Life with Little Isabella

A weblog about the birth of our little Isabella - and then some of the ups and downs of life.
The newest posts are first (reverse order).

Thursday, April 28, 2005

more photos

I created two galleries in the past day-- check them out if you're so inclined!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Monday Update

Mother and child are doing fine, bonding well and 'latching on.' Angi probably overdid it this weekend when she was feeling well by doing the stairs too many times and lifting things she shouldn't have, so today she's reclined and resting.

I put up a fourth gallery on the Isabella photo site-- I don't know how long I'll continue to publish these updates, because the suspense is over, the baby is here and doing well. But anyone who knows me knows I'll continue to update my dear child's photo site!

Thanks again for all your support!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

More pics...

The third Isabella gallery is up -

Scroll down to see the links to the newer galleries--- T

Saturday, April 23, 2005

12:30 pm Saturday - Going home!

Angi passed her checks, Isabella passed everything with flying colors, and the car is mostly packed. Just when I thought we'd get going, they brought us lunch. They had an extra one for me. Due to my predilection for conserving food whenever possible (a holdout trait from my bachelor days, borne of the post-depression values passed down from my parents), we're eating before heading home...

Next report from there!


Friday, April 22, 2005

Second Photo Gallery Up and Functioning

After a whole bunch of trouble, I finally got the second photo gallery online.

Remember you can always click the smiley face on any page to go back to its index page. Let me know any problems. The theme of this second gallery is "Up Close and Personal" with Isabella. More pics later... and tomorrow we go home!


All is well, just tired

Hi everybody--
everything is going well, Angi is on track to be discharged tomorrow, Isabella is wonderful and precious, and I was just too tired last night to do my planned update and photos!

But I am working on that this morning, so stay tuned-- I have some wonderful photos from yesterday. And Angi is in good spirits. Feeding the baby is going very well, and we can't wait to be home and also to see our little puppies we miss so much (and we know they are missing us). Thanks to Gayle and Zosha for taking care of Hannah and Mud during our hospital time.
If I can get the photos up before the 10:00 breastfeeding class, I will. Otherwise, shortly thereafter.

Update at 12:50 pm - I have been uploading pics for almost an hour. This dialup access is for the birds. I can't wait to get home to my cable modem! There aren't that many pics, but some really good ones... so check a little after 1:00 for the new gallery. You may have to 'refresh' or ' 'reload' the page to see the update (Windows users, hit F5).


Thursday, April 21, 2005

The First Morning

She had a good night, she's such a good baby. They brought her in a few times to try to breastfeed-- she finally got the hang of it this morning.

Angi slept well with medication helping. I was restless on this rock-hard cot-couch contraption, but I am OK.

This blog website is having technical problems-- sometimes giving error messages, sometimes duplicating your comments, but stick with it-- they are ironing out the problems.

And if you haven't seen the photos I put up last night, see If you forget, there's a link from the bottom of the main page of


Better Photo Gallery

I got to bathe my new daughter tonight-- her first bath-- wow.

Angi has to miss a lot of this in recovery, but I am photographing and videotaping as much as I can. I uploaded some more pics to the site I posted below-- check them out.

This has been such a wonderful experience!!!

To bed with mee -- z--z -zzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

photos and a repo

Angi just was brought back to the room from recovery-- she looks great and is going to be fine. Her whole immediate family, niece, and nephews are here.

The photos are up in a raw directory-- no index page-- just click here:

There are three-- now I have to be a good husband and father and I will post more photos overnight. Thanks for your prayers!!!!



Born at 7:07 p.m., CDT

9 lbs, 2.6 oz, 21 1/2 " long, our beautiful girl is here!

Isabella Nicole Schaps

Picture to follow in a few minutes...


6:15 - a new road to Isabella

Nurse Joyce and Dr. Waschbusch were not happy with the dilation progress being made and at 5:00 decided to give Angi's cervix one more hour to open. The 6:00 check showed no progress, so the decision has been made to perform a C-section ("Kaiserschnitt" fuer die deutsch-sprechenden Lesern). It will take a bit of time to get everything arranged, but we will welcome our lovely Isabella to the world tonight, and you WILL have photos to see early tomorrow morning!

We are of course a bit nervous, but also thankful we have these modern options available to us. Please say your best prayers for Angi, Isabella, and the doctor tonight.

Thank you-- Tony

3:52 pm - nursing update

Nurse Kay's shift ended at 3:00, but she hung around doing reports for a while. Our new nurse is Joyce, and she just said her goal is to get Angi delivered by the time her shift ends at 11:00.

That's nice to hear.

Also forgot to mention that a chaplain came by to say some prayers with us a while ago. When tension was a little higher due to baby heartbeat and Angi blood pressure, I got a little concerned and asked for the chaplain to come. Was very nice. Seemed to help, too!


2:30 pm - The road to Isabella is not without its bumps

Isabella is delaying the game a bit-- but she's doing OK, which is the important part. The epidural led to a reduction in Angi's blood pressure, which is normal, but it took Nurse Kay out of her comfort zone because it went a bit too low. Then Isabella reacted to that and her heartbeat jumped up. So while the nurses scrambled to contact the doctor and fax her the printouts, Kay turned off the pitocin. It was off about a half hour until the doctor called to say it could be turned back on, but during which the contractions slowed down.

So, we're back on the road to birthing after a Bella detour-- but once again, the important part is that she's doing fine.

3:35 pm - update for the update

I wrote the above but never got online to post it. Now it's 3:35, and here's the latest... Angi's been holding on like trouper, falling in and out of sleep. In the past hour, Angi's blood pressure became stable, Isabella's pulse normalized, and the pitocin is back to doing its thing. But it's slow going. I am no longer fully confident we'll have a baby yet today! But Molly the Doula tells us that this is the hump of dilation to get through, and it will be easier and probably quicker soon.

So, is that the news you've been hoping for? Gosh darn it, no! Everybody wants a baby! And we'll be in touch when it happens.


1:30 update - No baby yet, but...

A lot has happened - after a lot of walking and many and more frequent contractions, Nurse Kay reduced the amout of pitocin. But the contracts were coming with barely any time to rest between them. Angi finally requested some relief an hour or so ago, so Kay put in the order for an epidural. It took nearly an hour before it all happened, but with great results. Angi is now able to get a bit of sleep. The contractions have taken a lot out of her, but she's quite a trooper. After the epidural kicked in, the contractions have subsided, so I think Kay has now kicked up the pitocin again. Andrea and Molly have gone off to have a bite of lunch and stuff, and I ate Angi's very basic lunch that she can't have now.

So, while I am quite certain we'll have Isabella yet today, it's taking longer than I hoped. I am just so relieved to see Angi charging her batteries for what's yet to come.

I am not used to being so disconnected from the world and world news, but I suppose it's good for me.

One other note-- one of the nurses in this unit has the name "Necole." Not spelled the same, but sounds the same as Isabella's middle name. Necole came in to adjust Angi's contraction monitor, because they weren't getting a good signal at the nurses' station.

OK, I am exhausted, too. I might try to catch a few zzzz's while Angi rests and I don't have to be there to hold her hand. I am emotionally tired, which doesn't compare to what she's going through, but is still hard for little old me. Thanks for all your prayers and happy thoughts.


10:22 am update

I know there are a whole bunch of people checking on this blog - it's been a mostly uneventful morning, but now there is something to report!

Let's catch up--

Nurse Cynthia woke us up about 6:30 and did the check which prompted me to write the first report today. Baby head is right there. Cynthia had been our nurse all night, but of course, we had slept right through it.

Nurse Kay is our new nurse today-- we hope she won't get called away. She started Angi on the pitocin and put her on the monitor (actually, reverse order - they monitor her for 15 minutes to make sure all is well). Then, after some sleep, some food, some walking, not much had transpired. Then my mother came to visit and brought some extra clothes for me (and my slippers-- thank you Mom!) As she was leaving about 10:00, nurse Kay walked by and said, "change of plans." She came in with a crochet-hook type apparatus and broke Angi's water. Now we get down to serious business! Angi's resting again (the medication from last night is still having some effect), then we're on to some more walking and birthing ball exercises.

Angi is feeling more contractions, and we're quite sure that this will be the day!

Thanks for sticking with us and sending your prayers -- Tony (for Angi).

A new day, a new life coming...

Good progress this morning-- first check of the day shows baby's head is much lower than yesterday, no bouncing around, right at the cervix, and the cervix is further thinned... so Angi's showering and getting ready for the pitocin IV...

More news as it develops...


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

11:30 pm - last post of the day

Well, Angi is finally asleep-- they gave her some sort of sleeping pill at 9:30 but it didn't have much effect. At 10:30 we called in our evening nurse, Marianne, and she gave Angi a little shot in the posterior which made her drift off to dreamy land shortly thereafter. I have been doing a little online stuff and am following suit quickly. I actually got a nice nap this evening-- as Angi was watching the Gilmore Girls in the 7:00 hour, I predictably fell asleep in the chair. I awoke at 8:30 to find that Marty, Monica and Kaden had been visiting for a little while without waking me (I guess I was sawing logs pretty heavily). Monica gave birth to Kaden at this hospital 14 months ago, in a room two doors down. By the time I awoke, they were just leaving. Darn it, but that nap did me good. And the Mike's Hard Lemonade that Marty brought me will help me get to sleep now!

We are optimistic about tomorrow, a new day, and we thank God for all the wonderful friends and family members who have sent their wishes and prayers and helped us along the way. Thanks also to my co-workers at St. Rose School who have been so supportive and understanding. It looks like I won't be making it in any day this week.

Good night, and God bless...


P.S. If we'd had a boy today, Benedict might have been his name at the last minute. I'll bet there are a lot of newborn Benedicts today.

6:45 pm, and all's well...

Hello dear readers-

Time for some clarifications:I guess Angi's not gellin' (like Magellan, or otherwise)-- Nurse Julie put in Cervidil® - 10 mg Dinoprostone in 241 mg hydrogel polymer (cross-linked polyethylene oxide/urethane) with polyester retrieval system. I am so glad I at least can read the package. Too bad I just can't understand exactly what's going on, despite the continued explanations of patient people like Nurse Julie. In any case, this is not gel, this is a gauze-like material with some sort of stuff on it I callously, but somewhat correctly, referred to as a type of meat tenderizer. Its purpose is to soften the cervix and hopefully help contracts get stronger, and lead to the cervix opening and moving forward.

A common problem with all the nurses we've had today has been reaching the cervix to measure it. Dr. Kohls did not have trouble with this yesterday, leading to the possible conclusions that Angi's cervix retracted somewhat, or that Dr. Kohls has darn long fingers. OK, too much information.

Now Angi is resting on her side to let the Cervidil take effect, we're watching "Friends," and just chilling. Angi looks nice in her pink hospital gown. The gown they gave her today was light blue, and Andrea marched out in search of a pink one, and did not disappoint us! She also took some nice pics of us... if I am able tonight, I'll put a few online. But I am very tired... Thanks, Andrea!

Big thanks also to Molly Campe, our doula. If you don't know what a doula is, Google it! After all, you're on the internet if you're reading this. Molly's been a big help to both of us, and we hope she can come back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day if that's how long it takes to bring Isabella to this world!

Until later, T

5:25 pm - Holding our position for the Night

Well, Angi's doctor, Dr. Kohls, is off tomorrow, so she wanted to have us go home tonight and come back tomorrow evening to start this gel stuff overnight. Angi, who has maintained an incredibly positive attitude all day, finally broke under the stress and exhaustion and told the doctor she didn't want to retreat now. Dr. Kohls was just concerned that we got her excellent care and also that Angi got some much-needed rest, but Angi convinced her one of her associates would be fine tomorrow, she would sleep better tonight here, and we really wanted to continue the induction. Thus, Dr. Waschbusch will be Angi's doctor tomorrow, and we are hopeful the 20th of April will be Isabella's day. I am so proud of Angi for sticking to her guns.

Some may know that Angi picked April 20 in a "Due-Date" pool back in December. Some may also suspect that Angi has designs on winning this pool! But we know Isabella is on her own schedule and will come when she's good and ready, or when properly induced to think that she's good and ready!

I told Angi that God only wants one big event per day, so with Pope Benedict XVI being elected today, our big event had to be postponed until tomorrow. And hey, she's looking healthy, and that's the important thing.

Oh, yes, we've gone through a few more nurses-- Nurse Linda had to go attend a C-section, so Nurse Patty came on the task. Then she got called away for something else, and now we have Nurse Julie. But, Nurse Julie is off work at 7:00, so someone else will take the night shift.

In any case, Angi just took a bath herself and is now chatting with her mother on the phone. I'll upload this, and then we'll go for a walk, and then have a bite to eat. Around 6:00 they'll start the gellin' (like Magellan?) and about 9:00 they'll be giving Angi something to help her sleep.

More later-- thanks for reading! T

3:30 pm - Isabella exercising her prerogative...

Inching up the pitocin has not had too much effect. They are doing a nurse shift change right now, so we'll see what the new nurse Patty says when she checks in with us. Outgoing nurse Linda says that at 4:00 p.m., if signs are not more encouraging on the contraction front, they will probably stop the pitocin and put in some sort of gel thingie (progestiglandin?) which will work to further soften the cervix. With Angi relaxing overnight, the baby may decide to come after all. And if not, they will restart pitocin in the morning.

Smarty husband (that's me) made the suggestion that Angi try sitting on the birthing ball to ease her back pain and stretch the birthing channel a bit. Unfortunately, after 20 minutes on the ball, Angi found that her pitocin IV (intravenous link) had come loose, and she was going probably the whole time without the pitocin going in.

But, there is fantastic news to report: the baby heartbeat monitor shows that Isabella is in fine shape. She's just not ready to meet us yet. And, frankly, the way I look today, I don't blame her!

In any case, Angi (and I) will probably get a better night's sleep here than we got last night with all the preparations and anticipation. Sheer exhaustion will win tonight.

More later, once we find out what is going to happen.


12:30 pm - still waiting...

Hello everyone--

we just had a new nurse come in (nurse Kim got called away to another mother whose baby was ready to pop out). Nurse Linda checked Angi and found no major change yet; still 3 cm, still very soft and apparently ready for action. Linda said she still has a ways to go on the pitocin dial, but she wants to call the doctor about 1:00 with an update. So if you're the prayin' sort, put in a request for a little kick into what they call 'active labor.'

Molly the doula and Andrea the camera operator and comic relief just went for a bite of lunch, and Angi and I caught about 5 minutes of shut eye. Considering how little sleep we ended up getting last night, that was nice.

More news forthcoming as we have it...

9:45 am update

We got checked in, have a nice room, Angi started pitocin drip about 8:30. She is feeling fine. They will be checking her dilation again about 10:00. It was still at 3 cm this morning, we'll soon see if anything has progressed. Molly, our doula was here to meet us, and Andrea just arrived to take video and pictures. We took a few rounds around the halls with the pitocin drip thingie in tow.

We put in a DVD, but there are so many interruptions, we can't watch more than 5 minutes at a time. Kim is our nurse, Marisela is the student nurse, and Dr. Kansas is a resident who's been here to check. We've not seen Dr. Kohls yet.

All is fine. Angi just found out I am online, and she is not happy. But I assured her this is all I am doing.

SHOULD YOU NEED TO CALL-- we are in room 17, the direct dial number is 651-232-7517 (when I am not online)

More later, T

Up early---

I couldn't sleep very well-- I got up at 4:00 am, Angi followed at 4:30. We are a little discombobulated... only thing that could stop us now would be the hospital when we call about 6:00 to confirm they didn't fill up their rooms overnight...

Stay tuned!



Hi-- this is papa-to-be-Tony-- we are waiting patiently for baby Isabella to come out, but the doctor thinks she needs a little encouragement. We are checking Angi in to St. John's Hospital tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7:00 a.m. to begin induction.

Everyone is healthy, and I'll post any details I am able to give. At this point, I don't even know if I'll be able to get online at all at the hospital.

Until later... T