scanlan Photography Report

Nancy Arnold
Community Member
4 years ago

Tears of joy x

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#14

The First Look

The First Look

Amber Denae Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

AHHH!!! PUT ME BACK!!!

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#15

Honorable Mentions. Approaching Life

Honorable Mentions. Approaching Life

Deborah Elenter Report

Lilya
Community Member
4 years ago

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🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢

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#16

Honorable Mentions. Surprise

Honorable Mentions. Surprise

KimBerly E. Photography Report

Stacey Jenks
Community Member
4 years ago

He's still in the bag. Amazing!

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#17

Honorable Mentions. Joyful Finale

Honorable Mentions. Joyful Finale

Elise Hurst Photography Report

Bunnies are better!!
Community Member
4 years ago

Her face says it all

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#18

Honorable Mentions. As She Rose From The Depths

Honorable Mentions. As She Rose From The Depths

Tree of Life Doula Photography Report

Inga Indi
Community Member
4 years ago

And already smiling😍

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#19

Honorable Mentions. Hello Before Goodbye

Honorable Mentions. Hello Before Goodbye

Sarah Boccolucci Photography Report

Karen Sipes
Community Member
4 years ago

That also happened to my son in law. He had several brain surgeries just to stay alive so he could see his daughter be born. He lived for 3 weeks after she was born.

Clare Holland
Community Member
4 years ago

I am so sorry

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Rachel Nunnally
Community Member
4 years ago

Lasse if you see this, there was a news story about this picture, the man is dying of brain cancer and he is the baby's dad. She delivered early for him and he was in a hospital bed beside hers during the delivery. He died within days of his only child being born and was able to fulfill his only wish; to hold his baby before he passed.

Laura Keddie
Community Member
4 years ago

This made me cry when I realised what was happening. So sad but also so wonderful, he got to meet his baby before he had to leave the world

ollieali
Community Member
4 years ago

this is... </3.. im in tears

Angela Gilinger
Community Member
4 years ago

😭😭😭😭

Rita Hellberg
Community Member
4 years ago

Such a sad and beautiful moment.

Måriøn Iđkerdø
Community Member
4 years ago

So sad...

Courtney Lynn
Community Member
4 years ago

He had cancer.

Erica Cohen
Community Member
4 years ago

The circle of life

Sarah Morren
Community Member
4 years ago

His head is bandaged, maybe he was sick and losing his battle with life? Beautiful tragedy to say the least 😢

Amanda Harper
Community Member
4 years ago

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/dad-dying-brain-cancer-cradles-8946533

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Vix Arnold
Community Member
4 years ago

Beautiful 💗

Christina Blackwell
Community Member
1 year ago

This should have won!! Wow, honestly made me cry.... RIP.

Eta Naiyaga
Community Member
3 years ago

😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢

Lyn Limpert
Community Member
3 years ago

Sad

Svv Slagmolen
Community Member
3 years ago

💕💖🙏

Iceroyalmilktea
Community Member
3 years ago

this makes me teary eyed after reading the story behind it.

Andrea Staley
Community Member
3 years ago

Glad he got to hold his baby... and the baby will have this photo...very sweet and sad...

Sarah Harshman
Community Member
3 years ago

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/09/29/dad-with-cancer-travels-from-icu-to-delivery-room-for-sons-birt_a_21482900/

Shannon Lasovich
Community Member
3 years ago

???

DT Wetzel
Community Member
3 years ago

looks like the man had a brain surgery, so maybe he was saying hello before goodbye. Really bitter sweet.

Sherin Sh
Community Member
3 years ago

This has me in tears...

Laura Zaini
Community Member
3 years ago

This made me cry so much

Nils Fox
Community Member
3 years ago

why does his mama wear sunglasses?

Tara Kinney-Holcomb
Community Member
3 years ago

It appears that he has cancer and is dying but he was able to meet his child before he dies...😥

Mary Gypsy Goodin
Community Member
3 years ago

This one tore me up. So very poignant...

julie church
Community Member
3 years ago

i hope the dad is just holding

julie church
Community Member
3 years ago

i hope the dad didn't give birth

Victoria Bennett
Community Member
4 years ago

So sad, how beautiful he got to see his baby before going, though. Look at his smile. ❤

Patience Rachel
Community Member
4 years ago

This is so heartbreaking

Linda Quinteros
Community Member
4 years ago

so beautiful

Adrienne Friederich
Community Member
4 years ago

Chemo maybe?

Linda Allison
Community Member
4 years ago

looks like something big is happening to Dad?, he's got what looks like several central IV lines. Looks like heavy duty meds, and possibly neurosurgery? Oh, I see, cancer, a thing that has no heart of pity.

Alek Szal
Community Member
4 years ago

He unfortunately had an aggressive type of Brain cancer. Was discovered about 3 weeks prior and he had 3 surgeries before the arrival of the baby. Unfortunately he passed away 3 months later. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/dad-dying-brain-cancer-cradles-8946533

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Diane Peters
Community Member
4 years ago

😢

Alissa Owsley
Community Member
4 years ago

This one made me cry. So beautiful yet so sad.

Sandi Brill
Community Member
4 years ago

SO SAD...too bad he looks very ill (i'm assuming that is dad?)

Lorena Magee
Community Member
4 years ago

that's some facial hair mom has...;-)

Julie Arpiainen
Community Member
4 years ago

Honorable mention? Obviously this man is facing death.... pretty obvious. Why is this confusing?

Valerie Macom
Community Member
4 years ago

Oh my ❤️. I remember reading this elsewhere...

Laura Cooke
Community Member
4 years ago

Heartbreaking

Lynn Cowell-Farrow
Community Member
4 years ago

He was dieing of cancer. He got to meet his chikd befor his death. So sad.

Christine Robbins
Community Member
4 years ago

Is this a transman who is going to have a hysterectomy soon after?

heather pfaff
Community Member
3 years ago

Are you that fucking ignorant? Brain cancer. Died 3 months after this was taken!!!

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Serah Oxendine
Community Member
4 years ago

Maybe the father died?

Tanya Martinez Reese
Community Member
4 years ago

This one is beautifully sad. I'm in tears. ❤😢

Chrissy Jones
Community Member
4 years ago

Very sad. Glad that dad got the joy of embracing his newborn before he passed on.

Jessi Lopez
Community Member
4 years ago

Beautiful moment

Angie Dorrington
Community Member
4 years ago

So very sad

Holly Noel
Community Member
4 years ago

My heart aches! I love this photo

Andrea Jenkins Bennett
Community Member
4 years ago

Very sad, yet also beautiful. He left this world with a smile seeing his newborn son. 😢

Alexis Stubbs
Community Member
4 years ago

😩🎈💔

RonnAnn Naedele-Risha
Community Member
4 years ago

http://www.coloradobirthphotos.com/2016/09/21/the-birth-of-levon-boulder-colorado-birth-photography/ Dad with stage 4 brain cancer

Margo A
Community Member
4 years ago

Incredible story.

Jessica Wilson
Community Member
4 years ago

He was dying of brain cancer

LiZzy Da Silva
Community Member
4 years ago

I've read this article about the guy and his wife and newborn kid and it just broke my heart!! ❤

VERONIKA K
Community Member
4 years ago

Fuck

Lisa Branting
Community Member
4 years ago

Powerful love.

Nicky Patience Nash
Community Member
4 years ago

Heartbreaking

Danielle Thompsett
Community Member
4 years ago

I dont get it ...

LiZzy Da Silva
Community Member
4 years ago

He dad had termina brain cancer and the died after his son was born... very sad...

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Nina Vassei
Community Member
4 years ago

Makes me sad. I don't know why. Is the man dying?

Rebekah Norris
Community Member
4 years ago

Brain tumor.

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Shahzeb Azhar
Community Member
4 years ago

Heartbreaking

Anique Whitehurst
Community Member
4 years ago

Wait I need to know what happened here! Where is he going?

Danita McNees
Community Member
4 years ago

He was dying of Brain Cancer and his wife delivered early so he could see his.child before he passed

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#20

A Beautiful Transition

A Beautiful Transition

Birth Unscripted Report

mother
Community Member
4 years ago

I've got you...

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#21

Honorable Mentions. Gentle Caesarean Birth

Honorable Mentions. Gentle Caesarean Birth

Belle Verdiglione Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

Newborns generally look like I imagine Winston Churchill's testicle looked like.

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#22

The Softest Landing Pad

The Softest Landing Pad

Cradled Creations Report

Hayat Hasan
Community Member
4 years ago

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#23

Becoming Grandmothers

Becoming Grandmothers

The Art of Unscripted Report

Crochet Rox
Community Member
4 years ago

This is so awesome!

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#24

Honorable Mentions. Before The First Breath

Honorable Mentions. Before The First Breath

Birth In Focus Report

Vanessa Bates
Community Member
4 years ago

This one freaks me out...purely because it looks like just a head!

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#25

Mother's Pure Bliss

Mother's Pure Bliss

A&E Caro Photography Report

Crochet Rox
Community Member
4 years ago

I have teenagers now, and I remember that moment. <3 Pure bliss.

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#26

Euphoric First Embrace Together

Euphoric First Embrace Together

Kate Murray Photography Report

Helen Purvis
Community Member
4 years ago

Wow! So much emotion!

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#27

Honorable Mentions. Honoring The Temple

Honorable Mentions. Honoring The Temple

Elliana Gilbert Photography Report

Eby FAshn
Community Member
4 years ago

❤💟💙❤

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#28

Birth In Colour

Birth In Colour

Tree of Life Doula Photography Report

Fleur Blom
Community Member
4 years ago

That placenta looks like a beautiful colorful tree

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#29

Ascension

Ascension

Angelfire Photography Report

Golden Rayquaza
Community Member
4 years ago

... well... if i saw this i wouldnt take a photo.. but.. whatever

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#30

Breathe

Breathe

Brezi Photography Report

Leslie Cully
Community Member
4 years ago

Beautiful!

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#31

Bathed In The Morning Light She Welcomes New Life

Bathed In The Morning Light She Welcomes New Life

Samantha Noel Photography Report

Megan Siefken
Community Member
4 years ago

I like this one of all of them. I don't know why.

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#32

Honorable Mentions. Birth Of A Mother

Honorable Mentions. Birth Of A Mother

Cat Fancote – Capturing Birth Report

Chrissy Jones
Community Member
4 years ago

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Ugh. I hate women with long, sharp nails handling a baby. You can tell she is a first time mother. Because REAL mothers keep their nails VERY short. Changing diapers, feces gets under the fingernails and you can make baby sick. Also easy to scratch baby's delicate skin with those claws.

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#33

Honorable Mentions. 17 Years Of Waiting: A Non-fertility Miracle

Honorable Mentions. 17 Years Of Waiting: A Non-fertility Miracle

Ker-Fox Photography Report

Katie Allen
Community Member
4 years ago

Those are really muscular legs! I don't understand why they are holding the baby's neck that way.

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#34

Honorable Mentions. She Holds Her Daughter’s Fingers In Awe And Wonde

Honorable Mentions. She Holds Her Daughter’s Fingers In Awe And Wonde

The He{ART} of Motherhood Report

Mia Melberg
Community Member
4 years ago

That's some astounding nails om that baby. Those are going to be beautifull

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#35

Superman Style Arrival

Superman Style Arrival

Birth is beautiful-Captured by Ina Report

Kim Mick
Community Member
4 years ago

The only person seemingly aware of the camera is the baby!

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#36

Raw Power

Raw Power

Vanessa Mendez Birth Photography Report

Lee Hardy
Community Member
4 years ago

Someone took the time to get ice tea 😉

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#37

Looking Inside

Looking Inside

Andrea Oleson Report

Denise Stark
Community Member
4 years ago

This really reminded me of just how intense the pain was. Childbirth was much harder that I expected!

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#38

The Go-to Position For Slow Labor

The Go-to Position For Slow Labor

Leilani Rogers, Photographer Report

Eby FAshn
Community Member
4 years ago

❤😔😢

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#39

Honorable Mentions. Rapture

Honorable Mentions. Rapture

Katie Mathis Photography Report

Margaret Buckley
Community Member
4 years ago

Not sure if that is rapture or relief, but the photo is beautiful.

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#40

Honorable Mentions. Future Big Sister

Honorable Mentions. Future Big Sister

Public Kiss Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

Yep...that's the appropriate reaction.

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#41

First Wrinkles

First Wrinkles

Susan Johnson Photography Report

Line Ytterhus
Community Member
4 years ago

So beautiful, wish We could smell him and the others here as well.

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#42

Intertwined

Intertwined

Deborah Elenter Report

Sandi Brill
Community Member
4 years ago

love this!

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#43

Holding On To Strength

Holding On To Strength

Birth Day geboortefotografie Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

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Shouldn't have had the chilli.

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#44

This Is Life

This Is Life

Santa Cruz Birth Photography & Doula Services Report

Jillian Cameron
Community Member
4 years ago

She's just realised she's got a screamer.

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#45

Moment To Collect

Moment To Collect

Lauren Guilford Photography Report

Karina Haagh
Community Member
4 years ago

So beautyful 💖

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#46

Christmas Eve Head Shot

Christmas Eve Head Shot

Doula Services by Dianne Report

Airisama15 Ban
Community Member
4 years ago

That's a powerful reason why you shouldn't yell at your mom! All the pain she passed because of you

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#47

Motherland...

Motherland...

CreaNostra Photography Report

Zoe Krishel
Community Member
4 years ago

I can feel her exhaustion!!!

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#48

Euphoria, Triumph

Euphoria, Triumph

An Infinite Moment Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

Wow, hair and makeup on point! Kudos!

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#49

Honorable Mentions. She Believed She Could

Honorable Mentions. She Believed She Could

Little Plum Photography by Stephanie Entin Report

Amelia Holt
Community Member
4 years ago

So she did.

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#50

United We Are Strong

United We Are Strong

Lillian Craze Birth Photography Report

Jasmine Palmer
Community Member
4 years ago

Aww! This one makes me well up. How beautiful!

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#51

Within The Waves

Within The Waves

Bree Downes Birth Support & Photography Report

Jamee Matthews
Community Member
4 years ago

I love her partners face.. so concerned supportive and gentle !

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#52

Peaceful Entry

Peaceful Entry

Stacey Lorraine Birth Photography Report

Eva Duskova
Community Member
4 years ago

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Oh gosh you forgot to put the "mature content" here

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#53

Best In Category: Labor, Determination

Best In Category: Labor, Determination

Katie Mathis Photography Report

Annie Whitlocke
Community Member
4 years ago

Impossible to forget

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#54

Honorable Mentions. Entangled In The Cord That Ties Us

Honorable Mentions. Entangled In The Cord That Ties Us

Cat Fancote – Capturing Birth Report

Stephanie Howells Schidemantle
Community Member
4 years ago

My daughters cord was around her neck , they had to do an emergency c-section.

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#55

Hear Me Roar

Hear Me Roar