My sweet baby girl, someday when you are older and we are sitting snuggling on the couch, I will tell you the story about how we first met; about the day you were born. And this is what I will say…
First I’ll begin with a healthy dose of mom-guilt. I will tell you what a long 9 months it was and how you completely disregarded your due date. All along I had been calling you my June Baby, but you decided that July would be your month. July 1st rolled around and the contractions started to come in the early morning hours. All day I thought that July 1st would be your birthday, but once again you had other plans. You made your entrance into the world at 33 minutes past midnight on July 2nd… but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
It was a beautiful summer evening and this is the view I had as I looked out the window from my labor and delivery room. Your dad was standing by ready to help, camera in hand, just as anxious as I was to finally meet you. The nurses and the midwife bustled in and out checking on our progress. The midwife who delivered you was a happy, easy going woman named Jenny who spoke with a lovely Australian accent.
Finally a little after midnight it was time to meet you. I laughed through the tears as I held you in my arms for the first time.
You were perfect. Finally we could see the little face that would go with the name we had picked out so many months ago, Pearl… Pearl Ava.
This is were you’ll stop me and say “Momma, tell me the story about how I got my name”. I’ll smile and tell you (probably for the 15th time) about how you got your name. I will say “Pearl, your brother Gideon chose your name. When he first found out that he was going to be a big brother again he said, ‘Mom, if we have a brother I want to name him James, but if we have a sister I think her name should be Pearl.’” He decided very quickly that we were definitely having a girl, and he called you Pearl from that moment on. Later, when we found out that you were indeed a girl, it was pretty clear to both your dad and I that Pearl had to be your name. When Gideon found out that we decided to use the name he chosen he just beamed with pride!
Now where was I? Oh yes, the night you were born… We spent those first early morning hours just looking at you. Your dad and I taking turns holding you and talking about how perfect and small your little ears were. Trying to decide which of your siblings you looked the most like. The nurse finally took you and weighed you; 8 lbs. 9 oz. and 21 inches long. You were a full pound bigger than your sister was when she was born.
Over the next few days friends and family came into the hospital to love and kiss on you. You were such a little sweet heart. So calm and relaxed, hardly fussy at all. I think I held you most of the time, saying your name to you over and over, as you stared up at me with your big dark eyes.
We took you home on one of the hottest days of summer, 105 degrees. You wore the little “going home” onesie I made you and it just barely fit!
You looked so tiny in your big car seat.
Daddy did the honors of carrying you into the house for the first time and soon Grammy dropped off your brothers and sister (or as we called them “your fan club”).
Your big brother said that you were “a pretty cool baby”, and that’s high praise coming from him!
Those first few days after we brought you home from the hospital were slow and we spent them sleeping in, snuggling with you, taking turns holding you (because everyone wanted to hold you). Every morning when the big kids would wake up, the first thing they would ask is, “Where’s Pearl?”. No longer a, “good morning mom” just, “where’s Pearl?”.
But your sister… oh my… how much she adored you. She was never more than a few feet away from you. Changing diapers, giving baths, picking out your little outfits… she wanted to do it all. She loved smelling your head. She would press her little nose onto the top of your head, take in a deep breath, and then she would smile slowly.
You surely were kissed ten thousand times that first week.
And that’s your story, the story of your birth little Miss Pearl. Love you much, Momma