I’ll answer the first question you’re asking, which is: are there photos? No. No photos yet, but I’ll have them online by Friday afternoon (or earlier if Walgreen’s is nice).
Let me give you a little rundown on how things went.
My boss had asked me to work a day shift on Wednesday (normally my off day) to help out with an especially heavy workload at the office. I agreed, forgetting that Yoli had an appointment with OB doctor that day and she needed me to give her a ride.
Well, Monday night as I was working, my boss told me things had changed and he needed me more on Thursday than on Wednesday, and what a blessing that turned out to be. I agreed to the change and called Yoli to tell her the good news. But she had already made travel arrangements with a friend and they were planning to have lunch afterward. So she had to change plans yet again.
Tuesday night we went bowling with our friends (No, Yoli wasn’t actually throwing the ball) like most weeks and got some food afterward. All good fun. Then afterward, Yoli’s behavior began to change. I’m not exactly sure how to explain the change, except that I noticed something was different. She was sure the baby was coming and it would be born Wednesday. She was right (as she was about just about everything!)
We went to bed. I believe she began to have mild real contractions (not the Braxton-Hicks) around midnight (she’ll correct me if I’m wrong) and also got sick to her stomach, etc. At 3 a.m. the contractions had gotten strong enough that she was moving around and I woke up and tried to help her with massages, etc.
We went back to sleep, but obviously my sleep was better than hers. Yoli woke up many more times and finally stopped trying to sleep. She tried to sew a little tear in the bedding of the car seat to pass the time, but she wasn’t able to finish the job as the contractions grew stronger.
It was early morning by this time, and I was awake now. It seemed clear she was in labor, but this was all new enough that I thought it was possible it might be the “false labor” I had heard about from others. But it wasn’t, and the contractions just got stronger.
We stayed at home through the morning and timed the contractions. Yoli was doing lots of walking and squatting and shifting of position and I tried to help her however she needed me. Yoli just wanted to last so that we could go to the doctor.
Our situation has always been somewhat unique in that Yoli’s expectations and hopes for how the birth would happen were colored by her life in Bolivia, which is totally 180 degrees removed from how things are here. Her goal was to have a natural childbirth without pain medication and also to avoid most of the medical interventions like use of IVs, forceps, etc. We were lucky to have a doctor who really helped us do that.
We drove to the hospital and hobbled our way to the doctor’s office at noon. Yoli wanted to do as much walking as possible.
We got to the office and told the nurse in the receptionist’s area that Yoli was having contractions 5 minutes apart. She got very excited and sprung into action. Yoli got weighed quickly and then examined by the doctor. She was dilated 3 cm. Yoli had been hoping it was a bit more, but it was far enough that she accepted the doctor’s recommendation to get admitted to the hospital rather than go back home and wait longer.
As we walked from the doctor’s office to the hospital maternity ward, Yoli was really moving slow. The contractions were coming fast, about 5 minutes apart and 1 minute long. Many times we were asked by people walking by if we needed a wheelchair. But Yoli wanted to walk all the way to the doctor’s office and we did. We were admitted around 1 p.m.
The hospital folks were great, though I think it was a bit fazing to go through all the layers of paperwork (most of it the same thing over and and over). We were pretty much allowed to be on our own in the birthing room. Yoli didn’t want unnecessary pelvic examinations, mostly to avoid being discouraged by hearing she wasn’t dilated as much as she wanted to be. I think this was a good idea and it worked out fine.
The contractions got stronger and stronger. Yoli kept moving around and doing everything you can think of to relieve the pain of the contractions. I was with her the whole way, doing almost constant massage. I had no idea how much work it would turn out to be, but I know my end of the deal was pretty darn easy by comparison.
By early evening the contractions were strong and Yoli was starting to have push urges. The doctor arrived and examined her and found she was 9 cm dilated. That was a gain of 6 cm in 4 hours or so. Wow, that was pretty fast! The pain was enough that Yoli had been considering asking for relief if the report had been she had only dilated 3 or 4 cm. So this news was a huge encouragement for her.
But the last cm was probably the hardest.
Yoli tried everything.. birthing ball, squatting, kneeling, walking, etc.. But it took a while for the cervix to dilate the final amount so she was ready to give birth.
But the time did come for pushing. Throughout the day I was trying to support her however I could. It was hard to see her in pain. But that was nothing compared to the actual labor as she tried to push. Her strength was virtually gone, spent throughout the rest of the day. For a while she just couldn’t find the abiility to do it. Being by her side and seeing her eyes and face and trying to encourage her to break through and get the baby out .. it was an experience I’ll never forget. She did find the strength and she got the baby’s head out.
And it was hairy! Yoli wanted so much to have a hairy baby, a Bolivian looking baby.
The doctor cleaned the baby’s nose and throat and delivered it the rest of the way. We had instructed them not to tell us the sex of the baby, but to just place it on Yoli’s belly so she could see for herself. They took this very seriously, even refusing to tell my mom the baby’s sex as she waited in the waiting room after it was over (though we hadn’t told them to go THAT far!).
It was a girl! All along I had imagined it would be a boy, but I was prepared for a girl. Yoli was certain from the beginning it would be a girl. She had very clear dreams about her daughter throughout the pregnancy. Everything unfolded the way she had imagined it would.
As the baby lay on Yoli’s belly, I got to cut the cord. That was pretty cool. And, no, Dave, you can’t cut it using just a string.
We decided to name our daughter Jadzia Marie. Yes, as the Trekkies out there have all realized, Jadzia is the first name of a character in Star Trek Deep Space Nine. That’s one of my favorite tv shows, and yoli and I had watched it together in the past. But it was not my idea! Yoli saw Jadzia in a list of baby names. It is Polish for “princess” and Yoli decided it would be a great name. I agreed with her. And of course, Jadzia Marie makes for a “JMR” name. My brothers and my dad all have the initials JMR, a tradition I want to keep going if I have boys. That I could have a daughter with those initials was a bonus.
Jadzia is tiny! But she is so beautiful. She is very red right now, but you can tell her skin is dark complected and her hair is black. In fact the pediatrician told us they were guessing in the nursery what her ancestry was (Hard to tell with a name like “Renaud”). She has dark hair on her shoulders, but this is just temporary and will go away.
One thing she doesn’t have is a green tail.
I asked one of the nursery nurses if she had seen a green tail on our baby. The nurse looked at me like I was psychotic. I had to explain to her that most indigenous peoples in the Americas are born with a greenish patch of skin above their tailbone. It’s temporary and fades over time, but it is a unique characteristic. (And scientists say it illustrates they were related to people from Mongolia). Yoli and her sisters were born with this, and it would have been cool if Jadzia had it as well. She doesn’t, but that’s okay, she’s beautiful in every way. Her face is so cute.
Sorry I don’t have the photos. It’s just that i know Yoli wanted me to get a good price on them, so I got next-day developing instead of one-hour. 🙂 But they’ll be online tomorrow!
I have really enjoyed being able to hold her, talk to her, and watch her move around. Her cry doesn’t seem to be too loud, so maybe we have been blessed with a quieter than average baby. That would be awesome if it’s true. 🙂 But she is a wonderful blessing.
I can’t say enough how thankful we are for the wonderful way in which God unfolded that day. The labor went so fast. One day removed, Yoli is now even able to say it wasn’t too bad. We are also very thankful to all our friends and family members for your support and love leading up to and through the delivery. Thanks!!