I recently ran into her and asked how her labor went.
"Labor was intense but manageable," she told me. "I ignored contractions for as long as possible--I love being in denial! When I felt like I just couldn't take it any more, I got in the birth pool. It felt amazing.
"Soon I felt my body starting to push. It was like throwing up in reverse. There was nothing I could do to stop it. Pushing hurt more than I had expected, and at first I fought it. Of course that just made everything worse! But once I realized that I just had to go along for the ride, the baby moved lower and soon was crowning.
"Boy was that intense! I totally understand why it's called the ring of fire. You feel like you're going to split in half. But of course you don't!
"Right after the baby was born, I picked her up out of the water and pulled her to my chest. We snuggled skin-to-skin, which was indescribably sensual: warm silky baby on my bare chest, that newborn smell....mmmm...
"My baby nursed within the first hour and has been a happly little vampire baby, as we call her, ever since.
"She's now almost eight months old. I can't believe it's gone so quickly. She's already crawling and pulling herself up on furniture. I love nursing her, but I have to say those sharp teeth can hurt!"