At 04:01 (BST) on the 17th October 2008 in the hospital of St. Peters, Chertsey, Surrey our first child Éowyn Vera was born, weighing 7lbs 9oz (3.422 kgs), with her mother’s ginger hair, the Badger family ears and the Bagnall nose (will have to show her how to do the Bagnall nose rub!). Unfortunately it was soon apparent that she was struggling to breathe which meant that she was unable to suckle.
She was diagnosed with pneumomediastinum a form of neonatal pneumothorax where air leaks from the lung into the pleural cavity resulting in collapse of her left lung. This meant that only the right lung was working causing her to breathe rapidly and hence making it difficult for her to suckle. Apparently pneumothorax is relatively common among normal neonates, occurring in 1-2%. However, she proved herself a little fighter and responded well to the antibiotics and extra oxygen that she was given and was duly released from the ICU after a couple of days and hospital a few days later. Please see the archive for greater details or use the search facility at the top of the page.
Many have asked about our choice of name for our firstborn. We could regale you with psuedo-histories; the importance of the meanings behind the names or how a greater power directed our choice. The simple truth is that we both just simply liked the name Éowyn; while Vera was the name of Lucinda’s paternal grandmother.
Éowyn is of Anglo-Saxon/ Old English descent and famously used by J.R.R. Tolkien in ‘The Two Towers’ and ‘The Return of The King’, in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and it taken to mean “friend of horses” or “lover of horses” similar to the Greek derived name Philippa. Interestingly Éowyn (actually spelt Øwyn) is also an old Welsh name meaning “God is Gracious” and perhaps slightly more surprising a Hawaiian name meaning “God’s Gracious Gift”. I would be very surprised if the Welsh and Hawaiian names developed independently, moreover I suggest that Captain Cook or his contemporaries had a hand in this anthroponomastic anomaly.
Vera on the other hand is of Slavic and Latin origin and it means ‘truth’ or ‘faith’ and is of the same root as words such as verily and veritable.
It has taken quite a few people a while to get their tongues around her name (we pronounce it A-o-win), and I think that she is going to have this all her life. It does not help that it is not spelt the way it is pronounced and with our ever computerised world, it is not so easy (with a UK keyboard layout) to type an ‘É’. Also we have had issues with various computer programmes having a narrowly defined set of acceptable characters, so although it will allow you to enter an ‘É’ it either ignores it, yielding owyn, or returns an error. A rose by any other name…
The majority of this website is dedicated as a blog to Éowyn’s progress so please feel free to click the links on the left for more detailed information and plenty of photos. I want to thank you all for your kind messages, cards and pressies and for taking a little time each day to read this website, it is very humbling to know that we have such good friends and a loving family, Éowyn is a very lucky girl to have you all.
Peace and Love
Baggie and Lucinda