What’s in a Name?

My previous post described the heartache and disappointment I have felt in not knowing if baby Micah was a boy or a girl. This one missing detail has left me in constant wonder; wondering if Micah was a boy or a girl and why I didn’t get to find out this detail. Being past the half way mark in my pregnancy, this was something that I should have been able to find out.

I was well into the second trimester of pregnancy when I was told my baby would not survive, and my husband and I decided we needed to pick out a name. We were having a baby, after all, just under different circumstances than we had expected. And this baby deserved a name just like any other baby.

We didn’t want to choose just any old name, but we wanted it to be a name with a meaning behind it. A name that might somehow bring meaning to the life that would never be seen by anyone but us.

We had fully expected to find out if our baby was a boy of a girl after delivery. The possibility that we might not be able to find out had never crossed my mind.

As we perused baby names online, we settled on “Eliza” for a girl, and “Micah” for a boy.

With “Eliza” meaning “pledged or consecrated to God,” we found it to be fitting. Our baby would be dedicated to God, serving His higher purpose, whatever that would turn out to be.

I had always liked the name “Micah” and when we discovered what the name meant, it was an easy choice. It means “one who is like the Lord,” which seemed appropriate as our baby would soon be trading in my womb for the gates of heaven. Our baby would be going to meet with God, and in that place of perfection, would become like God. The name just made sense to us.

Having names picked out made me feel a little bit more in control of the situation. I couldn’t choose whether my baby lived or died, but I could choose a name.

After going into labor, the one thing I looked forward to was finding out if I had given birth to a boy or girl. But just like every other aspect of my pregnancy, things didn’t go as I had planned. I delivered our baby and was told by my doctor that our baby’s midsection had already started to deteriorate and she couldn’t tell if it was a boy or girl. Without being told that there were ways to find out, and without knowing to ask about those options, we wanted to decide on a name before leaving the hospital.

We had put so much thought into choosing the right name just a few days before, and although we didn’t know our baby’s gender, we agreed that one of the names we had chosen was still a good fit.

My husband and I had both known a handful of “Micah’s” over the course of our lives, some male and some female. So, we figured it was an appropriate gender-neutral name and officially named our baby Micah. “One who is like the Lord.”

People tend to associate this name with males and therefore often assume that our baby was a boy, and I don’t correct them. When others ask if we had a boy or a girl, sometimes I lie because it’s just easier. And when I do explain, my insecurities around the significance of my baby’s life rise to the surface as I assume the person I’m talking to will not understand the complexities of loss. Because most people don’t.

But despite the confusion and misunderstandings around an unknown gender and a name that is associated with boys, I can no longer imagine our baby being named anything else. Our baby is Micah, no matter the gender.


  1. Jeanne Taylor | 25th Jan 18

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am sorry that nobody offered to do something so simple as to determine the sex of your baby. Such a simple test. I do like the name you picked and why.

    I lost 4 pregnancies in first trimester. Then had a full term
    live child. High risk pregnancy the whole 9months. The lost a baby at 24wks….so I can relate to your devastation. Had another high risk pregnancy that resulted in a healthy live baby. I didn’t have baby showers till the babies arrive healthy and alive.
    My heart broke with your story.
    God travels with you and Micah watches over you!!! What a joyous homecoming when you get to hold the baby you grew to know and love in your womb

    • Jenny Albers | 26th Jan 18

      Jeanne, I am so sorry for your losses! What a story. It’s so hard isn’t it? My first pregnancy was super easy and went as planned. I lost two after that (including Micah) and then had a high risk pregnancy with my son who is alive and well. I do look forward to meeting Micah again someday and look forward to my son and daughter meeting their sibling someday too. And while I wouldn’t wish loss on anyone, it’s amazing how God has given me so many gifts from it though. Blessings to you and thanks so much for reading and sharing your own experiences. It’s truly a blessing to be able to talk about the hard parts of life with others.

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