Thursday, February 10, 2011

What's in a Name and The Art of Burping

What's in a Name?

Honing in on 24 hours after I delivered, Dustin and I finally decided on a name. It's not that we didn't come prepared with a name or even a few of them, it's just that none of them seemed to fit our daughter perfectly. They either seemed too small or too weak to hold up to such a large and strong, yet delicate-featured little baby. We each made lists and poured over names, baby books, favorite characters, authors, words. We threw out possibilities like "Serendipity" and "Osprey" and "Quinn," palindromes like "Hannah" and "Ava," which we'd all but decided upon until we saw our little bundle. The only thing we knew for certain was the middle names, they were decided upon months earlier, but the first name was a whole different story. "Maya" would be her first middle name, named for my sister who passed away in infancy and "Victoria" would be her second middle name, named for her grandmothers--one who is named Victoria and the other whose confirmation name is the same.

Eventually, we made lists separately, then together, then separately again. Then we narrowed our lists and rated one another's lists saying things like: "Natalie reminds me of the girl who disappeared in Aruba. I can't think of anything but her when I hear it and I don't want to brand our daughter with that name" or "That name doesn't have enough syllables to sound aesthetically pleasing with our last name..." until we finally settled on Avonlie. Of course, then there was the issue of spelling her name. 


We counted letters, considered pronunciations and chose the last. We have since reconsidered, but there's no going back now, so "Avonlie" it is. It was only after her name was decided on that someone wrote on Dustin's Facebook page "Oh, like Anne of Avonlea?" Huh. Right. 

I first remember hearing the name "Avonlie" while waiting in line behind a girl at MU for coffee. The barista wanted the girl's name to write on the cup and she said it, spelled it, then said it again (a true spelling bee champion's trait!) "Avonlea" and so it was, forever branded in my memory, only to be born again while seeking the perfect name for our child. 

Needless to say, not everyone loved our choice of name, but she's not everyone's child, so we shrugged off the naysayers and complimented ourselves on finding the perfect name for our perfect daughter!

Avonlie Maya Victoria
The Art of Burping
We celebrated the new year from my hospital bed with the baby mostly asleep and the two of us toasting with a bit of champagne my family brought along to toast with earlier in the evening before heading off to their own NYE celebration in Hilton Head. I was properly disturbed by what remains of poor Dick Clark and even more bothered by the performance by NKOTB and some other boy band that we happened across while in search of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. When we finally went to bed, Avonlie arose so my night was shot until morning...I fell asleep just in time to meet the pediatrician for the first time, who appeared beside my bed looking well-rested and ready to go. 

While he and my husband went over some logistics and I tried, hazy-minded, to keep up, it occurred to me that Avonlie was asleep and I had a few moments where I could get to the bathroom. Hastily, I left D and the dr. to their discussion and slipped away for just a few moments. What I found when I returned baffled even my exhausted mind. The doctor remained where I left him, by the side of my bed with Avonlie draped over his forearm, head bobbing with each slap to the back he gave her. And there Dustin stood, behind the doctor, slapping his hand onto the doctor's back rhythmically. "Is that too hard? It seems like you're hitting her pretty hard? Is this hard enough?" Dustin was asking. I had stumbled upon my husband burping our pediatrician.

Later he would tell me that the doctor never actually told him whether it was too soft or too hard--the force of the blows he administered to his back while mock burping, but I would think about it and laugh again and again every time. (D definitely got the hang of burping...he could perform various methods, one of which would almost always yield a result, though my rate of success is much lower, despite how many techniques I try.) I had never seen or heard of a man burping another man. Our doctor had continued talking as if it wasn't even happening and no one seemed surprised, including me, as I climbed back into the hospital bed and watched the men complete their discussion. It wasn't until later we laughed about it.

That's what a lot of our hospital stay was like...not getting things until they were over and we were home. Only weeks later would I look back on the strange occurrences and wonder how I missed the humor in them at the time. This would especially hit home when tasked with learning how to deal with the Medela. If you don't know what that is, try google or wait for the next installment.

1 comment:

  1. "Needless to say, not everyone loved our choice of name, but she's not everyone's child, so we shrugged off the naysayers and complimented ourselves on finding the perfect name for our perfect daughter!"

    YOU GO GIRL - love it - I think it's a beautiful name. Makes me think of Anne of Green Gables (I think the second book was Anne of Avonlea? Anywho - beautiful books, story and main character!)