Katherine von Drachenberg, the LA Ink star best known as Kat Von D, is ready to give birth to her first child any day now.
The 36-year-old strolled with 43-year-old husband and leader of the cholo-goth music duo, Prayers. Rafael Reyes, also known as Leafar Seyer, and performs solo as Nite Ritual.
The parents-to-be were dressed in head-to-toe black for the outing.
Their soon-to-be-born son, Leafar, will be delivered naturally, and at home, with assistance from a midwife.
“We’re excited to have a natural, unmedicated, drug-free home birth in water,” Von D said.
On the Informed Pregnancy podcast with Dr. Elliot Berlin, Von D recalled seeing two OBGYNs and leaving the first one’s office with “a million questions and a sense of doom and fear.”
The next wasn’t much better, and she explained the experience was “completely impersonal,” Von D explains.
The tattoo artist was inspired to labor at home after watching Ricki Lake’s 2008 documentary The Business of Being Born.
“It was life-changing. After that we ditched the doctors and found a midwife. We did a lot of research. We’re excited.”
“The minute we met Sarah, it was like, ‘Okay, let’s get excited now.’ It was so much fun … like, ‘This is really happening. This is how it’s supposed to feel.’”
Von D and Reyes shared the baby boy news three months after they got married.
Von D noted that Reyes has been her rock.
“I’m really lucky I have a husband who is really involved in the entire process,” she said. “Not by my choice, you know, I don’t force it on him. He’s super excited to be a part of everything. I’m lucky.”
Von D’s pregnancy taken a toll on her tattooed body.
“I think a lot of women want to be like … ‘I’m cool with stretch marks and my body changing,’ ” Von D said. “To be honest, I thought I’d be a lot cooler with it, but I’m struggling with my weight gain. I know I’m healthy, but I was expecting to not be as affected by it. I’m self-conscious.”
The soon-to-be mom added, “I don’t care what people think about me. When I look in the mirror, I wanna like what I see.”
She also shared that stretch marks “are like tattoos … a landmark in time.”
With her pregnancy has come a lot of controversy.
Von D said she knew that she and Reyes would be bombarded with advice and suggestions once they shared the happy news.
“I was prepared for the backlash and criticism we would get if we decided to be open about our personal approach to our pregnancy. My own father flipped out on me when I told him we decided to ditch our doctor and go with a midwife instead,” she said.
"If you don’t know what it’s like have people around you think you are ridiculous, try being openly vegan. And, if you don’t know what it’s like to have the entire world openly criticize, judge, throw uninformed opinions, and curse you - try being an openly pregnant vegan on Instagram, having a natural, drug-free home birth in water with a midwife and doula, who has the intention of raising a vegan child, without vaccinations," Von D said.
"My point being: I already know what it’s like to make life choices that are not the same as the majority. So your negative comments are not going influence my choices - actual research and educating myself will - which I am diligently doing.”
Kat Von D has been fiercely protective of her parenting styles and the choices she and Reyes will make for their beloved baby boy.
"This is my body. This is our child. And this is our pregnancy journey. Feel free to follow me on here if you like what I’m about - whether it’s tattooing, lipstick, Animal Rights, sobriety, feminism, ridiculous gothiness, black flower gardening, cats, or my adorable husband. But if you don’t dig a certain something about what I post, I kindly ask that you press the unfollow button and move the fuck on,” she wrote on Instagram. "So before anyone of you feel inspired to tell me how to do this, I would appreciate you keeping your unsolicited criticism to yourself.”
As they stroll through LA, the happy couple seem careless about any criticism that seems to still come their way.
They are especially happy about the season their son will be born into.
“We love the fall because we wear black,” Von D said. “Halloween time is the best time.”