There were two names that came to me so strongly long before the last embryos were transferred to my body. Months before the transfer was even on the calendar, I kept seeing two boys’ names everywhere. On the side of big rigs on the freeway, on street signs, on TV. A few days would not go by wherein I didn’t see or hear both of these names. Truly, it’s what made me believe the embryos were two boys and a girl.
However, a day or two after we found out the twins were both boys, I asked Dollface what she thought we should name them. Without hesitation, she said Jack and after a few seconds, Aaron. When I asked her how she thought of those names, she said she just knew they were the babies’ names. I thought those names sounded strong and classic and they were an improvement from what she had wanted to name my first baby: Rose if the baby was a girl, Scruffy if it was a boy. I liked the names Jack and Aaron a lot, so in few days that followed of which I had no idea there would be so few, I toyed with using Jack and Aaron as maybe their middle names, but I knew those weren’t really the names that belonged to my sons.
In the hospital, during the time leading up to their birth and subsequent death, I thought about the two names that had revealed themselves to me and I thought of Dollface. Somehow, I wanted the boys to have some sort of connection to her and although she was so young when this tragic nightmare happened in our family, I wanted her to have some sort of positive memory of her cousins. Not sure if I was truly cognizant enough to have these thought but somehow, Jack and Aaron they became. Jack D. with the D. standing for my brother’s middle name and Aaron W., the W after my dad. Obviously, being in such physical and emotional trauma in the hospital, I didn’t think it all the way through because I know Jack D. doesn’t really sound good and if the D were the whole name instead of just an initial, Jack would have had the name of a popular whiskey. It’s all ok, though. I love seeing and hearing their names and speaking them.
But if things had gone differently their names would have been Bennett and Paxton. Bennett means “Blessed” while Paxton is derived from the Latin for “Peace”. I thought it was so special for me to be sent “Blessed Peace” as their names and I loved the sound of them and how they looked written. I knew I wanted their middle names to be my dad’s and brother’s names or some version of them. So if they had lived, they might have been Bennett William and Paxton Daniel, or maybe Paxton Eric.
Mavis’ name came to me differently. My acupuncturist sometimes spoke of her daughter, Merris. I loved this name but couldn’t help thinking about the TV show “F.raiser” in connection with this name. You remember? Merris was the horrid wife/ex-wife of brother Niles who is constantly the butt of jokes. It’s silly, but as much as I liked the name, I couldn’t get over this association with it. So Mavis came to me and I thought it was such a beautiful, classic name. I also considered Harper for a while since it was a long loved girl’s name that I had favored for years. And of course her middle name Emily is for my dear cousin, Em, who gave me the precious gift of my children’s lives. I vacillated between Mavis Emily and Harper Emily for a while but when the ultrasound tech told us I still had two boys inside me, I knew that my little lost one was a girl and that she was Mavis Emily.
So there we are: Jack, Aaron and little Mavis Emily. Their names will live forever in my heart and never be forgotten.
August Sacred Seashore Photos: