Her name is Mila

If you’ve been following along with me for the past few months, you’ll know I’m recently returned from maternity leave. Our third baby, Mila, was born in early July. 

This pregnancy was a surprise. Yes, I am the woman I hated who “just got pregnant” and “didn’t know how it happened.” (I don’t judge your eye roll...During my fertility struggle, my eyes would be rolling out of my head. Stick with me...I have a point.) 

There’s so much yet I want to share about my emotions during my pregnancy and how this experience has changed me as a mother, coach, and fertility advocate. I’m still formulating and processing a lot of it.

One thing I do feel ready to share: her name. 

Because it isn’t just a name (are they ever?). There’s so much wrapped up in those four little letters. 

We first came across the word, “milagros” - meaning “miracle” in Spanish, when we were on a trip not too long after our first miscarriage. It was given to a dog that had been abandoned as a puppy. Sick, hungry, and not expected to live, he did indeed survive those early days and was a healthy, mischievous, young dog when we met him. A miracle. Milagros.

The name and its meaning stuck with us. At the time, I didn’t realize how much of a miracle a child would be to us. (Of course, I now see each baby born as a miracle. But then, I was still a bit ignorant about all that has to go RIGHT for any of us to be here.)

A few years later, when we got pregnant with what would be our first baby, Milagros kept coming back to our minds. Research led us to Mila, the female derivative, and it became our “girl name”.

A baby boy, a few more rounds of IVF and another boy later, I’d pretty much given up on another baby, let alone a little girl.

So much so that I shared the name openly and flippantly with friends and family in the event they were looking for a “girl name”. 

Fast forward to earlier this year when we learned we were - despite lots of coffee, gluten, and wine and without any science, medical interventions, spirulina, or supplements - pregnant and having a baby girl.

We had a brief discussion about names. It went something like this: 

“Her name will be Mila, right?”  

“Yes.”

I don’t share this to #humblebrag or pretend that I did anything to deserve this gift. 

I share it because I now believe there was a reason we only ever had one girl name. That we learned that beautiful word at a time when we were vulnerable, sad, and still naive. That we never forgot the name or its meaning. That no one else in our circle of friends and family named their child Mila after my helpful suggestion. That this one particular miracle is - and has always been - meant to be ours, here, and now.

Perhaps there is something in your heart you are holding onto and guarding with equal reverence - but you aren’t sure why. 

Fan that flame of hope for your own thought, word, or name. For YOUR miracle.

Strange things happen in this life and on this journey to Family.

I pray yours comes soon.

Erin McDaniel6 Comments