Here’s a little more background on the birth of our first boy, Joseph Martin Renaud.
Monday night I was working a sports design shift at the Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals home opener and breaking news about Stan Kroenke’s intention to buy the Rams kept me busy all night.
I got home around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. I found Yoli in the kitchen making crepes to eat at breakfast. She had intended them to be for the whole family. But at 12:38, she had her first real contraction followed by a couple more over the next hour. “The baby is going to be born sometime today,” she told me.
We spent another hour or two tying up some loose ends in the house. Yoli showered, I washed dishes, and we made sure we had all our bags packed, etc. Then it was time to call in my parents to come stay with the girls.
This time we got to the hospital much earlier in the labor process than we did with any of the previous three births. When Ludi and Josie were born, we were only at the hospital for like an hour or two before the baby was born. These times were somewhat frantic and made worse by all the stupid paperwork you have to complete (despite pre-registering).
Getting there early meant that Yoli could (finally) use the jacuzzi tub to try to relax. She enjoyed it and said that it really helped during contractions. But the baby was being stubborn and Yoli’s progress was slow — at least, slower than with any of the three girls.
But getting there early also meant that they spent much more (cumulative) time monitoring Yoli and the baby, which is something she really dislikes. It also meant a lot of waiting — for us to be admitted, for the doctor to say the jacuzzi was okay, etc.
The labor was slow, but Yoli did it. She is the bravest, strongest woman I know. I hope her daughters can someday realize just what a mother they have. This was her fourth natural childbirth.
This time we made absolutely sure everyone know that Yoli wanted to learn the sex of the baby herself — no announcements. When the hairy baby was put on her chest and she saw his extra equipment (so to speak), she exclaimed “A boy!”
She was exhausted, hurting, sore. I was just exhausted — and overwhelmed. It’s always hard to see someone you love in pain. And when that baby arrives and it’s not what you expect … all of it just brought me to tears. I’ll never forget the moment.
The rest of the day was sort of a blur for me. I spent a long while with Yoli and the baby, shooting video, holding him, etc. When it was time to return home I found some excited girls who I needed to get ready for naps because I was dead tired. I had been very close to nodding off on my drive home and I knew I had to sleep.
Somehow or another we did all get naps and woke up around 4 p.m. We headed over to my parents to meet my brother and his family and have some pizza. Justin, Becca and their boys had already visited the hospital, but Yoli had been sleeping so they only watched the baby in the nursery.
After a nice time with Justin, we headed to St. Luke’s. The girls enjoyed seeing their baby brother. Jadzia and Ludi took turns holding him. Ludi was especially affectionate. Josie was a little bit indifferent, but we did get her to look at him for a while. She tried to touch him (but one of her touches was a poke to the eye).
After a good long visit, I took the girls on a short walk to show them the way in to the emergency room where I had brought Yoli 15 hours earlier. Then we went home, (finally) ate some of those crepes Yoli had made, watched Mister Rogers, read our devotional and hit the sack.
Ludi and Joseph.
Joseph with his grandpa — and namesake.
Mamá talks with Jadzia.
A new baby is usually the center of attention.
Nanny shows Jadzia how to do something.
Papá and Josie talk on phones that don’t belong to them.