Back in August, when we first found out that we were expecting a third baby, I went to one of those very very early checkups. The ultrasound in those early weeks shows a little white dot (the baby) and a little flash (the heartbeat.)
Every time I had had one of those early ultrasounds in the past, it was so exciting - the confirmation that nothing had changed except this millimeters-long bundle of cells that suddenly, miraculously, had a life of its own, both independent of me and completely dependent on me.
And that that little flashing bundle meant that, before I knew it, everything would change once again.
I settled down in the chair, excited for the rush of seeing the flash-flash-flash on the screen. The ultrasound began.
I waited for the plane of view to land on the little embryo.
An empty sac. A pregnancy with no baby. Hopes risen up and then dashed. A mention of speaking with the doctor about removing the sac, the failed pregnancy, so we could start again. A follow-up appointment next week.
Over the next few days, I did what any reasonable person would do - I scoured the internet. I read story after story of families with the same situation. Most of them ended sadly - there really was no baby. But every so often it turned out that the diagnosis had been wrong, and there was indeed a growing, healthy baby that somehow doctor or ultrasound had missed.
That week, I made God a promise - if we found out there was indeed a baby there, that my case had somehow been misdiagnosed, I would give the baby a name that told the story of the wonders God can perform.
A tear-filled week later, I was back in the ultrasound room, for a final confirmation that there was no baby. I didn't want to go. I didn't want to see the same devastating blankness on the screen. I didn't want to be reminded, in real time, that I had become attached to nothing.
I settled down again. Waited for the image to show on the screen.
Saw the sac.
Prepared, again, to see nothing.
Today, thank God, we have a beautiful, healthy baby girl named Nesyah, which means "miracle of God." Her nickname, "Nesi," can be translated, "my miracle" - her very existence is my own personal reminder of the very real presence of miracles in our everyday lives.
Jewish tradition is that every person's name should have a story. Names, from the Bible through to today, not only tell the story of where we come from, but guide us towards what we will become. A name is a blessing - an articulation of the hopes and dreams that our parents have for us that give us the inspiration and strength to be better people.