Maryland's first family welcomes new daughter, 'Bri'

For the first time in 123 years, there will be a newborn living in the governor's mansion.

First lady Jennifer E. Crawford gave birth to an 8-pound, 15-ounce girl measuring 20 inches at 6:29 a.m. yesterday at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis.


Gabrielle Mona Glendening is the first child born to a sitting governor in Maryland since 1879, when Philip Acosta Carroll was born to Gov. John Lee Carroll and his second wife, Mary Carter Thompson.

"Baby and mother are fine and doing very well," said Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for Gov. Parris N. Glendening. "The governor is very ecstatic over the birth of the baby girl, a very healthy-sized baby girl."


Glendening, 60, and Crawford, 35, who declined to be interviewed yesterday, named their daughter Gabrielle because "they just liked that name," Guillory said.

They chose Mona as the baby's middle name in honor of Glendening's 98-year-old grandmother, who was "instrumental in raising him," Guillory said.

The baby's parents will call her "Bri" - pronounced like the cheese "but spelled differently," Guillory noted.

An urgent call

Glendening was moments away from delivering his last speech as governor to the Maryland Association of Counties in Ocean City about 11 a.m. Saturday when Crawford reached him on his cell phone.

"My water may have just broken, but there's no need to rush back," Crawford told the governor, according to Guillory.

Before beginning his remarks to the association's annual convention, Glendening mentioned the impending birth of his daughter. He told the crowd that he was prepared to leave mid-sentence and have Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend finish the address if his cell phone rang again.

Guillory said the governor initially anticipated going to Ocean City and returning immediately because his wife's due date was yesterday. "So everyone was anticipating something happening within the week before or the week after" the due date, Guillory said.


A special delivery

Glendening left Ocean City about noon, after his speech, and hopped a 40-minute flight back to Annapolis in a small Maryland State Police airplane, his spokeswoman said.

The couple left for the hospital about 3:30 p.m., and Crawford gave birth about 15 hours later.

This is the first child for Crawford and the second for the governor, who has a son, Raymond, 22, from his second marriage.

Glendening and Crawford, his former deputy chief of staff and a longtime aide, were married Jan. 25 in a civil ceremony inside Government House. Crawford resigned from her state position, which paid $107,732 yearly, the day of the wedding.

Glendening had divorced his wife of 25 years, Frances Hughes Glendening, on Nov. 19.


Gifts for baby

Glendening and Crawford already have received dozens of baby gifts from family, friends and well-wishers.

According to the couple's online gift registry, the presents received include: two $260 breast pump kits; a $170 white Leatherette highchair; a $120 playpen with an attachable changing station and hanging mobile; a $100 baby monitor with a sound and motion detector as well as a $50 standard baby monitor and a $100 six-speed swing.

Other gifts included: a $90 bassinet covered in white eyelet ruffles; an $80 cotton baby carrier in "city black"; a butter-colored hooded towel and washcloth set; a fleece baby blanket in cotton-candy pink; and various baby toys and children's books, including the preschool classic Goodnight Moon for $7.99.