July 7th 2008. A Monday, if memory serves. Following a positive test result, James and I talked and smiled about the life we had created. In the car, we spoke jovially of names.
"Imagine if we called it Lido!" I suggested.
"What about Pier?" James replied, equally mischievous.
This continued as we worked our way along the seafront. Everything we saw became hilarious inspiration.
Road! Sea! Sky! Church!
"Just imagine!" we laughed.
We reached his mother's house and ran inside to collect the dog we were due to walk. When we emerged, minutes later, the sky had clouded, broken and then cleared enough to throw sunlit paths across the sea.
We saw a rainbow.
For two quiet, blissful days, we secretly whispered our baby's existence to one another, naming it Rainbow. Then came a visit to the doctor, discovery of a 20 week foetus, and our cover was blown. No more secret, sparkling effervescence. Only reality.
Reality was not so kind to us, biting with a worrying scan result and a referral to Kings College Hospital some 60 miles away. At this stage, we, silently but together, realised we needed to know as much about our baby as possible. We asked about gender weekly, at every scan. They were never more than 70% sure that our our baby was a girl, but we took our chances.
We tried Willow for size, but it didn't quite sit right with the surname. Ella, though raising a brief smile for the same reason, followed suit. Then Jasmine popped up in conversation and never left our hearts.
Jen + James = Jasmine
Our baby contained us both and so it seemed only right that her name reflected this. We called her Jas thereafter. We spoke her name to all who would listen, willing her to be strong and pull through.
She did, of course.
A beautiful baby girl, born on a cold December morning.
Jasmine Elizabeth Patricia