Friday, April 13, 2012

Letters to London: Volume One

I wrote this post yesterday, but then this happened last night and (inspired by my friend Kelsey), I had to share:
Now then, back to the original post...

I have seen lots of people write letters to their unborn children (Page over at It's Marvelous being one of my favorites), and I've really wanted to do it but was waiting for the right time to start. 30 weeks seems like a good landmark to me ... it'll force me to really put my thoughts down and capture the feelings of these last few months before she's here. But, given the pregnant brain / chaos at work / chaos of preparing for her arrival, it's likely going to be stream of consciousness and may not be anything you want to read. That's ok, at least I have it.

Also, secret's out, her name is London. I haven't announced that yet, have I?

London Claire Eckerson

What better place to start these letters than the story of her name. To be honest, I'm not sure there are three words I enjoy writing more. But let me start from the beginning.

Before we even thought about trying to have a baby, I had a long list of names I loved (most girls do, don't let them tell you otherwise). You probably will too, and that's totally normal. It will change as you get older or as certain things become inspirations to you, and that's normal too. As a couple, your dad and I had very little commentary about names we liked, so I was nervous that our tastes would be totally different (they were!) and we'd never agree on something.

We didn't discuss names with the first pregnancy - honestly, we didn't discuss much of anything, everything happened so quickly. But with you, sometime in the first trimester, I got the urge to start talking about it. Your dad kept saying no, it wasn't time, we couldn't get ahead of ourselves, let's find out the gender first, etc. Finally, after what felt like ages (but really was only about 6 weeks after we found out I was pregnant with you), your dad gave me the sweetest birthday gift - we could spend the day talking about what to name you. So we went to a sports bar around the corner, he ordered a pitcher of beer (and a water for me, of course) and we went through the list, narrowing down to about 25 options. Still overwhelming, but it was progress!

We agreed that we wouldn't talk about it again until our gender ultrasound, which was scheduled for the middle of January. We took the day off work, had our appointment first thing in the morning, and planned to spend the rest of the day doing all the things we hadn't let ourselves do - go shopping for you, buy you clothes, pick your name. Those things were physical manifestations of the fact that we were about to have a child, and we could finally let ourselves accept and get excited about that! As soon as I found out I was having a daughter (an emotional moment, as you saw in the video!), I was ready to give you a name, an identity. You weren't just a baby anymore - you were our baby, our girl. You needed a name.

We spent the next few hours running through our list and before I knew it, we had it narrowed down to about five choices - London being one of them and your dad's favorite. We weighed the pros and cons, and your dad brought up the point that we would be taking you to London just a few weeks after you were born, and if there were ever a time to use the name it was now. It wasn't just a perfect name, it was perfect for YOU! He was right, your name would be London. I never imagined having a daughter named London but from that moment on, it seemed to make perfect sense, and we both couldn't stop saying it.

Your middle name was my decision - your dad seems to think that middle names don't matter (he forgets that you will be raised in the south, where middle names are pretty much just an extension of your first name). As we drove around the next morning (shopping for you, of course), I kept saying aloud the various combinations we were considering, but London Claire just fit. It's feminine - just soft enough - it's classy and it's unique all at the same time ... all things we knew you'd be! So within 24 hours of when we found out we were expecting a sweet baby girl, it was decided - London Claire Eckerson would be your name, and we both couldn't have been more thrilled about it.

London has a few different meanings, but the one we found that day (and the one that's our favorite) is Wild. Combine it with Claire, meaning Clear - Wild & Clear. Let your name be a constant reminder of who you were destined to be. Others may not know where you're going, but you always will. Sometimes you'll march to the beat of your own drum, but you'll always know exactly who you are. Your personality may be wild, but you'll always have a true sense of clarity about the things that matter most - Your God and Your Family. You're going to be incredible - you already are, honestly, and you're not even here yet.

I cannot wait to meet you London,
Your Mom

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