Thursday, April 16, 2015

JSS: What's in a name

When I got pregnant last summer, one of the things I felt strongly about was to not find out if our baby was a boy or girl before he or she was born.  I was pretty freaked out about childbirth, and I felt like having that ultimate surprise be just around the corner (or, 37 hours around the corner as it may be) would help keep me focused and positive during labor and delivery.. and I was right.  

Fortunately, Scott was on board with this plan - which made it much easier to stay strong.  It was interesting - our friends and family were very split.  Our parents loved that we were waiting, but it drove some of our friends crazy.  All in all, I'm very glad that we waited - when I was being wheeled to the Operating Room for the unexpected Cesarean, knowing that I would meet my baby - and learn so much more about him/her - in just a few moments... well, that was a sanity-saver, and kept me focused.  Hearing the "it's a boy!" was the sweetest noise I had ever heard, and it was a moment unlike any that I have ever experienced.  

Since we didn't know what we were having, we weren't certain what our baby would be named.  In fact, we didn't have "THE NAME" selected for either gender - we had a short list of a few names that we liked for each, but nothing set in stone.  Our sweet boy was nameless for about 18 hours after birth as we debated the merits of each one.   Naming this human is an honor that we took very seriously.

In the end, we selected the perfect name for him:  Jacob Steil Special.  I like that Jacob is a strong, Biblical name - and one where there is a formal and informal version (Jacob and Jake).  I wanted a name that was classic and masculine, and not too trendy.  Jacob also has ties to my Rank relatives  - I have a first cousin named Jacob, and the name actually extends back to my grandfather's grandfather, who was Jacob IV!!  The middle name is something I had hoped for years.  My dad adopted me almost 15 years ago, and Steil is his last name.   I've written at length about him, but it bears repeating: my life changed dramatically for the better when Shawn Steil married my mom.  I was treated like a "real" daughter from day 1, and I learned so much from him- about parenting, family, loyalty and love. I wanted a way to honor this important part of my history, and to tie Jacob's name to that side of his family.  I think it's really special - Jacob shares his middle name with one side of his family, and his last name with the other.  I am a sentimental person, and I think the sentiment here is really lovely (and yes, I'm very biased:))

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