When we exchanged rings, we hoped our family of two would grow.
It has, into a family of 4. We're just split in half.
Two of us walk the Earth while two of us fly in Heaven.

Their Names

Your name and your sister's name

As told to Evan on one of his last nights in my arms...

Hello baby boy,

I told you the story of how your Daddy and I met (and chose your name) late one night while you were in your morphine coma. Your night nurse Jade sat in on the story and I thought for the benefit of others that read my blog, I'd include it (and a brief bit of your sister's life story) here too.

I'm from the United States. Born and bred. Your Daddy is the native Aussie of our family. I'll get to become an Aussie after August next year (2011). Your Daddy's brother (Uncle Alastair) was getting married and your Daddy was his best man. Naturally as we were dating, I was asked to be his date to Uncle Ally and Auntie Saara's wedding. I needed to meet your Daddy's family and to see Australia before we could take our relationship any further. Grampa Chuck let me use his air miles (I paid him back) to purchase my tickets to Australia. I arrived and it was SO good to see your Daddy again! We had a full two weeks planned, packed full of adventures. Your Daddy bought tickets for the two of us to go to AGMF up in Toowoomba. AGMF is a Christian music festival held every Easter weekend. What a change from the big musical production services and hot cooked lunch that Mom always made! Camping!? Over Easter!? We had a ball that weekend. I got to meet friends of Daddy's (and claim them as "my" friends too), hear some incredible bands and we started a tradition. Every year since 2006 we have gone to AGMF (now "Easterfest"). It's one of our family traditions. You came with us this year (2010) and I think you liked all the music.

Back to my story... One afternoon, we found a tree that had some nice shade and sat under it while waiting for the rest of our group to come back with lunch. After we ate, it was a while until the next band that we wanted to see was playing, so we decided to chat.

Daddy and Mama sitting infront of our tree,
just before we chose your names. April 2006
Daddy and Mama, April 2007. Only a few more weeks and we'd be married!
Our group went their separate ways and we stayed at the tree. We were lying on our backs looking up at the canopy of branches and leaves with the sun dappling through. (Yes, that is a word.) We knew that we were going to get married, it was just a matter of time. I had been looking forward to being a mommy and asked your Daddy if he'd like kids someday. He said he did and I asked if he had any names he liked. He did have some boys names but I don't remember liking many of them. I told him I had a list of baby names (I did!) and that I liked the name Evan Riley for a boy. I went to elementary school with an Evan and he was nice. I have some friends that have Riley as their middle name and it just fit well. Evan Riley. Evan Riley Davies. It has a nice ring to it. Your Daddy asked me what names I had picked oout for a girl. My top choice was Ellie Mae. I like the name Ella (after Ella Fitzgerald, the queen of jazz) but Ellie sounded a bit more glamorous. My aunt's name is May but the spelling of Mae looked better. Your Daddy just about peed his pants laughing at Ellie Mae. I asked why he said "No!" (emphatically I might add). He said "Ellie Mae? Beverly Hillbillies!?" (I had forgotten about that.) So... your Daddy vetoed my first girl's choice. We had to come up with another name. We bantered back and forth with names. I liked Jillian (not knowing that Paa's twin sister is Gillian). No to that one then. Somehow we came up with Julia as a first name we could both live with. I forget how we came up with Rose as a middle name but we had a name chosen. Julia Rose. (Every year, we try to get a picture of us at or near our tree.)

Flash forward to November 24, 2008. That's the day I was in the hospital and birthed your big sister. She was so tiny and a sickly gray color, but fully formed if a bit alien looking. (Think "Thor" from Stargate SG-1 kind of gray, with black eyes.) She had died some time earlier but my body didn't quite catch up and understand. We didn't have any pictures of her. Your Daddy only saw her on the ultrasound screen when the doctor told us that she couldn't find a heartbeat. I kick myself for not asking for a copy of that ultrasound to hold onto. It's burned into my mind though. This tiny white baby inside a black shape. Not moving. No heartbeat. Nothing.

We didn't find out if your sister was really your sister or if she was your brother. After I miscarried and she passed from my womb to the outside, I saw her for a split second and that validated my entire pregnancy. I couldn't bear the thought of taking my tiny dead baby to the nurse and having the doctors run tests on her tiny body. I wrapped her in toilet paper and flushed her down the toilet. Like a goldfish. I didn't know what else to do. After that, I was admitted to the hospital over night for observation just to make sure that I wasn't bleeding out or developing complications. Finally I was seen by a doctor. As I had already miscarried, I wasn't considered a high priority patient (this was 2am-7am mind you) in the Emergency Department and the docs had their hands full with other patients. I didn't mind too much. The docs looked me over, asked about how much blood I was losing, how many pads I'd gone through, if I had any cramps, etc. After they were satisfied that I had miscarried fully (and the ultrasound showed that nothing was left inside me), they took the IV line out of my hand. FINALLY! (I hate IVs! Thankfully with you I didn't have one in for long.) I was sent home and slept hard. After everything fully hit and sunk in, I just wanted to know if we had had a boy or girl. Gramma and Nana both had visions that we'd had a boy. My gut said "girl", my mother's intuition said we had a girl.

We named her Julia Rose. It means "youthful, downy-haired; rose".
Flash forward to June 18th, 2010. Your birthday.
After we saw you in the Special Care nursery for a split second, we named you Evan Riley. It means "God is gracious, courageous warrior".

That's how we chose your names.


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