People always ask the same two questions to a pregnant woman – (1) Is your baby a boy or a girl? and (2) What is his/her name?
The first one was easy for us to answer because a little boy ultrasound is hard to get wrong. But the second one, we were stuck on for quite a while. I think we were both waiting for some giant neon sign from God telling us our son’s name.
A name holds so much meaning for a little one. It’s the start of his identity. It’s what he will be called for the rest of his days, and in some ways, it’s the beginning of his destiny.
Months before I got pregnant, I was driving down a really beautiful scenic road near our neighborhood when I just suddenly, out of nowhere, got this thought into my head, “I think our first child is going to be a boy.” Yeah, I know…random. But I knew that I knew that I knew that this was not just a passing thought.
Fast forward six months later and as I’m staring at the positive pregnancy test, I remembered. “This baby is a boy…” was the first thing that came to mind. And lo and behold, 15 weeks later, we found out that we were having a son.
One of the earliest names that popped into my mind was Josiah. So I looked it up on my Baby Center app and saw that Josiah meant “fire of the Lord.” “That’s pretty cool,” I thought, “A good, strong name for a son.”
We took some time to mull on it, pray about it, and wait on whether or not Josiah was the name. We tossed around some other ideas, but nothing really stuck. “Oh well…we have plenty of time until next year when the baby comes,” we kept saying to one another.
The week before I gave birth, the name Josiah kept coming to mind. Finally, I told my husband that we should really pray about the name.
The night before I went into early labor, I couldn’t sleep. I Googled the meaning of Josiah and to my surprise, I realized that the original Hebrew meaning of the name was different. Josiah means “Jehovah (God) has healed.”
“Wait what? Hmm…I don’t know how his life is going to have to do with healing. Maybe we shouldn’t go with Josiah…” and I completely forgot about the name and its meaning.
Well, the next evening around 9pm I started to feel what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions. But every hour, I kept waking up to the pain. Once 3am rolled around, walking around and changing positions weren’t cutting it anymore. The pain was real, people, but I still didn’t realize I was in labor. After all, he still had 10 more weeks to go!
At 3:30am, I called my midwife (in the middle of a contraction) and couldn’t even say anything because of the pain. Right away she said, “Stacey, get to the hospital. Now.”
We hadn’t yet done our official tour of the maternity ward, but there we were, speeding down the highway in the middle of the night to the hospital. The minute I got into the car the contractions were coming every two minutes. And that’s when I finally realized it…he was going to be born today. All I remember thinking in the midst of the haze of pain was, “Lord, please…have mercy! Keep him alive!”
We got to the hospital at 4am, got checked in at 4:10am (all the while I’m having one contraction after another in the hospital lobby). The nurses wheeled me up to triage, took one look at me, and jumped into action.
Before I knew it, I was in the delivery room and the nurse was saying, “The baby is breech!” All I remember after that was the doctor saying, “No time for an IV or C-section…honey, he’s coming out. On the next contraction, you need to push with everything you’ve got!”
In two pushes, at 4:20am on Sunday, November 20th, our son was born.
Just seconds after we heard his heartbeat, the doctor asked us if we had a name. We looked at one another and said, “Josiah.”
I will never forget the moment the nurses wheeled over my small, sweet Josiah and he grasped my finger for the first time…the moment I became a momma…
There were so many ways his birth was a miracle…
- He came out in his amniotic sac still intact which acted as a protective cushion as he came out breech.
- If we had gotten there just 10 minutes earlier, I guaranteed would have had a C-section, which was the one thing I prayed that I would not have to experience.
- If we had gotten there just 10 minutes later, we would’ve given birth in the car and that would have been fatal for our son.
- Lab results from my placenta later revealed that somehow it had gotten infected and the infection was traveling up the umbilical cord (the doctors say this was spontaneous and there is no way to know how this happened in my situation). My body realized the danger to my son and the placenta separated from the uterine wall in order to get him out early and away from infection.
Despite all of the moments that we realized God had truly been with us during the whole process, it was still hard. Those first 48 hours were heartbreaking.
Seeing all the lines and monitors and machines hooked up to him…holding his fragile, little body for a few minutes before they transported him to another hospital…getting discharged and seeing him in his incubator for the first time…hearing the doctors give their initial reports…having to leave our son and go home without him…
That first night after his birth I just kept crying and praying, “God…please…heal him. Break in and do something. We need a miracle!”
And in that moment, I heard the still, small voice of God say, “Child, do you remember the meaning of his name?”
And that’s when I started to weep.
Josiah. Jehovah has healed.
So, despite all that’s stacked up against him, that is what we choose to declare over our son everyday. The promise that God has given us.
JOSIAH. JEHOVAH HAS HEALED.