How did Winston become “Tug”?

Winston is an adorable and strong male name.  We love it.  Its uniqueness fits our special child.   His path through this life has already been wrought with hardship and pain. He’s undergone three significant surgeries and numerous tests big and small. My Winston takes 2 daily medications – one will be lifelong and has a shunt into his brain to treat hydrocephalus (hydro). Since hydro is known to cause chronic headaches and need for future brain surgeries, we know that his medical battles are not over.  His little body has already demonstrated his fortitude. It is my assignment as his mother to help him develop a character and faith to carry him through the rest of his time here on Earth.

His full name is Winston Augustus. It was the strongest name we found. Winston now needs to grow into the ‘bigness” of it.  But, when he was born, he surprised us.  We hadn’t found this name yet.  Augustus was on my list of possible middle names because I love the mouse, Gus Gus, from Cinderella.  I thought we had at least a month until our baby would need a name. Our first, Tyler Remington, was nearly two weeks late to enter this world.  My husband, Paul, hadn’t even set up the crib yet and the baby shower was scheduled for a month ahead of Winston’s due date. Ready we were not.

Ready or not, here he was.  My wrinkled little 5.5-pound preemie. The doctors had taken him directly to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the best hospital in our area for high-risk babies.  Another miracle, the best hospital in the area is where I delivered and is only 30 minutes from our home. My medical team was able to wheel my surgical bed into the NICU so I could see and touch my baby before I was settled into my own room.  The NICU nurse assigned to my baby’s care asked if we had a name.  In my drugged state, told her no. I told her that I called him Tug in my heart as he grew in my tummy. She assured me it was adorable and that they would take care of him, love him, and call him Tug.

Why Tug?  Well, it’s really quite simple. My pet name for Tyler is Bug. No one really uses it except me. But, I worried that I would accidentally refer to the new baby as Bug. Would that hurt or offend his 5-year-old, only child, brother? I wanted to instill love, not jealousy between my boys.   So I pondered and eventually fell on Tug. It felt warm and right.

As I carefully touched my darling little one, my heart said hello to Tug, my love.  Paul and I touched him gently, said a little prayer, and allowed the nurses to roll me down the hall.  They set me up in the antepartum ward to ensure I could visit our Tug easily and often.

After a few hugs from my parents, Paul and I were alone in my room.  It was yet to sink in the magnitude of the events of the morning.  I ordered lunch, drank some water, and looked at my sweet husband. Eventually, we decided to try to come up with a name. We had discussed this endlessly at home and in the car over the last few months with no results.  In my hospital room, Paul mentioned Winston. This had taken approximately 15 minutes.  I looked it up to ensure it was not ever a popular name and that we would choose the traditional spelling.  Then it was decided.  We tacked on Augustus to provide an easy nickname – Gus.

Little did we know that “Tug” was already beginning to stick. The nurses had written Tug on his nameplate attached to his bed. The Doctors had added Tug to the charts as this baby’s moniker.  And, he was already Tug to me – in my heart.



Next: A humorous account of my lost wanderings through the hospital – while in labor.


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