That’s not entirely true, I do still carry a few fountain pens, but more to the point: my new Daily Carry goes by the name of Aria Octavia Smith.

She was born on Thursday, March 21st at 6:07am, after her mother started having contractions at 3am the previous morning. At birth, Aria weighed 9lbs 1oz and measured 20.5 inches long, similar to the Pelikan M1000 I was carrying. After her first visit with the pediatrician on the 25th, Aria was already starting to gain weight, weighing 6oz heavier than her discharge weight of 8lbs 6oz. The doctor said she was in excellent health and doing well. We’re scheduled to return when Aria is two weeks old.

Not everything went as smooth as a Mike Masuyama modified nib, though. Kisha’s due date was Sunday, March 17. After the doctors noticed an irregularity in the baby’s heartbeat at her visit on the 18th, we were instructed to go across the street to the hospital for extended monitoring. Two hours later we found out that the baby was doing just fine and the irregularity was nothing to worry about. The doctor on call did have Kisha spend the night since she was past her due date and wanted to discuss the possiblity of inducing labor the next morning.

When Tuesday morning (closer to noon, actually) finally rolled around we were informed that both Kisha and the baby were doing excellent, but that if things didn’tstart progressing we’d have to come in Thursday evening to start the induction process. Thankfully, things started happening on their own and around 9pm Wednesday evening when Kisha started having severe contractions. By the time we arrived at the hospital Kisha was dilated about 3cm. For the rest of the evening and into Thursday morning she progressed at a rate of slightly less than 1cm per hour.

Waiting for Aria to come out was like opening a package from the Goulets: it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was a little scary. Aria got stuck in the birth canal and her heart rate started to drop into the 120’s. The nurses connected a bag of glucose to Kisha’s IV line and gave her an oxygen mask. Little did I know at the time that these were for the baby’s benefit, not mom’s. Had I known that, I probably would not have been as calm as I was.

After several more minutes without any progress the doctor informed us that he was going to have to perform an episiotomy and probably use a vacuum to help get her out. Minutes later and he had attached the vacuum and starting to pull in rhythm with Kisha’s pushes. I turned to look at Kisha to say “She’s almost out!” and when I looked back at the doctor he was juggling a baby, had turned her upside down, and was clearing her nose and mouth with a bulb syringe.

At this point I was getting very scared because Aria looked as blue as a smurf and I hadn’t heard a single scream. The doctor sat her on Kisha’s chest and a moment later a nurse took her away to a special table where 4 other nurses and doctors were scrambling in what can only be described as organized chaos. I never would have guessed so many people could be packed so close together and actually be working in unison. After what seemed like an eternity later, we finally heard our little girl scream! That was the first time I had shed tears in almost ten years.

Now things were starting to become a little more routine. Aria was in the nursery being examined and Kisha was being taken care of by the doctor and nurses. They were both doing very well. After a few hours and a small breakfast I was able to reflect on what had just happened. I with I could describe the experience and the feelings in terms you’d understand, but I lack the ability. It really is something you’ll only understand by going through it. I’m extremely proud of my wife for achieving her goal of giving birth without an epidural and my love for both her and Aria seem to grow each day.

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  • Mary Burke on Facebook

    Congratulations Dan, Kisha and to your family! Aria Octavia looks gorgeous :)

  • Colleen


  • Mary Burke

    Congratulations Dan, Kisha and to your family!
    Aria Octavia looks gorgeous

  • Sheila McLean on Facebook

    Beautiful name! And congratulations!

  • Julian Chan on Facebook

    Haha gratz m8, this will turn out to be the most expensive daily carry yet!

  • BrenDa Garcia on Facebook

    Beautiful :)

  • Joseph Sewi on Facebook

    Congrats buddy. I thought you would name her sheaffer namiki Octavia. :)

  • Tom Oddo

    Congrats, Dan! Enjoy that little bundle.

  • edisonpenco

    Congratulations! Great photos and written very well! That was a pleasure to read!

  • Hildebrando

    Wow! I had tears in my eyes when I’ve been reading your big story about birth of their daughter. What a thrill heard her cry after so many afflictions!

  • Ryan Roossinck on Facebook

    I was lobbying for Parker all along, but got outvoted (by a much more fittingly beautiful name). Again, congratulations to you both!

    (And to all of you cuddly-types…I got to hold her before you did. Neener neener!) :-)

  • Marco

    And the fountain pen community says: awwwwwwwwwww! Congrats :)

  • julie

    Congratulations! She’s beautiful!

  • Dante Philo

    Wonderful. Best wishes for you all. Looks like Aria stole your cap.

  • GCM

    Congratulations!!! As Brian said, very well written. I deliver babies for a living & it helps fund my madness. Delivering 9lbs 1 oz without an epidural is absolutely SUPER. Hats off to Kisha.

  • Jonathan Siegel

    Welcome to the world, little Aria! :-)

  • Marta

    Written with heart and very moving. Couldn’t have been written better. What a sweet and beautiful bundle of love Aria is. Yes indeed very well done Kisha! Congratulations to you both. Welcome Aria Octavia. We are so glad you are here!

  • bottleofinkgal

    Congratulations Dan! I’m guessing she already has a personalized Lamy ABC!

  • Linda Fyffe Kennedy on Facebook

    Congratulations, she is absolutely beautiful!

  • Kisha Smith on Facebook

    I am so blessed to have such an amazing husband who has turned into an exceptional father! Aria has stollen our hearts & somehow we feel even more complete than ever before. Our story is beautifully transcribed by a father who is as perfect as they get, we love you Dan Smith & thank you for sharing our story :)

  • Kisha Smith on Facebook

    Also a big thank you to all the fans for their words of love & encouragement :)

  • Freddy

    Mazel Tov to your wife and you, Dan. Aria is just beautiful.

  • Mary-ann Brown on Facebook

    Kisha and Dan, congratulations! Aria Octavia welcome to the world. I hope you grow up happy and healthy with lots of people around you that love and respect you, that make you smile

  • Carol

    Baby Aria’s Big Adventure! Beautifully told. Laughing at the M1000 joke; in tears when you finally heard her singing. Standing ovation for Kisha. Raising a toast in honor of y’all!

  • Sarj Minhas

    Wonderfully told story of a life changing event. Aria is gorgeous, You and Kisha are blessed. Congratulations !

  • Maja

    Warmest wishes and congratulations Dan & Kisha, on the birth of your beautiful little daughter! I wish Aria a long life, lots of happiness, and the best of health :)

  • tsz shun wong

    I am expecting twsbi or aurora

  • Ryan Roossinck on Facebook

    Awww… :-)


    Congratulations Dan, Kisha, Aria and to your family!

    I like the Aria’s picture in a basket.

  • Will Platt


  • Scrib


  • kp

    What a beautiful baby girl! Congratulations to both you and your wife.

  • Tracy Lee

    Thank you for sharing the amazing story, and for all of the really terrific pictures! You have a beautiful family.

  • Stephanie Gibb

    that was a great story…very well written! and God was with you thru the whole thing and doing things
    the drs probably didn’t realize was needing to be done to help Aria and Kisha that day to help her come into this world :) Congrats again guys…she’s definitely a “miracle” baby just as I was! :)

  • skyppere

    Is there anything sweeter than a baby’s dimples? Congrats!

  • William Eagleburger

    My heart felt congratulations to you and your wife. Your daughter is gorgeous! Someone did an amazing job on your photos, as well. There is nothing quite like witnessing the birth of your child (especially, and I’m assuming this is your first one). Shoot, I almost shed some tears reading your story! But, then I’m pretty much a sentimental mush ball. Regards, Bill

  • Elaine T Maddox

    She’s beautiful, Dan. I also have an Aria, born this month, she is my great-granddaughter. I took the liberty of pinning your blog to my Facebook. i know people will enjoy another beautiful little girl.

  • edu almeida

    Lovely, lovely, lovely! Congratulations and happiness to all the family.

  • Elaine T Maddox on Facebook

    She’s lovely. I also have an Aria born this month to my grandson and granddaughter. I shared your wonderful column with them and they think your Aria is beautiful.

  • Jennie Sisler

    What an adorable angel! Congratulations:)

  • Tamara

    A beautiful addition, and better than any pen could ever be…no matter how much we like them :) Congratulations to you both!

  • John_the_Monkey

    Congratulations to you both!

  • John Nosal on Facebook

    Congrats Dan, reading the post took me back 20 years when my little girl was born. VBG

  • Mina

    Congratulations! Aria (what a beautiful name) is adorable and I can certain see some resemblance in that picture where she is holding your thumb!

  • Mark Davies

    Congratulations indeed!

  • cygnoir

    Congratulations to you and your family!

  • snedwos


  • Fountain Pen Geeks on Facebook

    Thanks to everyone for the warm wishes and kind words!

  • Ross Ryan


  • Joseph Sewi on Facebook

    Aria is so lucky…will be able to inherit tons of FP from her daddy! wow…

  • EverythingButt

    Great story. Congratulations to da Smiths!

  • HD


  • Tony Rex

    Best news ever in this site. Congratulations!!