Monday, February 6, 2017

And Clive makes five: a birth story

My dearest friends, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that I proudly present to you, our son, Clive Anthony Rauch!

We had known from the beginning that he would come via scheduled c-section at 39 weeks, so his birthday was already penciled in on our calendar a while back. There was a chance he would come early, but given he was scheduled for 39 weeks instead of 40 and I never went into labor with the girls, we knew it would be a little less likely we'd be meeting him early. Just in case, I waited to order another birthstone charm for my mother's day necklace Joel gave me last year.

In anticipation of Groundhog Day (yes, Punxatawney Phil did see his shadow predicting 6 more weeks of winter), I was determined to be as prepared as I could for the transition to having a newborn and life with three under three. I scheduled out help for the next few weeks,  planned his baptism and reception, stocked up on disposable dishes and paper products, made freezer meals, washed and stocked his clothes, cleared out the girls' room (to eventually become the shared room for all three kids), and shopped. I should probably be honest here: not all of my motivation came from my need to plan and prepare in hopes of a motherhood gold star... most of it was just because I was excited and stir crazy and nesting and couldn't stop watching the clock. I guess there's something about knowing the exact date and time of your child's birth months in advance that makes time craaaawl.

I didn't end up showing any signs of labor beyond Braxton Hicks contractions (starting about 29 weeks and never really grew painful, just annoying and uncomfortable). All in all, leading up to his cesarean was pretty uneventful, which I guess is a good thing (it just makes for a much less interesting blog post).

So let's talk about his name...

We love old-timey names of our grandparents' generation, like Arthur, Francis, Theodore, and Wyatt. We wanted something that was easy to pronounce, easy to spell, sounded good with our last name, and didn't have any obvious nicknames that weren't our taste. Bonus points for any names that are after or influenced by someone of particular importance to us, like a family member or saint. Oh, and it also couldn't be a repeat name on my side of the family, which ruled out about 70 names (no biggie, right?). Surprisingly enough, this task proved a little more difficult than we had expected.

After a few weeks of scanning baby name books, Sancta Nomina, Baby Name Wizard, and Pinterest (obviously), it still seemed like we were no where closer to agreeing on a name. Until finally, Joel had a breakthrough. He doesn't remember what inspired the train of thought, but as he was mentally sifting through names of authors, theologians, and teachers that inspired us, he remembered Clive Staples Lewis, more commonly known as C. S. Lewis. I'm assuming my initial reaction to the name was much like some of our family's when they heard. "Clive? Clive? Where did that come from? Really? Clive. Ok, maybe I could see it.... Actually, I kind of love it!" We went through our criteria it had to pass: check, check, check, check, check, check, check. Clive it is!

It was important to us to also include a family member in one way or another. We started a list of family names that we particularly liked and played around with some of those, but even that got a little tricky. On my mom's side of the family we generally don't repeat names (even though we are rapidly growing ha ha!) but on my dad's side (which is 100% Sicilian) it's a huge honor to have names repeated. Joel's family doesn't really make a huge deal about repeating names as far as I understand. It didn't take us long to figure out that both of our fathers have the middle name Anthony, which is also an Italian name, which is also the name of St. Anthony of Padua (saint of miracles, doctor of the Church, finder of lost things, patron of women who cannot conceive). In using his name, we're offering Clive a patron saint AND the legacy of carrying on his grandfathers' middle name, which we thought was pretty awesome.

During my semester studying abroad in 2009, I visited Padua and we became besties.
I might as well caption this, "Hey, can I name my firstborn son after you in 10 years? K sweet thanks."
Ok back to his birth... his surgery was pretty uneventful (except for him being born OBVIOUSLY). It was a little harder on me this time around and I was totally wiped. The anesthesia side effects were rough, so I spent most of the first 24 hours sleeping and/or on Benadryl, so it was quite the effort to keep my eyes open. All the same, our first time all together as a family of five was a joy. My heart has never been so full!!

I know this was a little short, but I wrote quite a bit about Clive before he was born (way back when we were still calling him "Ender") so here's when we realized we were pregnant and when we found out his gender.

In the mood for a trip down memory lane? Here's Celine's birth story and Monica's birth story.

Please pray for us as we take a little time to adjust to our new head count and get to know our little man. Thank you for all of the well wishes and sweet messages so far.. I haven't been able to respond to all, but we read and appreciate every single one.

And I heartily promise to share more baby pictures soon ;)

God bless!!



  1. Such an honor to have him share my name! Love you all - see you soon...
    - Papa Rauch

    1. We're honored to have him share your name! We can't wait to see you! :)

  2. Congratulations! He's adorable! I have a Frances and a Henry (and a Benjamin, but his name is super common). I love using old fashioned sounding names, and these turned out to be family names too.

    1. Thank you Rabia! I love those names! And what a bonus that they worked out to be family names too; I think that makes them all the more special <3