Welcome Earthside – Baby Violet!

Melissa was a first time mother who began seeing our practice very early in her pregnancy. She and her husband (a local police officer) took childbirth classes at our office, hired Rose Day to be their doula, checked off their birth supplies as they gathered them, and then waited patiently for their first baby, a little girl they had named Violet when they learned that SHE was actually a SHE.

And patiently they waited…and waited. Due date came and went, and while they were excited to meet their daughter, never did they question that she would be born in HER time and on HER terms.

10 days after her estimated due date, they called with a heads-up that they thought she might be in labor, then with the news that their doula was on her way over.

Soon it was her doula that would be calling me – there was a question in her voice as she said that even though she hadn’t been there that long (and knowing it was a first time mother, who often will take longer to birth their babies), she sounded like she might be getting close to having her baby and they were ready for me to come over.

10 minutes later (with me already in my car) her doula called to say that Melissa had said she felt a little like pushing?!? I smiled and, yes, drove a wee bit faster.

I arrived to Melissa on her hands and knees peacefully laboring in her dark bedroom in the inflatable birthing pool her doula had set up for her. Daddy Will held Melissa’s hand, not needing to say anything but allowing his love to be her strength as she grunted through the contractions that followed. Wave after waver of vita mutari washed through her and she responded with a primal grunting.

Supplies were set up as quickly and quietly as I could. Apprentice midwife Jen arrived not long after me. We sat and watched. Her mother asked how close she was – I smiled as that is always the twenty-thousand dollar question. When will the baby be here. Heh. I told her that there was no way to know until we could see a head.

Not long after we got there (was it an hour and a half?), Melissa did a grunt and reached down between her legs. She said, “I feel something!”

Smiling, I grabbed my gloves, a mirror, and a flashlight. When a mother is on hands and knees in the water it’s impossible to see her vagina – and rather than touching her or moving her, we prefer to place a mirror behind her and shine a flashlight onto the mirror. The light will bounce off of the mirror and reveal mom’s vagina to us.

And what a beautiful sight it was to see those bulging intact amniotic membranes with dark baby hair floating behind it. “Yes,” I said to Melissa, “your baby’s head is right here.”

Realizing that Rose (who would also play the role of photographer for this birth) had stepped out of the room for a moment, I stepped out of the bedroom to the top of the stairs and yelled down the staircase, “ROSE!”

Rose loudly shouted, “YES!”


I stepped back into the bedroom and took the mirror again. Immediately Rose and Melissa’s family were in the room. Rose grabbed the camera and took the incredible pictures that Melissa so generously shared for this story….and Melissa’s family (including Daddy Will) sat on the bed in front of her.

Vita Mutari and another grunt from Melissa…”Wonderful Melissa, I see your baby’s head…perfect…” Will is holding Melissa’s hands in front of her (she is still hands and knees). “Will? do you want to come around here and catch your baby?”

Even though it was originally his plan to do so….overwhelmed in the moment and dedicated to his wife, he shook his head. He couldn’t leave her….

Her family, however, BOUNDED off the bed! You can see the head?!? I shined the flashlight on the mirror once more and Melissa’s mom gasped.

“Exactly like that, Melissa….ease your baby’s head out….perfect, just like that…beautiful…”

As Violet’s head began to slip out, the membranes finally tore open, creating a veil that covered the back of her head – but releasing Violet’s face as she slipped out into the water.

As the water’s released we noticed the meconium – I love waterbirth if there is meconium pesent as it clears it away beautifully before baby takes a breath. Head-out, it rotated to the side and we could see Melissa’s body squeezing the meconium fluid in whispy ribbons out of Violet’s mouth and nose, swirling in front of her face as it was pressed out of her body. PERFECT!

One more push, and Violet slipped into the water and into my waiting hands. Still under water, I spun her around and passed her through Melissa’s legs. “Here, Melissa….get your baby!”

Melissa got up onto her knees in a kneeling position and looked down. Her daughter, still under the water, looked up as Melissa gently lifted her up and cradled her in her arms. Violet blinked, then coughed, and then looked around with that wonderful newborn wonder of, “What the heck just happened to me!?”

Melissa cradled her baby and looked at Will….who had tears, but was too stunned to respond. They looked at each other, then at their daughter, then at each other. Trying to absorb what just happened…looking at their baby…then back to each other as if to say, “are you seeing what I’m seeing??”

Then came the tears….from everyone in the room. Such a wonderful celebration of love for this baby to be welcomed into – it was truly an honor to witness and be a part of.

To Melissa and Will – thank you for choosing ME to be the one to walk along this journey with you. Thank you, too, for allowing me to share your story with everyone who is reading this right now….you are an inspiration.
To Violet – you are one lucky baby and have chosen a super cool family. Being born in the caul says that you will have a blessed life and walk with special insight and second sight….but I also bet that you will have a life full of laughter and fun.
To Rose…you are an incredible doula and thank you for capturing births in a way that only a true passion can lead you to capture it.
To Jen….you’re the BEST midwife I know!!

And now, the pictures! (the captions should help you understand what is going on and what you are looking at…so please read captions, too!)



Will holds firmly onto Melissa's hand while she births their daughter.

See the intact and bulging membranes? Dark baby hair is floating right behind there....

A close-up of the bulging intact amniotic sac. You can actually see the tiniest of lines at the edge where it's starting to open - towards the top of the mirror, a little dark spot in the amniotic sac.

Challenging to see, the here the membranes have torn and the baby's forehead is starting to be born....the back half of the baby's head is still covered in membranes (very bottom of the mirror)

Baby Violet is born to her nose....see her eyes?

Head is out!! Such a cute face....you see see bloody meconium fluid floating out of her nose...

Violet floats into the pool...

Melissa meets her baby face to face for the first time. I think the look on Melissa's face is PRICELESS!! This is what it's all about, folks.....this is what birthing bliss is all about! Melissa's vita mutari is complete, the woman has become the mother....

What a beautiful welcome for a precious baby....(notice we intentionally avoid shining the bright light onto Violet's sensitive eyes! It's pointed at Melissa's leg...)

Worth all of the hard work....introducing baby Violet!