We are incredibly pleased to announce the arrival of our second born, Howard Stone Fullerton, earlier this week . Howard weighed 8 lbs, 3.5 ounces and was 20.5″ long at birth, with a whopping 14.5″ noggin! He is lovely in every way, but most importantly, he was born with 290,000 platelets — well above the healthy minimum — and without any indication of an intracranial hemorrhage or other bleed from the neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia that he triumphed over during his gestation and delivery.
To say that Honeydew and I are relieved is the understatement of the decade. For the first time since I suspected I was pregnant, I am able to breathe deeply. I am considering tattooing 290k on my forehead. One day soon, I think I will write about Howard’s gestation for my fellow NAIT parents, but for now, we are spending most of our time in the NICU with Howard, where his platelet levels continue to be observed. Holding him is the highlight of my life, just as holding Maggie Rose in the NICU was. All of my happy receptors are almost filled: when Maggie Rose can meet Howard after his release from the NICU, we may keel over from the delight of it all.
Howard is named for my brother, Howard Hillhouse Stone, who died three weeks shy of his 20th birthday in a house fire at the University of Mississippi. Nearly nine years have passed, and yet there are still days when I nearly pick up the phone to call him. He is part of my life every day, and though Honeydew never knew Howard, he has been the head cheerleader for naming our son after my brother, even on days when I wasn’t sure I was emotionally ready to do so. Giving me the courage to name our son for my beloved brother is the most amazing gift, and I am a lucky wife and mother to have Honeydew as my partner in my life.
My brother Howard was an even keeled person, quick to laugh, slow to judge, “cheerful in all weathers,” as Captain Call famously said of Deets. He was named in part for my maternal uncle and grandfather, Virgil Howard Black Sr. and Jr., both kind and gentle farmers, and good men who taught me so much about what I think of as the “real world:” agriculture, family, dirt, and sunshine.
Howard’s middle name, Stone, is an equal nod to my paternal heritage and to Honeydew’s paternal heritage. His grandmother, Elinor, was the youngest of six Stone sisters before she became a Fullerton, and she raised three handsome and accomplished sons, one of whom is my father-in-law, Robert Stone Fullerton. I am a Stone by birth, and am proud to bestow my maiden name as my son’s middle name.
Howard means guardian or sheep herder.
Thank you all so much for your many well wishes and kind regards. Our baby beekeeper is one lucky boy, in so many ways.
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