I was starting to feel like I was going to be pregnant for EVER. And then, on the day I least expected it, (my DUE DATE!!) I had a baby.
Meet Aidas Alveras
Born 11/11 (yes – he does have the coolest birth date ever), Aidas decided to be really awesome to his mama and had roughly half the labor time of his big brother. Clocking in at 18 hours of labor and only 1.5 hours of pushing (after 37 hours of labor and 4.5 hours of pushing with Povi, ugh) this birth felt muuuch easier. The glorious epidural definitely helped! 😉 Birth story will be coming soon, I promise. Little munchkin weighed…wait for it, only SEVEN POUNDS and fifteen ounces! That’s almost two pounds less than Povi, whaaat? Take that, everyone who was teasing me about a possible ten-pounder. He’s adorably squishy, way more chubby looking than Povi, and has (what Vincas and I have decided looks like) the cutest lil baby bird beak nose. Povi could care less when he first met him, but now loves to love on him (when he’s not trying to stuff things in his mouth, poke his eyes out, or whack him over the head with his toys). Here are some snippets from his first week:
I thought long and hard over Aido name. As always, my husband isn’t a huge fan of discussing baby names during the pregnancy. He’ll “okay” or “nope” names without too much enthusiasm, but he always insists he needs to see the baby first in order to truly determine what name fits. I, on the other hand, scour over baby books and websites and miscellaneous mythological anthologies for ideas all nine months long. It becomes an obsession.
Since I adore the tradition of using a combination of saint name + nature inspired and/or original Lithuanian name, this means lots of brainstorming for the perfect combination of first and middle name.
I actually came across the idea for “Aidas” waaayyy back when I began singing Lithuanian folksongs to Povi. There’s one really beautiful song I come back to frequently. It’s about time passing by, beautiful hopes and dreams, and the voice of the forest ringing out but only an echo being heard. Here’s a rendition of the song my friend, Greta, recorded for me, to help me learn the melody. Ever since memorizing the lyrics, I’ve loved the word for echo: it sounds so melodic and strong. (It’s pronounced “EYE-dus”) I actually had no idea it’s used as a Lithuanian name pretty frequently, so when I came across it in a Lithuanian name book I felt even more drawn to it. I was also secretly pleased that it was a shorter name, since almost all the names I usually love are about fifty zillion syllables long. “Povi and Aidas” go together quite well, if I do say so myself. Things I didn’t consider: that his closest-in-age cousin’s name is Aliksas and we would be stumbling over “Aliksas and Aidas” for QUITE a while. Especially since they now live across the street from each other!
My family immediately wanted to know where Alveras came from, as this was a name they were definitely not expecting. Don Alvaro del Portillo has been a favorite saint of my husband’s family for quite a while and a few years ago my father-in-law left a card with his image in our kitchen. I never took it down (until we moved, at which point it got put on our new fridge!) and would periodically ask for his intercession whenever I’d glance at the card. When praying about who would be an awesome patron saint for our little guy, I also remembered that my mother-in-law actually met Don Alvaro when he was alive twice – once when she was pregnant with Vincas! So Vincas actually got blessed in-utero by him: how neat is that? Since “Alvaro” is a Spanish name, we had a bit of discussion on how we wanted to Lithuanianize it. My friend told us that the true Lithuanian form of the name would be “Alvyras” (All-VEE-rus), but I didn’t love that pronunciation. We also debated “Alvaras” (All-VARE-us), but I felt like that was also going away from the pronunciation of the original name. So we settled with “Alveras” (ALL-vear-us).
After nine months of wondering who this little baby would be and what he would be like, I’m so happy to finally have a beautiful name to call him by and see him settle into that name and give that name shape. <3