Why ruin life with a pregnancy?

That’s the question so many people asked me when they found out I was pregnant. If you remember from one of my early posts, I had my sons at a young age, 21. At that time, many persons thought I was too young to handle the responsibility of raising not just one, but two children. I remember people saying, “You have a bright future ahead of you, why ruin it with a pregnancy so soon?” It was these words and those naysayers that made me decide that I will do more than just raise my two boys, but also be an exemplary role model for them. I pledged to raise intelligent gentlemen and achieve all the goals I set for myself while in school. From that moment on, they were my inspiration and motivation to succeed in everything I set out to achieve in life.

Don't focus on the negatives, always look at the bright side!

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’d know I had a physically and emotionally challenging pregnancy. But at all times I was determined to show everyone that not only will I survive, but I will triumph. As challenging as my pregnancy was, giving birth and raising my boys while studying for my masters degree proved to be a completely different set of hurdles. But my boys proved to be a great motivation because not only did I put those days and nights of studying, assignments, feedings and restlessness on their part to good use, but I was able to complete my masters with flying colours in the prescribed time and ahead of some of my classmates!

I got photobombed in 2007!

As I took on one challenge after another, my sons proved time and again to be great motivators. We faced each challenge head-on and conquered all like fierce warriors. Then it was their turn to start school. Their first day was an extremely emotional day for me; the boys and I cried buckets of tears as Gabriel and I took them to their classroom. As the tears flowed, I felt sorry for poor Gabriel, who had to be consoling all three of us, but it just seemed impossible to stop. Eventually, both the boys and I got ahold of ourselves and we accepted our realities. As we embraced our new routines and roles in life, we began a new journey.

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During their years of school, their attitude towards schoolwork was amazing! Though I was always at the top of my class, I hated school when I was a child. My boys were different, as they enjoyed school and academics. They have amazingly curious minds that allow them to conquer their academics like great warriors. Each school term, they’ve earned places at the top of their class and have never faltered. In March, they sat the national exams called the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). These are tests done by all students in Jamaican primary-level schools, for placement in high school. It is widely competitive as children prepare extensively for the two days of tests to ensure that they get into the high school of their choice. Again, my boys made me proud as their results came back with them gaining grades in the high 90’s and 100’s, earning each of them a place in one of the top schools in the country.

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Today I am beaming with pride! We just got home from their graduation and man, I am proud! Matthew and Michael took home almost all the academic awards, proving yet again that Gabriel and I (in our youth) have done something right. Once again, our sons have proven to be great inspirations and motivation for me. They have shown me that not only is it important for me to do well to show the naysayers, but also for my boys to see that they too can achieve what they set out to do in life and that they too can succeed when they put in hard work.

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My pregnancy didn’t ruin my life, it saved my life. This post is dedicated to my sons, my saviours, motivation, inspiration and centre of my soul. They have made Gabriel and I proud parents who are happy and grateful to lead them into adulthood; congratulations on the first leg of your journey and all the best for the next leg.

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What’s in a name?

When I found out I was having twin boys, I thought long and hard about their names. This is because I have a strange name that people often mispronounce and misspell, so I didn’t want to inflict the same pain upon my children. So, for my precious babies, my criteria were simple:

  • Easy to pronounce
  • Easy to spell
  • Must have a profound meaning

What's in a name-

During the months leading up to their birth, Gabriel and I went over various options for our second son (Michael). This is because I already knew I wanted the first one to be named Matthew. How did I come by this name? It wasn’t anything great or profound, I simply met a two year boy when I was in my teens named Matthew and he was the cutest and nicest little thing ever. When I researched the meaning of the name Matthew, I was hooked! Matthew is derived from the Bible and means “Gift of God”. Saint Matthew is said to have been one of the twelve disciples, a tax collector and the author of the first Gospel in the New Testament. Now, my husband and I are not religious persons but for us the name was fitting. Our children are a gift from God and it was only fitting that the first born got a name suited to that.

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Naming our second twin Michael was a little trickier. We went through a variety of names before settling on the name Jonathan, which means “God has given”. Nice name and meaning isn’t it? Yes, we thought so too. But then we realized it didn’t sound good when you called it out loud with Matthew. For example, if they are being mischievous and I have to shout “Matthew and Jonathan”, it just didn’t have a ring to it. Also, in my country’s native tongue (patois), Jonathan is often mispronounced and that was (and still is) a big no-no for me. Gabriel and my parents also agreed, so it was back to the drawing board. One day my mother said, “What about Michael, have you considered that?” Somehow, that one eluded me so I said it out loud; Matthew and Michael. Okay, it had a little ring to it. It is hard to mispronounce or misspell Michael. Okay, we may have a winner. The final test was to check out the meaning. Lo and behold, the name Michael means “Who is like God”. Michael is one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition and the only one identified as an archangel in the Bible. In the Book of Revelation, he is portrayed as the leader of heaven’s armies, and is considered the patron saint of soldiers. Ding, ding, ding!! We have a winner!

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So, here I am with my gift from God and two archangels; my husband Gabriel’s name means “God is my strong man” and he too was one of the seven archangels. What more could a wife and mother ask for? Have my boys lived up to their names? Yes indeed! Matthew is a whiz at Mathematics and not someone you want to mess with when it comes to borrowing or negotiating money and finances. Michael has demonstrated excellence in his Cub Scouts group and greatness in academics, especially Science, and is well on his way to becoming a great leader. As for our archangel Gabriel, he leads the family with the strength God bestowed upon him.

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I am sure there are many other things to consider when naming your child as I found out in these articles:

These are all great things to consider and I hope my story and the articles above can be helpful to you or a friend.

Share with us your story of how you named your child(ren).