Oliver Henry Wilber
I was 21 when I got pregnant with Ollie and my baby name list was VERY short. Everyone just KNEW I was having a girl. I went into a crisis pregnancy clinic to get a free ultrasound and the u/s machine was a pieceeeeeeee. The screen looked like straight up white static but the tech announced, “OH IT’S FOR SURE A GIRL!” and I said, “But I saw something between the legs!?” and she said, “Nope, that’s the umbilical cord!”. SO, here was our Apoline! For weeks I tried to wrap my mind around who she was but nothing just felt right about it. The day before my last ultrasound at another free clinic (remember that I had no insurance and was having a home birth so I had to make-do with these) I had a dream I got the ultrasound and I was actually having a boy… The next day I go to the appt and lookie what they find! Not an umbilical cord!
The tech said, “Umm, I’m not supposed to say whether you’re guaranteed to have a boy or a girl but I would be completely shocked if you were having a girl.” So here we were. I was skeptical of both and figured I would just wait to find out when s/he was born but I kind of figured I was having a boy.
Thank you Facebook for this little reminder the other day.
Let me tell you a little silly secret…. so at that point we had 2 cats Cedric and Luna who were both named after the Harry Potter characters. In the back of my mind I thought it would be a cute homage to HP if all my kids names somehow came for the HP series…. how old was I!? ANYWAY. I already loved loved loved the name Oliver so it worked with that trend (Oliver Wood! yeow!) and I loved the name Apoline (Fleur Delacour’s mother, duh!). Daniel loved the name Erlend but I wasn’t feeling it at all so I threw it on the list without intending to ever use it (now it’s a top boy name on our list! Thank you Kristin Lavransdatter for swaying me to love it).
I wanted Henrik for a middle name for sure. Daniel wanted the non-weirdo Scandinavian version Henry. So we made a deal that we would look at our potential boy after he was born and see if he was more of a Henry/Henrik. I have a deep, deep love of Scandinavian names *ahem*Wilber Huset*ahem* so they seem to pop up very often on my naming lists. Another middle name I considered for a while was Oliver Felix but both had a feline reference so I nixed it.
May 8th, 2011. It’s a boy! Our Oliver! I didn’t even think about middle names because the midwives were busy calling an ambulance because he wasn’t breathing. They whisked me out of the bedroom where he was born and into the bathroom to try and get me cleaned up enough and dressed to rush to the hospital. I come out to the living room as they are carrying little Ollie down our apartment stairs. We get to the hospital and I see on his little bracelet, “Wilber, Oliver Henry” and I turn to Daniel and am like, “!?”. When the EMTs were taking him they asked for his name and Daniel said the first thing that came to mind as he was stressing, Oliver Henry. I still love Henrik, but he’s my Oliver Henry. Leader of the elves/olive tree and home ruler. He is the leader amongst his siblings and tries to be the home ruler, FOR SURE.
Since becoming Catholic I have been trying to figure out a specific saint connection for Ollie since we didn’t consider that at all when we were naming him. There’s Saint Oliver and a million Saint Henry’s, but we could never feel a deep connection with any. In November of last year my favorite naming blog, Sancta Nomina, did a spotlight on Henry and I found his Henry! Henrik, bishop of Finland! I get my Henrik! I also discovered that there is an Our Lady of Olives. I read the description and got chills. Oliver’s birth was insanely difficult and then here she is and she protects women in the hour of birth. Not only that BUT she protects against lightning and there were lightning storm after lightning storm while Oliver was in the NICU that we could watch from his little station at Children’s Hospital in Denver. There. They. Are.
You can read how the other kids got their names here: