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Madeleine Grace Canavese was born on July 11, 2006 at 10:23pm (shown here in an outfit given to us by our friend Lori).  While we planned to have the birth at our home in Alameda, Madeleine had other plans.

It turns out that she came out in a rare (1/1000 births) anterior brow presentation—posterior and forehead first.  In addition to  causing back labor, it resulted in Ann getting 70+ stitches.

It's taken us a while to get the news of the birth out, because of our hospital stay and since our two main computers went out within a week of the birth. 


  • Weight: 7 lbs, 2 oz.
  • Length: 21 inches.
  • Head: 13 1/2  inches.
  • Location: St. Luke's Hospital, San Francisco

And, yes, she is a girl.  Ann and 80% of our friends and inquisitive strangers were convinced Ann was carrying a boy.  Of course, Paul knew she was a girl. 

As we have just started to get to know Madeleine, we have found her to have a strong personality and good strong lungs.

Her Name

The name Madeleine (in different forms) is found in both Paul and Ann's family tree.  One of Paul's Italian great-grandmothers was named Madeleine.  Ann's paternal grandmother was named Madelyne and a maternal great-grandmother was named Magdalene.

We liked the idea of naming her after a strong female character in the Bible and Madeleine is a French form of Magdalene, derived from Mary Magdalene.  While many erroneously label Mary Magdalene as a sexual sinner or the prostitute about to be stoned in John's Gospel, there is no biblical evidence for this. On the contrary, Mary Magdalene was a very positive and faithful disciple of Jesus.  She is considered the "apostle to the apostles" for spreading the word to others after the resurrection. Indeed, she is the only person whom Jesus is said to have appeared to after the resurrection in all four gospels. Some scholars even believe that Mary Magdalene was the "Beloved Disciple" given a prominent role in John's Gospel

As for her middle name of Grace, we were quite aware of all the grace we experienced through Ann's pregnancy carrying Madeleine and especially the labor and birth.  The word also came up again and again in many different contexts and conversations in the last days before the birth.  We also think she'll appreciate that middle name amidst all the other syllables that make up her name.




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