our first hours with Gil


Elliott and I worked on a name for our son for months.  We knew we wanted to cull his first and middle names from our family heritage, so we spent awhile piecing together family trees and picking out our favorite first and last names on both sides.  We would then try out different combinations, saying them aloud over and over.  Eventually, we thought we had the right one.

But then our baby just did not look like a… well, can’t say because we might use it one day!

So there we were, in the hospital, everyone asking us what his name was, and we had no idea.  We went back to the drawing board and at some point one of us remembered an old favorite. “What about Mark Gilchrist?  And call him Gil?”  And then back and forth and back and forth again… and it just fit.  What could we say?  He was our Gil Garber.


“Mark” is my father’s name, and I am so proud to name our son after my dad.  I know my dad’s mom, my beloved Gramma (who died when I was pregnant with Lena), would have loved that!  I hope in so many ways that Gil is like my dad: sincere and thoughtful in faith, a seeker of true truth, a lover of books and reading, a disciplined and conscientious worker, a man who prioritizes his wife and children before any other relationships, a faithful and honest friend, and, of course, an insatiable adventurer.

“Mark” is also the name of the author of the Gospel of Mark and one of the first New Testament missionaries.


“Gilchrist” is an old Scottish name, probably of Gaelic origin, that means “servant of Christ.”  “Gilchrist” is also a family name on Elliott’s father’s side, which they have traced back to the 12th century in Scotland.  The Gilchrist denominational heritage is Reformed Presbyterian, and there have been RP Gilchrists since the early days of the Protestant Reformation (16th century).  A significant Gilchrist in the recent family history was Elliott’s great-grandfather, Herb Gilchrist, who was a Colorado cattle rancher and deacon in his local RP congregation. Elliott’s dad spent many summers of his childhood with his Gilchrist grandparents in Colorado and felt a very close connection with them their whole lives. Gil’s Uncle David has the middle name Gilchrist, too.


We were thrilled to have some visitors that first day in the hospital, including a lot of little kiddos who were very excited to see the baby!



We’re hugely grateful to our dear friends the Arthurs, who watched Lena for us that weekend.  She was in heaven, I can tell you.  She asks every day if we’re going to see them.  “Bukka?  [Becca?]  Dosh?  [Josh?]  Ees?  [Elise?]”


Thanks to the sweet Arthurs, Elliott was able to stay with me the entire 36 hours that Gil and I were in the hospital.  I savored that time with just the three of us.  Elliott and I had so much time to just sit and talk and admire our baby.  It hasn’t quite been like that since we got home with Lena bouncing around us all day long!

I also am kind of a funny natural birth mama, I guess, because I actually like being in the hospital.  Think about it:

  • So much food… multiple courses delivered to you on a tray while you lounge in bed!  You didn’t have to prepare or plate a single dish.  And they take away the dirty dishes when you’re done.
  • People make sure that you are okay all the time (not you making sure everyone else is okay).
  • You can shower anytime you want to… and without a toddler in the stall with you.
  • They make your bed with fresh sheets every day.
  • … and you can eat all the chocolate pudding you could ever want.

What can I say?  Sometimes it’s the littlest things that mean the most… like that darling little baby in your arms!

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27 Responses to our first hours with Gil

  1. Rachel T. January 31, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    I agree wholeheartedly about the hospital stay! We had #3 at a birth center and were there a total of 9 hours. It was fine – and good for the two big sisters in some ways (#2 has been particularly clingy), But I missed the food and the nurses and the people there just make sure my life was easier. I’d recommend a hospital stay to anyone:-) Glad you had some downtime! And the name story is a beautiful one.

    • Becca February 1, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      Rachel, I was supposed to have my first at a birth center and planned to go home about 2 hours after the birth. (That was their average, anyway.) I got sick and had to have Lena in the hospital and thought the world was ending… but then I realized the advantages! I can’t speak from the other side so I don’t know what I’m missing with a home/birth center birth. Maybe one day! But in the meantime, a forced break is sounding better and better the more kids I have!

  2. Tiffany January 31, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Oh, I can’t take all the cuteness! Precious photos!

    We waited to name our little one as well until we saw her because we wanted to make sure the name fit. We have a couple picked out for #2, but I’m not sure if we’ll wait this time or not. :)

    • Becca February 1, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      I really thought we’d decided on a name… and then we realized we hadn’t! Guess ya never know until you see that little baby face.

  3. Meg January 31, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    I agree, Becca, about the hospital. It always seemed a bit of a respite, especially when there were other little ones at home. Thanks for more lovely pictures, and thank you to the Arthurs for being so generous with their help. <3

  4. Joy January 31, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    Such gorgeous pics!! I especially love the family one at the top! And I love knowing the history of names, especially unique ones like Gilchrist.

    I just have to say, it’s wonderful that you had such a great experience at a military hospital! I had #’s 2 and 3 in Navy hospitals, and they were just so by the book, it about drove me crazy. The nurse left Skyler (#2) in the heated bassinette forever because her temp wasn’t what they wanted. I kept thinking, So how is it better for her to be lying there unwrapped and crying than in my arms? And I “had to” have an IV so was tethered to the bed. My husband had gone out to make phone calls (Spain, ten years ago) and take care of our other daughter so I was just sitting there helpless. Crying too. :-(

    Made me militant about holding #’s 3 and 4, though.

    #3 was better, even though it was in a big hospital (Portsmouth). They just started rounds so early, wouldn’t let me hold Lilly if I fell asleep, made us stay 48 hours and the food was blaaaahhhh!! I was so wiped out by the time we got home! My mom was floored after I had Wyatt here at a small civilian hospital and came home looking and feeling (more or less) refreshed. The food was great, and they didn’t bother us — even let me sleep seven hours with Wyatt nestled in my arm (at their suggestion) without taking vitals or anything. They just doted on me and helped me. It was WONDERFUL and like you, though I’m a “natural birther,” I didn’t want to leave!

    • Becca February 1, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      Joy, this is so interesting! Makes you see how attitudes are changing in hospitals in general. I wasn’t sure what my experience would be in a military hospital but (thanks mostly to the nurses and an amazing OB) it was even better than the civilian hospital. More relaxed, more personal. Of course it helps when you are the ONLY inpatient in the entire [teeny tiny] hospital… haha!

  5. Autumn January 31, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Love the pictures of Gil with the kiddos! hahaha

  6. Martha January 31, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    I just have to put in my two bits. When my third was born we were in a hospital in Pakistan. Thankful for a private room and a bassinet next to my bed, I still had to resist the nurses wanting to take my baby away for what I considered a very flimsy reason: He needed a bath because there was still a little bit of crusty stuff (the cheesy coating on the baby’s body) on his scalp the day after he was born. They even sent in the head nurse to tell me that I “had” to let him go. I kept my position and as soon as she left, got up to take my baby to the sink and finish washing him. I had seen all those babies in the nursery and didn’t want him left there for who knows how long! Fortunately, I wouldn’t have worried about him being mistakenly exchanged for another one. I did enjoy the opportunity to rest more than would have been possible with the other two present, and to have them in to meet their baby brother. Precious moments they are when a child comes in to the world!

    • Becca February 1, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      Way to go putting your foot down and protecting little Peter! I know that’s not the only time you put your foot down during those years to protect and do the best for your children. :-)

  7. Christina Hitchcock February 1, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    I have to say I love the hospital too! With both of mine I stayed till they kicked me out!

    • Becca February 1, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      Haha… that is going to be me next time. “When do I HAVE to leave?”

  8. Steph @ meet.make.laugh. February 1, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    Congratulations on your new addition!! Enjoy this next phase of life with your growing family! :)

  9. Hollie February 1, 2013 at 6:59 am #

    Ha! I had the same conclusion about hospital birth (despite being a natural birth mama myself, and now a home-birth mama) primarily based on the food in the hospital in Romania… but then I attended my sister’s birth in the States. The baby came at 10pm or so, after the cafeteria was closed, and so all they offered her after her long, hard labor until the cafeteria would open again in the morning was a peanut butter sandwich! I’m glad you got good food!!!!

    And I just love this little man of yours and Praise God for that sweet time with just the three of you in the hospital. Love, hollie

    • Becca February 1, 2013 at 10:03 am #

      Yuck… I don’t like peanut butter sandwiches ever. :-/ The galley wasn’t open at midnight after I delivered but the chocolate pudding, applesauce, cookies, and juice they showered upon me tasted like manna from heaven. I had also brought tons of special snacks that we wouldn’t usually buy; I ate about a half a tin of Pringles that night, a HUGE treat for me. :-)

  10. Alica February 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    I enjoy so much, seeing these pictures…and I don’t even know you! But the joy on everyone’s faces is wonderful. I love the name story…we tried to incorporate family names into our kids’ names as well. I’m sentimental that way!

  11. Milynn February 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    Such a beautiful baby! Congrats on your newest little member to your family!

  12. Anna R. February 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    Nice to meet ya, Gil. :)
    Becca, he’s a good looking child! Thanks for sharing a bit of his birth with us!
    I think its one of my worst nightmeres to fall in love with a name, only to have the baby and realize it doesn’t fit.

  13. Erin R. February 2, 2013 at 2:42 am #

    You and I are of like mind. I’m a natural birth mama who enjoys my hospital time as well, for exactly the same reasons (although, I’m partial to the lemon cream cake vs the chocolate pudding). :o) Congratulations to you as your cherish these first few weeks at home as a mama of 2.

  14. katie k. February 2, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    What beautiful pictures of Lena meeting her brother! I’m sure they will both treasure those in the years to come.

    I love the background on the name you guys chose for Gil. What a great legacy from both sides of your family.

    I have a lot of friends who choose their baby’s names in advance; I’ve always wondered what happens if you meet the baby and decide it wasn’t quite right! Definitely better to take some time and be sure of the name you’re choosing. It’s such an important decision. All that to say, way to go with the naming (and with bringing baby Gil into the world)!

  15. Jess February 3, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Hope they cleaned off that birthing ball before the kids started playing on it…

    • Becca February 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

      Mmmhmm… they had it covered with a sheet the whole time I was using it.

  16. Erica February 3, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Oh, gosh! New baby and a new blog. Congrats, congrats congrats!!!! I love the name you settled on. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we expect, but this is just the way it was supposed to be. And, who knows… you may be able to use that first name later on!

  17. Jazmin February 6, 2013 at 12:28 am #

    The photos of Lena holding her baby brother are adorable! By the way I love the new blog design :-)

    • Becca February 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      Thank you, Jazmin!

  18. TopHoverboard February 10, 2019 at 2:03 pm #

    Hi.Do you ship to the UK and do you also own TopHoverBoard.co.uk Trying to find a reputable company after the recent bad press on cheap imports. Im sure you understand. Many Thanks

  19. laura April 29, 2019 at 10:34 pm #

    Now that you’ve had two more little guys, I wonder if you have yet used the name you had originally picked out for Gil? :)

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