— Females Are Strong As Hell

Meet the incredible mom who gave birth to an 11-lb baby at home without an epidural

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Warning: This post contains post-birth images (which are perfectly natural — but if you’re squeamish about blood, you may want to skip ahead).

Delivering a baby is hard enough, but when that newborn comes out weighing 11 lbs., it can be even more of a challenge! Luckily, mom Natalie Bancroft was up to the task.

The motherhood photographer and trained doula delivered a robust baby boy  on Jan. 8  — at home and without an epidural.

“We knew the baby would be big, closer to 9.5 lbs., but we never thought he would be 11 lbs.!” Bancroft, 30, tells PEOPLE.

The birthing process, which included two licensed midwives and a midwife assistant from Spokane River Midwives, was “intense,” she says, “but it felt good.”

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“I knew my body was doing what it needed to do. The transition was quick, and my body pushed on its own. It felt even shorter because I sat in bed for the first hour of it, and then everything picked up so fast, it seemed to pass by in a blink.”

Born in just four hours, her new son Simon is her third child — and the Spokane, Washington-based Bancroft delivered them all without pain medicine.

“I trusted my body and the birthing process, and knew it worked best without medical intervention,” Bancroft says.

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Her birth photos — taken by Laura Fifield Photography — caught the attention of online commenters, who said they were impressed that she delivered an 11-lb. baby naturally.

“Dang, I’M impressed I had an 11-lb. baby!” Bancroft laughs. “But seriously, it shows that women’s bodies are incredible and can do such amazing things. I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to give birth to an almost-toddler.”

Bancroft adds Simon came out six days late, and that she tested negative for gestational diabetes. He came out strong, and continues to grow today.

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“We are doing well! Just getting through a three-month growth spurt, so he is eating more often right now,” she says. “He is the happiest baby ever, though, always flirting with strangers from his carrier.”

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And while others are shocked that Simon was so large at birth, she was just amazed that he’s a boy.

“I was VERY surprised our baby was a boy,” Bancroft says. “I was carrying much like I did with my daughter, so we had thought this one was a girl too!”

This article originally appeared in People.

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