JEN'S ZEN ~ Hope

“She’s a feisty one,” they told me.

“She’s a fighter.”

“You’re going to need a strong name for this one, Mom.”

Pregnant with twins, I’d gone into premature labor at 34 weeks and four days—far too far away from 40 weeks full gestation—but there was no stopping this. We’d already been there, 10 days prior. The meds (and the scary, made-my-body-shake-uncontrollably shots to boost lung growth of my two babies not yet ready to be born) had bought us time, but not enough time.

My son entered into this world less than three hours later at 6:50 p.m., premature but healthy. As the contractions came again, even more powerful as my body worked to bring down a second baby, I heard it in the air: breech. Yet, through 10 long minutes of me fighting the instinctive urge to push through waves of intensity as the doctor who assisted our delivery struggled to flip, turn and manually get a hold of our baby, my daughter was born breech at 7 p.m., premature but healthy.  

“She’s a stubborn one,” our delivery doctor told me.

“She’s a fighter.”

“You’re going to need a strong name for this one, Mom,” the nurses said.


Twin B, as she was called, continued to prove her grit through the next 48 hours. A strong name would be needed, yes, for our small but mighty one who had presented herself to this world in her own feisty fashion. A name for our spirited one who initially required respiratory assistance, but breathed independently in less than 12 hours. Our quick study, born just shy in gestation of knowing how to suckle in order to eat, who learned how and then fed expertly.

I’d find myself gazing at our newborn little girl, thinking of all that I hoped for her. I hoped that she’d grow to be strong of body and mind. I hoped that she would find happiness, and that she would know joy, love and true friendship. I hoped that life wouldn’t knock her down too hard, and I hoped that she’d always get back up. I hoped that she’d never lose faith, and I hoped that she’d never lose hope.


And I came to realize that what

I hoped the very most for her was that she—

in the face of anything

and possibly even despite everything—

would always hope.


“So, have you decided on a name yet?” a warm and friendly nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit asked.

“Yes,” I said. “Her name is Hope.”

“Oh, that’s beautiful!” she gushed. “I don’t know, though,” she joked. “I thought you’d go with something stronger for this little fighter!”

I smiled at the nurse.

“Funny,” I said. “I’m not sure I can think of anything stronger than hope.”  

In the face of anything  and possibly even despite everything …


Because the damn dishes are never done. Laundry is a cruel joke. And because children are beautiful lessons in patience and counting. 10, 9, 8, 7 … Breathe.


Jen W. O'Deay