Bonnie. It means “beautiful; cheerful; good; charming”. The name never came up when we considered names for Raines and Mae. But when we found out we were having another girl this time, Bonnie was all I could think of. I don’t know why. Jordan rejected it for about half the pregnancy. Then one day, out of nowhere, he just said he liked it. His sudden change of heart was like a mind trick for me. Once he was on board with the name, I couldn’t commit. We talked endlessly about names. I read the entire internet. Twice. Every baby name list ever written. “Girl names your friends will want to steal”; “Surnames that make awesome first names for girls”; “Nature inspired girl names”; “Literary inspired girl names”; “Most beautiful girl names ever”; “Vintage girl names that deserve a comeback”. There is not a list I didn’t read. No name I didn’t consider. I even made up names. Every notebook and scrap piece of paper in the house was filled with names - in cursive, print, full name, nickname, and monogram form. I covered every angle of every name. But we were hopelessly indecisive. We had a hundred pretty names, but not HER name. Bonnie floated in limbo. The name we wouldn’t commit to, but couldn’t let go of.
With no name, we crept closer to my due date of March 13th. At my 38 week appointment, I was 4cm dilated. The doctor told me he expected I’d go into labor in 24 hours. I did not. For 10 excruciating days after that appointment, I did not go into labor. Every night I felt terrible and convinced myself that labor was coming. I tossed and turned and had all the heartburn and took 78 trips to the bathroom every night. But I did not go in to labor. At my 39 week appointment, I was 5cm dilated. My doctor suggested I be induced the next day because the baby would likely come very fast once labor started since I was already so dilated. But I wanted to go into labor on my own. My other two babies came when they were ready, and I wanted the same for this baby. So I decided to wait. But two days later, March 10, I woke up feeling just awful. Nausea and pressure and just overall not good. I called my doctor, and he said that as dilated as I was, if I wasn’t feeling well it was time to have this baby. He would meet us at the hospital. We would meet our girl and pray that her name would become clear.
So that was it. We loaded the car. We hugged our big girls and left them to play the day away with Honey and Doc. The drive to the hospital was weird. With Raines and Mae, when we went to the hospital it was go time. I was contracting and in pain and the ride took focus. This time, I was feeling sickish, yeah. But no contractions. No pain. Just riding along. It felt surreal. I was just casually going to have a baby.
We got to the hospital at noon. They got me all settled into a room. My doctor came to check me around 12:30pm. I was 5 1/2cm. He broke my water and started a low dose of pitocin. The monitor started showing contractions a little more regularly, but still I felt nothing. My nurse asked me if I wanted an epidural. I kind of laughed. I just wasn’t in pain. With my other two deliveries, when I got the epidural at 5 or 6cm, I was in pretty intense pain and READY for some relief. But this time? Nope. I was just cruising along contracting painlessly and finishing my novel. But the nurses told me that if I wanted the epidural I should consider getting it before I was too far dilated and contractions came on strong. So I got it. Still just hanging out. This was around 2:30pm at 6 1/2cm.
Then we waited. It took longer than everyone expected for me to be ready to push. But I was still just cruising along. I could move my legs pretty freely, actually, but still wasn’t feeling any real contractions until I got to about 9cm. Then I could feel the pressure, and knew we were getting close. My doctor checked me at 5pm. 9 1/2cm. He came back into the room at 5:20 and it was go time. Places, people. And 3 minutes of pushing later, our precious and perfect baby girl was born at 5:27pm. 8lbs 7oz and 20 1/2 inches of pure sweetness.
It was was the most peaceful and pain free(ish) labor and delivery of my 3. And she was here. And she was beautiful and healthy and perfect. Jordan and I were awestruck. How did she do it? How was her entrance into our world so graceful? So sweet and serene? We were totally charmed by her. I told Jordan that this girl was pure sweetness. She needed a sweet name. The sweetest name we had was Bonnie. Beautiful. Cheerful. Charming. Good. Yes. She’s always been Bonnie.
Her middle name was easy. Ray. For my 90 year old grandfather, her great grandfather, Verna Ray. Honest. Good. Faithful. Loyal. Selfless. She’ll be like him in those ways, I think.
Ray. A ray of light. That’s her. She’s a ray of pure light and love in our lives. A light we didn’t know we were missing. A love our hearts needed to expend.
She’s Bonnie Ray. She always has been. She’s our good and beautiful ray of light and love. She came to us by happy surprise. She arrived with grace and peace. And she’s really had our hearts forever. We love her so. Our beautiful Bonnie Ray.
Photos by Silly Island Photography