Thursday, July 16, 2009

Walking with You – Naming Our Babies

I’ve mention Kelly and her ministry, Sufficient Grace, before.  Words can not adequately express the blessing that Kelly has been to me since losing Duncan.  Even before, really, but in such a profound way in the last 8 weeks.

She recently launched a weekly blog topic called Walking with You. You can read her thoughts behind this here.  The gist of it was that there would be a place for those of us who’d endured perinatal or infant loss to come together to share our stories.  There is a core group of us that Kelly asked for input on this topic, and after receiving feedback from us….well, you can see where it went.

You can read all of Kelly’s Walking with You entries here, and you’ll also be able to jump to the other stories MckLinkied to her, if you wish.

Anyways, I’ve not been participating, though I’ve been reading, the past several weeks.  I’ve just not been ready to put all the details out there for the blogging world to read.  It is still so very fresh and raw for our family, too, and possibly too soon to relive it all through my words.

But this week’s topic is how we all came to name our babies.  Since I’d already written that post the week Duncan was born, I thought I would participate.

So, even though I published this entry back in May, please allow me to share again why our son was named Duncan.

Somewhere in the recesses of my mind is a memory of Jim telling me that our last name had been "Americanized" several generations ago.  I thought this was so tragic -- I would have been proud to carry an "obviously" Scottish name!

I mentioned this to my mother-in-law at lunch on Thursday, and she looked surprised.  Hmm.  Maybe Jim had wrong information, or, being the dramatic romantic that I am, I'd made the whole thing up.

Either way, Irish- and Scottish-sounding names like Ian, Owen, Collin, Aidan and the like had long been on my list of beloved baby names.  Only recently did I add Duncan to a very short list that I had running for our second son; I'd not yet even mentioned the name to Jim.

Saturday May 16, just hours after learning that our baby’s heart was no longer beating, we thumbed through a baby name book loaned to us by the obstetrical staff.  I'm not sure why I thought we could concentrate, even under the looming deadline of needing to name him NOW.   So much information had just been thrown at us -- insurance, legal, medical care for me, cause and diagnosis for our unborn son.  Our heads were spinning.

One of the hardest pieces of news to receive was that although the baby’s heart had only recently stopped, he had been in fetal distress for sometime – most likely from about 20 weeks (mid-April), given his measurements and size.  Oh, how proud I was to be his mommy at that moment, knowing that he was so valiant to survive in the shadow of death!  As I unseeingly flipped through the alphabet of names, I thought to look up the meaning of Duncan.

As Jim looked over my shoulder, our eyes landed on the description "fighter."

And just that easily, he was named.

Even now, months later, it seems as fitting as the moment we named him.  My little boy was strong and mighty.  He fought for his life for a month, and although he eventually lost his battle, Jim and I are SO ridiculously proud to call him our son.


Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...


Thanks so much for joining us this week on Walking With You. And thank you for your kind words. I love Duncan's name...and the perfect meaning behind it. A fighter indeed!

I wanted to share, also, that I understand how hard it is to share some of this walk and to visit the details. The loss of your sweet Duncan and the grief is still so raw...the pain so new. You are still in the thick of it. It took me eight years before I was ready to share our journey with the public. And, even now...some of the Walking With You posts have been very hard to re-visit those emotions and images. I am grateful that you are reading along with us, though...and even more so if you have found some comfort here.

Praying still for you and your family, for the Lord's continued comfort and sufficient grace as He carries you...

Love to you,

Joyeful said...

Oh what a name!! Duncan the fighter. Wow. What a legacy! And it is obvious where he gets it from. You are both brave hearts to walk this journey even though you didn't choose it. I pray God's grace to you all and that you feel His arms carrying you through.


The Dortenzos said...

What an incredible name for an incredible little man!! I think it would describe his family too as you fight through grief and honor his memory! Thank you for sharing your story! Praying for you and your family! Blessings, Katy

Hillary @ The Other Mama said...

I am still thinking about and praying for you and STILL love the name. I think God put it right there in your lap for the perfect timing.

Jennifer Ross said...

What an awesome name and so fitting for the little guy! He is just precious! Thank you for joining us and sharing your heart.


Holly said...

This brought tears to my eyes! I love that it just perfectly fit your son.

Valerie said...

I remember your original post, and the story touched me just as much reading it a second time. It's like God gave you that name especially for him.

Shannon said...

"how proud I was to be his mommy at that moment, knowing that he was so valiant to survive in the shadow of death"....I know this feeling well! My Chaya fought for so long, I remember thinking when we got the news that her heart had stopped beating "Just rest, my child. You deserve it. You fought so hard."

It has been very hard to relive the memories, recent or not-so-recent. And yet somehow it is therapeutic as well.

He certainly lived up to his name didn't he? A little fighter he was.