Two weeks ago, two days after my first treatment—ouch—we had a follow-up appointment with my obstetrician to see how I was recovering from my laparoscopic surgery and with my D&C’s. Plural.
Everything was great, and I was healing well. My doctor, who is amazing, also told us that our baby was/is a girl! I cried. I don’t know why, but I cried. What a roller coaster. I felt such a sense of peace and sadness at the same time. An incredible blend of grief, joy, relief, loss and a spark of the beginnings of closure all braided together in one single moment. So yeah, I cried.
After a few days, Tim and I decided on a name for her: Gabriella Joy. We’ve put a lot of thought behind the names of our girls, Kiersten Bethany—Christ follower and Bethany after a very special place in my heart in Michigan. Haven Grace—A safe place, also named in honor of Corrie ten Boom and Grace after the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
We put the same thought behind naming Gabriella Joy. Gabriella in Swedish means strength from God, which we are so blessed with and pray for daily—sometimes hourly. And Joy, which means rejoicing because we know that she is in heaven rejoicing with Jesus and our grandparents and other family members and friends. She’s probably collecting beach glass with my grandma Barnard on a beach like Bethany just like I did here on Earth.
My dear friends found one of the most perfect gifts for me. For Christmas Tim got me a necklace with a bird for every member of our family. My friends spent a lot of time searching the internet and found the jeweler who made it and bought a bird for Gabriella Joy. So amazingly sweet. Of course I cried when they gave it to me. I have the best friends.