She likes the sound of it, but hesitates still. She knows her baby is coming; its head is now much lower, protruding into her pelvic bone and causing much discomfort. But still she hesitates.
She turns her thought many times over inside her head like choosing a head of pumpkin at the Fall Fair: feeling its weight, judging its size, imagining it as a Jack-O-Lantern with its skull well defined by her husband's knife; but as soon as her decision was made, and as she was about to pay for her pumpkin, she again put it back down on the muddy farm field, again indecisive of her choice.
It has taken her almost nine months to pick out a name for her baby, a girl. She loves to call it Shanti, Sanskrit for Peace, Inner Peace. But a name is more than a word for calling a person. It grows with the person and defines her. Shanti will not be an easy weight to carry around. It will easily turn into a burden. She vacillates at the last minute, before being wheeled into the delivery room.
Now, as she looks at the baby's dark hair, counting her ten fingers and caressing her ten pink toes, she no longer fears, for Shanti is sleeping peacefully in her arms, not yet seeking her nipples, but warm and tiny, needing her protection, wanting her care, crying for her devotion.
"Shanti," She calls softly, liking its effect on her tongue, in her mind.