Birth, Death, Rebirth: A Thank You To Those Who Prayed for My Baby Daughter

Her name is Elizabeth Artemis Arrow. She was born November 6 and she’s alive and well. To the many of you who prayed for my baby daughter and emailed me your well wishes: Thank you. They sustained me.

I think we gave her a strong name: Artemis, as in the kickass Greek hunter-goddess, is what my husband Carlos and I called her for months before her birth, and Arrow was a natural extension of the name, a symbol of strength and intent. The Biblical Elizabeth (“God’s daughter”) we settled on hours before the baby’s birth, for its timelessness — and maybe because deep down, we felt she needed the extra protection.

For months, doctors had been plying us with nothing but worst-case scenarios, based on grainy sonograms that showed a smaller than average chest, and medical guesswork: Possible dwarfism. A chance that she might be so fragile she would not make it through labor.

None of those predictions came true, but neither was our experience, which came a month early, straight out of one of those enchanted celeb-baby fairy tales that dominate gossip websites and magazines. In the operating room, cut off from the C-section action by a curtain, Carlos and I held hands — and our breaths — as Artie was pulled out.