Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What's in a Name? Part 2

My last post, way back in April, was to share our baby's name and the meaning behind her name. The baby that was growing in me, healthy and strong. Thriving. That baby is now with us, in our arms. We truly are blessed. Today's post is not about that, though.

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Today is about taking time to honor all of those that have lost their babies. And to remember those babies.

Of course, anyone who has lost a baby knows that not a day goes by without remembering. It's simply not possible.

Today, in honor of our three little lost babies, I want to share their names. Before now, we have only shared their names with their grandparents, but we want the world to know...these babies were so very wanted, these babies were real, they have names that we can speak out loud. After we made the news public about our miscarriages, an old friend from high school got in touch with me, as she had also been through three miscarriages. She sent me a book that she read that helped her, Heaven is for Real. The book itself isn't about miscarriage, but one chapter specifically brings up the topic. I don't want to give anything away for those that haven't read the book (and if you haven't, please do!), but it was significant to us. Ryan and I both read the book, and we also both felt compelled to name our babies after reading the part about miscarriage and babies that never got to be in their parents' arms. We just couldn't shake the feeling that we needed to name them... We took some time to carefully pick names we really loved, that had special meaning to us, that could be for boys or girls (since we didn't know the sex of any of our lost babies). And here are their names and their meanings...

Honour Adiel (honor; adornment of the Lord) (middle name pronounced ah-dee-ehl)

Aine Lani (radiance; sky/heaven) (Aine is pronounced AWN-ya and Lani is pronounced LAH-nee)

Aster Sloane (star; fighter) We saw this baby's heart beating, saw it fighting to live and grow. But I felt something in my gut the first time we went for an ultrasound, that something wasn't quite right, even though we were told everything was fine. So, we moved forward and were hopeful. My body agreed that I was pregnant; I even suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum during the full first trimester, as I have with all of my living children. The second ultrasound, however, completely broke me as we learned we had lost yet another baby. You are never prepared for news like that. This little one had joined the others, in the stars...

(We debated on the name of the middle one, as nobody really would know how to pronounce it without us explaining. But changing the spelling changed the meaning, and we loved it as it was. It's not a name many will need to know how to pronounce, so what really matters is what we wanted and not what others can say. So, we kept it as it is.)

Those are our babies. The babies we will never get to hold or see or smell, not while we are on this earth. But they were in my body. They were real. And they were loved.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What's in a Name?

We are so blessed. We were hopeful that 2013 would be a great year, especially after the traumas we went through last year. And let me just say that, so far, 2013 is kicking 2012's ass! This year has been FULL of blessings, and we are just so grateful! We have had wonderful doctors working with us, many incredible friends praying for us...and a healthy baby growing inside of me.

We went today for our mid-pregnancy ultrasound...the anatomy ultrasound. MOST IMPORTANTLY, the baby is growing right on target, heart, brain, spine, everything looks GREAT and is just as it should be. Again, we are so blessed! The baby was being a bit stubborn and not really cooperating...not being still when the tech was trying to get specific views and measurements and then not moving enough when trying to look at other things. But he managed to see what he needed to see, and we managed to get to see our beautiful baby and hear that incredible sound of a strong, beating heart. And yes, we did get to find out the sex. We are most concerned about a healthy pregnancy and baby. We were curious, though, and did want to be able to give this little one a name and stop calling it "it." So, while we would have been thrilled with either a girl or a boy, we are happy to announce that we are most definitely having a baby girl.

Our little girl...Grey Elise.

Yes, I do love the color grey. But that isn't where her name comes from. We've had this name picked out for nearly two years now. Well, Grey has been the first name for that long, and Elise has been the chosen middle name for about ten or eleven years. And now we'll have a little girl to give those names. Blessed.

So, what's in a name? This name is PACKED with meaning for us.

June 26th, 2011... The worship leader at church sang a song, and something about it just spoke to me. Especially one line... "Grey is not a compromise. It is the bridge between two lines. I would even argue that it is the color that most represents God's eyes." 

Later, I emailed our worship leader, Stephen Claybrook, to find out the name of the song. I got that and then found out more about the meaning behind the song. I was hooked. Everything about the song and the meaning behind it spoke to me. The first time I heard the song, when Stephen sang this at church that morning, I just knew that if I were ever to have a girl, her name would be Grey. Learning more about the song just sealed the deal.

The song has to do with our journeys through life and the experiences we go through, some lasting just seconds, that create change in us and cause us to look at things differently, to appreciate things we so easily overlook. I'll let you read about the song on your own, and I hope you do (I'll include a link at the end of this post, as well as lyrics to the song, and a video so you can hear the song that inspired the name). The words have so much more meaning than you might think, and the story behind it is just beautiful in so many ways. Here is one paragraph from the songwriter that sums up part of the meaning (but it will make so much more sense if you read it on the website to get the background information!):
"probably goes without saying that the theme of the song is about making change. essential change. it’s about appreciating each small and overlooked gift that is tucked away into our lives… it’s also about acknowledging that so much of life is gray. meaning, from our perspective, things are not so simple and defined – and that’s entirely okay. for reasons beyond our comprehension everyone faces different sets of challenges and complications in their lives… some are significantly tougher than others. what’s important is making the changes necessary in our own lives in order to value more fully the people that we love and who love us back. it’s a song of recalibration. thanks to that brief interaction with that incredibly kind and brave couple, recalibration has bumped itself way up on our priority list, where it belongs."

We often don't stop to realize just how precious life is and to really appreciate these small moments that make us who we are and affect how we see the world and those around us. The songwriter wrote this based on some things that he experienced. The miscarriages and suffering we went through over the last couple years have been that for us. When you go through a crisis (or more than one crises), during that time, you realize so many things. For one, so much of life and our life experiences are full of these grey areas...where we don't always get to understand why things happen to us, complicated situations that have no explanation. We also realize that some things in life just aren't as important as you allowed them to become, and other things take higher priority. You realize what truly matters. And in a matter of seconds your life is changed, you think differently and live differently. It's hard to put into words how these moments come together to change us so much. But they have. Our recent experiences have been so very difficult, yet thanks to them, our lives are changed for the better. True, we're more aware of this raw, intense pain we hadn't lived through before. We're more broken and will never be put together the way we were before. Yet we're more aware of the beauty and love around us, as well, and we appreciate so many small blessings we get to experience daily, that we might not have noticed on the same level before. And while I fell in love with the name Grey before any of these losses happened, going through all of this to get to this point in a healthy pregnancy has made this name mean so much more to us because our journey has been full of so many of these moments that changed us and caused us to look at our lives and our priorities in a different way, appreciating things that were easily overlooked. Grey is this journey for us.

Elise. I heard that name so many years ago and just loved how it sounded. I saved it in case I ever had a daughter. Then I realized...my great-grandmother's name is Elsie, and those two names are the same but with the "i" and "s" switched. That made me appreciate the name and want to use it even more. It is my way of honoring Mom Elsie, who is such an important woman in my family. I've always felt like she is the glue that holds so many of us together, that brings us together in a way that I have always appreciated and respected. She turned 93 this January, and she is a force to be reckoned with, that's for sure. She is such an important person in my life, and I love that I found a way to name my daughter after her.

If we were having a boy, we also had a name picked out. One that is also very significant, though the explanation is much shorter and simpler. After our three losses recently, we were drawn to name those babies. When looking over a list of names that we liked for the babies, Ryan picked one out and said he wanted to save it, in case we did have a boy later on. It was one of my favorites from the group, and it made sense to name a living child this name, if we were to have a boy. Jude Aeron. That name means "praise; thanks" (Jude), "the battle is over" (Aeron). To be honest, part of me wanted a boy and a girl so I could use both of these names. I fell in love with both of them, and they both carry so much significance with what we have been through. We don't know at this point if we'll have any more children. Perhaps if we ever were to have another boy, we would still use this name. All of that is unknown at this point.

To read more about the meaning of the song that led us to Grey, please go here. The song is called 101010, by Sleeping at Last. http://sleepingatlast.com/101010-how-it-was-made/

And for those interested in hearing the song, here it is, as well. I hope one day our little lady appreciates hearing the story (and maybe even the song) behind her name.

Here are the lyrics:

hold your breath and count to 28.
change is slow but i feel it taking shape.
folding over us like waves
on origami ocean tides, we sway

like blueprints constantly being rearranged.
over microscopes we plan and strain.

the finest print in the whitest ink,
before it dries, there’s no time to think.
it feels like everything we’ve known is sink or swim

but grey is not a compromise -
it is the bridge between two sides.
i would even argue that it is the color
that most represents God’s eyes.

hold your breath and count to 29.
connect the dots and cherish every line.

paper cuts and trails aside,
make a wish and hold it tight,
this time, we’ll try our very hardest not to try.

‘cause grey is not a compromise -
it is the bridge between two sides.
the shores on which our stubborn land
and restless seas collide.
grey is not just middle ground,
it is a truce that waits to be signed.
i would even argue that, from where we stand,
it most represents the color of God’s eyes.

so, let’s fold our atlas into paper planes.
change is slow, but i feel it taking shape.

Again, I really hope you will go to this link and read more about the meaning behind this song. It is profound and beautiful and full of significance. It's not a long story, won't take you long to read it, and you will not regret having spent a few minutes taking it in. http://sleepingatlast.com/101010-how-it-was-made/