As 33 Chilean miners neared the end of their sixth week of waiting underground to be rescued, there was cheerful news from up above today.
The wife of one of the miners has given birth to a baby girl named Esperanza -- Spanish for "hope."
Elizabeth Segovia's husband, Ariel Ticona, is one of the 33 men who were caught in the Aug. 5 collapse. No miners in history have been trapped for so long. And experts say it may be Christmas before a large enough hole can be drilled to rescue them.
Since the miners were found alive 17 days after the main shaft of the San Jose copper and gold mine collapsed, they have been getting food and medicine sent to them through smaller bores. Today they got the rare bit of good news.
The couple had originally planned to name the baby, their first daughter, Carolina. But from deep in the mine Elizabeth's husband sent her a message in a recorded video chat transmitted on a fiber-optic cable that rescuers dropped through a narrow bore hole to the men below.
"Tell her to change the name of our daughter ... and give her a long-distance kiss," Ticona said as the other miners shouted. "We're going to name her Hope."
Segovia told Chile's Canal 13 network that she had exactly the same thought about her name.
"He thought of it there and I thought of it here in the house: She was going to be named Carolina Elizabeth, but now her name will be Esperanza Elizabeth," Segovia said.
Her full name is Esperanza Elizabeth Ticona, born at noon today, a local newspaper reported this afternoon. She is the couple's third child.
Familes Maintain Vigil at Camp Hope
Elizabeth Segovia was almost eight months pregnant when the mine collapsed trapping her husband and 32 others. That was 40 days ago.
"I've been trying to remain calm, because it is not easy to be pregnant in a situation like this," she said last week. "But I had to do it for our other children and for me."
She tried to maintain a vigil outside the mine, with the families of the other trapped miners, at what they call Camp Hope outside the mine gates.
But in an earlier message, Ticona told a relative to tell Elizabeth not to come to the mine until she gave birth.
"She should stay at home," he said "not in the camp, because she is pregnant, and very soon our daughter will be born. Just relax."
Ticona had promised her he would attend the birth. He urged a relative to videotape it, and the nurse confirmed that a sister-in-law took pictures, which they hope to transmit soon to Ticona in the mine.
Segovia said she dreams of the day her family will be reunited.
"I've imagined so many things for that day," she said. "I'll be the first to embrace him, I'll be there at his side."
Jeffrey Kofman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.