Her Name

Mabel-8906

Today is our first day on our own since Mabel was born.  Jonny’s sister and our niece were here through end of last week, and my mom and stepdad were here from late last week till yesterday.  Friends are bringing meals, and we are being well taken care of.  We feel very loved and it has been great having family with us.

And, don’t worry!  I didn’t participate in the garlic harvest.  I merely gave instructions and took a few photos.  C-section recovery is so different, in some ways harder, but in some ways easier (and from what I have taken away from my friends who have had them, recovery can be wildly different from individual to individual).  I have been instructed to be up walking around a bit, to listen to my body, and rest as needed.  I am much more able to be up walking than I have been after previous births, especially my last, but my body definitely  knows when it’s time to sit back down.  I’m doing really well, and haven’t required pain medication beyond prescription Motrin.  And I promise, promise that I am not over-doing it and don’t intend to.  Because mostly, I just want to look at this baby!  I have pulled out most of my kids’ newborn pictures and my own, and determined that Mabel doesn’t look like me at all, or like Beatrix and Larkspur.  Maybe a bit like Seth.  Right now she mostly looks like a mini Jonny to me.  A friend commented that she has his hairline.  He answered, “Is hers receding?”   Right now her eyes are a cloudy dark blue, but I am holding on to the hope that she will have my green eyes.  She definitely wins the most laid back baby ever award, and she did not inherit that from me.  Even her body language says that she is just not too worried about anything.  She stretches and sprawls, and I realize it is too early for smiles, but she’s been smiling from day one.  I’ve never seen anything like it in a newborn of mine.  She smiles and smiles and smiles.  She’s the most darling baby ever.  I love her so much and am still in the “can’t believe she’s here” stage.

But her name!  I want to tell you all about her name.  So in our family, I typically name the boys and Jonny names the girls, at least he chooses what name the girls will go by.  He’s had Mabel picked out for a long time.  Beatrix was almost named Mabel, but he ultimately decided against it.  I think he chose well.  Beatrix is definitely a Beatrix, and Mabel is a Mabel, amiable and easygoing.  Mabel is a family name, Jonny’s paternal grandmother’s.  He has many fond memories of his Louisiana MawMaw.  As for her nickname, “Mae,” that is a family name too!  Jonny’s maternal grandmother’s name was Gracie Mae.  So he was able to name this little one after both of his grandmother’s with one name.

When we found out that we were having a girl, I knew immediately that I wanted to give her the name Sarah.  Many of you know of my friend Sarah Harkins, who died unexpectedly two years ago, next month.  What you probably don’t know is that my best friend in my late teen years was also named Sarah.  She died when I was 20, and she was just 22.  (I’m going to tell you more about her later this week.)  My friend Elizabeth Dehority passed away on Holy Thursday in 2015 after bravely battling breast cancer for years.  And it is also for her that we named our Sarah Mabel Elizabeth.  I very much wanted to honor these friends who were, and still are, so dear to me.  And you know what else? I have a sister named Sarah Elizabeth!  So, I think we’ve got meaningful and special pretty well covered with our little one’s name.  While we will probably mostly call her “Mae” (we are fans one syllable names or nicknames), her name is ultimately bound up tightly with so many people whom we love and that feels just right.

Welcome, Sweet Mae

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Sarah Mabel Elizabeth was born on Monday via a scheduled c-section.  She weighed 8 lbs 1 oz, and everything went well according to my doctor and nurses.  We are home resting now.  I have so much to share in the coming weeks: the significance of her name (she will go by Mabel, or “Mae”), my reasons for choosing the birth that I did for her, and what that was like for me.

My dear friend Lori visited us at the hospital just a couple of hours after Mabel was born and captured the photos of those early moments that I am sharing here.

I will be laying low for a little while, but hope to be back here very soon.  Thank you for being here, for your prayers and words of encouragment, and for sharing our joy with us.  This little one is the sweetest gift.