Sweet girl, you came early! Your due date was July 9th—the last day of the Young Life Portugal Surf Camp I was directing. My doctor warned me that you could make an earlier arrival than the 9th, but I was sure that as long as I was relaxed and calm and resting, you’d stay in place. Only problem was, well, with Surf Camp, I was not relaxed, calm or resting. So, just the day after the work team arrived at camp, and the day before camp started, you decided you were ready to make your entrance!
During the early morning of July 2nd, I woke up a few times, restless, but not feeling contractions that I was aware of—just yet. We woke up early because your almost two year old brother was ready to get up! We went to breakfast, and it was over toast and cereal that I began keeping track of what I was pretty sure were contractions. I didn’t tell anyone yet, but your daddy was pretty sure he knew what was going on and was starting to look anxious.
As breakfast ended, the app I’d been using to time my contractions told me to get my pregnant bum in the car and get to the hospital because I was in labor! But there were still things to do—I finally conceded and told your dad that you were coming, so we needed to act fast. I headed back to our room to pack up, and your dad and brother went off to make sure we communicated everything that the camp needed to know in our absence. I was worried this could happen, so I had prepared a master binder with all sorts of detailed and useless information for them, and I also had my and your bags packed, in the car, along with your carseat!
As I packed up our suitcases, the contractions became more intense and I was starting to feel some pain. I called your dad and told him we couldn’t wait any longer—it was time to go. We loaded into the car with your brother and drove to the hospital. My contractions continued, and by the time we arrived at the hospital, I was already 3 cm dilated.
I chose to have an epidural with you, but didn’t have any other medications—no drugs to speed up labor—just pain relief to allow my body to do what it needed to do. And it worked! We arrived at the hospital around 1 PM and you came out in just 3 easy pushes around 6 PM.
From the moment we saw you, we were desperately in love with you! You had (and still do have) the cutest little cheeks. You were pink, and chubby, but still tiny and adorable. You were a ferocious eater, which I didn’t appreciate! But I was glad you were eating and healthy.
Daddy and I couldn’t decide on a name for you. He was pretty insistent that your name start with the same letter as your brother’s, but we couldn’t think of any names that seemed to fit you. Finally, I turned to your daddy and suggested your name, and we instantly knew it was perfect. Your name, little girl, is prophetic. It is a derivative of “Eve” meaning life-bringing. And Joy, well we already knew you would bring joy into every room you ever entered. We prayed this over you then, and we continue to pray it now — that wherever you go, whatever you do, for the rest of your life — you will bring life and joy with you!