Sunday, July 27, 2008

Natalya Mae Lilly

. . . born at 4:07 p.m. by emergency C-section. 21.5" long. 8 lbs. 11.2 oz.

Isn't she beautiful?

Daddy and baby bonding skin to skin.

I loved seeing the sign over Dave's head. And I was happy to capture a picture of their midwife as she coached him a bit. --None of us were permitted to attend the surgery itself. So we contented ourselves with holding Natalya.


The story: a blessing from God.

With no warning, Jonelle started bleeding profusely this afternoon at about 2:05. By 2:15, we had her to the hospital, and by 2:35, we were being told it didn't look good AT ALL for a vaginal birth. Home birth, which she and her husband Dave had been preparing for, was almost assuredly out of the question. With no contractions and virtually no dilation or effacement, the placenta was 25% torn from the uterus. They were hoping, maybe, the bleeding would subside.

But over the next half hour or so, further bad news: her blood pressure was very high; she was suffering from pre-eclampsia. So in the space of little more than an hour, Jonelle and Dave went from expecting a normal, low-pressure home birth to facing the possibility of an emergency C-section. There was still a small chance--infinitesimal--that maybe things would turn around, but by 3:40, as she began bleeding even more rapidly than at the start, and with no signs of birth pangs or any movement toward regular delivery, Jonelle and Dave had to sign appropriate release forms and she was wheeled off for emergency surgery.

About 4:20, Natalya Mae made her appearance "out in public" and I was able to begin shooting photos.

Jonelle didn't reappear until well past 6:00, and I was not permitted to see her other than for a quick glimpse as she was being wheeled by, pasty-faced, to her room. . . .

We thank God that neither baby nor mother died or was seriously injured. And we pray, now, for Jonelle's speedy and full recovery.

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