What's In A Name

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Eleven years ago tonight I watched the end of the 1999  Masters…I was awaiting an epidural–my husband sat in the easy chair next to me while my labor and delivery nurse was sitting on the end of the bed.  They were completely enthralled with the match on TV.  It looked like Retief Goosen was going to emerge victorious.  I made a promise to the two golf fans that if this kid were a boy, we’d name him after the winner–I’d hoped this might get the attention away from the screen and back to me. 

No such luck; I kept my mind off the scene playing out regarding the golf tournament viewing by convincing myself that this child would be a girl.  As soon as the match was over and the green jacket presented, Michelle the RN would kick things into gear.  I’d already threatened her several times that there would be hell to pay if the anesthesiologist did not arrive within the recommended window for epidural administration.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, I’d convinced myself I was carrying my daughter months ago, and inside my overnight bag I had a headband/bow ready for little Molly’s arrival.  There was no chance the name Retief would ever come to play…this kid was going to be called Molly. 


This was my fourth trip to the second floor birthing suite in seven days; the first time on Holy Saturday seven days earlier…second time the day before my thirty-third birthday on the Seventh (I so wanted my age to read thirty-two on the birth certificate)…and the third,  the night before..but, alas, they sent me home to progress. 

 I headed back around three that afternoon–and told them I was camping out in ER until my time arrived.  Again, I referred to the window of opportunity regarding the epidural administration.  Hospital staff, I’m sure, thought I was on the wrong floor…I should have stayed on the elevator for a couple more floors–all the way to the top where the padded rooms were located.

I had not slept in two days; nor had I eaten in the last four.  I learned the hard way the first time that it’s just not worth it–the result of undigested food during delivery isn’t good for anyone involved…I’d wait until the kid emerged before filling up on the good stuff.

Retief Goosen was awarded the Green Jacket and Michelle got up to stretch her legs–my suggestion for her to multi-task got her headed toward the telephone to call the doc in charge of the good stuff on duty.  My OB had been called around four; she was headed out to dinner with her husband. 

I’m sure she had grown weary of the Prego who cried wolf this week…and responded this particular Sunday by taking her sweet-ass time.  Soon after the epidural–around 6:20, the doc finally stepped in, assessed matters, broke my water, told me she was headed to get changed, and asked if I’d mind if Eddie the soon-to-be EMT sat in on the delivery–he needed to observe to become certified. I was in no position to refuse. 

I heard the clickity-clack of Doctor A’s big girl shoes heading down the hallway toward the changing room while I watched Eddie the almost-EMT turn around to take off his coat and locate a comfortable chair.  I felt something I didn’t remember from the delivery four years prior, so I motioned to the nurse.

Before Eddie could lay his coat on the back of the recliner and Clickity Clack could return…out flew my little bundle of joy.  As luck would have it, multi-tasking Michelle was at my feet to catch the little peanut at 6:38.   Sadly, my Molly came with equipment that didn’t compliment a headband or a bow.  I counted ten fingers, ten toes, one pecker and two danglers.  I looked at his precious face and knew this kid didn’t deserve to being forever  known as Retief.  That was just cruel…and, what if he didn’t like to golf…only a foreign Master’s winner could pull off a name like that.

A couple hours later, up in my own room–Lekeshia, my new nurse (who wasn’t fond of golf but did enjoy cheeseburgers) and I finished up our dinner thanks to Petey’s Bungalow across the street…she agreed to keep my after-hours feast on the down low so long as she could place an order for pick up.  The Master’s fan agreed to run across 95th Street for the goodies.

After a good night’s sleep and a full stomach, I considered the name possibilities.  The boy was tiny–six and a half pounds…the first name had to give a nod to the Irish…naturally, it had to be easy to pronounce…and of course there was the Master’s promise I made.

The irony of the date 4-11 isn’t lost on me today.  The boy is all about the information.  Ask him anything…he has an answer.  Watches a movie once and repeats it word for word.  Need to know statistics…a batting order of a team that played ten years ago–he’ll give it back to you without even blinking an eye.  Over the years he’s become affectionately known as Quincy…as in Quincy Questions. 

But on that rainy night eleven years ago…I fell in love with my Ryan Glenn…Ryan meaning “little king”, Ryan…so he’d be a bit Irish before the long, Polish last name kicked in…Glenn…easy to pronounce for the in-laws…as well as a nod to a beloved family member we’d lost the two Christmases prior…and of course the RG initials…a perfect shout out to Retief Goosen.

Ryan was known for the first two years as Brian to the elder in-laws…hey–I led the horses to water–not my fault I couldn’t make them drink–they figured it out eventually–eye rolls work wonders.

Tonight marks the boy’s eleventh birthday and the end of cake and ice cream around our house until December.  He’s everything I’d hoped he would be.  I’m glad I didn’t have to use that headband/bow; if I did I’d have never met Ryan Glenn…my life hasn’t been the same since he arrived on the scene.



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  • :) I loved it!

  • Thanks for making me laugh and cry, very sweet!

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