Wednesday, August 5, 2009


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:

Michelle Caitlin
Hannah Caitlin
Eliana Caitlin

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.
I opened the text and started crying again (surprisingly, the tears had stopped by then!). I could not stop staring at her and trying to take in every possible detail from the tiny, fuzzy picture. I blew it up and we looked at it bigger. I could not take my eyes off of her!
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.


Kelly said...

I'm crying just reading this! I can't tell you how happy our family is for your family! Cameron and Josh did the Happy Dance when I told them your baby was here this morning. And Tayler, what a selfless act! It all just reminds me of President Kimball telling us that the Lord loves us and works through other people.

We are more than willing and available to help with any of those last minute details you mentioned. Give me a list! I'm good to go and the boys love to help!

Magson said...

The sleeplessness is practive for the next several months, anyway... and then periodically for the next 18 years after that ;-)

The Gardner Family said...

Tears here too! Your description of how you found out was awesome--as if we were there with you! You and Greg are going to be the perfect parents to that little angel!

Gabe said...


When I found out you had been chosen (only a few short months ago) I could not stop smiling.

Now that your precious, beautiful miracle is here I can't stop crying! (And checking for updates).

Please know that numerous people are praying for your family and for that sweet, selfless young lady, Tayler. It is so wonderful to know how brave she is. She will always be a hero to me even though I have not met her.

Congratulations! I LOVE her names, they are perfect.

Rachelle said...

Oh Heather I love the details you share. I can't stop crying when I see the many blessings you are enjoying and will enjoy! Keep us posted!

Beth said...

Ha ha! I didn't know I was logged in as Gabe.

He shares my sentiments too!

Life's Journey said...

Oh what a very very sweet story. I am so very thrilled and happy for the both of you. Congratulations the baby is beautiful and I love the name. I hope and will keep praying that everything continues to go well for you and your newest family member. HAPPY DAY!

Traci said...

CONGRATS! SHE IS SOOO DARLING! And what a cute name. You two will be the funest parents. If you need anything let us know.

Heather said...

Thanks for all of your support and congratulations! We are (obviously) so over the top excited.

And Beth, I knew that "Gabe" was you - I did not think that Gabe would write in quite your style. And Tayler is my hero as well...

Kathryn said...

OH! I can't breathe!! It's just such a MOMENT. As much as I hurt for Tayler, I rejoice for you & Greg.

Her name is perfect & we are all just filled with such JOY for you!

Let us know what you need - anytime.

Julie M said...

Thank you for sharing all the details of how you found out, allows us all to share in your moment!:)

Our prayers are with you, Greg, your new sweet, beautiful little baby girl and Tayler...what a gift that you and Greg are very deserving of!


Renee said...

I have thought about you guys nonstop for the last couple of days. I am so thrilled that she is finally here and that all is well. When do you get to meet little Ellie in person? I can't wait! Congrats a million times! We LOVE you guys.

Natalie said...

Yay Heather!

Congrats! Eliana is a very lucky girl (with one of the prettiest names ever!). I can't wait to see pictures!

(P.S. Perhaps you should let Eliana listen to a little Eliane Elias, a phenomenal Brazilian jazz pianist. Babies do love jazz!)


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