The Name Game

{This is a post about our babies. So yeah, you've been warned.}

* * *

Picking out a name for a baby is hard work.

Picking out two is even harder.


Tyler & I had decided long ago

that we wanted to use our grandmother's names,

Viola (mine) & Wallace (his) for our children someday.


Having two little girls seemed like the perfect occasion to do so.


We wanted both of their names

to have one family name and one name we loved that made it up. 

We also wanted to keep them secret until they were born.


We knew that they only way we could keep our mouths shut

was to not have names finalized for as long as possible.


So, until then, we talked about them  -and to them-  as "Baby A" & "Baby B."


As we would lie in bed at night with my gigantic belly pressed against his back,


Tyler would ask who it was who had the hiccups (always Baby A)

and who was kicking him (always Baby B).


But the day before I was admitted to the hospital,

we decided it was officially time to decide on names.


They were perfect...  and they sounded so sweet together.


I won't go into the details here

of the delivery or the following 48 hours, but when we weren't sure 

if Baby B was going to make it- we didn't know what to do.


The hospital kept nudging us for names and we were in so much shock

{and I was drugged to maintain my blood pressure from causing a stroke}, 

it got shoved to the bottom of our priorities.


We could only hope for the two of us to recover.


The night that Baby B died, we had to officially name her

for the purpose of the NICU filing paperwork.


And while we had other plans for a "real" name,

it suddenly felt wrong to change that to something we'd never known her as.


She was our Baby B... that's all we ever knew her as

and that's how we wanted to remember her. 

So that's what we named her... officially.


It's what's written on her birth (and death) certificate(s).


{I want to puke typing that sentence.}

Once we decided on that,

 we were left with the original two names and only one baby to give them to.


 We decided to combine the two names into one

and let Viola carry on both of her grandmother's names

and a part of her sister. 


We are using the British pronunciation of  the name, Viola


like "violin," but with an "uh" at the end instead-

as it's said 

in my favorite of Shakespeare's works, 

Twelfth Night.

{Who, ironically, is separated from her twin by a tragic accident.}

So, there you have it.

 Both girls ended up with names

that we hadn't planned on.

Their names aren't cute twin names

that go well together.

Viola doesn't get to go through life

with an "&" attaching her to her sister.

...And sometimes those truths feel like a kick in the gut.

But in the midst of a situation that is miles away from perfect,

I'm thankful for this little bundle of


that carries on the names of her great-gandmothers...

and the tiny life of her sister.

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy