Sometimes I struggle with what number pregnancy I should call this. At every doctor’s appointment and ultrasound I’m asked “And what number pregnancy is this?” There, I know I am to include all my pregnancies. Even those I never got to bring home. “Six.” I say, it still stings every time the words fall from my lips. “And how many live births have you had?” Sometimes they say this with a smile, but most of the time when a person as young as me has had so many pregnancies they know the numbers won’t match. “Two.” why can’t I look them in the eye when I say this? I still carry some shame, still blame myself. I know it’s ridiculous, I know it makes no sense but grief- even when healed- doesn’t make sense.
Now I’m far enough along that I have a visible round belly, unmistakably pregnant. Strangers see me and congratulate me, asking me if this is my first. Do I say this is my sixth? Or my third? Did the ones I desperately wanted but couldn’t keep still count? Either answer hurts. Ones a reminder and the other is a lie. “No, I have a four year old and a one year old.” I would say with a smile. That still felt incomplete to me. I don’t want to dwell on the past, but as I’ve said before, these lost babies are little pebbles in my pocket I will always carry. Hopes and dreams turned to stone.
So, this pregnancy we are breaking one of our “rules”. Brad and I have always kept our baby names secret until they were born. We did this for a few reasons:
- We didn’t want others’ opinions. We love our names and family or friends don’t need to. But we also don’t need the hurt feelings from those who say things trying to persuade us away from said name.
- We wanted to leave our options open. Marshall Alexander was always high on our list, but he was almost named something else (stay tuned for Marshall’s birthday week posts to find out what he was almost named).
- It’s nice to introduce the face with the name when they finally arrive.
Because I don’t feel right about calling her our “third” but also don’t feel comfortable calling her our “sixth”, I will just call her by her name.
Francesca. Francesca Corinne Dingman. A name we have always adored and has always been high on our girl list. I don’t know how we will shorten it: Franki? Chessa? Chessie? Heck, maybe even Wren, from her middle name? But it’s her name that matters, not her number.
For those curious, Francesca means freedom and Corinne means beautiful. Free and beautiful is a pretty perfect combination to go with Violet, who we call our Wild Flower. We hope to raise our children to have a little spark about them; to be free and know they are beautiful inside and out.
I can’t change the past with the babies we have lost, but we are so excited for the arrival of our newest child. We cannot wait for Francesca to join us this winter and we hope that you all will join us in celebrating her arrival.