Okay, so I’m 20 weeks in. We know the gender tomorrow, which, oh my god I am SO excited for!!
But, like many couples, my husband and I have already begun the naming process. Thankfully, we are lucky in that we have similar tastes, so it hasn’t been that difficult. But, that doesn’t mean that we haven’t hit our share of bumps in the road.
Now, one thing you should know about me is that I am obsessed with naming. It’s always been my favorite process when I begin writing a new story and I take days, sometimes longer, pouring over lists and deliberating on the right one for the right character. I’ve also obviously taken great joy in naming all of our pets. My husband jokes that when we got our puppy he heard so many names brainstormed that it made his head spin. I even name my houseplants!
Which is why, naturally, as soon as I found out that we were expecting, I began the list-making process.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the joke, ‘you don’t know how many people you hate until you go to name your child?’ My word, is that true!
You can’t name your daughter Sarah because there was that one bully in elementary school who made your life a living hell. You can’t name your son Gabe because there was that one guy you used to party with who was a total waste-head.
But, for us, our biggest obstacle hasn't so much been all the people we dislike—it’s that my husband has SO MANY relatives! Particularly, male relatives. He has several uncles, two brothers, and another six male cousins. And some of those cousins already have baby boys. So, most of the usual suspects when it comes to boy names have already been taken.
That’s why the boy names have been a bit trickier.
It took a while, but we finally have a solid top five.
And, our tastes line up on all except one...
which I keep sneaking onto the list for the “just in case I convince him” fantasy.
It’s Oswald and I think it is adorable and, yes, I will die on that hill.
Just think of all the nicknames!
Oz, Ozzie, Wally, Waldo… they are endless and every one of them is cute!
Girl names are easier, in my opinion. Mainly because I decided what I wanted my baby girl, if I ever had one, to be named when I was young.
When my husband and I first began getting serious, I let him know what it was and he said he liked it.
Then, on our wedding night, we actually made a list of what our future babies would be named. I still have the piece of notepad paper with our horribly drunk handwriting; all of these scribbled out, ridiculous and now hilarious names. But my baby girl name was on there!
So, that’s why I was surprised when, it came to the girl names, we hit a roadblock. I reminded him of my chosen name from childhood and, suddenly, he said…
“I’m not too sure about that.”
Oh no! Nuh uh!
We have discussed this at length!
I had what I considered to be a verbal contract!
Not to mention, a written contract!
WE HAD AGREED!
Reluctantly, I have conceded into adding a few other girl names onto the list. After all, it is his child, too. But, you better believe that I am not done fighting that battle! I’ve even run the name by his whole family and everyone thinks that it’s lovely… I hold out hope that he will come around, too.
Naturally, friends and coworkers have all asked for the top picks, too. I don’t mind sharing, as I don’t know anyone else that’s pregnant that might “steal” our names (and even if they did, I don’t really care. It wouldn’t stop me from naming my child what I choose.) But I’m not going to share them here yet, not until they are official. As I said, I find the naming process to be an absolute delight—but, also, a very personal one.
This is how I’ve come discover an interesting pet peeve of mine, though. One that I never would have predicted would irk me and one that I can’t really rationalize as anything other than a weird quirk of mine. A couple of coworkers have thought it would be cute to take our top two names, the one for a boy (let’s say it’s John, though it’s not) and the one for a girl (let’s say it’s Mary), and now when they ask how I am, they will also say, “And how is baby John?” Or “how is baby Mary today?”
And, I honest to God cannot explain why this bothers me. But it does! Maybe it’s because those names haven’t officially been chosen yet? And because I find the naming process still too personal? It’s like they are invading somehow, I don’t know how to explain it. But I know I don’t like it!
I was venting to a friend about this one day and she said, “Well, maybe it’s a good thing that you hear the name aloud and you know you don’t like it. So you can cross it off your list.”
But, the thing is, I still DO like the name! I just don’t like it when THEY say it! How odd is that?
Now, it’s not just first names that are being decided here though, folks. Still up for debate is the last name. I’m one of those women that never understood why I should automatically take a man’s last name, no questions asked. I'm not knocking anyone that does...I am just quite attached to my last name! After all, it’s been a part of my identity for my whole life. So, when my husband and I married, I kept it. He never even asked me to change it, which is one of the many reasons he is wonderful.
What makes him even more wonderful is that he has always said he would consider taking my last name should we have children. As I’ve mentioned, he has many male relatives to pass on his family name. Whereas I just have the one brother left that could do so and he has vowed to never procreate. My husband and I agree that we want to share the same surname as our children. Of course, I don’t consider that a necessity for every family, it’s just our personal preference. And, because my husband is amazing, he has said that he isn’t really attached to his name and wouldn’t mind taking mine. Lots of people have tried talking us into hyphenating. But, both of our last names are foreign and hard to spell and pronounce and, honestly, to combine them just seems a cruel thing to do to a kid. So, the last name debate is still on the table!
To be honest, I probably will take his name. But it has meant so much to me that A) I was never forced and B) that he actually considered taking mine. When it is a choice and not something that’s just “what you do,” I find it a very invigorating and romantic notion. Forced into it, I would have felt like I was being stripped of my identity. But, since it’s my decision and not a prerequisite, I won’t lie I actually love the idea. It’s the uniting of families. The formation of our own.
In other news, I have finally begun nesting! I feel like I’m a late bloomer to the nesting party, but I’m finally at that stage. It’s one of those strange phases that’s easy to tease when you’re not pregnant, but then when you are… It does just kind of click like a switch one day and you feel this urge to PREPARE!
If it were up to my husband, he would have put everything off until a month or two before the baby was born. But, he was sweet and he obliged me. So, we finally got a crib and a changing table for the baby’s room. After searching everywhere for a new one, the best one was a two-in-one combo that we saw used on Facebook marketplace. It’s still in like-new condition and it’s a nice dark wood. It makes me happy every time I enter the room. I had originally wanted to get a convertible crib that could eventually become a toddler’s bed. But, honestly, this was too good of a price to pass up.
Except, now I feel the urge to do more!
My dad has cautioned me against going on a buying spree. He keeps insisting that loads will be bought for us at the baby shower and I need to wait.
But, I find it hard to rely on others’ generosity. It seems counterintuitive somehow.
Besides, I still can’t quite wrap my head around how it’s not rude to put high-priced items on your baby registry.
I have serious doubts that anyone is going to spend several hundred dollars on a high-chair or a stroller.
But, I have been told by countless people that “this is how it’s done”… so, gulp, we shall see.
It’s just that I am one of those doers. If I need something, I get it myself. If something has to be done, I just do it. There’s no point waiting for someone else to fix it for you when you can just go ahead and fix it on your own. So I’m not used to this… Not only asking for, but expecting, handouts.
But, if I can’t go out and get the rest of the main “big” stuff, I want to think of other things I can do to prepare in the meantime. It’ll be a long time yet before my shower and, as I have mentioned a few times, I am not a patient person!
Do you have any suggestions? What are some things that I could get or make or do to help prepare for the baby NOW? I need advice, please, I’m going nesting stir-crazy over here!
I'm Kelsey! Proud Iowan native, world traveler, writer, wife to the most incredible husband, and now soon to be mother