Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Name

Most of our kids have had names as soon as (or shortly after) we learned what their gender was. A few kids ago that seemed to change.

Lincoln had his name minutes after the ultrasound when we learned he was a boy. But it wasn't Lincoln. The name Lincoln came just days before his arrival. Good thing we didn't monogram anything.

Charlotte's name was a long time coming, decided just a few weeks before she arrived.

This time around I figured we'd do the same as we did with Charlotte, no pressure, we'll figure out the name before August. Plenty of time. I had some names I liked, a list approaching about 30 at last count. (Aaron holds a powerful veto card-I was leaving my options open!)

Since last week I've felt a much stronger desire to find this little boy's name. Quickly.

Walking out of Maternal Fetal Medicine on Monday, I needed his name. I needed for him to have an identity.

Suddenly many of the names on my list just weren't right. As I crossed of name after name, I wondered in desperation if I could find the right one. A name is so much more important than just a label of what to call someone. Especially in this case, it couldn't just be a "good" name, it needed to be the right name.

I feared that it would still take weeks to decide what his name should be. I'm so glad that was not the case.

Though Tuesday was a better day than Monday, Tuesday night brought some difficult conversations about choices that we will be facing and decisions that will need to be made. More than ever that night I needed this child's name. Thankfully it came in those hours late Tuesday night and into the early hours of Wednesday morning as I lay fighting for sleep in the midst of tears. And thankfully when I mentioned it to Aaron, he too felt it was right.

This little boy is Samuel James.

Not an unusual name, one of the more common in fact. But a strong name, a name with history. A name picked not for how it sounds or looks, but for what it means and who it represents.

This little boy needed a strong name, he is a strong child.

As I lay on my bed yesterday afternoon feeling him roll around inside me, then actually being able to watch him move back and forth, already able to see his little body, his little arms and legs already jump around inside of me (I told you he was strong!!), I was struck with two very deep emotions. Absolute joy to know more of who this child is, joy for his strength and his life, but a deep sense of grief at the fact that this is now even more personal and more intimate. It was suddenly, in many ways, more heartbreaking to know that his time with us will be limited.
As I awoke today, I found myself grateful that as time passes, intensity of emotions seems to settle. After a very difficult day yesterday, today has been peaceful. Today I find nothing but joy in feeling my little Sam jumping around. Joy in this belly of mine that seems to be growing exponentially faster than it ever has in the past. Joy in the hope I have for this little boy. Joy in knowing that even though he is not in my arms, I will hold him for every second of this day.

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