Finding Out We Were Having Another Boy & Why His Name Is So Meaningful (PAL Journal: 12-13 Weeks)

3/24/17

We were finally given a call in the evening by the nurse to tell us the results of our genetic testing. I was so relieved, I was telling Josh that afternoon that I really wanted to call to find out, but didn’t want to bother them (after all we’ve been through, I was still trying not to “bother” my doctors!). Thankfully the nurse said she saw our results come in and knew we’d like to know before the weekend so she called us (what a sweet, empathetic woman). Amazing news, everything tested normal! And… It’s a boy! We were all so happy. Naomi wanted a sister, but we know she’ll love you either way. We both had a feeling you might be a boy; I even had bought several boy accessories (shoes and hats). So thankful you are healthy and doing well.

There’s a very meaningful story behind Jackson’s name. I actually made this arrow for Owen’s nursery, but it was never hung for some reason. When I awoke from being put under for the crash emergency c-section delivery, I heard Josh answering the nurses that our son was named Jackson. But as I was going under I prayed to God for my son’s protection and just as I was going to say his name, I heard a voice say “Owen”. So, in that moment, I knew it was God and as the prayer goes, He has called us each by name, and therefore our son, His son, would be named Owen (not Jackson as we had thought to name him before that moment).

But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

— Isaiah 43:1 & 2 (NKJV)

This prayer applies to what I was to experience with birthing Owen into heaven and walking through the grief with God as often my only comfort. I feel like I survived a near death experience because I was in an emergency situation being cut open hastily to try to save my baby. I was panicked not knowing what was being done to me as they placed a mask over my face to put me under without any explanation. I prayed for my life asking God to please let me survive because my daughter still needed me and my husband could not handle losing me. As I went dark praying for Him to take care of Owen, awaking to the tragic and earth shattering news that he was gone, I was so thankful to be living, but then so full of a sadness I cannot put words to. My guttural screams were like a wounded animal and tears streamed down my face with the overwhelming feeling that God had forsaken us; I didn’t understand how this could be His plan. I later read a woman’s blog that resonated with me because she had a long infertility and loss journey, but she maintained her hope because she felt the Lord had promised her a child. In the same way, I had always thought I would have a son, and though God decided to take Owen, I thought surely that meant that He was telling me this was not the son He was promising me; Jackson would one day be born and we would get to raise him. After that, I felt though Owen would never be replaced by another boy, I would one day get to have a son named Jackson and that God would fulfill that promise so we held on to that hope until Jackson was indeed born. We decided to give our second son the same middle name, Nathaniel, to pay tribute to his older brother and also make sure that somehow Owen’s memory would always live on in his little brother. And yes, I am in tears right now, but I just wanted to share a little bit of the immense importance our son’s names carry.

Being my fifth pregnancy I think I started showing earlier. I was off and on pregnant for about 5 years trying to conceive our second living child, so my body was definitely used to being pregnant and stretching. Throughout those years I had to be religious about taking prenatals, exercising, and avoiding certain foods and drinks, so it was a long period of changing my lifestyle for the good of my babies.
On a road trip to visit my family back in the Bay Area we stopped at the Casa de Frutas, one of my favorite fruit stands to go to as a child. It was important for us to keep trying to be joyful, not letting our ongoing grief and the anxiety of the pregnancy after loss take over our lives completely; Especially since our daughter was going through this journey with us.
Sweet baby, I am so in love with you already. Hope you continue to grow and we get to hold you one day alive and well.

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