I have always loved the name Isabel.
I don't know where I first picked it up or heard it, but it has always since I was small, thought it would be the name that my daughter would have. I'd been adamant about it and like many girls, dreaming of my first baby. Baby Isabel. No doubt born into a loving family of two parents almost besotted with each other as much as her. Born into a solid and secure house and to a fufilled mother and financially secure couple. Needless to say, she would be full-term because babies just weren't really born early except in very rare and exceptional circumstances were they? Not anymore.
And then Wriggles was born.
And my hopes and ideals were shattered.
Her middle name was decided from the off. Ruth is a family name; it is the middle name of me, my mum, my nanny and as far as I am aware all maternal first-born girls. I wanted to keep with tradition and helpfully my friend Ruth came as soon as the ambulance rang her to relay the sorry state of affairs and the police officer who helped deliver my placenta (now there is an unexpected job) and one of the nicest midwives, were both called Ruth. My dad did hesitate, about if I wanted to "save" the name for a happier occasion-at this point it was not known if she would survive and I was having a breakdown convinced I would be unfit as a parent. But whatever the future held, I was sure. The deed was done. She was born now. She was my family no matter what happened next, and would always be in my mind and heart.
The Name just came to me clearly one night, late, sat in NICU watching her minute body sleep. As I looked into her tiny scrunched bright pink features, I knew the perfect name which just fitted. A name I have always been fond of, but never considered. I didn't think twice now. I knew it was her, from tiny scrap to grow up in a beautiful confident woman. Every morning when I scoop her up from her cot and kiss her, it is still perfect. As she shuffles around the flat flinging toys merrily, in my eyes she is her name. Beautiful, sincere, cheeky, clever, bright and beautiful. Sometimes, I do wistfully think of my old favourite Isabel, discarded. But the thought is banished as my clever girl squeaks in the here and the now. And I wouldn't have her any other way.