I am the kind of person who gets half way through a novel and then goes to the last few pages to find out how it ends. I enjoy the story better knowing what to expect. Surprise endings stress me out.
So, it should be no surprise to you that when I was pregnant with Sean, I wanted to know if I was carrying a boy or girl. At 16 weeks, the amnio results reported good news and bad news. The good news was that the baby appeared to be healthy. The bad news was that I was carrying a boy. I had no idea what I would do with a (cringe) boy. After I got over my disappointment (I already had a girl name chosen and the nursery mentally decorated) I set to work finding a suitable (ugh!) boy name.
Even given the fact that Sean came six weeks early, one would think that knowing the sex of the baby that far in advance, would have given Antique Daddy and I sufficient time to settle and agree upon a name. But no, it did not. Five days after his birth, Sean was still Antique Baby.
The night before he was born, I pulled out the short list of names and the name Sean was on the back at the bottom listed under the heading Second Tall Man. We took a vote among the visitors, we polled the hospital staff, we Googled, we went through the phone book, we hemmed, we hawed. But after all this time, nothing seemed right. And it did not seem like a good time to start over.
After he was born, the hospital immediately wanted to know what his name would be. Antique Daddy and I acted as though it had never occurred to us that we would have to name him. What? A name? Why didn’t someone tell us!?
Every day and sometimes twice a day, for the next five days, the hospital baby name person would stop by the room asking, “Got a name for that baby yet? We need a name you know. Gotta get this paper work in,” she’d say in her burly voice tapping a handful of papers. Post-partum women do not like burly voices, so whenever I saw her coming, I would burst into tears, as I was prone to do, and she would
find some other insane pregnant lady to hassle come back later.
On the fifth day, as I was preparing to go home without my baby, Antique Daddy said that we’d figure out a name for him after we brought him home. The idea of leaving my baby in the hospital was bad enough, but without a name seemed unbearable. I blew a post partum gasket of epic proportions. I was not leaving the hospital without naming that baby.
After the smoke cleared and gasket blowing debris was swept away, the name Sean settled on my heart. Not in a light, happy and reassuring way. Not even in an “aha!” way. But more in a soggy hunk of clay trying to pass through my aorta like a bean burrito kind of way. This Sean name was digging in and wasn’t going to budge.
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Antique Daddy and I discussed it and we both agreed that the name Sean seemed providential. It was the third thing we had agreed upon since our wedding day five years before. A good sign. We looked up the meaning: “God has been gracious.”
And so He has.
How did you choose a name for your baby?