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A.J. Langer: Daughter's Instincts Were Right About Baby Brother

09/17/2009 at 06:00 PM ET
Peter Kramer/Getty

If there was anyone more excited than A.J. Langer and Charles, Lord Courtenay about the birth of their second child, 4-week-old Jack Haydon, it was their first child, 2 ½-year-old Joscelyn Skye.

“She was very into the whole process and gave my belly millions of kisses as it grew,” A.J., 35, tells Breezy Mama. “We talked about her baby brother/sister and if it would be a boy or a girl –- her first guess was a boy with blue eyes like daddy –- so far it looks like she was right.”

“She came to midwives visits and we talked through the whole deal. She was always interested and excited about the baby. She was very involved with all the preparation and was great company throughout.”

Happily, Joscelyn’s enthusiasm hasn’t waned since baby boy went from being an abstract idea to an actual person. “She loves him and is amazingly patient with him,” the former My So-Called Life star proudly reports, though Joscelyn is “not necessarily so patient with mommy!”

Both kids’ names hold great personal significance for the couple, in a variety of ways. Joscelyn was a name from Charlie’s family tree, though it was a boy name and was spelled with an ‘i’ instead of a ‘y,’ while Skye was after the Isle of Skye, a place the couple vacationed shortly after they began dating. Jack, meanwhile, is Charlie’s maternal grandfather’s name, while Haydon is “a beautiful forest near the castle in Devon — it gets completely blanketed in bluebells once a year and is breathtaking,” A.J. shares. She adds,

“We didn’t decide on the names until we had a chance to meet them. We had lists of girls’ and boys’ names and then when they were born we took our time to settle on the right ones.”

Click below to read about A.J.’s thoughts on her two homebirths.


Noting that she is very much a “to each, their own” kind of mom, A.J. goes on to detail her homebirthing experiences with Joscelyn and Jack. “I would not stand on a soapbox and preach natural home birth,” she explains. “It has to be the right option… the only option, for you; It was for me.”

The pain of delivery caught A.J. off-guard with her firstborn, pain which was worsened when a midwife repeatedly checked her cervix. With Jack, she made it clear that she did not want to be checked “unless absolutely necessary.” She also spent time in her heated swimming pool before moving on to a birthing tub at her home in California, taking care to practice her yoga breathing and “focus on releasing all resistance no matter how intense it became.”

“When the pain hit the roof, I had the thought that in a matter of moments I was going to be sitting and holding my baby with a big fat smile on my face  — a thought that seemed ridiculous to me at the time but I knew it was true. And there we were, moments later.”

The decision to birth her children at home was easy, for A.J. has an admitted aversion to hospitals and doctors. As a sufferer of the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, A.J. says that she had become accustomed to “being treated more like a lab rat than a patient.” Midwives were generally more trusting of her ability to pursue an unmedicated birth than doctors, A.J. said, noting that “most people with chronic pain wouldn’t think to do a home birth because they’ve been made to doubt their bodies.”

“For me, homebirth was the only option and I am very glad I went with it. My body gave birth to two healthy babies, and I witnessed it. I will never resent my body again.”

For now, the family-of-four is enjoying their newest addition and life in California. “We will probably spend some of the time in the UK at some point,” she explains. “Our plan is to have no plan.” That carefree approach is also apparent when asked whether Jack will be her last child. “Who knows,” she replies.

“Like I said, our plan is to have no plan. Tempting though…”

Source: Breezy Mama

– Missy

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Showing 9 comments

2little on

AJ seems like such a beautiful person. Despite being married to a Prince!! Her children have lovely names. Although I’d love to see them…it’s kinda cool she’s not showing them. I don’t think that’s a recent pic of her either.

Frugal Trenches on

I live very near the family castle in Devon! I think the forest the are speaking about is pronounced Haydon but is spelled Haldon!

Very happy for them!

Elizabeth on

I think it’s great and brave of AJ to share her homebirth experience, especially as its very personal, private, and unusual. I loved her on My So-Called and wish the family well.

millefleur on

Wow, that’s awesome! Go A.J.! I have fibromyalgia and am planning a natural homebirth too. I wish I could talk to her.

Anna on

Ugh. The checking of the cervix is the worst part! That was what drove me over the edge and made me ask for the epi.

Jane on

I’ve loved her since My so called life. It’s so strange to think that she’s married to royalty.

eternalcanadian on

I think it is scary how so perspective little children are when it comes to knowing what is going on with a pregnant woman. Several of my acquaintances and relatives who were expecting a subsequent child would have the older kid come up, touch the belly, and say with certainity, “it is a boy, it is a girl” etc. and they all were right! mind you, the kids were no older than 4 at the time, so maybe it is something they are in tune with when they are so young. older than 4 they didn’t have the same sort of prediction. really fascinating stuff! :)

also, btw, about the cervix checking, ugh, that’s the worst. and for the midwife keep doing that, when she is also a female and would know it was painful, i don’t know what to say. kudos to aj for knowing her body and for establishing boundaries during the birth.

Tracy R. on

I’ve known A.J. since she was a little girl and it is so amazing to see her as a grown woman, mother of 2 beautiful children! Congrats my friend! MUAH!

ted on

just to clarify her husband is not a prince or royalty, just happens to be the only son of the Earl of Devon, who has a little pad outside exeter in devon, england. His dad also doest approve of gay people and banned them from marrying at the family home of Powderham Castle which got him in trouble with the council. tut tut!!

p.s. sorry to shatter the illusion that all the brits are related to royalty!

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