Typically we are ‘those people’. You know, those people who never find out the gender of their baby before they’re born, those people who don’t share their baby names until the baby is here and named. We broke tradition with this pregnancy. With all of the extra appointments, tests, etc. we decided finding out the gender and doing a reveal with family would be a good idea. In December we found out we were expecting a girl, and instantly the name game started between Spencer and I. We had a short list of some girl ‘C’ names and began the name debate.
Two years ago Spencer and I celebrated my 30th birthday touring breweries in Colorado. Our favorite beer that we stumbled upon was a farmhouse style beer called Colette. I mentioned to Spencer that it was a cool name and could be our next child’s name. Spencer laughed, and quickly changed the subject so I wouldn’t spend the next two hours talking about babies.
Fast forward to December 2016. We were going to be heading to Colorado for fetal surgery consults, and Spencer mentioned the Colette/Colorado connection. My interest in the name was sparked again, so what is the natural thing to do? Google it, duh. The first search result that came up on my phone, call it fate, was about Saint Colette. I clicked on the link and instantly got goosebumps. Some of the miracles that St. Colette performed involved sick babies and expectant mothers. Instantly I knew that our miracle baby was meant to be named Colette. Spencer was on board immediately.
Her middle name, Mara, is the maiden name of my paternal grandmother. My grandma Jacobs and I both shared a birthday, and she was a very important person in my life. She lived with my family for a good portion of my life growing up. When I was in seventh grade she suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed and suffering from aphasia. She had many health problems that she had to overcome and battle through. Any one who knew my grandma also knew that she had a very strong faith and a very determined attitude. Mara also means strong, which seemed like the perfect fit for our daughter. And, to top it all off, Colette shares a birthday with Spencer’s grandma, Marlene. She was an amazing and compassionate woman who meant so much to Spencer!
I’ve cared for babies in the NICU at work, but being on the other side of things was eye opening. We were only in the NICU for six days, which is truly amazing considering that we were told to be prepared to stay for several weeks. The nurses, neonatologists, and specialists were fantastic. Daily rounding kept us informed and up to date on Colette’s progress. The nurses were great about including us on her cares and advocating for our family. I really cannot say enough wonderful things about the staff at Children’s Hospital!
But let’s be honest, it does suck to a degree. It’s hard to see your newborn baby getting poked for their second IV in three days. It’s hard to not be there every single second taking care of your baby because you are on a different floor of the hospital recovering from your surgery. It’s hard knowing that you are not in control and there’s nothing that you can do to fix things, to make it better, to trade places with your child. I cannot even explain how amazing Colette is. She has seriously taken every thing that has been thrown at her, defied the odds, and has found a way, her own way, to fight through. I credit her recovery and her resiliency to the power of prayer. I have always said that God has a plan, and I firmly believe that God has amazing plans for Colette and our family. We are fortunate to be on this journey and to be blessed with such an amazing daughter that has already taught us so much. The prayers, thoughts, and support that we have received from all of you, your friends, your prayer groups at church, etc. has truly made a difference in Colette’s healing, I have no doubts. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts for including Colette and our family in your thoughts and prayers. We still have a very long, challenging road ahead of us and we hope that you continue to keep us in your prayers.