I pity the fool…

Recently, there seems to be an inordinate amount of bad luck surrounding my family. My wife passed out in February and crashed her car with the girls in it – thankfully everyone was ok – but it could have been tragic. As a result of that medical event, my wife can no longer drive for at least a year, perhaps longer. As you can imagine, this puts a huge hardship on the entire family. To make things more complicated, she continues to have episodes of passing out every once in a while, which makes it prudent for her not to carry the kids up or down stairs anymore. Back to the driving – not only can she not drive, but I have to take her for many doctor appointments while the doctors try to figure out what is wrong, and I also have had to re-arrange my work arrangements so that I can spend more time working from home so that I can drive everyone places. I am working longer hours to make up the time, doing more chores at home, and pretty much burning the candle at both ends. Where am I going with all of this? It’s easy for someone in a predicament like this to ask for pity. It’s easy to lose track of all of the good things in the world and focus on the current uptick in negative things. But that’s just not in my DNA. I don’t want pity, though help is always welcome. I come home every day from work and give the family a big hug. I’m happy that everyone is healthy, and that I get to see and enjoy their presence another day. So in the face of all of the recent bad luck bestowed on my family, I still feel like the luckiest guy around to have, and be a part of, such an amazing family.


Oliviana is more than a month old and we have certainly had our fair share of blessings and challenges.  Her pattern of eating (every 2 hours) exceeded both mine and my wife’s expectations.   Brandyce has said at times, “I thought this would be easier!”  Taking care of a newborn is a lot of work, but it pays off every time she smiles at us, falls asleep on one of us, or is simply wide-eyed taking in the world around her.  

This past week has been uncharacteristically difficult for us, though, because both Brandyce and Oliviana have a cold.  I find myself worrying about both of them – but where the priority for me used to be taking the best care of Brandyce, now my priority is taking the best care of Oliviana and checking-in on Brandyce.  It has been challenging enough for us to call in reinforcements – my in-laws.   My mother-in-law was here yesterday while I was at work, and she slept here last night.   It was a tremendous help having someone that could take care of Brandyce so that she could take care of Livy.  And then when Brandyce needed rest, having someone here who could take care of Livy.   God bless help!

As for our sleeping patterns, I find myself going to bed earlier than normal and getting up earlier than normal.  Due to the extreme cold spell, we have been sleeping on the couches to keep Livy warmer.   So when I get up early in the morning, I send Brandyce upstairs for a few hours of better rest while I watch Livy.  

All in all, we have a working pattern, but it is still a challenging one.  My biggest concern is Livy’s health right now, and I am very anxious for her to kick this cold!  

– The Father

Oliviana’s Birth Day!


Brandyce went into labor on Friday.  We went to the doctor’s office on Saturday and they told us that it was false labor due to dehydration.  But then Sunday night she started having more contractions.  That lasted all night Sunday and Monday.  On Monday we went to the doctor’s again and they told us that she has started to dilate.  So we came into the hospital at around 8pm and Brandyce decided almost immediately to get an epidural.  Now it’s a waiting game.  It is presently 3:00am on Tuesday and there is no sign yet of Oliviana.  I am awake watching the monitor and I can see that Brandyce’s contractions are about 7 minutes apart still.  It’s a mixed bag of emotions that I am feeling right now.  I am excited, anxious, apprehensive, impatient, and cautious.  Some of those are mutually exclusive to each other, further adding to the tension.

Updates to follow.

Update – 12/17/2013

Just a few hours after I posted this original message, Brandyce was ready for the final phase.   It took another 3 hours after that before Oliviana Maria Lombardo was born.  1:43 PM, the doctor handed our daughter over to us.   It has been quite a ride since then.  The first few nights were nearly sleepless.   Emotions ran high for the first week as we paved the foundation of experience that has already started to help all three of us to relax a bit now.   All three of us are doing great!