Gwyniveth Liora, “Gwyn” arrived exactly a week after her estimated due date, just in time to make a wonderful Father’s Day gift to my husband, as I had hoped for! She joins brothers Alphonse Eliott “Alfie” & Oswin Maxwell “Oz,” who have been doting on her every day. Papa designated her our little “junebug”. She was born a healthy, beautiful 8 lb. baby with such pinchable chubby cheeks!
Deciding on baby’s name was a real challenge for me for multiple reasons but in the end I chose to use the “free choice” my husband granted me so that I could name my first daughter what was closest to my heart. There were so many careful thoughts and considerations to be made for baby girl’s name that the story behind the name is quite a hefty one. If you’re interested, you can read all about it below!
Thank you to everyone who offered feedback and opinions while I juggled ideas around in my head. A special thank you to @kachenka for the extra insightful advice and suggestions that really helped me to make my final decision!
Gwyniveth’s name is a combination name I “invented” because of the depth of personal and biblical meaning I drew from it. It is an honor name many times over. Her name combines the Welsh “Gwyn” with “Iveth,” a French variation of Yvette. I pronounce “Gwyniveth” with all short vowel sounds.
On the surface, Gwyniveth means “blessed yew tree.” When I learned of the yew tree’s fascinating regrowth abilities, I thought it very symbolic of the biblical second birth that a disciple of Christ experiences.
Therefore, the deeper meaning of Gwyniveth is “blessed rebirth.” I love that her name honors and glorifies God in that way.
It just so happens that the name of the area I now live in means something along the lines of “place of the yew trees.” It was when I moved to this “place of the yew trees” that I was baptized, and Gwyniveth is my first baby to be born here.
Combined with Liora the name means “blessed rebirth, light.”
Her name is meant to be a reference to Ephesians 5:8-14. (Quoted below from the NKJ version):
Walk in Light
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.
Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
As if all of this wasn’t reason enough for me to adore the name, it also honors both my mother and my closest sister (something I only realized later, which was the deciding factor!)
Over time there was much discussion between my husband and I over the name Gwyn, and later Gwyneth. Gwyn was a name that I had introduced to him before we were a couple and it was also the name that was somewhat instrumental in bringing us together. I appreciated that aspect of “Gwyn” and wanted to find a compromise so that it would honor our history and how far we’ve come together. As the years had passed and as we started having children he ended up wanting our girl to be named Gwyn or Gwyneth “Gwyn” (another one introduced by me) for short and I no longer wanted to use Gwyn as a stand-alone name nor Gwyneth as the long name but I could find no longer Gwyn name that really hit all the marks for me. My taste in girl’s names was much more limited in the past.
So all that time going back and forth with the name that had been “our” name, I had completely forgotten about my longer history with the name until some questions from @kachenka sparked my memory.
Before meeting hubby, Gwyn had been my name. I had originally liked the name so much because it had reflected my feelings toward my mother and my life as her daughter. In high school it became my top girl’s name. In my first name book (the one my mother had gotten me when I was about 11 or 12) the meaning was listed as “happy, blessed.” I had thought it honored my relationship with my mother perfectly. It wasn’t until all these years later that I made that connection to the name again (men, hormones, marriage, they really can muddle things up sometimes!)
As for honoring my sister, the name my mother chose for her is a picture of hope and an image of death to life/darkness to light. Its literal meaning is “winter falls, summer springs forth.”
At the time of remembering that “Gwyn” honored my mother, I was convinced Gwyniveth was the name. It was wintertime and I was craving the summer sun and warmth. Wintertime to summertime. Another picture of rebirth to light. I named her Gwyniveth that cold winter day and what felt like ages later she was born at 6:30 a.m. in the warm month of June, the bright summer sun just risen in the sky. Winter falls, summer springs forth!
I experienced my 3rd miscarriage June of last year. A week after the miscarriage I visited a flower farm and it started raining. When I was leaving, a beautiful rainbow came out in the sky. As I was looking through my old photos on my phone recently I came across a picture I had taken of one of the flowers that day. It had a young junebug right in the middle. I hadn’t even noticed the bug when I took the picture! A year after my last miscarriage, my daughter (our little junebug) was born in the same month. A rainbow after the storm, a light after the darkness.
All of my children also receive a name to use when conversing in the Spanish language. I chose to call her “Esperanza” (meaning “hope”) amongst Spanish speakers because of the further biblical connotations and because I had poured my hopes and dreams for her into her name. Also, it once again connected to my sister’s name (winter to summer, death to life, darkness to light.) From the beginning of my pregnancy (1st trimester I was experiencing morning sickness when I was hit hard with COVID, including a very harsh full body rash) to the very end (my most grueling and physically torturous labor experience yet), I have needed to hold on to my hope.
It is my fervent desire that my daughter, as well as all my children, will be reborn in Christ, (who is the disciple’s hope in life and death) and walk in His light.
“As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always, Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”
On one final sweet note, I think her name goes beautifully with her cousin’s. Elowyn Liana “Winnie” and Gwyniveth Liora “Gwyn” (the first 2 granddaughters!)
Edit: My younger son and I have taken to calling her Tiggy while she’s such a small little thing! (another suggestion I hadn’t thought of on my own!)
Edit again: “Tiggy” only lasted 2 seconds haha!