Rakeiora, this one is all about you. How you came into this world and the meaning of your name.
Twelve years ago today Mama and I become husband and wife. It was one of the happiest days of my life, and when I think back to it, I can’t believe how far we have come today. I can’t help but think about the moments in my life that hold a special place and make me who I am today. This gave me the inspiration for this post. Remember the moments in your life that make you who you are.
I have found in life that we forget a lot of these things when it matters the most. We get tied up in our emotions and forget about the stuff that really matters. The truth is people argue, it happens. But I think we don’t see the other person in this moment (it would be hard to argue with Mama if in that moment I was thinking about our wedding day and how lucky I am). Kids don’t always listen, but we forget the moment of joy that took over our heart the first time we looked at them. By doing this ,we miss what really matters. Your name reminds me every day of how lucky Mama and I are to have you in our life!
Here’s a little story about how you entered the world my son.
Lets have a kid!
It’s pretty much the next step in your life after getting married son. Here’s a line out of a game that I used to love to play ‘The Game of Life’ – be a winner at the game of life, get married, have a baby. So if a game says that’s what you do, then it must be the done thing!
The truth is for us it wasn’t that easy. We tried for years to bring you into our life and it didn’t happen. Ultimately we needed help, so we went through IVF. This was a long journey and one that involved a lot of pain. I felt for Mama so much, I felt the pain but not as much as Mama did. But this was our journey and the best thing is that it led us closer to you.
I still remember when Mama rang me and told me it worked. I couldn’t believe it. The short story of this is, when I think about this moment, it makes me appreciate you even more my son.
I think that for us it felt different but any parent would say that. For me it was different because it wasn’t easy for us to get to this stage, we held onto every moment. I was worried at every scan that this wasn’t true! I would read and talk to you all the time. We had a playlist of songs that we would play every night for you. Being a mother suited Mama straight away, I always knew it would. I thought that she glowed throughout her pregnancy and she still does today!
Mama is pregnant again now, and although I hate to admit it, to be honest I haven’t done as much as I did for you. But that stops today. Man sometimes writing these blogs is great for sorting your own head out!
Your entry into the world and the reason for your name ‘Rakeiora’
Choosing a name is hard son, for us as Māori it carries with it history. There were a tonne of names that we had thought about and Rakeiora was one of them. But until you were born, both Mama and I had another name in mind.
So why did we change our mind?
You had a different plan to Mama and I son. We had our plan with Debbie (your super awesome midwife). I would cut the cord, then you would go skin to skin with Mama. Koro, Nan and Nane were sitting outside. Koro was preparing to do a karakia (prayer) to welcome you into the world. But like everything in your life, things don’t always work to a plan.
You weren’t breathing when you were born and needed to be resuscitated. Lucky for us Debbie knew what to do, and by chance the local baby CPR trainer just happened to be working as well. To make things a little more difficult, we weren’t at a hospital, so we were rushed away in an ambulance. Mama wasn’t ok, she was terrified, I was in shock, and you were in pain. I could hear it in your breathing and it broke my heart! They still don’t know exactly what happened when you were born son, you amazed paediatricians, nurses and us.
Once we arrived at the hospital Mama was rushed away and you and I headed up to the neonatal intensive care unit. To be honest I was in a complete daze wondering why this had happened. I felt like I was going to lose you, and I was worried for Mama who was sitting alone waiting for an operation. As you can see buddy, things were pretty hectic.
I could hear you struggling to breathe next to me. Silently I recited a karakia asking for my strength to be given to you. I could feel your strength even then and that was really the moment that I decided that I wanted your name to be Rakeiora. When Mama and I first talked we both had come to the same conclusion. I also gave you a second name in the hospital. Buzz Lightyear, because of all the tubes that were hanging off you (not that this is an official name of yours!)
Mama didn’t meet you properly until hours later. My heart flooded with joy, and I realised that it wasn’t me that you needed it was her (oh my goodness I am crying as I write this post, sort it out Papa!) Somehow this is how you started to recover. Everybody couldn’t believe it. As I sat there throughout the morning I was being told I needed to prepare for the worst, but the more time you spent with Mama, the stronger you become. I can still remember your first skin to skin moment where you lifted your head and looked straight at Mama.
One day son, you will wonder why you have the name that you do. And this story will hopefully help you to understand. Your name is Rakeiora – Adorn life. You fought for the first two days of your life. You showed more strength than most people I know, including myself.
I wanted to tell you this, because the moments that make up our life, make us who we are. Always appreciate these moments and remember them when your emotions well up and try to change your perspective. See the person and everything they mean to you my son.
Remember the moments in your life, they make you who you are!