Sunday, September 21, 2014
Eden Capwell was the blonde protagonist in the 1980s soap opera Santa Barbara. And she was cool. So when I was 13 years old I decided that when I had a daughter, I would name her Eden just like the character from the by-then-cancelled soap opera.
The name sorta stuck. Every time I was pregnant, I considered it for the baby I was growing. After the miscarriage and while carrying Gabriel, I stumbled across the name "Eliana," "The Lord answers our prayers." It became Gabriel's selected middle name, in the event he were a girl and my Eden-to-be. After Gabriel's diagnosis but before he was born, I began to sense that the next time around I would have a perfectly healthy baby girl, and she would be my Eden Eliana; my paradise, and the answer to my prayers.
But paradise was a long way away. The life I knew was turned upside down before I could find myself living the life I dreamed of.
Although Eden's gender wasn't officially revealed until she was born, I knew in my heart she was a girl. I was occasionally pricked with doubt as most people said I "looked" like I was carrying a boy. But then one afternoon as I was walking down the hall from my office to the restroom, when two women, one with a little boy and a little girl in tow, stepped into the hall from another office. The little boy looked at me and immediately ran to me. He was probably about three. He stayed with me even as I passed his mom, offering me the piece of chocolate in his hand, and never taking his eyes off of me. That moment imprinted on me as the moment of greatest clarity that the baby I was carrying was indeed my sweet Eden.
Sometimes I look at Eden and I still can't believe she is real. After all of the years, and the ups and the downs, and the hell that was this life without my son, my daughter came along and brought me Heaven on earth. The baby girl I first imagined when I was 13 years old is here, and sometimes I still can't wrap my mind around her.
She is every bit my little girl - Stubborn, determined, at once independent and needy. I'm never quite sure what to do with her and most days I'm pretty sure I'm doing it all wrong. But until Eden, life never felt so right.