a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way
Friday, August 12, 2011
What's in a Name?
Many have questioned. Lots have asked. Where did you come up with the name Esme?
Both of our girls were named long before they were conceived. Naming our girls was one of the easiest things we've ever done. I'll start at the beginning...
Rob and I used to live in North Carolina. Oia was newly diagnosed during our last year as residents in Tarheel country. And then just like that, the future of such an innocent baby seemed a mystery. Rob and I were tripping in the dark, trying to find some light, some answers, and the strength to move forward. The lonely and never ending game of wait-and-see had begun. What will our baby with cerebral palsy be able to do? Or not do? Will she be happy? Or accepted? Will she have friends who will love her like we do? There were always way too many questions and never enough answers.
But there was always hope. Some days hope came from a positive therapy session, a sweet note from a co-worker, but mostly it came from a new movement or giggle or simply from a smile from our little Miss. And some days, hope came from the dainty preschooler who lived just 3 doors down. Her hair was dark and curly. Rob and I were quite fond of her. She made us smile. She was well mannered and had a great family. Her visits to play with "baby Oia" were few, but significant to Rob and I. She didn't see Oia has a baby who may have been different. She didn't see the cerebral palsy. In fact, she probably knew nothing of it. I suppose that's the beauty of it all. She just saw our baby as someone to love, to gently play with, to hold. As Rob and I were dealing with the whirlwind of emotions that come with the diagnosis of a child, we were also thankful for the visits from our neighbor girl. They meant a great deal to us. And no one knew but us, but Esme was hope. Perhaps we can say she was Oia's first friend.
That was nearly four years ago. Flash forward to March of this year, my 22w ultrasound, which added another helping of bad news and worse case scenario to our plate. Not one girl with special needs, but now two - this time a baby with congenital heart defects. Rob and I were feeling as though the view from rock bottom was all too familiar and hope seemed to be hiding. We knew we were having another girl and the decision had long been made to name a second daughter Esme. After that ultrasound though, I felt the need to make sense of the situation, to find some peace so to speak. Or at least try to. I sat down at my computer and did a search for the meaning/origin of Esme's name. After a couple searches, I found what I was looking for and it shocked me. The meaning of the name left me frozen and staring at my computer screen.
Esme: "loved", "to love".
In an instant, it all made sense. And suddenly, it was all going to be alright. And just like that, the pregnancy had some perspective. It became very clear to me that our baby was being created and growing just as she was meant to be. Our baby girl, with a unique heart, whose name means "to love", was appropriately named long before she came to be. What else should one do with their heart but to love? Coincidence? I think not. Just another part of the plan. And how lucky are we to be the recipients of this special love?