We forgot to post these last month, but better late than never. Our friend Judy took this picture, as well as a few of the others from this month.
Madeleine is six months old today. Everyone said the time would move quickly, and it was here before we knew it. We're working on child-proofing the house, as she is contemplating crawling. She's also getting increasingly interested in the food we're eating...Guess after six months of nothing but breast milk she's ready for some variety. Avocados will be her first solid food. We're trying to make sure she doesn't hit 20 years old before trying them (as Ann did).
Here are some pictures from her sixth month.
We're into Madeleine's fifth month. For the past few days she's been sleeping more consistently and longer, particularly at night (we're hoping that lasts). Also: more smiles, laughing and general cuteness. Here are the photos from month 4.
We're finally posting some photos from Madeleine's first Halloween. She was able to show off her costume at my company's Halloween party, and she got some rousing applause as the first of the kids to display her costume. We took these extra photos the next day.
Wow... time flies. Madeleine is already eleven days into her fourth month, and we've just gotten around to posting photos of her third month.
Madeleine turned two months old yesterday. We've posted some new photos of her second month.
It's hard to believe that Madeleine was born over a month ago! But she's been racking up the experiences. She's met all her grandparents now, taken her first stroller ride, gone to mass (at three different parishes), and has done a lot of sleeping, eating, grunting, and stretching. We've just posted photos of her third and fourth week...
Ann's water broke at 4am on 7/8/2006, and contractions started at around 2am on 7/9. We were pretty excited, as they were under 5 minutes apart when they started, and over 45 seconds. But over the next 60 hours, the contractions alternated between slowing way down and speeding back up, and Ann only got a couple hours of sleep. We tried a whole number of options for encouraging labor, stopping short of castor oil. We were becoming concerned that Ann may get too exhausted to push the baby out if the labor didn't progress more quickly, and of the greater potential for infection with the water breaking over 72 hours earlier (or perceived dangers and hospital protocol if we had to transport later).
On the afternoon of 7/11, we decided to leave home to go with our Plan B, to give birth at St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco with their Homestyle Midwifery group. The main decision point to do so was to get pitocin to encourage Ann's contractions. And indeed they did. Ann went from 4 cm to 10 cm in about six hours, and then pushed for 2 hours and 13 minutes. To everyone's surprise (there was no good way to tell before the birth), Madeleine came out in "posterior brow asynclitic" presentation, forehead first, facing up and tilted to the left. That only happens in 1/1000 births and means the head is coming through in the widest possible angle. We found out later that obstetrical textbooks say it is almost impossible to give birth vaginally in such cases and it usually means an automatic C-section. (Only 3 in 10,000 are born that way vaginally.) Well, Ann pushed her out without pain meds, but ended up with 70+ stitches because of the fourth degree tear it created. The birth was apparently the talk of the Labor & Delivery floor the next day as none of those who worked there had ever seen such an occurrence.
Ann did an amazing job through the labor and birth. Her sense of humor came through, and the midwives wrote down some of her choice quotes on her charts ("I am woman, here me roar!"). She startled everyone an hour after the birth when she jumped up to start pushing out the placenta... she must have had some good hormones going!
While we obviously would have preferred a home birth, we were happy with our decision to go to the hospital, and felt that the "home-style" experience at St. Luke's was the closest we could have come to our desired birth at a hospital (despite some minor annoyances with hospital protocol). There was a great midwife there and a very helpful midwife in training who capture much of the later labor and birth on camera and videotape. Our midwives were able to pretty much do what they would have with us at home, and one of them caught Madeleine as she came out. (In the end, we went through the entire pregnancy and birth without ever having to see a doctor.)
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.
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.
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.