“How did you pick out your child’s name?
A name is your identity, something you are tied to every day of your life. And while many people have names picked out long before their baby arrives, it was the opposite for me.
It’s a name that’s familiar throughout our home; present in our daughter’s nursery, and hanging from the Christmas tree.
When we picked out our first triplet’s name, I was hesitant. My daughter died two hours after birth, and for three days, she was known as ‘Baby A.’ My husband and I hadn’t even discussed names when our triplets arrived more than 17 weeks premature. With so many pregnancy complications, we didn’t want to jinx anything.
None of our children were expected to survive. And as hard as it is to admit, I was worried about wasting a name. If none of my children survived, wouldn’t I need those names in the future? How was I supposed to name a child who was in a morgue, who I only held for two hours? I cringe when I think back to my train of thought. At the time, I didn’t realize the importance of a name. We always thought Abigail had a beautiful ring to it. We went with our gut and I am so thankful we did.
Here’s what I didn’t realize five years ago: it’s not the name that’s important, it’s the person behind it. Your name is your identity, but it’s how you live your life with that name, that becomes your legacy.
When we named our children, there was no rhyme or reason. We didn’t name them after family members or for symbolic reasons, they were simply names we fell in love with. After Abby died, followed by our son, Parker, two months later, I wasn’t sure when I would ever hear their names. People often get uncomfortable talking about death, especially the death of a child. I expected their names to fade as time passed by.
I never imagined what would transpire over the years that followed. I hear all three of my children’s names every single day. Sometimes it’s me talking about them, other times it’s a friend or stranger sharing their name through an email. But, it’s the voice of my surviving triplet, Peyton, softly saying their names that touches me the most.
Two names we didn’t expect to hear, yet we hear them every day of our lives. And each time, it takes my breath away. Those two names are perfect in every way.”
This story was written by Stacey Skrysak, an award winning television journalist based in Illinois. You can follow her on Facebook. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
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