Adam and I had a hard time picking out names for a long time. We had 4 boy names to come up with between the twins and had already come up with two when naming Aaron. After the news at our anatomy scan about Baby A’s heart, I felt that we should look to the meanings of names instead of just names themselves. We wanted strong names that represented faith and this journey.
Baby A’s name was chosen quickly after searching for a special meaning.
Caleb is a Hebrew masculine given name. The Hebrew meaning offered for Caleb is “faithful, devotion, wholehearted, bold, brave”. This is on the basis of its being actually a compound word, a phenomenon quite common in ancient Hebrew. Col (כל, Kaf + Lamed) = “all” or “whole”; Lev (לב, Lamed + Bet) means “heart”. Therefore, Caleb (or Calev as pronounced in Hebrew) would actually mean “wholehearted”. This might be due to the Biblical Caleb, a companion of Moses and Joshua, being noted for his astute powers of observation and fearlessness in the face of overwhelming odds.
As soon as I saw that Caleb means “wholehearted” and that biblically, Caleb followed God wholeheartedly, I knew this had to be his name. He was noted for being fearless in the face of overwhelming odds. What a sweet testament to the journey this baby is on. Carson is also a family name and my brother’s middle name.
Baby B’s name soon followed with meaning close to my heart.
Gabriel is a given name derived from the Hebrew name “Gabriel” meaning “God is my strength” or “God is my strong man”. The name was popularized by the association with the archangel Gabriel. The angel Gabriel is an angel of God who is mentioned by name three times in the Bible when he brought messages from God to Daniel, Zechariah, and Mary. Two of those instances were messages that he brought of the coming of two baby boys. (A long-awaited son to Zechariah and Elizabeth, and the message to Mary that she would soon conceive Jesus).
I have felt God’s strength throughout this pregnancy and have relied on it throughout this entire time. Being open and completely humbled by the messages of God has brought to light so many ways He has used prayer, family, friends, doctors, and those we don’t even know to show us how this “reckless love of God” is all around us. We thought it would be nice for those praying for these sweet ones to have specific names to commit to prayer.
Caleb in 3D at 23 weeks and Gabriel in 3D at 27 weeks.
What a difference even 4 weeks of growth makes!
Update on Our Boys
I had a prenatal appointment this past Tuesday. They did routine bloodwork, shots and the glucose test. Everything went well and results came back fine! Dr. Lowe measured my growth so far and I am measuring at 45 weeks!! No wonder I am so short of breath lol!
The next day I had another ultrasound with the Maternal Fetal office in Greensboro. I woke up that morning with uneasiness and anxiety. Something I have struggled with is the feeling of dread leading up to each appointment. I know it’s the PTSD-like reaction to the rollercoaster of a journey that this has been. I really had to pray on Tuesday and ask God to carry me through this. Adam had to stay with Aaron since icy weather delayed daycare from opening. Going alone isn’t easy since I had to be alone when learning about Caleb’s heart. I prayed for God to just give me a peace going into this ultrasound.
When greeting our ultrasound tech, who I love, she informed me that we would be seeing now a third MFM doctor, Dr. Decker, who she said has such a warm presence and bedside manner. When I met her, I knew God heard my prayer. She put me at ease immediately and was so sweet and reassuring. The other doctors we have met there have been very knowledgeable, but very clinical in delivering facts. Isn’t it amazing how God meets us when and where we need Him?
The ultrasound tech and Dr. Decker informed me that the boys are growing SO well! Fluid looks great and currently Caleb is measuring at 2.2 lbs. and Gabriel is at 2.3 lbs. You really can’t get much better than that. It puts them in the 41st and 45th percentile- which is the scale that singletons are measured by and this means they are right at about average growth for a singleton. This is really good for twins! This is SUCH a blessing! Being as big as he can get will help Caleb through any procedures he needs after birth. We continue to pray for good growth for these babies, as prematurity only adds to any complications.
We have heard from other families that have gotten to the HLHS diagnosis by birth, specifically families that have been able to have the Biventricular Repair surgery that I mentioned in the last post. I asked about whether Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, or Boston Children’s Hospital would be the best route. Those who do get care for their child in Charlotte shared they did the Bivent surgery in Boston. Many others shared they wouldn’t go anywhere else for such a specialized surgery- Boston hands down. This has certainly caused us to really think about options that we could be faced with not long from now. If Caleb’s heart “qualifies” for the bivent procedure, we know this would be the best place for him. If his critical aortic stenosis develops into HLHS, we feel confident that Charlotte would do great with this surgery. Ultimately, we do hope he would be a good candidate for the Bivent repair. Having both ventricles makes a world of difference in the long-term health and outlook for his life. We are asking for prayers for guidance in the coming weeks when discussing this with our pediatric cardiologist. We are hoping God opens those doors for us and makes it clear the path we are supposed to go down.
We are also praying on the logistics of potentially delivering in Boston. This would require us to reach out to organizations that support families by helping with their stay, parking, lodging, etc. This would also mean being away from Aaron for weeks. It wouldn’t be easy, and we would need to look into so many different things, but we are giving this to God for now. We are praying that Caleb is born with the least severe condition that requires the least invasive repairs. Until then, we also pray that we continue to become more and more prepared to be the best parents and caregivers to these boys, no matter what the journey entails.
As always, thank you for EVERY single prayer and for being the village of support that provides us more strength and love than you even know!