Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Future looks clear--Possibly

Since I've mentioned my other children a few times, I thought I should be clear about it. Jairus was my first, but we've now had two more babies. Two beautiful little girls.

As anyone who's had a child with a health issue can attest to, it can be a scary thought to consider having more. What if it happened again?

This too was a long, uncertain process. It took about 6 months of consideration before I was at peace with the idea of having a second child. Good thing too, because that's when I got pregnant again (!)

Not only did I (we) have to decide if we could handle a second child (always a daunting thought), we had to decide if we could go through it all again, should our second baby also have PRS. We had been told by genetics that the chances were no more than any other family, but that was before I started making connections between my mom's arthrogryposis and PRS. Since then genetics hasn't been too clear. They're not sure if this PRS is somehow running in the family (as my mom does have a cousin with PRS as well) . So it did seem a real possibility that future children could have it too. Jairus was about 20 months old when I discovered that Honour was on the way.

You might have noticed by now that I like unusual names. Not too unusual, and not made up. I like them to have meaning and preferably something...for lack of a better word, religious.

Jairus comes from the Bible. The New Testament to be more precise. People are often more familiar with the OT names--Joshua, Elijah, Noah. 'Course there are many common NT names too,--Matthew, Timothy, John. But I've yet to find Jairus in any baby book; even the Bible baby name book at the local christian book store. The reader's digest version I tell people is that Jairus' daughter died and Jesus came and healed her, bringing her back to life because of Jairus' faith. A noble namesake, I believe.
Honour is now 2.5 and one of the greatest blessings in my life. After ultrasound (extremely cool 3-D ultrasound--one of the few perks of having a previous baby with problems) cleared up any question of Jairus' birth defect repeating, I was able to birth her at home like I had hoped to for Jairus. She has been and is completely healthy with no signs of PRS.
I found her name in my family tree, quite a few generations back. It doesn't have the same kind of Bible story behind it as Jairus' name, but I think the name 'Honour' is sort of self explanatory.

So then came our 'holy cow we're pregnant again' baby. (Also known as the 'are we nuts to have three kids' baby). Really, it shouldn't freak me out that much--I have eight younger brothers and sisters. However, I'm not responsible for them 24/7.

With this pregnancy came the conundrum of where to find another beautiful and unique name and less concern about PRS. We were 1 for 1 now and I wasn't nearly as worried. I had wanted to name another daughter Alisha, but as much as I liked it, it was a more common name than Jairus and Honour, and I didn't want my third baby to have the only 'plain' name.

It was my brother, the doctoral student and family wordsmith that suggested Verity, meaning Truth. I rejected it at first because it sounded too much like Charity. I don't have a huge problem with Charity, except that a tape I used to listen to as a kid had a character named Charity Churchmouse (I'll never get that mouse voice out of my head!). As I searched for a name, I would often look up Honour and Jairus in the books I checked. I discovered that Honour actually comes from Puritan roots. Those pilgrims liked to name their kids after virtues (how about a son named "Livewell"?) . To my surprise, when I would check the name Verity, I'd find that it had the very same genesis. Over the pregnancy, I warmed to it and by the time Verity was born, I was taken with it. Again, the Lord blessed us with another big healthy girl, born at home with the whole family around. (Well, not around when she actually came out--only hubby, midwives, mom and two sisters).

So again, I offer this for any family wondering about their future after a child with health issues. Perhaps you're thinking you could never go through it again. Maybe you can't. But you know what?

I doubt it.

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