Yesterday afternoon, I was thinking about Tayler (like always) and wondering how things were going. I even called my case worker, Adrienne, to see if she had heard anything, even though she said she would call us the minute there was any news. I just had to talk to someone who had a connection with Tayler. She said there had been no news, although she had heard from Margaret (Tayler's case worker) that she had been having contractions for a while. Adrienne also said that Margaret had tried to call her, but had not left a message - so that there probably was not any news.
Then, last night, Greg and I were enjoying a fairly quiet night at home. I say "fairly quiet" because Greg's sister Tammy was with us. We had a great dinner, and had watered the garden, and were about halfway through a game of Hand & Foot (I was winning, for once!) while Seinfeld was on the TV in the background.
And then my cell phone rang at 10:12 p.m. Greg was closer and hopped up to answer it. He looked at the caller ID and said, "It's Adrienne!" and I said "Well, answer it - what are you waiting for?"
I thought that phone call would be to tell us that Tayler had gone to the hospital and was starting labor. But then Greg was saying, "Hold on a minute, let me grab something to write with." He picked up the score sheet from the card game and sat at the counter and started writing.
During the next 4 minutes and 58 seconds, we got the best news ever - that Tayler had delivered a healthy baby girl about 9 p.m., and that she and the baby were doing well. I instantly started crying extremely happy tears, and Greg could not stop smiling, even as he was trying to get all of the details written down from Adrienne.
As soon as Greg got off the phone, we hugged and kissed (keeping it pretty brief for Tammy's benefit). I kept on saying to myself, "Tayler had the baby. She had the baby!" It was so overwhelmingly real and present. I felt so much joy and gratitude and excitement.
And then we were both working our phones. We started with our parents, and I texted every one in my address book (with Tammy's help - Greg got a new phone, so I upgraded to his old one, and I had only had it about 8 hours, so I am still learning how to use it - it is the same one as Tammy's old one - hence all of the help:-). Then we grabbed our computers and started emailing, and I posted a quick update on my blog and on facebook. I just wanted to let every single person I know the happy news!
We have been talking about names forever and it has been hard to come up with the perfect name for this perfect baby. Earlier in the day, I had stopped by Greg's office to pick up my new phone, and we were talking names. There is a whiteboard on the wall, and I wrote out multiple combinations of the names we were mulling over:
We knew that her middle name would be Caitlin after Tayler Caitlin. That part was easy. We both love the name Hannah for its Biblical significance. And I have loved Eliana since I first found it in my baby book over 12 years ago.
We thought we were pretty set on Michelle Caitlin (after our niece Kylene Michelle), and have been telling people that for a few weeks. But last Friday night, driving home from Midway after being with Gwen & Dave, Greg said, "How do you feel about Eliana? Should we name this baby that?"
The more I have thought about it, the more I have wanted to. I love the way the name rolls off your tongue, and that Ellie is the perfect, natural nickname. And most of all, I love what it means.
This baby is the answer to all of our prayers.
So we decided on the name, and just then I got a picture text from Adrienne with a beautiful picture of baby Ellie.
Wrapped in the glow of the news, we migrated down to the nursery. We looked through the diaper bag again to make sure I had put everything in that we would need. I showed Greg more outfits and started pulling them off of hangars so that I could wash them. I grabbed my scissors and starting cutting off tags.
And then we got in bed and tried to sleep. I just laid there and thought about Tayler and the baby and all of the last minute, final details I need to get done so that everything is ready. The last time I looked at my clock it said 3:47. And then Greg's cell phone rang at 7:30 this morning, and I was up and could not go back to sleep. I hope Tayler got more sleep than I did... It's just practice for the next 18 years, right?
Now it is time to finish all of the last minute errands and to bask in the glow that Ellie is here safely.
This is a bittersweet time. The joy we feel is tempered by our sorrow for the loss that Tayler will feel. She is making an extremely difficult, completely selfless decision, and we are overwhelmingly grateful. We love her so much, and are awed that she has chosen to invite us to be a part of her life in this way.
Please keep praying for Tayler, and for Ellie, and for us.