Jonah Reid Stradtner was born at home in the water on a Saturday evening.  Just a few days shy of 42 weeks pregnant, he arrived in his own time and in his own way.  It was intense, he was born with his hand next to his face, and insanely fast, yet beautiful.  He weighed in at 7 lbs. 6 oz. and 21 inches long.  He has the cutest squishy face, he still loves his hand up next to his head, even on the outside, and he has has the best quivering lip I’ve ever seen.

My husband is amazing.  He never once waivered in his confidence in my ability to do this at home, unmedicated, for the first time.  He believed in me and supported me when I gave up at the end and begged to stay pregnant forever.  He held me up when I couldn’t, quite literally, stand on my own and he never left my side.  This was such a huge, bonding, experience for our family, one I will forever be grateful for.  And thanks to my absolutely amazing midwife, Heather Hilton, my doula Lindsey Bell and our birth photographer, Leilani Rogers. Heather has taken such good care of us throughout this pregnancy, birth and afterwards.  I’m just amazed daily at the time, attention and love that she pours in to our family.  I had no idea that care at this level was available with my other children.  I feel supported, loved and totally taken care of with Heather. Being at home, comfortable and with the kids, in our own space, was magical for us.  I loved climbing in to bed right after Jonah was born, the 6 of us, marveling over this little miracle.  His birth was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it was perfect.  Absolutely perfect.

Leilani shared a few images with us right away and I have to say, I couldn’t be more thrilled.  I instantly cried when I saw them, they brought to life the realization of this dream that we have hoped and waited for for 3 years.  She did a beautiful job and I can’t wait to see what else she captured.  The funny thing is, we literally met for the first time moments before Jonah was born.  My dear friend Michele was slated to photograph our birth, but we knew many months ago that there was one day she could not be here because her sister was getting married.  No biggie I said, there is no way I’ll be *that* overdue, my babies usually come early.  Well don’t you know that Jonah literally arrived in the outside world at the exact moment her sister was saying I do!?  Leilani was our backup photographer that day and it worked out because she lives close to us, rushed over and literally walked in the door with only 5 minutes to spare.  Leilani, thank you for filling in on Saturday and for capturing these absolutely priceless moments for us, it means the world to me.  You did a beautiful job.

I’ll come back with a full birth story soon….for now, I have an insanely cute baby to snuggle and love on.