My previous post described the heartache and disappointment I have felt in not knowing if baby Micah was a boy or a girl. This one missing detail has left me in constant wonder; wondering if Micah was a boy or a girl and why I didn’t get to find out this detail. Being past the half way mark in my pregnancy, this was something that I should have been able to find out.
I was well into the second trimester of pregnancy when I was told my baby would not survive, and my husband and I decided we needed to pick out a name. We were having a baby, after all, just under different circumstances than we had expected. And this baby deserved a name just like any other baby.
We didn’t want to choose just any old name, but we wanted it to be a name with a meaning behind it. A name that might somehow bring meaning to the life that would never be seen by anyone but us.
We had fully expected to find out if our baby was a boy of a girl after delivery. The possibility that we might not be able to find out had never crossed my mind.
As we perused baby names online, we settled on “Eliza” for a girl, and “Micah” for a boy.
With “Eliza” meaning “pledged or consecrated to God,” we found it to be fitting. Our baby would be dedicated to God, serving His higher purpose, whatever that would turn out to be.
I had always liked the name “Micah” and when we discovered what the name meant, it was an easy choice. It means “one who is like the Lord,” which seemed appropriate as our baby would soon be trading in my womb for the gates of heaven. Our baby would be going to meet with God, and in that place of perfection, would become like God. The name just made sense to us.
Having names picked out made me feel a little bit more in control of the situation. I couldn’t choose whether my baby lived or died, but I could choose a name.
After going into labor, the one thing I looked forward to was finding out if I had given birth to a boy or girl. But just like every other aspect of my pregnancy, things didn’t go as I had planned. I delivered our baby and was told by my doctor that our baby’s midsection had already started to deteriorate and she couldn’t tell if it was a boy or girl. Without being told that there were ways to find out, and without knowing to ask about those options, we wanted to decide on a name before leaving the hospital.
We had put so much thought into choosing the right name just a few days before, and although we didn’t know our baby’s gender, we agreed that one of the names we had chosen was still a good fit.
My husband and I had both known a handful of “Micah’s” over the course of our lives, some male and some female. So, we figured it was an appropriate gender-neutral name and officially named our baby Micah. “One who is like the Lord.”
People tend to associate this name with males and therefore often assume that our baby was a boy, and I don’t correct them. When others ask if we had a boy or a girl, sometimes I lie because it’s just easier. And when I do explain, my insecurities around the significance of my baby’s life rise to the surface as I assume the person I’m talking to will not understand the complexities of loss. Because most people don’t.
But despite the confusion and misunderstandings around an unknown gender and a name that is associated with boys, I can no longer imagine our baby being named anything else. Our baby is Micah, no matter the gender.