Sunday, January 4, 2009

What's in a name?

When I was pregnant with Gabriel, Dave and I chose boy and girl names since we didn't find out that he was going to be a boy. Lily Grace was the girl name that we had chosen. It was the name we thought was perfect for the daughter that we may have some day.
When we found out that we were once again pregnant, the assumption was there that if this baby was a girl, we would name her Lily Grace. Our plan was to once again not find out the sex of the baby. I never have wanted to, loving the surprise at birth, like getting a gift at Christmas.
When we found out that our baby has Trisomy 18, I told Dave that I wanted to find out the sex, since the amnio would give us a definite answer. It was totally out of character for me, but I felt as if referring to this baby as "she" or "he" instead of "it" would give the baby the dignity of being human, something the baby might not get a chance to experiene.
The day before Thanksgiving, I got a call from the genetic counselor at the high-risk doctor's office. She just wanted to let me know that the full amnio results were in and that yes, the baby did have Trisomy 18. I swallowed hard. Could you tell me the sex of the baby? It's a girl. OK. Thank you.
What a way to give some news! What a way to allow me to spend a peaceful holiday! I choked back the tears. A girl. A little baby girl. (As a side note, more girls survive Tri-18 than boys.)
I thought about the name we had chosen. This perfect name. I'll admit that at first, I was mad again. I hated that this had happened. It was almost like this name would be wasted. Again, I had to give rise to my anger and let it sink on its own.
The longer I carry this child, the stronger I feel for her. My prayers for miscarriage have changed to prayers for a moment to look Lily in her eyes, a moment for me and Dave (and our family) to shower her with our love, so she'll know. I don't care how mentally inept she is, I know she will know. If only we get that chance.
The more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that Lily Grace is the most perfect name this child can have. Lilys are symbols of purity. If she falls within the statistics that say 90% don't live longer than a year, she will have such innocence that she will be nothing but pure. If she beats those statistics, her mental ability will probably keep her that way. Either way, it's appropriate. Grace. I think of grace as showered blessings, God's blessings, and I know He will shower this child with His blessings, no matter the outcome, for this is a special child. A dear friend of mine shared one of her favorite verses with me: "Consider the lilies; they neither toil nor spin, yet even Solomon in all his splendor was not arrayed like one of these. " I cannot think of a better name.
That Thanksgiving Eve night held a moment that completely blew my mind. I called my mother to tell her about the results. I shared with her that we found out it's a girl. It was so hard telling her that. I cried. I will never forget what my mother said nor will I forget the way she said it. I admire you. Me?! My mother admires me? Shouldn't it be the other way around? I was touched beyond explanation, humbled even. I did not deserve such honor. I play that statement in my head when times are hard, and it renews my strength. My mother admires me. My wall is strong.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I just found your blog and plan to read the whole thing. Thank you so much for putting your thoughts on here it has been a great comfort to me. We just found out the result today of our Amnio that our baby girl due March 13 has trisomy 18. I can totally relate to this post. We have always loved the name Grace and I felt the same way at first that I was wasting a good name on a child that will not likely live much longer. But I have come around to the same thinking that it is the perfect name for her.