What’s in a Name

By: Anna Merezhko, February 24, 2017

What to name your baby is one of the many worries pregnant women face as they evolve into the next form of womanhood. Before my husband, Andrew, and I found out we were having a girl, I had been writing down boy and girl names that I liked. Finally, all those years of dreaming up baby names would pay off- I would know exactly what I wanted to name my baby… or so I thought. To my great dismay, it took forever to settle on a name because I’d either find a better one, or my husband would shoot it down.

We agreed on a boy name, no problem. In fact, we had two, but girl names were a whole different ball game. I wanted something unique, exotic, and beautiful – something with a great meaning behind it that would shape her personality but I felt like there were no names worthy of her. There were no names that meant “the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.”

I must have made a dozen lists, but we couldn’t find a name we were both in love with. Andrew was very “when we see her, we’ll know” about it, and it drove me crazy.

Three torturous months went by of me not knowing how to address the little person inhabiting me. It felt wrong for her to be unnamed. It made her feel less real, as if she wasn’t already a person with her own personality. So the search continued.

One night, as I was scrolling through baby names on my laptop, Andrew glanced over and stopped me.

          “What about that name?” he asked, as he pointed to the screen.

          “Aaralyn?” I asked.

          “Yeah, that’s pretty.”

Finally! We reached an agreement. Aaralyn was a beautiful name. It meant “beautiful melody” and that seemed to fit her at the moment. I started calling her that but within a few days, it felt forced. It didn’t roll off the tongue.

I started panicking as my due date approached. Knowing how indecisive I am, I could practically see myself laying on a hospital bed with nurses surrounding me, saying that I really need to choose a name now. I didn’t want to be pressured into a name that I didn’t like.

I was 37 weeks along when Andrew came home from church one day, and said right as he came through the door:

          “What do you think about the name Arielle?”

My mind went blank. I knew for a fact that Ariel was on my list of girl names I liked. I also knew I showed it to Andrew before.

          “Arielle? Yeah, I like it. What made you think of it?” I asked.

          “I saw ‘The Little Mermaid’ book laying on a pew and realized I always liked the            name Arielle,” he answered.

Once I searched for it’s meaning on my phone, I fell in love with it. It meant “Lioness of God.” It made her sound fierce, strong, and unbreakable- all traits that I wanted her to have. It was perfect.

That night, as I tried to fall asleep, a million thoughts ran through my mind. Although I felt at peace that we finally had a name for her, I was anxious about her arrival. I tried to guess when her birthday would be and hoped that it’d be in June, like mine, but mid-thought, something popped up into my mind.

She’ll be born exactly when she needs to be. God knows when she is meant to be born and already picked the day and time. If she’s born in May, will you love her less? No. In fact, you’ll get to see her sooner. If she’s born in June, that’d be great too, but this lies completely out of your control.

I remember this thought specifically because it was the last thought I had before I went into labor. Less than 24 hours later, I was holding a baby girl in my arms.

Arielle was born May 18th, 2015 at 9:30 p.m. and she was more than I could ever hope for. She was perfect.

I felt that I needed to come to that moment- the moment I stopped worrying about her name, her birthday, her weight, her health, and surrendered to the fact that I did everything I could on my part. The rest wasn’t up to me.

 

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