We have a tradition in my family of giving fetal names. My sister and I both had baseball-inspired names: mine was Henrietta in honor of Hank Aaron, my mother's hero, and my sister's was Ty Cobb, mainly because of how it went with our last name (Cobb + Webb = cobweb, ha!). With my first pregnancy, I decided to stick with the theme and called him Fenway after the Red Sox ballpark.

Once we felt confident that my second pregnancy was viable, we decided to ask my son if he would like to choose the fetal name. He knew about the baseball theme, but he promptly responded with "Zeus!" which I just as promptly rejected, especially when he gave a lengthy description of  Zeus' awesome ability to throw thunderbolts. Ah, the mind of a 10 year old boy.

I asked for another suggestion, and this time he offered Eagle. He had a longtime interest in raptors, and we looked up the eagle in one of his books. We found out that the Latin name of the bald eagle is haliaeetus leucocephalus. We experimented with Halia or Leuco as the fetal name but thought that Halia sounded feminine and Leuco sounded masculine, and since we were not planning on finding out the gender, we wanted something gender neutral. Eagle (or The Eagle) it was.


I never quite felt that Eagle fit the being growing inside me because she seemed so much more gentle than an eagle. I was happy with the bird theme -- I would probably have chosen a sanderling, a chickadee, a wren, or a mallard.

Juist Sanderling Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapilla) Cistothorus palustris -Reifel Island, Vancouver-8 AnasPlatyrhynchos 1838

Nevertheless, Eagle was the name we used and still associate closely with Halia. Eagle also led us to the name Halia, which ended up fitting her in profound ways (more about that soon). Eagles are everywhere, as symbols, mascots, architectural motifs, not to mention the actual birds. Sometimes that makes me happy and sometimes it makes me jumpy, but mostly it makes me remember.


Haliaeetus leucocephalus in flight over KSC

 Day 9 of 31 ~ 5 Cheshvan 5774