me, my family and my awesome job

welcome to the world stella

with 32 comments

9:46 this morning I realized that it is possible to fall in love instantly. 

My amazing wife gave birth to our second baby girl, Stella, with Gretchen by her side. I am bursting with pride. I am so lucky to be married to such a strong woman. This was not your typical birth. Catherine has been contemplating a water birth since she was pregnant with Gretchen, but at that time, ultimately decided to go forward with a hospital birth.  With support of a wonderful doctor, Laurie Solomon, Catherine delivered gretchen with no pain relievers or complications. I thought that was incredible!

The decision to have Stella at home came at the last moment (literally 3 weeks ago). Catherine contacted Martha Roth, a highly respected midwife in our area, and she was a perfect fit. I picked up the birthing pool and set it up in the living room waiting for Stella’s arrival. Her due date came and went (fortunately for me, because I had two weddings last weekend). Everyone kept saying that Tuesday sounded like a good day, I agreed!

This morning I got up like every other day and went to walk the dog. Cath said she felt different. “Ok, I will be right back.” Half way through the walk I got a call, “Come home I’m definitely in labor.” I got home at 8:45, called Martha (the midwife) and immediately started filling the birthing pool. Catherine’s contractions were getting stronger and stronger every minute.  As soon as Cath got into the birth pool, her urge to push was strong.  I freaked a little so I called Martha again,  “Tell her I’m on my way and enjoy the ride!” Not even 15 minutes after Martha and Cath’s mom arrived, Stella’s head was crowning. (I have photos, but will spare you all) after the next contraction, Stella was out. Cath caught her under the water and her 1 hour and 45 minute labor and delivery was over. Amazing!! What an amazing strong person Cath is. I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m preaching home/water birth, I’m just so proud of her and I want everyone to know.

 Of course there are photos to go along with this story.  Don’t worry Im keeping them all PG!

Gretch and Cath yesterday morning before I went to work.

Cath in the pool with Gretchen rubbing her hand.

Gretch cheering Cath on after Stella was born.

The scale Martha used to measure Stella’s weight.

and finally….

here she is.


Written by Ricky Restiano

September 23, 2008 at 10:00 am

Posted in Personal

32 Responses

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  1. Hey Buddy, myself, leah, cathi and soon to join the world tyler wanna wish you and your family congratulations! She is so beautiful, enjoy every minute of it! Dave


    September 24, 2008 at 2:40 am

  2. What an amazing story to tell Stella when she’s older. That truly is a special birth! Congrats again to you all with lots of love – Joe & Jen!


    September 24, 2008 at 4:05 am

  3. HI Ricky

    Just awesome… Congratulations from Marianna,Kate and self.. Glad that everyone is doing well.

    Robert Knowles

    September 24, 2008 at 1:20 pm

  4. A thousand congratulations to you and your family! Happy to hear that everyone is doing well – and as always, some amazing pictures! With Warmest Regards, Jackie & Brad

    Jackie & Brad

    September 24, 2008 at 1:45 pm

  5. Congratulations to you and Catherine on your new baby ! She is beautiful! I am sure Gretchen must be so excited to be a big sister 🙂

    Danielle Ferraro & Rob DiFiore

    September 24, 2008 at 3:30 pm

  6. Ricky and Catherine,

    The two of you are incredible! In addition to an unconventional birth, your strength as a couple is truly impressive and inspiring. The images alone are worthy of an award for both photographer and subjects. What a great story!
    Congratulations and God bless.


    Robert DePalma

    September 24, 2008 at 3:31 pm

  7. CONGRATULATIONS! We just had our first baby last Tuesday!

    Jerome Braga

    September 24, 2008 at 3:45 pm

  8. Hi Ricky,
    Congratulations to the whole family!!!!! What wonderful photos. So precious!



    September 24, 2008 at 4:49 pm

  9. Ken, Ava Rose and I are so happy for you. What a beautiful story…and as always-captured in pictures like no other! Hoping to see you all soon-best to all.

    Lots of love,
    the morgans

    Lee Ann

    September 24, 2008 at 4:55 pm

  10. Wow, Congratulations!! What an amazing and touching story..I am truly blown away!
    Thank you for sharing such an intimate and precious moment with us. The photos speak volumes as always.

    Catherine, you are truly and ispiration. I hope I’m as strong as you when its my turn!

    May you all continue to be Blessed..



    September 24, 2008 at 6:01 pm

  11. Enrico and I are so happy to hear the great news! What a beautiful family you have! Best wishes and much love always…

    The Mareschi’s


    September 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm

  12. Congratulations to you and your beautiful family!! Stella is just precious. What a wonderful and inspiring story and of course, the pictures are amazing. All the best to you!

    Alexis & John Romano

    September 24, 2008 at 7:30 pm

  13. Ricky and family- Congrats! Both of your girls are just adorable! We will have to set up a play date when our little one arrives!
    Love Shari, Eric & “Elbie”

    Shari Ammann-Lederer

    September 24, 2008 at 7:47 pm

  14. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! What a beautiful story, I actually cried while I was reading, and the pics are GREAT. You really have a wonderfull and strong wife, best wishes for you and your familly.

    Fátima (Maria´s and Julio´s bridesmaid)

    Fatima Romero

    September 24, 2008 at 8:18 pm

  15. The Restiano Family ,

    Congrats that is truely awesome that Stella came into the world in your home. good luck and many blessings to all …….


    September 24, 2008 at 9:42 pm

  16. Congratulations to you all!!!! I was waiting to hear the news about the new baby. The story was beautiful and such a pleasure to read. The pictures are wonderful and Stella is just beautiful! Such a pretty name! I look forward to seeing more pictures. Congratulations again!

    ~ Lindsey

    Lindsey Menzie

    September 24, 2008 at 10:09 pm

  17. Ricky and Family,
    Congratulations to you and your family. She is beautiful! It was so nice to read such a heart felt account of the day, it made my day!

    -Kelly and Michael

    Kelly and Michael

    September 24, 2008 at 10:42 pm

  18. Catherine, Ricky, Gretchen & Stella,
    WOW…what a beautiful story…the pics are amazing…it felt like I was there! Gretchen is so special…she will always remember the birth of her precious sister! I am thrilled that you followed your heart and had a peaceful homebirth. You are blessed! Much love, big hugs to all and please don’t hesistate to call…for anything.
    Love, Pauline

    Pauline Nardella

    September 24, 2008 at 11:24 pm

  19. Congratulations guys!!!!!!!!!!! What amazing pictures! Who knew Ricky could aid in the creation of something soooo cute! JOKING!! We love you guys. ~Laura and Alex

    Laura & Alex

    September 25, 2008 at 12:46 am

  20. Ricky & Catherine,

    Congratulations!! We’ve been waiting to hear the news! And what an inspiring story to share with us… your pictures are absolutely beautiful, as if we expected anything less. 😉 Congrats again and best wishes to your new family (and TWO beautiful daughters)!!

    -Kris & Mia

    Kris & Mia

    September 25, 2008 at 1:23 pm

  21. Dear Ricky & Catherine –
    Congratulations! The pictures are incredible. There are no words to describe the emotions of childbirth. It is a high no medication can duplicate. Enjoy the time with the little ones. They grow way too quickly and before you know it, you are the photographer at their wedding.



    September 25, 2008 at 2:59 pm

  22. Welcome to the world Stella! I can not imagine my husband taking pictures of me while delivering but of course you have the gift to make every occassion look beautiful and peaceful. What an amazing experience. Congratulations to Mommy, Daddy and Big Sister.

    Denise and Jason Figura

    September 25, 2008 at 4:48 pm

  23. Congratulations to CATHERINE, RICKY, GRETCHEN and STELLA.
    What a wonderful experience. I have chills looking at the pictures, what a miracle birth is!
    I wish you all the best,


    September 25, 2008 at 5:52 pm

  24. Congratulations Ricky!! Those pictures are amazing and all of your women look beautiful 🙂 We hope you’re having a great time with Stella and enjoying every minute of her and the rest of your family!
    P.S. You’re making me want to have one 🙂
    Love, Alex & Colin

    Alex & Colin

    September 25, 2008 at 6:35 pm

  25. Congrats!!! Stella is absolutely gorgeous!!!!! I’m so glad that she ended up being born Tuesday so you were able to be home & enjoy every minute!!!
    Can’t wait to meet her =)

    Antoniette & Doni Weigand

    September 26, 2008 at 12:26 am

  26. Amazing… I can’t wait to see more photos. Best wishes in the coming weeks with your new beautiful daughter.

    Jacob Bergmeier

    September 26, 2008 at 3:04 am

  27. Hey Ricky,
    Congrats on your beautiful baby girl.

    Kim & Rich Maffei

    September 27, 2008 at 12:24 am

  28. Hi Ricky, Congratulations to you and your family. Your two daughters are adorable!!!
    Best wishes- Maria Marchese

    Maria Marchese

    September 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm

  29. Congratulations to you and your family!!! The pictures themselves tell a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing them. We wish you and your family the best.

    Maria & Juilio


    September 30, 2008 at 10:00 am

  30. Congratulations on your new addition. She is adorable!! All the best.

    Tara Berlingo

    Tara Berlingo

    September 30, 2008 at 10:51 am

  31. Ricky & Cath,

    Congratulations!! I am so happy for you both, and the story of welcoming Stella into this world is amazing! Of course it would be, it wouldn’t be you guys if it wasn’t. I am not surprised that you had such an amazing story to tell, and Ricky you have three of the most beautiful girls in your life. I can only imagine how proud you must be, not to mention the amazing photos you captured.

    I always knew what an amazing photographer you are and always have been and I have always been very proud of you and your work, but your pictures lately have been truly works of art and you should be very impressed with yourself. Your website is only a small glimpse into what you do and always have done, and it just proves what an eye you have.

    The pictures you captured of your heart and soul, your girls, are truly breathtaking.

    Thank you for sharing them, and not only can I not wait to see all of you but i can’t wait to meet Stella. (perfect name by the way, so you both) Give Cath my best and give the girls kisses for me. Love to you all.

    Love Always, Shan

    Shannon DeAstis

    October 21, 2008 at 9:57 pm

  32. Hi Ricky,
    What an amazing story-teller you are! Of course, the pictures are just as amazing. Thank you for sharing them with all of us. Congratulations to you, Cathy and Gretchen on the newset addition to your family. Looking forward to seeing more pictures of your family.



    November 11, 2008 at 11:24 pm

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