Introducing: Henry Blake Mansfield
It is with joy unceasing and a most profound sense of gratefulness to the Lord that we are able to introduce to you the newest member of the Mansfield family, our son: Henry Blake Mansfield.
Henry joined the family today, October 11, 2014 at 3:21pm. He followed in the footsteps of his older siblings as part of the Big Baby club and can already claim bragging rights on at least one accord: at 9 pounds, 8 ounces Henry is officially the biggest at birth! He had a healthy and hearty cry right from the beginning that we absolutely loved hearing.
As is our tradition, we decided not to find out the sex of the baby throughout the pregnancy. For us, there is simply nothing like the moment when the baby enters the world and we can unwrap the best gift of all. This was our third time doing this, and it was just as magical an experience this time around.
What this means, of course, is that we need to come armed to the delivery room with two possible names. We can stand here today and tell you that for the longest time during this pregnancy we were stumped as to what our names would be. Yet in the end, we found fits for both boy and girl that we were excited about; having now placed that name upon our son (son!) the fit feels even more perfect than we had hoped.
Let’s start with the middle name: Blake. This was actually going to be the middle name for either a boy or girl and is the middle name of Tracy’s sister, Jennifer. The bond that Tracy and Jennifer share is one which any parent would dream of for their children. Jennifer is authentic, passionate, and faithful at all times, traits that we hope Henry will grow into. She has a depth of love for our children that is profound - Jennifer loves being an Aunt. So we hope that Henry sharing a middle name with her with honor who she is and serve as a connection for the two of them forever.
When it came to a first name, we went back and forth with all different kinds of options. At one point of frustration we even toyed around with letting the kids name the baby! But then a month or so ago we found ourselves coming back to more classic names and looked at each other one night and said, “What about Henry.” And in that moment we knew we had our boy name.
Henry is not just a name that has stood the test of time. It also is the name of Tracy’s maternal grandfather, “Pop”, whose given name was Henri Romauld Caquelard. I (Zack) never had the fortune to meet Pop in person. He became sick when we were in high school and went to be with the Lord just before Tracy’s sophomore year. Yet, Pop’s legacy arches over our family in so many ways, and we are proud to extend this in a more formal way through the name of our son.
By all accounts, Pop was a giant of a man, in both literal and figurative senses. I’ve heard enough stories by now to tell you about him: he had massive hands, which carefully crafted woodworking projects in the basement. He was a man’s man who loved to make things, to work diligently and successfully at his profession, but never at the expense of his family. He and Tracy’s Granny were grade school sweethearts whose love never failed. Pop was the unequivocal leader of his family, teaching through word and deed what it meant to love God and each other. He was defined by his character, and remembered for his kindness for all people. Though we are saddened he’s not here on Earth to share in this day, Henri Romauld Caquelard lived a full life, a life worthy of emulation. We will tell our Henry often about his namesake.
We’re not yet sure when we will get to go home and start life together as a family of five - Henry spiked a fever so he’s spending his time in the hospital in the special care nursery (and our kids weren’t able to meet him face to face). Nonetheless, Miller and Charlotte are huge fans of their baby brother and can’t wait to show him the ropes at home. It’s a miracle to witness the birth of a new life and today is a day we will never forget. Thank you for all your support and we can’t wait for you to meet Henry soon!