Wow, what a few months. After the announcement of Yael's birth we have experienced quite the adventure and we wanted to follow up with the continuation of the story. The most important part? Our daughter, Yael Marie DeBoni was borh at 11:51am, Thursday, August 5th, 2010. 7 pounds 1 ounces, 19 1/2 inches and as healthy as can be.
About her name:
Yael's first name isn’t after anyone, we just really like the name and it seems to fit our little one. We first came across this name after finding a kinship with the artist Yael Niem. Not long after we asked our friend Cory if he had a fondness for any girls names. In reply he shared that he had always loved the name Yael. It is a Hebrew name and is pronounced “ya-el" not like the school yale. Her middle name comes from Jake's paternal side where there are a number of Marie's canvasing the family tree.
That’s the nuts and bolts, if your interested in the long version then here it goes:
After a consistently healthy pregnancy we were looking forward to our hopeful delivery at the West Suburban Medical Center's Alternative Birthing Center (ABC). We had made the decision at the onset of our pregnancy to deliver our little one into the world through the means of an ABC with a midwifery practice. As we progressed through our pregnancy and found that my body was responding well to pregnancy we knew we had made a choice that presented well for us.
For those who are not familiar with an ABC: An ABC is a low intervention/natural birthing center connected to a hospital. The ABC connected with West Suburban Hosp. was a large room outfitted with a number of alternative birthing tools (birthing stool, tub, ball, etc.) used to make the natural birthing process more comfortable. Yet, if an unexpected circumstance presented itself, we were at the hands and in the location of medical intervention if needed.
We decided to use a midwife as our primary caregiver for a number of reasons. My sister, Allison, is a certified midwife and through the years has helped increase our education of the birthing process and how the care of a midwife differs from that of an OBGYN. Through her support and our efforts and desire to welcome our little one into the world in the most natural setting we were given the honor to work with Women's Healthy Center in Forest Park, IL. If you're in the area and need a midwife - we could not recommend them enough.
Fastforward 40 weeks and 1 day.
At 2:00am on the morning of August 4th I began to experience the sensation of my water breaking. Within 30 mins. it was affirmed that my water did indeed break. One of our midwives shared with us not long ago that we were welcome to ignore the early stages of labor. Yes, "ignore". So that's exactly what we did. We let the contractions come and go and took time to rest with each other. At 7:00am we called the midwife to share with her our news. She asked us how far apart our contractions were only to be reminded that she told us to ignore them - laughter ensued. As the morning progressed, as did my contractions. It was such a beautiful time together for both Jake & I to enjoy one another and rest in the arrival of our little one. Although my contractions were progressing they were not progressing enough and at 2:00pm we made our way to our midwives office only to discover that we were only 2 1/2 cm along. We were sent home and asked to meet another midwife at the hospital at 7:30pm. For the next five hours we continued to care for our little one by caring for each other. We had dinner together, went on long walks (okay, let's be honest - they were really short walks that seemed like eternity when experiencing contractions ever 3-7 minutes.), and rested in the hope of new life to come.
Upon our admission into the hospital we continued to experience a number of, let's call them set-backs. My body was proving to be stubborn and a bit confused (keep your comments to yourself!) as my contractions were progressing and regressing consistently between 2-10 mins. with varying digressing of intensity. All in all, after 34 hours of labor and an immeasurable amount of support from my beloved husband Jake, Yael was born and we became parents.
I know several of you are into birth stories so here’s what happened with a bit more detail, anyone else is welcome to skip this paragraph! For starters the hospital and our midwives were great. They were beyond patient and attentive, giving time for and suggesting many techniques throughout labor. I was encouraged and simply allowed to enjoy (enjoyment is all relative when you're giving birth, right?) the birthing process. I never felt rushed or pushed into doing something that didn’t seem right to us. We had hoped for no interventions but when, after 33 hours, my contractions slowed way down we were encouraged to start a low dose of pitocin since the waters had been broken for so long and my body was quickly loosing steam.
This is where I have the honor of sharing those who helped make giving birth to our beautiful daughter possible. At the beginning of our pregnancy we had asked our good friend Rebecca to be present at Yael's birth. It was our hope that with Rebecca by our side Jake could enjoy being a father and husband without having to think about being an advocate if circumstances presented so. On the morning of the 5th Rebecca joined us in the ABC and quickly found her place by my side, helping me push and offering encouragement. She was the first to share with us that Jake & I had a girl and the first to announce that after hours of pushing "we finally had an ear!".
On the morning of the 4th Jake & I had called our parents to share that their grandchild was on their way. With just over five hours of driving ahead of them my parents decided that if they started on their way that afternoon they would get to Chicago just in time to welcome our little one. Little did they know... My parents arrived that evening only to find us in the triage room. That evening my mom stayed with us in the ABC room, quietly praying in the rocking chair and stepping in for Jake the few times he used the restroom. Her role was instrumental in sharing through the wisdom of giving birth to myself and three sisters that I would get through this, I would deliver our child and I did have the strength to do it.
Jake never left my side. From 2:00am the previous morning through today, Jake has never left my side. He was the one to never let go of my hand or leave my sight. It goes without saying that when you choose to share your life with someone you choose to do exactly that - share life with them. With endless gratitude to God, that is what we had the honor of doing throughout her birth, share in life together to welcome another life into ours. If you would like to hear more about Yael's birth story from Jake's perspective I'm sure he would be happy to share his thoughts with you.
At the beginning of our pregnancy both Jake & I were looking forward to giving birth together with no additional support in the room outside of our midwife. We could not be more pleased to have been so wrong in our hopes. In retrospect, I can now not image giving birth without Rebecca, my mom & Jake. As we welcomed Yael into our life, our community, our world we are so grateful to have had these very values that we hold so tightly be those that made her birth possible.
After announcing her full name for the first time Yael was placed in our arms and Jake was able to cut the umbilical cord. For the next 24 hours we were given the gift of never having to leave her side. We were able to celebrate Yael's life with both sets of new grandparents and enjoy many hours of sleep and precious rest for the first time in 34 hours.
On the afternoon of the 6th we went home as a new kind of family. Now exactly seven weeks later we have experienced quite a number of adventures in our short time together. Jake passed his boards, I officially quit my out of home employment, we said good-bye to our friends in Chicago and are now resting in the North woods of Michigan until the next adventure. Currently we are enjoying our time with family and friends, Jake is diligently looking for a job, we are finding our daily routine, going on long walks and immeasurably enjoying the presence of Yael in our lives.
As a family we are thriving and experiencing a new love together. For all the thoughts, prayers, well wishes and vibes that you and others have sent us we cannot even hope to fully express our gratitude. The love of God demonstrated through family and friends has sustained us, Thank you.
- Jake, Jess & Yael