Baby names can be a funny thing.
Some people take a long time to mull things over - they consider their options during the pregnancy, they meet and size up the baby at birth, and then they decide what fits best.
That’s not me.
I’m one of those folks who needs to know the baby’s name as soon as the double line appears on the pregnancy test (if not sooner, thankyouverymuch).
But these weren’t my babies (we found out at 6 weeks that there were two of them), they were Robyn and Chris’s, so whatever I thought about baby names did not matter one bit.
Yet in no way did that change the way I felt about having names for the babies growing inside me.
So when my kids, who were 7, 5 and 4 at the time, suggested we call the babies Sunshine and Starlight, I was all in.
One of them (I wish I knew who!) even made me little Post-It tags to represent them. I kept them on the bulletin board above my desk for the duration of the pregnancy, and then some.
By the time of our four-month ultrasound, when the babies would be big enough to tell their sexes, Robyn and Chris had decided on the names Vincent and Madeline, if they were boy-girl twins.
When the ultrasound technician declared the first baby a boy, I excitedly said “There’s Vincent!” and we all cheered.
The exam continued and we found out that the second baby was also a boy. Two beautiful, healthy, growing boys were nestled inside me. We were overjoyed.
Now Robyn and Chris had to come up with another boy’s name for their second son. And that’s when I started to feel a little guilty.
I’d been the one to declare that day, during that ultrasound, that Baby A (the baby closest to my cervix, in twin-speak) to be Vincent. I just blurted it out without thinking, knowing they’d picked that name for their son. But now they knew they had two sons, and what if they wanted Baby B to be Vincent instead? Would they feel obligated to give Baby A the name Vincent just because I’d said it, perhaps in thoughtless haste, that day?
It took them several weeks, maybe a month, to decide to name Baby B Tyler. Now I had names to go with both babies I carried, names I could call them in my head, names I could call them out loud to others, names my kids could call them. Yet I still worried about overstepping my bounds and declaring Baby A to be Vincent when that was in no way my right.
Closer to the birth, Robyn and Chris chose middle names for the boys – Vincent’s middle name would be Fuller and Tyler’s middle name would be Walsh.
Vincent was a strong, Italian name in honor of Robyn’s large, boisterous Italian family. And I trust you know where Fuller came from.
The names Tyler and Walsh were in honor of Chris’s family, with English and Irish roots.
Early in the morning on January 21, 2004, the boys made their arrival. As expected Vincent Fuller was born first, followed by Tyler Walsh. Both boys were big, healthy and strong.
Vincent had dark hair, dark eyes, a darker complexion and looked just like Robyn. Tyler was born with a head full of red hair, lighter eyes, rosier skin, and looked just like Chris. They matched their names exactly.
Whew. Guess I made a good call that day of the ultrasound.
It was by no means a restful stay in the hospital with family coming for days to see their precious new boys. Celebratory? Yes. Restful? No.
So the babies were released to go home after a couple of days and my doctor asked if I wanted to spend another night to “get some sleep” (which as we know is really a joke when it comes to hospitals), and I accepted. Their birth was uncomplicated, but evacuating over 15lbs of baby in just a few minutes takes a toll on even the hardiest woman.
I saw them off late on a Friday afternoon. I walked down to the hospital lobby door and watched them load into the car and drive off.
I tearfully made my way back to my room upstairs and glanced out the window at the cloud-streaked orange sky. The sun was starting to set and I quickly fell fast asleep.
When I woke up later that evening, the curtains were still wide open and the moon was glowing brightly right outside my window. Though as we know, the moon itself doesn’t glow, it reflects light from the sun.
And Venus had risen high in the sky, and was twinkling brightly just to the right of the moon.
They would be with me always, these two, whether they were called Sunshine and Starlight or Vincent and Tyler. Both names suited them just perfectly.