I’d like to welcome into the world, Danylo Skaskiw Romanovych.

I’d like to welcome into the world, Danylo Skaskiw Romanovych.

Thanks for all the good wishes.


Everybody is healthy and happy. Yulia and I are delighted.

After about two hours of contractions, delivery took just an hour, surprising the nurses who initially thought it was too early to call the doctor. Yulia said about delivery the same thing she said about pregnancy — much, much easier than expected.

Danylo seems calm and narrowly focused on his work of sleeping and eating. He doesn’t cry much, and has yet to do so for more than a couple minutes. He’s also able to sleep through conversations being held right beside him, which seems like a good life skill.

Random Observations:

Medicine, and especially prenatal medicine, is largely the practice of trading very small risks for even smaller ones. Mothers exercising their imagination can feel enormous stress. I found myself often reassuring my better half that it’s really hard to get many decisions wrong, because everything will almost certainly be fine either way.

I like when doctors demonstrate the limits of their understanding. You know it’s a good conversation when they don’t shy from explaining their level of certainly. In the US, I’m pretty good at getting doctors to talk to me this way, like scientists. In Ukraine, they are generally more authoritarian. For one thing, I’m less fluent, and worse at signalling my capacity for understanding. For another, there’s a lingering authoritarianism in post-Soviet societies. Certainty remains a popular way to signal authority.

We are quite pleased with Kyiv’s Isida Medical Clinic, where I encountered only a little bit of what I mention above. I can imagine American clinics being more refined, but Isida was very professional, clean, friendly, and deferent to our needs.

Today (day 5) Yulia trimmed Danylo’s nails and took off his mittens. Within an hour and a half we could see a remarkable improvement in his dexterity. It was really cool.

Yulia says he sleeps exactly like I do, and took a picture to prove it. I don’t see it.

We bought an array of chairs, bed, and strollers, but so far, the thing we use most often is a cardboard box that Yulia, fearing for his reputation, painted and sewed with cloth and lace.

From what I understand, getting US citizenship is a simple matter done through the US embassy. Should I wait until after the presidential election?