24 April 2010


All of our kids have Gaelic names. My husband's heritage is Scottish and mine is Irish/Scottish. When I got pregnant with my first child I knew I was going to name them 'Riley' whether it was a boy or a girl. When I found out the baby was a girl, my mom suggested the spelling and our Rylie became a reality. I knew it was Irish, but I just really liked the name. I didn't pick it because of it's ethnicity.

When I became pregnant the second time and we found out it was a boy, I had not decided that Gaelic names were going to be our family trend yet. Shawn really liked Ian (which is Gaelic) but I really liked Cole. I knew he was going to be born with a shockingly full head of black hair because his older sister was. And I figured the name Cole would fit. But, when he was born, I knew how much my husband liked the name Ian and Ian really seemed to fit him better.

Thus was born the tradition in naming our kids with a Gaelic flair (their middle names are all Celtic too).

When I became pregnant with our third baby, and found out it was a girl, none of the names I suggested did my dear husband like. NONE.

During my 8th month of pregnancy, I was crying to him on the phone about how much I wanted to get a name picked out when I suggested (again) a name I really liked. He still didn't like it. But then I told him that the name Aidan was Gaelic for 'fire' and then he loved it (his nickname in high school was 'pyro'). And so her name was chosen.

Our fourth child, when we found out it was a girl, was much harder to name. I didn't like anything my husband was picking and the name I really liked he didn't like at all. When she unexpectedly died, we were thrust into a situation on what to name a baby that would never live to grow into her name. What do we name a little girl that we'll never get to sing to, to play with and to yell her first and middle name at? Do you use your favorite name on this little girl when you are praying that someday in the future you would be able to use that name on a girl that would live? Do you give up a beloved name to a child that you'll never raise?

As I laid holding our girl, I realized what her name should be. She is our only child that does not have an Irish middle name because her middle name is mine as well. Her first name was the one my husband did not like and the one that I loved. And I chose Kyle Ann as the name that would be forever carved in cold, grey granite.

Three months after burying Kyle Ann, I was surprisingly and unexpectedly pregnant again. And this time it was twin boys. Thinking of names became so much harder because I didn't want anything that rhymed and nothing with matching initials for them. But coming up with 2 first names and 2 middle names was difficult. I had a list of names I liked and I would put them all together in every which way possible to see what we liked. I also looked at the meanings of the names and would write the meanings to all of them on my list so I would have it as a deciding vote. I knew the deciding factor on Aidan's name was because of what it meant, so I wanted to be prepared.

I felt 'Baby B' kick me very early on in the pregnancy. Around the 14th week, I could feel him fluttering around. I would consistently feel Baby B and hardly ever felt Baby A. I would use a doppler to check for a heart rate on Baby A because I not only was scared of a repeat of Kyle Ann's death, but since I didn't feel him as much, this helped me keep an
eye on him.

Because I felt Baby B so much, I nicknamed him Brady. B for Brady and because Brady means spirited. And he was so very spirited. So much so, that the name stuck right away.

I had an idea for Baby A, but Shawn didn't like it. I tossed the name around a bit and although I wasn't fully sold on it, I did think saying the boys names together sounded good. I figured I would be calling them out loud a lot in the coming years and saying them together sounded good.

As you all know, I didn't get to be pregnant with my sons for long enough. They came so unexpectedly and so quickly that we didn't have the names picked out yet. When they were born and the nurses asked me for their names, I didn't know yet what they were going to be for sure. So, their tags for the NICU stated Twin Baby A McIntosh and Twin Baby B McIntosh.

When my husband was finally able to get to the hospital, I asked him to bring my list of names. He had to head back home to be with our other children and I sat on the hospital bed, pouring over my list, trying to decide what their names should be.

I only remember moments during the first few days of my boys birth. I don't remember a specific conversation with anyone regarding Baby B and the fact that he wasn't in as good of shape as Baby A. But somehow I knew that he was worse. And after looking through my list, I went back to my original name for Baby B and named him Brady. It fit what I knew of his personality and the spirited little boy I knew in my womb was the spirited little boy I wanted to see fight on the outside. He was always Brady to me. And because he needed to be my spirited fighter, I chose Kellan to be his middle name because it meant warrior.

For Baby A, the name I had called him while in my womb was not what I decided he should be on the outside. Because he was the stronger of the two, I chose the name Liam because it meant protection and I wanted the stronger brother to protect his weaker brother. Murphy was to be his middle name because it also meant warrior (of the sea).

And so the boys names were chosen.

Out of all of my children, their names were the most considered, the most dwelt on and the most significant. Their names were chosen because of who they were in my womb, who they were to us and because of what they had to face when they were born.

Their names are significant and while our Brady was not able to fight off his prematurity, he was a spirited warrior while here on this earth.

And Liam?

While his name means protector, it also means warrior.

And he is our warrior every day.

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