A baby needs a name
When we checked into the hospital after finding out we lost a baby last November one of the first questions they asked us was if we had chosen a name. We hadn’t. We only had four months to ruminate on it. We thought we had so much more time.
That question quickly preceded what we wanted to do with her body after she was born. All I could think about was that I didn’t even know where she was going to live, yet we needed to know her name.
Luckily, we had a list started of possibilities and we grabbed our top two and named her Izzy Simone.
I’ve never regretted naming her. It gives us a way to remember the few moments we had with her, and to mourn the lifetime we didn’t. It helps put a voice to this unimaginable void. It helps make her our baby.
Summertime brought the possibility of flowers, new hope, another pregnancy, and the shattered feeling of familiar loss. We got to see the heartbeat, but there wasn’t enough time for anything else. There was no name. We only speak about the experience as ‘the other time.’
This time, there is a name. The discussions haven’t been easy. To find a name means that you think you’ll call them by it. Every morning I wake up and I have to choose to be hopeful. It feels like a given for everyone else and a chore for me. In reality, I’ve thought about planning a funeral more times than I’ve considered colors for the nursery. But when he comes, however he comes, he will be greeted by his name.
It is terrifying that I don’t know yet where he will live. I hope he will continue to live in my womb, for a few more months, where I will continue to plea with the universe to keep him safe. I hope he will live in the art room that we have been hesitant to turn into a nursery. I hope he will live with his sisters, who are so excited to meet him, his dad, who is anxiously counting down the days, and a village of people who already love him. But there is no statistic, no premonition, no doctor’s opinion and no telltale way to guarantee this thing we call life. He could live in the ground, like the two pregnancies before him, in the trees, where I imagine them nesting, in the wind, in the stars, or even in some place that none of us can comprehend. Wherever he lives, I want him to have a name.
A baby needs a name, and we call this dear one Calyx.
The calyx is the outermost part of a flower. It is the last layer. The final piece. It holds all the beauty together. The hope that I choose every day is that he will do the same.
I can’t wait to meet this baby we call Calyx. Ideally, that joining will happen in April. In theory, we are halfway toward the journey of meeting him. Whenever and however we greet him, his name will be waiting.