They are here!!
Eliza Claire Stickle, born December 23rd, 2015 at 10:43 pm
Bennett Atwood Stickle, born December 24th, 2015 at 12:01 am
I have so much to share with you friends, so put on some comfy pants because
I have a feeling I know this is going to be a very lengthy post.
Let’s start with their names, my favorite part! And because I’ve always been a name person. Seriously, if you want to talk for hours about your baby names, or debate the middle name of your future third child, when the first and second haven’t been born yet, I’m your girl. I.love.names. When I was little I used want more dolls and stuffed animals just so I could name them. Remember the Pound Puppy Surprise or The Quints dolls? I loved those because it was more for me to name! I went through a phase in the 90’s where I wished my name was Michelle because of Michelle Tanner on Full House, duh. I even remember when playing whatever pretend games with my cousins, Margo & Lindsey, they would fight over the names Summer and Cricket. It’s weird that I remember that, I know. I spent hours scrolling through school year books and the church directory just reading peoples names. I have also held many of my friend’s baby names close to heart because it’s a “secret” for a while.
ELIZA: When I first started working at Gymboree over three years ago, there was a beautiful little girl named Eliza. She was funny, spunky, and had a love for learning. It was then that I fell in love with the name and dreamed of one day having an Eliza of my very own.
BENNETT: I loved Bennett even before Eliza. A long, long (maybe even ten years ago, that long) I came across Will’s birth certificate, and saw Bennett was his Dad’s middle name. And just knew that was it.
Beth, and the pastor at my church, encourage thanking God in advance for what he is going to do in your life. By doing this, you are attaching your faith to it. You are believing God for those promises that He will fulfill. For me, it was thanking Him everyday for my Eliza and my Bennett. Walking through years of infertility I would wake up every morning and say, “God, thank you for my Eliza. Thank you for my Bennett.” I knew that when He gave us our miracle if it was a girl, her name would be Eliza. And if it was a boy, his name would be Bennett. I prayed for them specifically by name. On some days this was a very hard thing to do. And never did I imagine he would give me both at the same time.
It’s funny how God will reveal himself in ways that are important to us. For some of you it may be finding a penny, or a quarter in a strange place. Hearing a certain song, spotting a rainbow, or having a butterfly cross your path. My baby names were important to me, therefore they were just as important to God. Throughout the years of infertility God would drop little signs my way to let me know that I was not forgotten, that He had not abandoned me. It was also during this time that I learned the name, Eliza, meant, “pledged to God.” Her name meant even more to me than ever before. She turned into a promise. I promised God when He gave me my Eliza I would tell her what a miracle she was. I would tell her every single thing God did for Will and me. I promised her to God. And in return, God promised her to me. I was reminded of this one day at the dog park. A pretty Dalmatian came running up to me. Dalmatians are dogs that stand out, right? And this sweet dog was named Eliza. I’m sure her owner thought I was crazy when I almost hugged her and explained, “that’s my baby name!” One day, flying home from a friend’s wedding in California when exiting the plane, a man a few rows in front of me stood up wearing a puff painted shirt made for him from his kids. And you probably already guessed it, his little girl was named Eliza. During the two weeks of our Go Fund Me fundraiser, I received two emails from a baby name website that I hadn’t visited in over a year
because it became an unhealthy obsession for me with the subject line, “news on the name Eliza.” It gave me chills. I just knew this was God’s way of telling me that He had not forgotten my Eliza.
God also revealed the name Bennett in small ways. I remember booking a birthday party for a little boy named Bennett at Gymboree, and telling the mom over the phone that was my boy name if I ever had a boy. However, when I was pregnant we did go back and forth on a few boy names until officially deciding on Bennett. I felt so convicted with the name, Eliza. But with Bennett, we also considered doing a junior and calling him by his middle name, or the name Isaac. Isaac was Will’s grandfather’s name and I loved the association between Sarah in the Bible, who struggled with infertility, and her son named Isaac. One morning before church, I asked God to help me feel strongly about our baby boy’s name as strongly as I felt about the name, Eliza. During the pastor’s sermon (it was close to back to school) he was preaching on God’s supply list and how God wants to supply us with favor. He said that God releasing a blessing in your life that you can’t explain why you ended up with it, or how it happened, is God’s favor. Bennett means, “blessed,” and right there I knew that was it. Just like I knew that was it years and years before. There was no way for me to explain the blessings over our life of the past year from having the largest team at the Baby Steps 5K, to the Go Fund Me fundraiser, to being fully funded in less than three weeks for IVF, to a cancelled IVF cycle turned into an IUI, to being pregnant with our two miracles other than God’s favor. I shy away from using the word, “blessed,” because I think it can be overly used- I mean come on, #blessed. Similar to the word, “amazing,” or I tend to say, “hilarious,” a lot and also apparently, “awwwww.” But there is absolutely no denying that God blessed us with our Bennett. And in that moment, I felt one thousand and fifty percent certain that was his name.
During one of our PAIL meetings, each girl was gifted with a certificate for a Fresh 48 video from birth photographer, Joylynn Breaux, of Cher Bebe Birth Stories. Since we are using the word, “blessed,” these days, this girl is such a blessing! For a person who has not gone through infertility personally, to show such compassion and generosity towards those walking through it, speaks volumes. I knew that I wanted to share the story of their names in our video. Joylynn has such a sweet spirit that when I told her this story during our phone interview, the first time I had ever even said it out loud- Will didn’t even know it- we both got a little teary and I had never even met her! I wanted to share the video with you friends! It could not have turned out any more perfect. This is something we will forever treasure.
Shortly after this years Baby Steps 5K, I was asked to speak at one of the Sarah’s Laughter support group meetings. Can I say what a huge honor this was. I wanted to do such a good job for these girls, knowing how much encouragement I received from the meetings when I attended not that long ago, how much I needed them in my life, and how much I looked forward to them. I was asked as a non-winner from last years 5K to speak to those who did not win at this years race- because when you think about it there are more couples who do not win, than win- and speak about how God used not winning the IVF giveaway for my good and His glory. I only recognized a few sweet faces, but the room was full, and it made me so proud of Sarah’s Laughter for continuing to minister to those in need. If you are reading this and are still waiting on your miracle, I want encourage you like I did at the support group meeting, to look for God in your everyday. To look for the small ways He reveals himself to you and hang on tight to those as proof that He has not forgotten you. To keep believing, praying, and thanking God for your miracle because when the day comes where you receive a positive pregnancy test, or hear that heartbeat for the first time, or hold that baby in your arms you will realize everything leading up to that very moment had meaning, that there is purpose in all of your pain. That THIS is the child you prayed for. He will take a barren woman and make her a joyful mother. At the meeting I met Lauren Best, the winner of this years Baby Steps IVF giveaway (yay!) and not even thinking that this is the person who may need to hear what I had to say, she did. And if one person heard me that night, I feel like I did something right. Lauren and her husband are currently going through IVF. Friends, can you please keep them in your prayers? Pray that this is IT for them, that they have perfect embryos, that their genetic testing comes back with no red flags, and that they have a successful transfer. Check out Lauren’s blog: http://www.hopingforabest.com