Saturday, April 20, 2013

What's In A Name?

I had originally planned on finishing this post back in January - the week Jeremiah was born, actually!  But, having him caused me to be slightly busy that week.

This weekend is a big weekend. He is being dedicated at church Sunday! So I wanted to share the story behind his name.

Baby naming is serious business! Your child is going to have that name forever (barring you stick them with something so horrific that they actually go through the name change process...)!  I had theories about baby names. I didn't want something super common. I also didn't want something so unique people thought it was made up.  Ideally, I wanted names that weren't in the top 20 of baby names but were in the top 200. I figured that was a good guide to avoid too trendy and too obscure. Good plan, right?

We started talking names early.  By 8 weeks, we had our girls' name set in stone. We would later throw around other names, but still consistently came back to our top choice (I'm not going to share it at this time). It had family elements to it and non-family elements. It was, to us, the perfect name.

A boy's name was always more challenging for us.  John is the 4th John (insert last name here) in his family. It's his great-great-grandfather's name, his great-grandfather's name, his grandfather's name, and his name.  He isn't John Jeremiah (last name) IV, though. They have different middle names. So our plan was to continue that tradition.  We would call our baby by his middle name if our baby was a boy.  So the search was on for a name.

In addition to popularity, name meanings were also very important to us. So names we were considering had to have a meaning we liked as well.

Our first boy's name was John Harrison.  That was "the" name for about a week.  We told family and friends that we had our girl name and our boy name.  John Harrison.  I loved it. It was my idea, and John liked it as well.  We were all set.

And then we weren't. I woke up one day not liking it anymore. Actually, I still liked it, but I don't like the nickname "Harry."  And all I could think was that people were going to call him Harry.

What other names did we consider and even "settle" on?

John Emmanuel - this was another one we agreed on.  I loved the meaning "God with us." But it wasn't quite right.

John Richard - John liked this one. I never did.

John Russell - I liked this one (and it was my grandfather's name). John never did.

John Alexander - John liked it a lot, and I liked it okay.

John Isaac..... John Benjamin..... John Chase..... John Steven.... John Judah.... I could go on, but that's all I remember right now.  One name that I had liked for years was Jeremiah, but it was ruled out since that is John's middle name. We weren't planning on doing a junior.

Fast forward to about 14 weeks.  While praying for our baby, I felt strongly that our baby had a prophetic anointing.  Specifically, I heard that our baby was going to have a voice.  I remember googling baby names that meant "voice."

Fast forward another couple of weeks.  We got our first (of many) scary test results. Overall, I handled them okay, but I was still really worried. One thing that really helped was a book I was reading at the time Praying Through Your Pregnancy... the same day I got the bad test results I read a chapter and in it, they talked about another lady who had gotten the exact same results as me, but she clung to a verse in the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah 1:5 says "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." That was very comforting to me.... God knew our baby and He is the one who was forming him or her inside of me.  The verse goes on to say "before you were born, I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."  That part of the verse kept resonating in me.  That was twice in two weeks that I felt I had a specific word about our baby being a prophet.

Throughout the next two weeks while I was waiting to meet with the specialist, I kept feeling God speak to me encouragement from the book of Jeremiah. These verses helped my faith stay secure that God had His hand on our baby and he or she was going to be alright.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future."

Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to me and I will answer you. I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know." 

Jeremiah 29:13 "You'll seek me and you'll find me when you search for me with all your heart."

Over and over, I felt both comfort that God had created our little baby for a purpose, and I had faith that no matter what the test was showing as a possibility, that purpose was NOT to either die in utero or die at birth.  In fact, I strongly felt he would have a healthy, strong life.

I looked up the meaning of the name Jeremiah. It means "God will uplift."  I can say for a fact, throughout my pregnancy, throughout the scary test results, the bed rest, the pre-eclampsia, the 31 hours of labor, the c-section..... God uplifted me.  God protected me and Jeremiah throughout. I am healthy. I have a healthy baby boy.

(If you've been reading my blog or know me, you probably know that the rest of the pregnancy did not go smoothly.  Jeremiah was born with a couple of minor health problems. However, if you were to see him now, you would never guess that he was in Special Care for 4 days, had to be taken back and forth to the doctor and hospital for 3 weeks due to his failure to gain weight, etc. He is approximately 16 pounds! At 3 months old!!!)

So, at one point during that two weeks, I brought up the subject of names again to John. He knew the different verses God had been speaking to me, so I just said "I know we didn't want to do a Junior, but I really think that if this baby is a boy" (which I strongly thought it was) "we should name him Jeremiah." He thought for a minute and said "Okay."  And that was that. We never looked back on his name.  We didn't change our mind the way we did with other names. We just knew it was the right name for him!

About a day or two after that, we found out that Jeremiah was in fact Jeremiah.  He was a boy! We told our parents the name the same day we told them he was a boy.

So Jeremiah's full name of John Jeremiah (last name) II means "God is gracious; God will uplift."  The grace of God truly got us where we are today, through the pregnancy and through our lives.  God uplifted us every day and I believe He will continue to pour His grace on Jeremiah throughout his life and continue to uplift him every step of the way.

Happy, healthy, sweet baby Jeremiah
(P.S. We still didn't like the "Jr." part, so we just decided to make him "the Second" instead of "Jr.!" Easy solution!)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Happy Three Month Birthday, Jeremiah!

My sweet boy is 3 months old! Time is flying but at the same time I feel he's been here forever.

(Apparently, Jeremiah was not feeling very photogenic this month for pictures. He kept covering his face and/or looking away.)

Jeremiah is such a joy.  He is smiling and interacting more and more.  He smiles and smiles. Earlier this week, my parents came over and as my dad held him, Jeremiah got the biggest smile. It was so cute!  This morning when John left for work (about 5:30 a.m.!), Jeremiah gave him the biggest, cutest, sweetest smile. He loves his daddy!
No pictures, please

Jeremiah had a little bit of a rough month with his health - a bad cold that wouldn't go away, stomach issues, etc. He started violently spitting up on several occasions.

Not looking at the camera
Jeremiah also had an exciting month!  He traveled to Indiana, met his "cousin" Sarah, and got to have lots of outings to church and even the grocery store! He also had his first sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's house!
Jeremiah is growing!  He is in size 2 diapers when we use disposables (at night or when we are going to be out a long time) and is mostly in 3-6 month clothes. Sometimes he wears 0-3 and some 6-9, but mostly 3-6. His growing is despite the fact that he hasn't increased his food intake much - still all breastmilk about 3 ounces at a time.  Some days he'll eat a little more, but if we give him too much, it makes the spit up much worse.

You want me to look where?

A Smile!
 Jeremiah's sleep is still struggling.  The other night, he only woke up once; it was fabulous! The next night he woke up 3 times; that was not fabulous. However, it was better than last night when he woke up 4 times! And one of those times included projectile spit up.... Most of his sleep is with Mommy on the recliner.

My hands are so tasty!
One thing new this month is that he has started really enjoying his swing.  It usually puts him to sleep, but he'll chill in it for a few minutes before falling asleep.
I'm cute and I know it.
 He still enjoys being worn in his sling, but he didn't like the Ergo much when we tried it. I think we'll try it again only without part of the infant insert to give him a little more room.  Overall, I think he likes being worn because he needs the closeness. He also sleeps much better when I'm holding him.

His nursery is finally finished! I'll probably post pictures of that soon.

 He's lost a lot of his hair, but I'm sure it will grow back. I miss it though. :( It's still kind of long in the back. His eyes have lightened up even more, a beautiful blue.

He really didn't want to cooperate!
  Jeremiah also loves to "talk." I'd love to get it on camera, but he becomes camera shy often when I try!
"Look at the camera? No. How about I cover my face?"

My special blanket!
 I love my little man so much. He's changed my life in so many ways and I'm so grateful for him!


Still more pictures, Mommy?
 Jeremiah is such a joy and a blessing to me. I love my little man, Jere-bear, sweetie boy, and every other name I call him!

Family Picture!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Easter Weekend!

Last weekend for Easter, we went to Indiana to spend it with parts of my mom's family.  We were going to go Friday through Sunday, but work schedules changed so we went Saturday after John got off work until Monday late morning. 

Most of my Indiana relatives had either never met John or only met him at the wedding. And none of them had met Jeremiah! So it was going to be nice for them to spend time with everyone.

With my cousin and two aunts
The drive there was...... interesting.  The best part was stopping at Cracker Barrel. Wow! That's a good restaurant! We'd had a gift card for there since our wedding, but the closest one is about 45 minutes away, so we never used it. But when I saw that there were several on the route, we decided we would go there for dinner.  The worst part was when Jeremiah decided to scream and scream til we pulled over and comforted him (taking him out, feeding him, etc.) partway through the trip.  We also may have had some trouble finding my aunt's house (finally my uncle came and got us from a parking lot!). GPS wasn't picking up their address!

My cousin Steph and her family
By the way, traveling with a baby is not for the faint of heart! And, I may be an overpacker anyway. So throw in all the additional baby stuff you need? Recipe for a very full car!

After a little while Saturday, we all went to bed (we didn't get there until about 10:30).  Jeremiah decided he needed held all night long, so I got almost no sleep. :)  We had a pretty laid back morning. My other aunt came over and my aunts held Jeremiah while I got ready for the day.

Family picture
After my cousin and her family got out of church, they came over as well. Other family trickled in throughout the day - in all, I had 3 aunts, 2 uncles, 3 cousins, 3 "cousins in law," and 6 first cousins once removed.  There are a lot more, but they couldn't make it for one reason or another!

Jeremiah was fussy and unable to sleep for a lot of it, so he wanted Mommy a lot.  But he did pretty well with being passed around as much as he was, but once he was done and tired, he was just done. I think most of the family understood that babies can just be a little cranky at times. :)

There was a huge Easter egg hunt for the kids (other than Jeremiah, he's too young!) and then a delicious dinner! After that, we watched basketball and the Bible miniseries.  Throughout the day, there was lots of fun conversation and story telling.

After a long but fun day, we went to bed around 11. Once again, Jeremiah didn't exactly cooperate with sleep.  But he did better than the night before.  It was just hard because he's used to being held all night, so I tried. But instead of the couch that we usually sleep on, we were all sharing a full bed. The nights we do share the bed with Daddy at home, we have a queen! So it was crowded.

Family picture!

Daddy and his boy

Around noon, we headed home. Jeremiah was an angel the whole way! He slept for all but about 10 minutes!

It was a great, tiring whirlwind of a trip!