The one thing that kept bothering me most during this painful process was not knowing who this baby was; not being able to give him or her a name. Until a friend suggested that we do just that–give the baby a name.
Sounds obvious, right? But in my grief, I kept getting hung up on the fact that we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, so how could we possibly give the baby a name? But, my friend suggested that we give the baby a name that could have gone either way–and I instantly knew who this baby was.
Yes, I’m using the masculine spelling. I’m not really sure why. Maybe because deep down, I knew we were having a boy, after all. Maybe because Moose so desperately wanted this to be a “boy baby.” Maybe because the meaning is so appropriate to what we felt when we first found out we were expecting: “gift.” Or maybe because the name Jesse did actually come up when we were beginning our initial discussion of possible boy names.
It doesn’t really matter which spelling we use, or if the baby was a boy or girl, though. What matters is that our baby now has a name, which is a comfort to all of us. And, bittersweetly, every year during Advent when we set up our Jesse tree, we will remember this baby, and he or she, even though no longer with us, will still be a part of our Christmas preparations.
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1