The long awaited day arrived three days after her due date. I had gone on a walk earlier in the day, which ended with Ari and I playing on the porch and taking pictures: the last pictures of us as mom and only child.
I was eating dinner when I started having regular period-type cramps. I went to bed and was fairly certain labor was starting. At 1:00 am, I could no longer rest and decided to go downstairs and let Tim sleep for as long as possible. I called my midwife, Jen. After she arrived, I phoned my doula and my mom. They both came as soon as they could. I labored downstairs and Jen used rebozo on me to get the baby into a better position, as she was feeling posterior. After doing that through a few contractions, baby was in a good position and my labor started coming on much stronger. We went upstairs to get the tub filled up in our bedroom.
I got into the tub once it was filled and I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't warmer. I labored in the tub for maybe three hours? It was intense and my contractions were fairly irregular. I remember as each one started, I would say "no," and shake my head because the intensity and pain was pretty high.
It felt like I pushed for a long time, but I assume it wasn't as long as it felt. I tried many different positions, and near the end, I was leaning back against the tub, knees up, with baby making her way into the world. I’m proud of myself for being able to breathe through the crowning, especially since it lasted way longer than I was prepared for. It was around this time that Ari woke up for the day, and my mom brought him in. Tim told him that his sister was being born. He was groggy and probably a little frightened by the room full of people and a noisy mama, but I was so glad to have him in the room to witness the birth.
Violet Elizabeth Hochman, born September 21, 2014 at 6:14 a.m. 7 lbs, 9oz.
I cried and took in her beautiful face, repeating “oh, my God.” My perfect little girl, the baby I had always dreamed about, was here, and that was worth every ounce of pain and discomfort. I am not sure how to properly convey how much that moment means to me, the moment when I first lay eyes and hands on my child. In one instance, I feel relieved that I won’t ever have to birth a baby again, and sad that I won’t ever get to have that moment again. There is nothing more beautiful about being a human, nothing more incredible, than the fact that we can create new, perfect, life-breathing, blood-pumping beings. How lucky I feel to have that privilege.
I am so thankful to all the people who were involved, and to my oh, so skilled birthing team, who in a somewhat scary moment, were quick and poised, and confidently brought her into the world safely. I am so impressed and even more confident in midwives, home birth, and the natural ability that women have to birth babies (in most, low-risk situations). It was so special to have her at home, and to have my mom there to witness and support as well!
Photos below by my talented, beautiful sister-in-law, Virginia Stiles, of Virginia Stiles Photography