Last weekend was unlike any other weekend I have experienced. I was privaledged to watch new life come into this world. About a month ago, I received this email from my dear friend Kristie, " As we have set out on this journey for the third time and as my passion for birth and women continues to grow I have desired to share this experience with those around me whom I know treasure me and this experience. I have known the privilege it is to be on both sides of birth and honestly feel like women should have more opportunity to share this time with other women."

Kristie is not only someone I consider family but is currently on the path to becoming a midwife herself. I have had many conversations with her about birth in America, the babies she has welcomed into this world, home births, and her ideas about it all. She had the birth in her own home with a rockstar doula, nurse and doctor. ALL of the conversations in the world don't come close to EXPERIENCING the journey with the ones you love.

In the night, four girlfriends and I pilled in our cars mixed with hope, fear, and excitement about what we were about to be a part of. For each of us it was a different experience, but all positive. Kristie had a LONG labor full of waiting .... waiting ...waiting ..... It was hard to watch someone I loved so dearly labor for so long, and YET I found myself envious. Even in the face of what was bringing tears to my eyes because of pain, I wanted to be able to experience what she was. She was strong, she hurt, she was weak, she was still kind, she endured, she gave up, she waited, she prayed. I will of course confess there were times throughout the night that I thought birthing a baby was a VERY bad idea but once Brynn arrived she changed all of that. Many of the myths and expectations I had before are now diffused, and are not nearly as scary as I thought them to be. Kristie was a rockstar and endured so much to bring Brynn to all of us.

I had gone downstairs to give Kristie some breathing room, and soon we were all called in... " its time !! its time!!". We all came barreling up the stairs trying to be quiet but didn't want to miss it. The two older siblings, Cayden, 7, and McKenna, 4, were awakened and rushed in wtih HUGE grins and jumping up and down for their new sister to arrive. With the rest of strength that Kristie had.... Brynn was born at 1:15 a.m with 15 people celebrating and hugging and witnessing new life. Brynn was welcomed into this world SURROUNDED with those that loved her, loved her siblings, loved her Dad and loved Kristie.

The biggest miracle was the transformation in the room and in everyone's hearts when she arrived. It went from a prayerful hush and respectful waiting to rejoicing, laughing and smiling ear to ear. From the moment she came, she was cooed over, held, loved, looked at, kissed and showered on with love from the ones that Kristie and Paul loved the most.

Paul, thank you for sharing the birth of your daughter with me, and for sharing your wife. Not only was I watching Kristie, but I saw you. Your kind, always attentive presence was a quiet testimony. Not out for anyone to notice, but had your eyes only on Kristie.

Kristie, thank you for teaching me day by day what it is to be woman, and for allowing me to document this very special moment for you in your own womanhood. I hope you will be the one welcoming my little ones into the world!!

Everyone else... Meet Brynn Addison Montiero.