waiting for a miracle

The story behind the names

Around the time that Hope passed away I had been reading my bible (well, listening through a phone app). The sections that I had been listening to were about the sabbatical year (Deuteronomy 15 v 1-19). Basically (and I’m not a biblical theologian so I may not get this quite right, excuse me if I don’t) the sabbatical year occurred on the seventh year (much like the Sabbath is the seventh day, a day of rest) and was a year of rest/reprieve/release. So I don’t think that meant resting the entire year (as work still had to be done to cook, clean etc) but it was a year when debts were cancelled. Slaves were set free. Chains were broken, there was a release – and slaves were set free and given gifts as they were released to start them off as free people.

When we were pregnant with Hope it was our 6th year trying to have a baby, and she was our 6th pregnancy. It was no coincidence that this came up in my one year plan to listen to around then. So this concept of the sabbatical year had been at the back of my mind leading in to this round of IVF. When we started this round back earlier this year, it was now our 7th year trying to have a baby. This concept about being set free was something that I prayed for. I prayed that I would be set free from the chains keeping us from having a viable pregnancy. That our next pregnancy, number 7, would give us our baby, our miracle. That it would be this year.

And then we got the news that I was pregnant. I kept praying around this concept of the seventh year of release, and breaking the chains, that God would go before us and prevent any complications and to protect our baby. And He did.

I had also been reading Jeremiah, in particular 29v10-14:

10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

In the early days and weeks of this pregnancy I was terrified of losing another baby. So I prayed around this passage of Jeremiah. I even wrote it on my bathroom morror so that every time I went to the bathroom (and being pregnant there are many throughout the night) I would see the verse. I would read it out loud until it became so well known that I didn’t even need to read it because I knew it. Every time my mind would worry, I would say this passage.

I love that it says many times “declares the Lord.” That is kind of like a statement, a promise. So He promises us, He promises me that his plans for me are to prosper and not to harm me; to give me hope and a future; that He will listen to me; that He will be found by me (can you imagine a celebrity making themselves available to be found by anyone that wants to find them? Yeah me neither, but God makes Himself available to us ); to restore me; to bring me back from exile. I started saying these things to the baby in my tummy and speaking this life over him.

The number seven in one form or another kept coming up and then Jeremiah kept being referred to in church messages and in my one year plan. So I began also praying about restoration and to be brought back from exile, the drought of being unable to carry a baby to term. And then this (from Jeremiah 1v4-8) also kept coming up in messages at church:

Now the Word of the Lord came to me saying, “Before I started to put you together in your mother, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart as holy. I chose you to speak to the nations for Me.” Then I said, “O, Lord God! I do not know how to speak. I am only a boy.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy.’ You must go everywhere I send you. And you must say whatever I tell you. Do not be afraid of them. For I am with you to take you out of trouble,” says the Lord.

This was so relevant to us (especially verse 5 – knowing the baby in my tummy before he was even put together) and suddenly these popular verses made more sense than ever to me through the IVF process, especially doing the ICSI. The sperm and eggs are selected, and woven together (inserted). And then the best embryo is selected to be transferred. I was having so much more of a connection and understanding to this more than ever.

And sometime around the transfer of the embryo, it may have been just after the pregnancy test or before, I had a very vivid dream. I had a dream that we had a baby boy and his name was Jeremiah. It was so clear and so real. And I have only ever dreamt that we had a baby once before, and that was when I was pregnant with Hope, and in my dream she was a girl. Call it mother’s intuition or whatever, but both times my dreams were right about what gender I was carrying. This dream stayed at the back of my mind the entire pregnancy. When we got the call to tell us the gender, I had been saying all along that our baby is a boy. So Scott called me to tell me and I said, “It’s a boy” and he said, “Yes, you knew all along.”

Anyway, so the entire pregnancy, the only name we both semi-agreed on was Jeremiah. The meaning of Jeremiah is “Yahweh uplifted” or ‘God uplifted.’ Throughout this pregnancy we have uplifted God the entire way. He has been at the centre and forefront. People around the globe have been praying to God for us – God uplifted. So the name really seemed fitting and we couldn’t find another name that we both liked for a first name that hadn’t already been used by a close friend or family member. We wanted a name that spoke life over our son and that would be a strong name. And this was it. I spoke (and still do) Jeremiah 29v11-14 over the pregnancy and over our baby every day.

So that is how we came to the decision of Jeremiah for his first name. The name kind of chose our son – we felt guided to the name rather than us selecting a name. Plus we both had no negative associations with the name Jeremiah, the only two we have known are both pretty awesome guys (you know who you are).

The questions between Scott and me were then, “what will his nicknames be?” – and you always have to do the Homer Simpson on any name that you are trying to use (test it for ways that it could be made fun of, because we all know when kids are of school age they will find a way to make fun of names). So the nicknames that we like are Jem, Jezz, Jezza.

So his next name is David. This is after three people and in no particular order we will explain. Jen’s dad’s middle name is David so that is one person he’s names after. David is a strong name (David and Goliath). Scott’s brother is David (he prefers to be called Dave). And we have dear friends who generously gave us some money after Hope passed away to be used ‘for a night in the city together or towards our next round of IVF’ – it was our choice. It was such an unexpected gift and touched us deeply – we used it to go towards this round that ended up helping us get our miracle. And his name is also David (and what an awesome person both he and his wife are). So the 3 David’s in our lives all lived up to the strong name and we only had positive associations with the name.

So this gave Jeremiah his main nickname, JD, his first two initials. And we both liked this. We pretty much agreed that this would be his name but we left it open for negotiation. But these were the only two names we agreed on, because like I said, any others had already been used.

I said in our Introducing Jeremiah blog that I wanted him to have 2 middle names. Another name that we had both liked (but didn’t want to use as a first name because my cousin’s child has this as his first name – we tried to avoid same first names as close relatives) was Nicholas. For two reasons, one being that it is one of Scott’s middle names and two being that it is the name of a beautiful little boy who graduated to heaven many years ago – forever young. We never had the chance to meet him, but we are dear friends with his Mum and step-dad. We really believe if he was still on earth, we would be friends too. We also know that this gorgeous boy would be looking after our babies in heaven until we all meet again. (I don’t want to start a theological debate about what happens between now and heaven.) So we felt that Nicholas gives our son a connection to his father, to our very dear friends and to a very special boy.

Another pretty cool thing is that my mum had me when she was 32, and now I have had JD when I am 32. Just a cool side note.

So that’s our boy’s names and the special significance behind each name. Now if we are ever blessed with another child, I hope that it is a girl because we have exhausted our list of boys names that we agreed on. Haha!

And on a side note. The date that he was born (15th October) is a very special day to us. It is the official day to remember babies gone too soon. The night to light a candle for babies lost in pregnancy and infants gone too soon. 

One year ago we were lighting candles, for babies we did not get to meet, on the 15th of October. This year we were holding our beautiful blessing and miracle in our arms. Our boy who has helped bring awareness to this area and who has had so many people praying for his safety for the entire pregnancy. What a special day to have restoration and to be blessed with Jeremiah. Praise God for this blessing! xxx