less than 24 hours old
Bella Grace was born on May 11 after bein strongly persuaded by my doctor :^). I had a very smooth and easy delivery despite her reluctance to make an appearance. When she did get here, though, she was so alert and wanted to take everything in. The kids are thrilled with her.
My parents, grandma, and some of my siblings arrived on the 16th for a couple of weeks and they overhauled my house and yard. Everything is very clean - it's so nice.
We were planning on choosing between Maria Grace and Grace Isabel (which I was leaning toward and had even started calling her "Gracie" a little to try it out - that and Brian stunned me with a fantastic performance of "Miss Grace", and you know that I'm a sucker for names that have songs), but told people to not be surprised by a curveball name.
It turns out that my best friend delivered her fourth baby four weeks early the Saturday before Bella was born on Monday, so she was at the hospital with us. Dara, Brian, and I talked baby names Sunday night and she kept telling me that I should name her whatever I really loved. I have a big complusion to avoid overly popular names, especially any name in the top ten baby names list. I've had Isabella on name lists for years, but had pretty much just deleted it from serious consideration because it is around #1 on some name lists and because the popularity of the Twilight books (which it's no secret that I love) would probably keep it there for a while. But I really liked the name Bella, so did Dara, and Brian did too - and we haven't agreed on much. We like a lot of the same names, but weren't loving the same ones this time around. So Bella was suddenly in the running, and we decided that if we went with it it would be just Bella, not Isabella.
When she was born, everyone in the delivery room just kept saying that she was so beautiful, and that seemed to be the sign I'd been asking for. So Bella, which means "beautiful", became her name after all.