Naming Eve

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I want to share the story of how Eve got her name.

The first thing I did after discovering I was pregnant in May 2011 was to begin making a list of potential names.  My husband and I couldn't agree on any boy names (well, except Thor, but that was sort of a joke).  We did, however, agree on Molly as a potential name for a girl.  I also liked Brynn, and he suggested Eve.

In September we discovered that we were having a girl.  I was overjoyed.  While I would have been so happy with a boy, I desperately wanted (and want) daughters.  And we had been given one!

But we did not progress any further in our name-choosing.  We both felt that we couldn't name our little girl until we met her face to face.

And then everything fell apart -- late on Friday, November 18, we found out that our daughter had died.  We went home, shocked.  I didn't sleep.  I lay in bed, all too awake to the fact that this world is full of suffering.  That my world was now full of suffering.

When I could manage to feel, I felt afraid.  Terrified.  I was afraid to move, to touch my still-pregnant belly.  The baby girl we had been dreaming of for months was dead.  Dead inside my body.

It is a terrible thing to hold your dead child within you.

And then the next day, the hours stretched too-long before us until we were expected at the hospital.  We tried to prepare, but how can you prepare for the unthinkable?  We made sure our dogs had a home for the weekend, and we packed our suitcase.  I vacuumed, and washed the dishes.

When we had done all that we could bear to do, my husband and I huddled together in the living room.

"What should we name her?" I asked.

My husband shook his head.  We hadn't named our baby when she was alive.  How could we name her now, waiting for the birth of her dead body?  It seemed impossible.

I didn't want to name her Molly.  It didn't seem right anymore.  I think that a part of me wanted to "save" the name for our next daughter, who would hopefully live.  Now I don't think I'll ever be able to use that name.

Finally I remembered that my husband had suggested the name Eve.  It wasn't my favorite name of the few we had picked out, but I wanted him to have something to give our daughter.  I had given her life, and a death bed.  He could at least give her a name.

I asked him if he still liked the name Eve.  He did.  We didn't have the heart to wrestle over a middle name.  And so her name is simple, and lovely -- Eve.  Although it was not my favorite name at the time, I have fallen in love with it almost as much as I have fallen in love with its owner.

I found out not very long ago what Eve means.  It means "life."

Life.

Even though she's dead, even though she died before she breathed,  it is so right.

Eve.

Life.

I think it's perfect.

Eve's name in the sand

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