Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Warrior

We are often asked about Kellisa's name, so I thought I'd share the background. We only had one boy name and one girl name picked when we found out Lisa was pregnant with twins. We really liked Kelly for a second girl name and thought it went well with Kirsten. Lisa had a concern that Kelly wasn't a formal name that could be shortened. 

I don't remember where or when we purchased the following book:

Taking Lisa's concerns seriously and thinking our daughter might be president someday, I opened the book to see if there were any long forms of Kelly. As soon as I saw Kellisa, I knew it was the name. The perfect combination of Kelly and Lisa. At the time, we never intended to call Kelly Kellisa. 

"A Warrior".
Is there a more fitting meaning of a name that could have been given to Kellisa? 

Most people when they see the name written combine Kel and Lisa as they pronounce the name. That may be the proper way to say the name, but when Lisa and I both saw the name, we thought it was pronounced like Melissa, but with a K. 

We named the girls in the womb. Kirsten was the normal, healthy developing baby and Kellisa was the baby without a chance to be born alive. How could we tell them apart? Kellisa was the baby with a large void in the ultrasound (another blog entry for another time). 

Kellisa was born first, just a minute before Kirsten. It's hard to say born, because they were literally ripped out of Lisa's stomach. The anesthesia started only a few seconds before the knife started cutting Lisa. I will always hear the doctor saying, "we don't have time for anesthesia" as he was starting the c-section. Lisa was pleading, "we have time", as I was rushed out of the operating room amid organized chaos. 

I sometimes think about what would have happened if we named the first girl born Kirsten because that was the name we had first. The girls would have had each others names. Would anything be different? Kirsten isn't as unique a name as Kellisa. We wouldn't have to constantly correct people on the spelling and pronunciation. My biggest pondering is- would the personality be the same?

In 1999, Calista Flockhart was on top of the world as the star of Ally McBeal. However, at the time (and even to this date), Lisa and I had never watched the show or really even knew that Calista Flockhart existed. The rest of the world knew and everyone thought we named our daughter Calista. Not to be mean, but no one was happier than us when Ally McBeal ended in 2002 and Calista faded from popular culture.

Kellisa has never been called "Kelly". 

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