I remember being very young at the Italian festival in Buffalo, NY (where my parents are from) and someone gave my dad a cigar to celebrate a baby’s birth. I don’t remember who’s birth they were celebrating, but this stuck in my mind. So from pretty much the day we found out we were pregnant I started looking up chocolate and bubble gum cigars for Bill to hand out at the hospital.
I’m not sure where the tradition started, but a quick google search says it started back when there really weren’t hospitals around and men weren’t in the room helping with labor, but were instead waiting out in the living room with other men apparently and to pass the time they smoked cigars. Classy.
Regardless of where the tradition came from it was always something I wanted to do and Bill was on board too. We don’t know a lot of smokers so we opted for the candy version and ended up buying these bubble gum cigars from Amazon.com. I’m also a huge fan of the blog Lay Baby Lay and when I saw what Joni created for their little Brigette I knew I had to create something similar for Issa.
Every person who visited us at the hospital (and boy did we have a lot of visitors) received a cigar and a little card with Issabella’s name, spelling, pronunciation, meaning and that we plan to call her Issa. This was hugely important to me because her name is pronounced ee-sa-bell-a with a long ee like bee which is the Italian, Spanish, etc. pronunciation, not i-zz-a-bell-a which is so common these days. Also, her middle name is rose-mah-ree, Rose after my Great Grandmother and Mari after my mom and my middle names. We’ve called her Issa (again, the long ee) since we knew she was a she and I recently found out Issa is a boys name in Arabic meaning Jesus. Random, but interesting.
It meant the world to me that so many friends and family came to visit us and meet our baby Issa girl. These announcements were just a small token of our thanks.
UPDATE: You can now purchase a printable customized version of this design to announce your little one right in our etsy shop here.