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Welcoming Wilhelmina! Our Baby Story

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Now I get what everyone meant when they said, ‘once you have a baby, everything changes.’ I’m happy to announce we welcomed our little girl, Wilhelmina Janée, over the weekend on Saturday night in Switzerland – and it’s been quite an experience.

First of all, the Swiss really know how to welcome new mothers! They have spent the last 3 days in the hospital training me around-the-clock how to be a mom from feeding, to pain, to Pampers. They even have a staff photographer come a couple days after birth to snap a professional pic for hospital records – so I got one over her shoulder above. It’s been a truly amazing week on many levels and although every mom has her ‘birth story,’ I’ll try to keep mine as tame as possible. Let’s just say the day started with fresh croissants and ended with a sweet little bundle of joy in my arms…


Saturday morning, two days past my due date, started out like any other weekend with warm Swiss croissants from the gas station, raspberry jelly, and orange juice with my husband. After breakfast, we decided to go for a walk and stopped by this organic Swiss farm, before venturing back home to avoid an afternoon storm.

Around 6 pm, I felt something I was pretty sure was a contraction, but ignored it. Then I felt it again 30 minutes later. By 8 pm, I was feeling the pain every 10 minutes, but thought I was just being a baby since this was my first pregnancy. By 9 pm, I was tracking contractions at 5 minutes apart, thanks to an app my husband downloaded on his iphone. I was in a lot of pain so he called our neighbor, a doctor, and she came by and said ‘go to the hospital now,’ which thankfully was just a few miles away.

I barely walked in, doubled over, and the midwife immediately took me into a room to check and I was already 8 cm dilated! Apparently it was go-time as they rushed me over to the delivery room where I learned it was too late for any real painkiller except inhaling laughing gas during contractions which didn’t help.

I’ll spare the details of the next 2.5 hours, but it was the most.painful.experience ever! While it’s a blur now (a traumatic blur I’ll never forget), after the first 20 minutes of panting, begging for painkiller, and screaming, I ordered my husband out of the room. I couldn’t stand to have him see such craziness and unless he had an epidural up his sleeve, there was nothing he could do for me anyway.

The pain level rose by the second and the Dr. and midwife spoke German to each other while pleading with me, ‘Breath Frau Schroeter, breath!…Push Frau Schroeter, push more!‘ Finally, minutes before Swiss clocks throughout the hospital struck midnight, out she came.


You have a GIRL,’ the Dr. said holding her up and I started crying tears of relief the labor was over and seeing a real baby. Then I asked a nurse to run and get Jakob who was on the brink of a nervous breakdown waiting in the hallway. When he walked in, our eyes met, and he knew I was okay and then he saw our little baby in my arms and snapped the pic above with her crying red eyes. We were both beyond happy to have our healthy little baby finally arrive.

<Sidenote> Although this pic above was one of the only pics right after delivery because we were both so emotionally and physically exhausted, my sister teased me for wearing fake eyelashes, which I was already wearing earlier in the day. The point is I want to give a MAJOR shout-out to Ardell Lashes and Prestige Liquid Eyeliner. Drugstore makeup brands that can withstand the conditions of childbirth deserve the highest rating possible!


Wilhelmina was born at 11:57 pm on June 27th weighing in at 8 pounds, 5 oz and 20 inches long. Why the name Wilhelmina? Sure, it’s not popular and got a few looks like ‘huh‘ when we told people that was our ‘girl name.’ According to the US popularity on Nameberry.com, ‘it was as high as Number 215 in the 1880s, but has been off the list completely since 1955.’

The truth is that a week after our 2013 honeymoon, my husband and I were on a hike in Switzerland. ‘So if we have kids, what should we call them?’ he asked. ‘Let’s come up with a boy name and girl name,‘ I said. He googled, ‘Royal Baby Names from Europe‘ (here’s an updated list) as I rolled my eyes. But as he came to the end of the list, he said, What about Wilhelmina?‘ 


It’s a German name by origin and there were a few ‘Wilhemina’s’ way back in my husband’s family history. I thought about it for a few seconds and loved how it was old-fashioned and ultra-feminine with plenty of nick name options if she wants later. It also reminded me of Willkommen (which means ‘Welcome’ in German). Willkommen was the first German word I knew and always found it comforting to see or hear as I ventured around Zurich as a new nervous expat.

Baby-Wilhelmina-Nails (1)

Lastly, as I hold her little hand each night (I can’t believe she was born with the natural manicure I’ve always wanted), the name ‘Wilhelmina‘ means ‘resolute protector‘ which I hope she will be if she has a younger sibling in the future. Although, the thought of siblings hasn’t popped into my head yet since Saturday night.


By the end of that honeymoon hike a couple years ago, we’d settled on our first ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ name and never thought about it again. And today we’re finally back home and that is the story of how we welcomed little Wilhelmina into our lives. Thank you for all the well wishes – we truly appreciate it! Now I need to try and get 3 hours of sleep before the next wake-up call.



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  1. Dale… kudos to you for doing it natural …. I did it once with my first one and I NEVER forgot the pain… I had an epidural with my second and it was SO much better. I say take meds … lol… seriously.

    I’m going to have to try and find a set of those lashes, anything that makes it through child birth deserves an award ♡

    She’s beautiful… and yes get as much rest as you can… I slept more with my second one, it was better for both of us xox ♡

  2. Yay and welcome Wilhelmina! As a fellow, non-epidural mom, I can relate to the…intensity of the contractions before the final labor. Those were the worst and worst than the pushing for me!
    Either way, you have a lovely girl and a whole new life! Please let me know if you need anything dear!

    little luxury list formerly Chic ‘n Cheap Living

  3. Congratulations Dale!!! I’m so glad everything went well (yes, the pain of it all.. You will forget that:) Your poor husband! It’s so tough on them the first time :/
    Rest when you can and enjoy these precious moments:)

  4. Congratulations – amazing – the little one is so cute…reading this story has brought the first week of baby very fresh in my mind – am mega happy for you and can’t wait to see her in person!!!

    xx http://www.funkyforty.com

  5. Congratulations!! She’s simply beautiful, like her Mom. . You don’t forget the pain, but your mind does dull it. I’m amazed you stayed home so long. You’re brave. I would have been at the hospital begging for pain meds way sooner. I love her name. It’s got a magical quality to it.

  6. Squealss!!! I cannot wait to meet her. How precious! Glad you made it through lady and I know you’ll be an excellent mom!

  7. Congratulations to you and your husband! Your new daughter is just gorgeous. I love the name Wihelmina. I think feminine old-fashioned names have made a full comeback and I could not be happier (my daughter’s name is Charlotte). I have been hearing more names like Rose, Lily, Ava, even Mabel! I didn’t have an epidural either time I was in labor, the babies just came too quickly. I was so happy to start pushing! Love love love that you had major lashes going on when you gave birth, also love little Wilhemina’s long fingernails. Wow! I think those are longest nails I have ever seen on a newborn. Enjoy this special time in your life. You have been truly blessed. xx

  8. holy shiz Dale, no epidural and the fake eyelashes made it through intact?!?! YOU RULE! warmest congratulations to you, Jakob, and sweet Wilhelmina. I LOVE THE NAME!!! also: dying over her perfect mani, that you sent Jakob away (LOL), you get croissants from the GAS STATION, and that the Swiss docs, nurses, and midwives are so hands on and that you get THREE DAYS there. as it should be! HOORAY TO YOU ALL!!!

  9. Congratulations, Dale! She is beautiful! You’ll be a wonderful mother. 🙂

  10. Oh Dale…what a treat to see these photos-babies are truly such miracles. I am so happy for you and Jakob. It sounds like you had quite the painful time-so sorry-but you are already bouncing back–and with lashes to boot! I love the story of Wilhelmina’s name. She has the sweetest little smile and lips. Don’t even get me started on those nails-perfection! The hospital experience-prepping and photos-all sound very upscale compared to some US hospitals. Wonderful post and thanks for sharing your story and photos.
    Hugs, Heather

  11. Congrats dear!
    She is precious! Thanks for sharing your story! Cute name 🙂

  12. Dale, you are SUPERWOMAN! I bow down to you 🙂 I think you handled it all beautifully! Wilhelmina is so precious. What a blessing. I’m so happy for all three of you. Love your family. Glad everything went well and kudos to those falsies. I couldn’t stop laughing!

  13. Dale,

    Congratulations to both Mom and Dad…I’m so happy all went well as she is beautiful, like her Momma. I hope you find routine as the days go by and enjoy the new world of motherhood. Rest and be well…



  14. Oh my goodness she is absolutely precious and I LOVE her name!! And you are so right – what perfectly manicured little hands she has! Aw, you’re so blessed. So happy for you guys. Congratulations!!

  15. She is so precious! I am from Kim’s blog, and I am glad you two are friends.

  16. Congrats – my goodness what a little doll she is!

  17. Suzanne says:

    So sweet, Dale. She’s beautiful. Congratulations – both for being a great new mom, and still blogging! xo

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