Baby Glendening Arrives
Gabrielle Mona Delivered at 6:29 A.M.

By Darragh Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 19, 2002; Page B01

Maryland's "first baby" arrived on schedule yesterday -- unlike so much else in the messy and unpredictable world of politics.

Gabrielle Mona Glendening, whose early September due date was moved up sometime after the March announcement of her pending arrival, was born at 6:29 a.m. to Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) and Jennifer Crawford at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Of course, the birth wasn't without some civic drama. The governor, who was in Ocean City on Saturday to deliver a dire speech on the environment, learned just before taking the lectern that Crawford's water had broken. Glendening took his cell phone with him to the podium and warned the audience that if the phone rang again, he would have to leave.

Luckily for the lame-duck dad, no other call came. So he gave the speech, then returned to Annapolis on a state police airplane. By 3:30 Saturday afternoon, he and Crawford were at the hospital.

Baby Gabrielle -- all 20 inches and 8 pounds 15 ounces of her -- didn't arrive for 15 more hours.

The baby's birth has been awaited publicly with much anticipation, with gossip columns listing breast pumps and books as items on the newlyweds' baby registry.

Glendening, 60, and Crawford, 35, were married in a small civil ceremony at the Anne Arundel County Courthouse on Jan. 25.

Until the wedding, Crawford was Glendening's deputy chief of staff. In November, Glendening divorced his wife of 24 years, Frances Anne, with whom he has a 22-year-old son, Raymond.

Back at the Governor's Mansion, a decked-out nursery room awaits Bri, as the newborn will be called.

The family will live in the Colonial, red-brick estate in downtown Annapolis until January, when term limits will force the two-term governor and former Prince George's county executive out of office.

The couple has been looking for a home to buy in the Annapolis area.

The baby's first name and spunky nickname were chosen by her parents, and Mona is the name of Glendening's 98-year-old grandmother, said his spokeswoman, Raquel Guillory.

The child is the first baby born to a sitting Maryland governor in 123 years. The last such occasion was in May 1879, when Gov. John Lee Carroll and his wife celebrated the birth of Philip Acosta Carroll.

No word yet on whether the proud papa has changed a diaper, though Guillory was quick to note: "He'll be changing quite a few, soon."

© 2002 The Washington Post Company