Welcome to Diane Ondine
by Francine

When we woke up on Friday June 11th, a hummingbird stayed behind our window during long seconds, staring at us and announcing the wonderful day to come…

We had a homebirth 2 years before with Maria as our midwife who delivered our daughter Elia and we had explained to her about the birth for a couple of months : the water-tub, the groaning/screaming sounds mama will make, the baby who will come out of mama’s belly…

It was the same schedule as 2 years ago : an appointment with Maria in the morning, non-stress screening at UCSF at noon, and the contractions began there… I was on my own and drove back home feeling happy, very grounded and “in charge”, looking at the clock in the car and mentally writing down how far apart the contractions were coming, at that time they were ten minutes apart.
It had turned into the sunniest day we had had all year in San Francisco. I came back home, cooked some Miso soup, got a snack ready for Elia, swept the floor and pushed the table and chairs away from the center of the room so we would have room for the birth tub.
I called Maria to let her know the baby was on his/her way, called my husband Bryce for him to pick up our daughter at the nannies’ and come home. I then called our friend Kristin who was the one who would be looking after Elia during the birth.

Everybody arrived in between 5.30pm and 6pm, right when I entered in real labor with stronger and closer contractions. Elia asked me to put some butter on her cracker and I had to stop at some point to let the contraction pass, she imitated me bending over, moving her hips and groaning and said “no that mama, I want butter cracker!”
That was so nice and sweet to have her around: she was holding my hand when I was in the water and later she wanted me to hear her belly with Maria’s stethoscope.

The ambiance was very sweet, warm and intimate. We lit candles and once again the midwives team was discreet, I loved that. I can feel Maria’s presence, I knew her focus and strength was all there but she did not step into my/our intimacy at all.

My water-bag never broke and our baby was born in the water and the sack (caul) at 10.03pm. Elia was falling asleep in the bedroom with our friend Kristin and as soon as she heard the baby crying, she came to us. She was a little bit concerned with the crying and the baby suddenly there and the rest of the activity. Bryce put her back to bed after a little while and she fell asleep.
I think I asked at least 2 times if it was a girl or a boy and nobody answered me! Now I realize that Maria’s job was to check if the baby was healthy and breathing correctly and the gender was not the priority of the first minutes!
And she was a girl : 7.2lb and 21inches long, with dark hair and long fingers. Our little Diane Ondine.

We had her first name picked up but wanted to be sure it was the right one so she was called ”baby sister” for the first 48 hours of her life - guess who chose this name?!
And then we picked up her middle name related to the way she was born : in French, Ondine means ‘Spirit of the water”, or water fairy.

We are so impressed by Elia, how she handled this big event and welcomed her sister, that was a great experience for her and she still talks about it : “baby cried, Maria Babies (that the nickname she gave to our midwife) with the light, mama in the water…”

Elia’s first words when she saw Diane in the morning after the birth were “pretty, pretty!”

I can only wish every woman have a so nice and happy birth as we did…