WHAT’S IN A NAME?

“Hope is the perfect name for our baby” declared my very pregnant and utterly adorable wife Whitney as she waddled from the kitchen into the den.  In one hand she held a salami, cream cheese and anchovy sandwich and in the other a glass of grape soda. Her cravings had been rather weird and my stomach churned a few times at her creative culinary concoctions. I jumped up from the sofa taking Whitney’s snacks and placed them on the side table as she gingerly eased herself into the recliner. 

Hope” I said thoughtfully, swirling the name around in my brain as one would a sip of fine wine. Whitney happily chomped on her sandwich watching me as I sat silently thinking. Pausing in mid chomp she pursed her lips and furrowed her brow saying “What’s wrong, Andrew? Don’t you like the name?” 

“Oh no! I think it’s a lovely name” I replied quickly. “It just might be – now don’t get upset – somewhat cutesy considering our twins are named Faith and Charity.” 

Dismissing my observation, Whitney asked me to hand her the book of baby names from the coffee table. Listen to this: ‘’Hope signifies the Christian expectation of salvation and eternal life. The three theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity are the strongholds among Christians” she quoted. “Still think it’s cutesy?”

“0k, poor choice of words” I admitted “but let’s not be hasty. I’ve always liked the name Anastasia.” 

Whitney stared at me over the rim of her glass. “Ah, a name that defines royalty. Wasn’t she and the entire Romanov family slaughtered by the Bolsheviks?” 

“I see your point”  I acquiesced. “Well, you’re not the only one who’s been researching baby names. How about Ash, Ewan or Linden?”  Whitney bristled at the idea of using a masculine-sounding tree name. “Hold on, Andrew. I know we agreed not to find out the sex of the baby but this pregnancy is exactly like my first one with the girls so no boy names!”  

Suddenly Whitney let out a loud groan of pain followed by another even louder. She doubled over, strewing her sandwich and soda everywhere. When she stood up her water broke immediately. The twins woke up crying and came running into the den sobbing  “Mommy! What’s wrong?” Complete mayhem and disorder had broken out in our apartment. Breathlessly Whitney said “I’ll put the girls back to bed and get my hospital bag. You arrange for a ride and ask my mother to come over. And page the doctor!” 

I called for an Uber and texted Whitney’s mom to stay with the girls. Then I paged our obstetrician giving him an update on Whitney’s condition. Within twenty minutes we were on our way to the hospital. Labor was coming on fast and the Uber driver had the pedal to the metal. With every contraction Whitney groaned louder and the driver’s eyes grew wider. 

The doctor arrived at the hospital minutes after we did and a quick examination was all it took for him to know we had no time to waste. “Whitney”, the doctor said calmly, “your baby’s head is crowning. Just a few good pushes is all we need. Ok, push now.” 

I held Whitney’s hand tightly as the doctor encouraged her to push. “Now with the next contraction give it all you got.” The next sound we heard was our baby’s cries followed by gasps from the nurses. 

“What’s wrong?” we asked anxiously. 

Nothing’s wrong” chuckled the doctor. “But maybe you’ll want to rethink the name ‘Hope’ when you see the Johnson on this kid!” 

NAR © 2020

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