Saturday, February 24, 2007

Isabella Ruth

We are blessed indeed to welcome

Isabella Ruth Di Silvestri

February 22, 2007, 3:21pm

7lbs 13oz, 20"

So many of you have been praying for her healthy arrival, and we thank you very much! We needed these prayers to get us through a long and sometimes scary pregnancy and labor. We are richly blessed in family and friends, and I have never been more aware and grateful for this than now.

Isabella (we will likely call her Izzie--my maiden name is Izzi--but have also been calling her Bella and Isabella, so who knows how it will ultimately shake out) was not ready to come when the doctors were ready to have her. Two days of attempted induction via multiple treatments of Cervadil and Pitocin netted no change whatsoever (except some painful yet completely unproductive contractions). Just a few hours before the c-section deadline, and long after all medicine had been abandoned and I had been officially removed from the "laboring" board, my body decided to begin contracting for real and it went really fast from there, thank goodness, just a few hours.

This experience was such a shock to us, as we had become used to 4-6 hour labors with our last several babies and expected more of the same. The team of grandparents who, with little warning, had to abandon their own lives and take on four days of managing our household, puppy and all, are nothing short of heroic. To add to it all, three of our kids became sick and required trips to the urgent care in our absence. Two kids ended up on antibiotics and only one regularly went to school, so they really had their hands full! We are so, so blessed to have all of the grandparents, near and far. We really feel your love and support, each one of you.

A few more photos, just for fun...

Isabella's first look at the world:

Mom, delighted to be leaving (and feeling deceptively thin, too!):

Dad, the closest he will ever come to experiencing pregnancy himself:

Thank you again for your prayers, check in calls, meals and emotional support. But most of all, thank you, God, for the blessing that is this child. There is no greater gift.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Healthy Baby Girl

Our little girl was born about 20 minutes ago. Both she and Mom are healthy and doing well. 7 pounds 13 ounces. More details to follow.
UPDATE: Baby and mom are doing great, the baby has latched on to Suz and they are bonding. Thank you for all your prayers.

Still no baby

Another guest post from Jay. Suz hit a low point this morning. The bed is uncomfortable, and we have just been here too long. Mercifully, just after that, a great nurse came in and perked up everyones spirits. Suz is now contracting regularly, and and I'm hoping we are on final approach. If not, it is likely that they will c-section her this afternoon, but we would like to avoid that as it will throw off her ironman training regimen ;-). Please keep Suz and the baby in your prayers, and I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Guest Post

This post is brought to you by Suzanne's husband Jay. Suz is in no state to blog and I keep telling her that she needs to update all the people who are waiting for news. So, here's the deal. It is 3:36 right now and we have been in the delivery room for 27 hours. After some false starts, it looks like she is going to achieve liftoff in the next few hours. The contractions are just a few minutes apart, and the baby seems healthy. A special thank you to the baby's grandparents. Marilyn and Ruth have been running our home and shuttling the kids to school, gymnastics and the doctor. My Mom has Joe and our dog, and my dad and Carmen have been calling/praying non stop.

Here is a picture of Suz taken completely against her will. We'll keep you posted as events progress.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Waiting for Godot

Waiting for a baby to arrive is a bit like waiting for Godot.

Did you ever read that bizarre play in high school or college? Two guys are waiting for this mysterious person to arrive, but he never does. Yet, for an inexplicable reason, they can't stop waiting. They pass their time by complaining and arguing, all the while coping with aches and pains and generally uncomfortable conditions. There are rumors as to what Godot will be like, but we don't really know for sure. At the end of the day a messenger arrives to let them know that Godot won't be coming today, but surely will tomorrow. We have no confidence that this is true or that he will ever arrive.

I suppose that this final waiting game is nature's way of preparing us for the rigours of labor. By the time the day finally arrives, we would willingly go through any experience just to end the wait! Too big and uncomfortable to do much of anything, too close to delivery to make any plans, we full-termers putter around the house, do a few things that require minimal commitment and, well, wait for this person who may or may not come anytime soon. This person we don't even know. This person who could be dark or light, cranky or mellow, big or little, boy or girl.

One way or another, my wait will be over in two days. I will be induced on Tuesday if the baby doesn't come today or tomorrow, but of course I hope it comes on its own.

In the meantime, I am thinking that "Godot Di Silvestri" has a nice ring.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hands Off

In an effort to control toy hoarding and materialism in our family, I long ago instituted a 3-item "no-touching list." This means that each child, at any given time, can have 3 items--and only 3 items--that are so special to them that no other member of the family may use or touch them. Everything not on these lists, although they may officially "belong" to one child or another, is part of the general use collection of the playroom.

This has generally worked very well. New things make their way on the list, rotating older things off. The kids openly communicate with one another about what is most important to them and it keeps them from the rut of "everything is mine and you can't touch it." Periodically, they share their lists with one another and I have been surprised at the familiarity over time that each one has with the others' ever-changing lists.

Yesterday, as we were driving, Sam was poking and generally bothering Julia (age 3) in the back seat. She ended it all quite efficiently by stating, "Stop it, Sam. I'm on my no-touching list."

Works for me.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Yes, Moms and Dads are Different

As if I needed another reminder of this fact, I received one when I picked up the kids from school yesterday.

Jay uses my car to drop the kids off in the morning. I love that he takes them to school almost every day, as Joey and I can get right to our homeschooling day. As a bonus, he takes Tony the toddler and Trooper the puppy along for the ride so I can have about 45 minutes of peace to get the day started right.

When I get in my car to pick up the kids in the afternoon, I always turn on Dr. Laura. I enjoy listening to her for the 20 minutes it takes me to get to the school. Then, once the kids are in the car, we usually talk for awhile and then I put on a CD, Disney favorites or something like that.

The kids were bickering so much on the way home yesterday, that I decided to drown them out and end it all by turning up the music really loud. I flipped to CD mode and turned to song 2, as I knew the Disney CD was in from our last drive and that they all like that song.

Instead of the "Mulan" song I expected, Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" came blaring out of the speakers. I didn't even know we had that CD. But, to my surprise, the kids did. Sam shouted, over the chorus of general approval, "Turn it up, I LOVE this song!". He is 5.

I said, "How do you even KNOW this song?" and he informed me that daddy plays it real loud, as he bounces them over the dirt road shortcut on the way to school in the morning. Apparently, car time with daddy is a little different than car time with mom.

Other selections include The Who, The Clash, The Ramones, and Johnny Cash, among others.

I'm half horrified and half proud. Some of this, after all, is really good music and I support the kids having exposure to many types of culture (with definite limits, of course). But the lyrics? Hmm. Jay assures me he selects the songs carefully according to their content. OK, then.

So, I'm really not complaining. I'm just saying...we're different.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Message for Dog Heaven

In my recent nesting frenzy, I cleaned out the top shelf of the girls' closet yesterday and found a box that Lindsey had decorated and cut out. The message I saw on the bottom, likely written six months or so ago (when she was 6 1/2), brought me to tears:

For those who aren't as fluent as I in the phonetic stylings of Kindergartners and First Graders, this reads: I miss you, Pumbaa. I love you. If I could see you one more time. If you can come back. I love you.

Pumbaa was our Mastiff that died last Christmas, and she wrote this long before Trooper, the new Mastiff puppy, came on the scene. If I hadn't already been talked into getting a puppy against my will, this is all it would have taken. I am so outnumbered in this regard.

I forget how much goes on inside our kids that we don't even know about. I wrongly assume that if I am not hearing about it, it is not happening. Young children have rich emotional lives and are dealing with things we don't credit them for. What a good reminder this is for me.

I love what Jay told Lindsey about dogs and heaven when Pumbaa died. Naturally, she wanted to know if she would see Pumbaa in heaven. Not wanting to explain the uniqueness of human souls, Jay answered, "If you need Pumbaa to be in heaven in order for you to be perfectly happy, he will be there. Because you will be perfectly happy in heaven." She was content with this, sure in her heart that he, then, would be there. Yet, Jay's answer allows that her understanding of perfect happiness may change over time.

And perhaps Pumbaa will be there, as God's special gift to us. That would be nice.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


It is a wonderful thing, the urge that women get in those last few weeks to prepare for the baby. Just when I was sure it was not going to come this time, that I was too tired and big to do anything, I was suddenly struck with the urgent need to get things clean and ready and RIGHT THIS SECOND!

So, this post serves as my official (and only) break from a flurry of preparation activity. So far just this morning, the girls' furniture got rearranged, clothing drawers were re appropriated, newborn baby clothes were located and stowed, and tiny diapers and wipes were put in their place. Next, the infant car carrier will be taken down and cleaned, and the hospital bag will be packed. I don't have this much energy when I'm NOT pregnant, so I know this is the real deal.

The family is taking all of this well, though I think the kids are a little wary of this determined person who is unexpectedly up, running and barking orders. Jay, by experience, knows it is pointless to get in the way of this unstoppable train and has graciously made himself available for lifting and carrying, and, even as I write, is at the hardware store getting a few things for projects that simply could not wait another minute in my opinion. Example: the girls have been without an overhead light in their room for nearly a year now and for some inexplicable reason I cannot allow tomorrow to dawn without one being in place. Enough of unfinished projects! Enough of unfiled clutter! Enough, I say!

This preparation is not just limited to the physical, but also the financial. I simply must have Jay's outstanding expense reports completed, all bills paid in advance, and as much of our taxes done as possible. Why? I don't know, I just do. I need to have everything in order, and yesterday. How about the kids' valentines? Birthday gifts for next month's birthdays? Look out, because they are getting done now!

If I could bottle this hormone, whatever it is, and save it for non-pregnant times, I would be on top of the world. An eighth of this energy and determination would keep my house humming all year long.

Why isn't someone researching this?