Baby chooses to arrive by land

    <p>COURTESY PHOTO<br>Talent residents Melissa Torchia and Josh Horvath with Iris Isabella Torchia-Horvath, the first baby born in Ashland in 2019.{/p}

    Her parents had attended water-birthing classes, but Iris Isabella Torchia-Horvath was so eager to become Ashland’s first baby of 2019 that, after a rapid and “intense” labor, she delivered herself on dry land just before midnight Wednesday, Jan. 2, at Asante Ashland Community Hospital.

    It’s the first child for Talent residents Josh Horvath, director of the sound department at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and his wife, Melissa Torchia, a freelance costume designer. Both arrived here from Chicago a few years ago.

    The couple laud the hospital and its classes in general birth, doula, breastfeeding and “all natural” birth under the “fantastic” guidance of Dr. Miriam Soriano, doula Autumn Doshier and the hospital’s nurses.

    “This being is awesome, really exciting, and it changes your world,” said Horvath, who was present for the entire birth.

    “The birth was great, intense and I felt completely supported,” said Torchia. “We’d hoped for a water birth, but it moved so quickly we had no options. We had a beautiful, healthy little girl, and she seems strong and loves being in our world.”

    What might she want to be when she grows up?

    “Whatever she wants to be,” said Torchia, a native of the Bay Area.

    John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at

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