For the first nineteen weeks and six days of this pregnancy I was entirely convinced that I was carrying a little girl in my womb. This pregnancy has been very physically similar to my pregnancy with Maggie, which was the main fuel for my speculation.
However, at nineteen weeks and six days we found out that I'm carrying a baby boy. Our second son. I panicked a little - we had a baby girl name all picked out and decided firmly on! But no boy name! Figuring out a boy name had been much more tricky. After the ultrasound (which also let us know that our baby is growing well, is a very bouncy fellow, and looks perfectly healthy) we ran down the list of boy names I've been compiling (most of which we have disagreed wholeheartedly about... I may always be a little sad that I can't name a son Gilbert after the beloved Gilbert Blythe).
After much debate, Josh and I felt like there was a name we both felt happy with: Virgil Emerson. A big name for this little boy who is growing daily.
I had already been leaning towards literary names for this baby if it was a boy. When we began discussing the name Virgil I did some internet research and reading up on the historic epic poet of the same name. I knew a little about the epic poem that Virgil is most famous for writing, The Aeneid, which chronicles the foundation of Rome through the hero Aeneas, but hadn't read much of it. As I read through some of the more famous quotes from that poem, I was moved to tears with how much I identified with these words, spoken by Aeneas to his fearful and disheartened men:
The poet Virgil wrote the Aeneid about great battles and hundreds of people and wars being lost and won and cities being built and destroyed - but he also wrote it about a man's heroic quest, through great tumult and many seemingly insurmountable obstacles. That resonates with me so deeply. To me it made a lot of sense to name our second son after the great poet who wrote about such a great journey. These first twenty-four weeks of being pregnant with Virgil have been a mighty quest, a journey to do all in my power to care for him and nurture him and keep him safe. He himself is an intrepid little traveler, forging ahead through uncertain times towards an outcome that is not yet clear. We are only a little over halfway done with the journey of pregnancy but there may be trials ahead even after Virgil is born. We can't know the outcome of this pregnancy. We can only move ahead in courage and hope.
My hope is that we can look back on all these years that we've waited for a baby to bring home, all the months that I've carried babies in my womb (thirteen out of the last sixteen months, at this point), all the fears and scary moments and grief, and find that it has all been worth it and was a worthwhile journey.
So we've got a small son named Virgil, on his own quest to reach the shores of life in the outside world safely. I feel already that he's a brave, strong little soul with the tenacity and courage to reach us and join our family in life.