Thursday, September 8, 2011

What's in a name

This post is most likely going cost me a few dollars in the bad word jar - and at least 5 Hail Marys

A woman I know is pregnant. I saw her this morning and she informed me she and her husband had settled on a name for the baby.

That's nice I said, congratulations

Yeah, its a good name......

I think she was waiting for me to ask the name but, and I know this sounds terrible, I had no interest in knowing the name. Look, she's blessed to be having a baby (her second) but frankly, she and her husband are not the kind of people I choose to keep company with - the less I know about them and the less they know about me, the better off we all are.
I'm sure they are a good son and daughter to their parents and good friends to people they surround themselves with but they've never been very nice to me - and their values are...well, different from mine....I guess that's what a cup coffee and a 12 year age difference will get you.

Why did you name Lucy Lucy she blurted?

We liked the name I said simply

That's it?

Uhhh...yeah? Why, should there be more of a reason?

Well yeah, she replied, you should give your kid a name that's cool, you know that will make them stand out...a name that's unique to them....can't be the cool kid without a good name!

I fucking hate it when people say shit like this

Well, I respond sweetly, it is unique to her - its the only name she's got

Hmm...she said in reply while looking me over from head to toe - I felt like I was in high school again.
Not really original but I guess its a cute name - did you pick it because of what it means? Or because there's like a cool famous person with that name?

No, we picked it because we liked the name. We picked it because when we said Lucy out loud, it felt right.....

But I thought you did not know what you were having?

I didn't, I replied

Then why would you pick a name out? I mean why would you not wait until you knew what you were having and then figure out a name...and maybe it would have been better, you would have had more time to work on it....the name I mean

Really?!?! She said that out loud?!?!
I took a deep breath and counted to 10 before I answered (see New Year's Resolution #5)

I heard a sound that was like Ahh coming out of my mouth and then I could not even bring myself to answer, I could not bring myself to respond to her question/statement because 1. it was not rationale and 2. I'm not sure she understood or appreciated the gravity of what she was even saying to me.....

(Husband's name) says you and Sean aren't having more kids because you're old and can't afford it; is that really the reason? You should just get your parents to give you money - that's what we did. And if you have credit cards, well, we just got as many as we could and we use those - should last us a couple years.....or is it because you're heavy?

Again, this is what a 10-13 year age difference gets you.....

I smiled at her, congratulated her on having picked out a name, wished her well and excused myself from her company.

For the record:
We picked Lucy because we liked Lucy (the name not the baby, though now we really like the baby/toddler too)

Her middle name, Ellen, was chosen by my Great Uncle Ed.
We knew that whatever we had (boy or girl), we wanted the boy to be named after Uncle Ed and the girl to have Aunt Nell's name. Had we a boy, the name would have been Edward Thomas (Edward after Uncle Ed, Thomas after the son Aunt Nell and Uncle Ed lost when he was a young boy)
We wanted a variation of Aunt Nell's name for the little girl's middle name...but here's the thing - Aunt Nell hated her name! She hated it so much, I will respect her by not even sharing it with you (Nell was a moniker for her real name)!
Anyway, we were over there one day to let them know what we had chosen for names and about our dilemma for getting Aunt Nell's name into the girl's name. Uncle Ed had gone all quiet (I think he was still a bit choked up about the boy name we had chosen) I remember telling Aunt Nell that I considered Ava for the middle name (that was her Mum's name) but Uncle said Ellen....her middle name will be Ellen. Ellen, he declared is NELL backwards with an extra Lucy Ellen she became.

No, Lucy is not short for anything, her name is Lucy Ellen Sykes.
Not Lucille, not Lucia, not Lucinda, not Lucille, not Lucetta....just plain old LUCY. And yes, Lucy is considered a proper name and yes, there is a Saint Lucy and no, we did not pick it because it has English origins and Sean is English. We picked it because we liked it...

Yes, I know Lucy means light or dawn and no, she was not born in the morning, she was born at 11:28pm, on a Thursday

No, she was not named after a famous Lucy...though I secretly hoped she'd look like Lucy Van Pelt from Peanuts but she actually looks more like Sally from Peanuts with her blond hair!

 No, we do not feel like we are too old to be parents. But, we are very aware of the fact that as I age, I being the child bearing one, there are certain risks that are greater - and we had our fair share of scares during my pregnancy. And no, I did not share all those scares - they were for Sean and I to deal with; they were for us to work through. No reason getting everyone around us riled up....

No, we are not poor. We do however live in a state with the highest health care costs (we pay 600+ a month for insurance and yes, that is on a company policy and yes, the company actually pays the MAJORITY of the cost and no, that does not include co-pays or the deductible).
We live in a state with pretty high real estate prices, so what we pay for a home monthly is double what some of our friends and family members in other states pay...but we have a home and though it  may be small and a few have looked down their noses at it, we're proud of it.
We live in a state where child care is outrageous - we pay in child care almost as much as we pay for our mortgage - and by almost, I mean that our day care if a mere  $350 less than our mortgage. We could almost have two homes!
Have we considered my not working - sure. But when you also factor in that my insurance plan cost less than Sean's and has better coverage...and given the health of all three of us (no, no one is dying but Lucy has a heart condition, ongoing issues with her ears, Sean needs certain tests for his eyes, he has a family history of heart problems and, he's got that damn CPAP Well, without going in to much detail, my girl bits sometimes need special attention and can at times require multiple tests and scans) my plan makes the most sense.
Then, factor in that we're also trying to save for our retirement and contribute to a 401K, well, it does not make sense for me to not work yet. Might make sense for me to go part time when Lucy is in school - we'll see.

I know people who have kids 5 years they never have two kids in day care at the same time. One is in school, public school so taxes take care of that, and one in day care. But I'm pushing 40 - kids 5 years apart is not a viable option

And yes, I know we choose to live in this state and yes, I know we could move but, we don't feel like that is a viable option for us right now so, we're making the best and most of what we have and the choices we've made - and no, I'm not complaining......we own these decisions and choices.....I'm just trying to paint a picture, answer the question and be honest

Never crossed my mind that I was too fat to have a child - chubby if fat is too harsh of a word for me to use and you to hear. There are women out there far larger than I am who have birthed children and are, as we speak preggers (I know at least 4 that fit in to those categories) so stop obsessing about my weight - and yes, I know I'm chubby but I'm OK with it so how about you back off and leave it alone?

Wrong with me or Sean:
There is nothing wrong with Sean. He can reproduce with no issue; thanks for being concerned about his sperm count. one time, there was great concern about my being able to carry a child to term....while I was pregnant, I think I was 7 months along, I made a comment about it to Dr Wu. She gave me a Mandarin hush and told me not to jinx it! She said God must really want you to have this baby - I agreed and we never spoke about it again...even when my monthly appointments turned into weekly appointments long before they should have....and every week, she hooked me up, monitored me and baby, held my hand and told me how many more weeks she wanted me to stay pregnant - so I did. After I had Lucy, at one of my after the baby is born appointments, she asked me to think about if we wanted more children....Lucy was only a couple months old, I told her we had not even thought about it. She reminded me how lucky I was to have have a baby...she told me that as much as she wanted us to have more, she wanted me to be aware of all the risks, she wanted me to understand the position I would be putting myself in...not the baby but me. I'm not sure I ever appreciated the severity of what she was trying o tell me, I do now. And when we talk about more kids, it comes up......

Can we not handle more than one:
I think every parent at some point wonders if they can handle multiple children....and any parent that says they don't, I think, is lying. Yeah, the first year  or so with Lucy was tough because she had so many issues with her ears and croup and blah blah blah...and sure, sometimes we wondered if our marriage could handle the stress (as I'm sure most new parents would admit to if they were truly being honest) and yeah, we wondered what would happen if the issues were multiplied by two but, I'm pretty sure, regardless of what people may think, we'd be just fine with more than one child.....we have more resolve than people give us credit for - and we love each other more than we both sometimes realize - so I think we'd be fine

Hated being pregnant:

I've said it before, I'll say it again: I loved being pregnant.

Not because it made me feel like more of a woman or because it connected me to some cosmic mother earth entity or because I could eat whatever I wanted....I loved being preggers because it was something, someone, Sean and I did together - it was ours, she is ours. No one can take her away or have any claim - no one can say it was their idea or take credit for it - Lucy is the one thing in this whole world that is 100% ours.
Sure, she's got DNA from my family and DNA from Sean's family and yeah, she looks like our nieces and at certain angles, looks like my sister Felicia...and has the Kearns gift of gab and the Sykes flair for drama....but we made her - she's ours.
No one can ever deny, negate or take that away.
No one can compete or trump can have a bigger house, a better wedding, a nicer car, designer clothes, take cool trips but you will never have Lucy (I sound a bit jealous there and I'm not trying to be, just trying to make a point)
Plus, I got to eat fish sticks......

I forget how pregnant I was, must have been in January, we had an appointment at Mass General because I was a high risk pregnancy (not  just because of my age).
We headed into Boston giddy at the prospect of being out of work for the afternoon and were like two excited kids waiting to see the doctor......we loved seeing the ultra sounds of Baby Sykes.  At that appointment, of which we had already had two I think, we were told Lucy (who, might I reminded you we did not  know was Lucy) had a high probability of having Downs.
At first, I don't think we processed what was being said to us, but when we did, we were sent back out to the waiting room to wait to speak with a counselor - and I remember sitting there with tears running down my cheek...I kept my head down so no one would see me and kept pushing Sean's hand away as I knew if I took it, the sobs would come to the surface and I would lose total control.
I excused myself to the hallway and rested my head against the windows wondering how those three sentences could take me from such a high to such a low - and then I remember feeling guilty for thinking of it as a low...but again, if we're being honest, any parent that has been told something may be "wrong" with their baby is devastated on a number of levels for a number of reasons......and yes, that appointment scared the shit out of us. We opted not to find out until the baby was born  (an amnio carried with it too high of a risk of miscarriage and I nearly lost my shit when someone suggested terminating the pregnancy...terminate this you big jerk!)

The day I had Lucy, moments before being taken into the surgical room, I asked Dr Wu if they would tell us if the baby had Downs and she and the nurse who stayed with me (I'm embarrassed I can't remember her name) told me they would let me know that our baby was safe and sound and ready to take on the world, and anything else they had to tell me would only make this baby that much more to not worry and just let them get my baby for me.....I don't remember much after that....

I do remember the next morning when she was put on my chest that something inside me broke - and I was overcome with this intangible indescribable emotion and feelings that I had never felt before and did not know how to react to or control.....that emotion and those feelings are still with me today

We're pretty good parents; our love is unconditional for her and for one another.....sort of trumps the size of our house, the number of kids we have, the money in our bank accounts, and anything else you want to judge us on


Lucy Ellen is a perfect name

Maria the Mum

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