She procrastinated a bit, but she arrived.
It’s odd having a date in your mind, a date completely life-altering, come and go. For 9 months, we thought about March 27 — the day our baby girl would be born. But March 27 came and went, without a new little human in the world, and nothing really changed at all. It’s almost like planning a wedding, then, when it gets near, telling people, “It might be a few weeks — we’ll let you know.” But now the 27th is just another date in March, because our little one was born April 3 at 12:54am.
Meghan was a champ. I mean, I know this girl is tough — I’ve seen her tramp weeks on end in the Annapurna Mountains with hardly a complaint, finish a yoga teacher training class while planning a wedding and working full-time, hammering through hundreds of hours of clinical hours while completing her Masters (again while working full-time) and being pregnant to boot. I’ve seen her dominate the Courage Classic, a 180-mile bike race over Vail Pass. But I’ve never seen anyone handle something like this - natural labor - with such focus, determination, and grace. She was in active labor for about 6 hours, in varying degrees of difficulty, and when it was all said and done, Meg had done it all naturally and we had a sweet, healthy, 7lb 13.5oz baby girl.
As is the custom at Mountain Midwifery Center, we went home just five hours after delivery on a beautiful, dark snowy morning. The spring storm left 5 or so inches on the ground as we carried out our baby girl in her new car seat, wrapped in a blanket, taking her first nap in the fresh Colorado air.
Along with Meg’s mom and sister, we were fortunate to have wonderful staff with us that evening, as well as a fantastic doula named Barbara, who was especially helpful in active labor at our house before we left.
It took us a couple days to settle on a name — such an epic responsibility to give a person a name, a name they will have for life. What if Apple Computer had been named Mango Computer? I mean, I’m not comparing her to a multinational corporation, only saying that names have power. I had so many thoughts for each name we had on the list - what profession it sounded like, how people would say it or not say it, what nicknames people would use, how she would write it, where people would think she’s from seeing it on paper, whether she would like it, and if it would suit her personality.
A million different scenarios played out for each one in the first couple days, and I, prone to over-analyzing, just couldn’t help myself.
We finally gave her the name Anabel Jane Williams, meaning ‘lovable gift from God.’ The name gives homage to Meg’s grandma, Anna, and also to her mom (JoAnn), my sister (Joanna), and my grandma (Jean). Looking at her, we know it fits.
In the first couple of days, we had a ton of visitors drop off food, support us, and give love to baby Anabel. It is certainly times like this that make us feel so grateful to have such wonderful friends and family.
Nearly three years in to marriage, and a combined 57 years on earth, Meg and I have brought a new life onto the pale blue dot. The next adventure begins.