Considering that I’ve been remiss in my regular blogging and this is only the second time I’ve mentioned that we are having a fourth baby, I thought I should give a little update about her.
You know what’s really hard? Naming a human. You know what makes that harder? Already having named 3 other humans, including 2 of the same gender. Naming our fourth child presented a lot of the same challenges as naming the others – wanting something meaningful, something that flowed with the rest of the kids’ names, and wanting it to feel right. We started thinking of names shortly after we found out that she’s a girl, but didn’t really discuss it much right away.
After a few lead changes amongst the contenders, a few rounds of revising the short list, and just some “feeling it out,” we finally have come to a winner.
Noelle Marie Rabon
Noelle: The name Noelle is a girl’s name of French origin meaning “Christmas.” Noelle is the feminine variation of Noël, a masculine given name derived from the French word for “Christmas.” As a word, Noël originated as a variant of nael, which evolved from the Latin natalis, meaning “birth.”
If you’ve been around me much, you know that Christmas is my jam. It’s by far my favorite holiday. Christmas is about so much more than gifts and trees and lights, but is a celebration of the birth of our Savior, the birth of hope into a world of darkness. Everything about Christmas seems magical because it is steeped in the beauty of rejoicing that we have been given the best gift humanity could ever receive.
Phrases in Christmas songs like these just hit so deep, and bring so much thankfulness:
“Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices” – O Holy Night
“With the dawn of redeeming grace” – Silent Night
“God and sinners reconciled”- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
“Light and life to all he brings” – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
How can you not feel and just soak in the glory and joy of Christmas? Especially if you’ve ever sung Silent Night in a room of other believers by candlelight…it is otherworldly in its beauty and simplicity.
Add to that all of the beauty of the lights, the music, and the call to return to family and tradition and you can’t beat it. It’s literally impossible and you’ll never convince me otherwise.
When I stumbled across the name Noelle in my research, it struck me as beautiful and so feminine with the -elle ending, but being able to connect it to Christmas and the immense amount of hope and joy felt so right. We’ve historically been Biblical namers, so I wasn’t sure how I felt stepping away from that tradition, but the more I said it out loud and the more I talked about it with Stephen, the more it felt like her name.
We also really love that it’s uncommon. We don’t know a single kid named Noelle. I only know one adult named Noelle. It lends itself to nicknames like Ellie or Elle, both of which are cute. It’s seasonally appropriate for a December baby, but beautiful all year round.
Marie: A name of various meanings, but the ones that we connect with most are “beloved” and “wished-for child.” The day that Jonathan was born, they placed him on my chest and the amount of love that swelled within me told me that I didn’t want two kids, I really wanted four. I honestly didn’t think we would ever have four because we had so much trouble getting to two, but after Hannah was born we didn’t feel like we were “done” and hoped for a fourth. We would be overjoyed with our three blessings, obviously, but left the door open to being blessed with just one more.
Marie is a family name on my side, with it being my middle name and my mom’s middle name as well. Bringing it into a third generation is really special, and I hope to be as close to Noelle as I am to my mom someday.
Noelle’s due date is actually January 4th, but given the history of what happened last time, we’re attempting to have a bit more- control- over the situation. But let’s be honest and make no mistake, I am fully aware that trying to control birth is just not something you can do. As such, we have scheduled with my doctor and the hospital to have them break my water on the morning of December 28 (39 weeks pregnant). This would give us the assurance that I will be at the hospital when I have her, they can’t send me home, and that my doctor will be the one available to me instead of just whoever happens to be on call when it happens. She knows my story, she’s been a big advocate for me after everything last time, and it would be nice to have her be the one attending to our delivery. She has been on board since our first appointment to do what would make me the most comfortable and to avoid any further traumatic events.
She feels, and I agree, that breaking my water will probably be all that it takes considering it’s my 4th delivery and my history of ever-faster births. Jonathan was my first and they broke my water with him and I had him ~9 hours later with no other intervention. Abigail was born about 4 hours after we arrived at the hospital. And Hannah, well, she was born less than an hour after we were told I wasn’t in labor. Time kind of feels like it’s of the essence this time. Jonathan was born at 39w1d, Abigail at 37w2d and Hannah at 39w0d so 39 weeks is about normal for my children.
There’s a part of me that feels like she’s going to come earlier, just because we put a date on it. It would be very on-brand of a child of ours to be like “oh, you made a plan, that’s cute, I’m going to do what I want.” And I’m totally open to that if that’s what happens, I just need her to wait until my mom gets to town so we have someone in the house to stay with the other three kids so we can leave for the hospital ASAP. I’ve seen a lot in my birthing experiences, but I would prefer to avoid having a baby in a car. I’d like to go out on my own terms. This will be our last birth experience, so having something as “normal” as possible sounds like the perfect plan.
So far I think I’ve felt pretty good about the whole idea of birth again, but I do think as we get closer to her coming I may start to get some anxiety about how it will all play out. When it starts to get really real that she could come any day, I could see some fear or uncertainty creep in. If you are the praying type, I’d appreciate any you could send my way as we get closer – and for Stephen who has to deal with me.
Overall, I am super excited to meet her and to see what she looks like, her personality develop, and to see our family complete. That’s an odd concept to wrap my head around, as we have spent the better part of a decade trying to grow our family, and I’m sure that in the days and months to follow I’ll spend a lot of time processing that. I have a lot of feelings about leaving the child-bearing years behind, but also a lot of anticipation and excitement for entering a new phase of life as parents and as a family.
So for now, I’ll be buying the few things that a 4th baby needs — and a few things she doesn’t 😉 — and soaking in all the last kicks and rolls until she’s ready to move the party to the outside.
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