Tuesday, November 17, 2009


There used to be a time when I wanted another baby. I would think of my life as a mother and refuse to believe that that chance to cuddle a baby was over for me. And I would hide the sadness by feigning relief at infertility. That was years ago. Evan was 3 or 4 years old: still young, but undeniably growing up on me. About 5 years ago. But it never happened, and I just assumed that God forgot.

I always said I wanted to be a doctor. I guess secretly I never believed it could happen. But then something crazy happened, and I made the first step that was more of a leap of faith. And then came progress. And before I knew what was happening, everything I have always wanted was right there within my reach.

I did that for myself. Suddenly the idea of Evan being an only child wasn't so bad. It meant I could have everything I wanted: a career in medicine, a husband I love, being a mother. I didn't have to sacrifice a thing other than sleep and some elbow grease. Perfect.

But God, if He or She exists, does have a sense of humor. Immersed in my world of school and work, I never noticed that my boobs hurt that badly until one day when I stopped to pay attention. So I took the test that had nothing to do with pre-med, and it was positive before I could even put it on the counter to wait the requisite three minutes. Of course it had to be wrong, so I took another. Same result. So I called a doctor and got orders sent to a lab, just to be sure. Yes. We are having another baby.

I was completely in shock. Not according to plan. Evan will be 9 about two months after this one is to be born. Then I thought about how I was almost done. About applying to med school with an infant in tow. About another mouth to feed. And I was upet.

But nature took care of that. Over the weeks, as my belly first turned softer, then started to firm with the swelling of new life. And I saw the flutter of a heart beat, strong and persistant, on a screen. Saw the smile light John's face and the excitement flicker in Evan's eyes. And suddely, my outlook changed.

I get to try it all again. I get a chance to amend the errors I made with Evan, as we parents do sometimes. I get the last chance to be the perfect mother. To smell thebuttermilk breath of a newborn and feel the flutter of batting eyelashes against my cheek. I get to sing lullabies again without anyone insisting they are too old for them. I get to witness first steps and first words again. To hear a baby's giggle. To buy those tiny clothes and smell baby lotion.

So considering names, I go for meaning and not trends. And my first inclination is the Emily I have always wanted. But then I see Amelia's meaning: work, strain, effort. And I know that this is the one. But what for a boy? John and I could not agree. Until, at the very end of the alphabet, I found one that brought tears to my eys.

The meaning of Zachary: God remembered.

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