Thursday, March 10, 2011

Is "no-name" an option?

I remember one particular Sports Day in Elementary School when, for the first time, we were split into multi-grade groups and siblings were put into the same group with one another.  Our first activity of the day was to brainstorm a name for our group, and make a song or a banner or something like that.  After much debate, we decided on "The No-Names."  I don't recall whether we actually couldn't agree upon a name, or if we thought that it was a clever idea, but I remember that we were all quite pleased with the decision in the end.  And I remember being so thrilled about being in the same Sports Day group as my big sister.  I think they do Sports Day differently nowadays - no more coloured ribbons for placing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each race, and they probably don't have a giant tug-of-war at the end of the day between all the groups, either.  Goodness, that was a liability lawsuit waiting to happen with the inevitable trampling of grade one kids by grade seven kids when the losing team lost their footing!
I have roughly eight weeks to go in this pregnancy, and we still haven't decided on a name if we have a baby girl.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised...I remember being in labour with my son, driving to the hospital, and making the final confirmation about a girl's name with my husband.  I've always thought it to be so strange when people take a few days to name their child after he or she is born.  You've had nine months to think about it, right?  Now I'm afraid that might be us after all if we can't decide on something.  For some reason, boy's names are so much easier for us to agree on.  There's a sense of magic when you find the name you are going to give to your child, and for boy's names, we could agree on several names that we would both love.  My husband and I both have at least one girl name that we love, unfortunately we've both vetoed each other's top picks.  I'm much pickier when it comes to girl names, for some reason.  I like names that are classic, not in the current top ten names, not unisex but not too frilly either, and that have some substance of meaning behind them.  I like biblical names, but there are so few women of note to choose from in the Bible, and some of the coolest women in the Bible just have names that don't appeal to the modern ear.  Dorcas?  Eunice?  Lois?  I prefer names that start with vowels, or liquid sounds, or glides (for all you linguistic geeks out there) but there have to be some hard sounds in the name too so that the name doesn't get lost like a vapour once you've said it out loud.
As you can see, I'm going to have to get over some of these self-imposed requirements if I'm going to pick a name in the next eight weeks.  The name we had chosen for a girl when I was pregnant with my son is out of the running now.  The first name lost its magic for me somehow, and I now have a niece whose first name is the same as the middle name that we had chosen.  I should even have a backup name or two picked out since both my sister-in-law and cousin-in-law, whose children will have the same last name as us, are both due to give birth just a few weeks before I am.  The chances are pretty slim that we would pick the same names, but stranger things have happened!
I kind of wish that we had found out the gender of the baby so that I would know whether I need to even go to the effort of finding a name that we can agree on if this little hiccuping baby in my belly is a girl.  But, I know I will enjoy having the surprise to look forward to once I go into labour with this one.  I never regretted not finding out the gender with my son, although I do remember being extremely annoyed at one point in my labour because I was convinced that everyone else in the room knew the gender and just wasn't telling me!  I'm sure that we will be able to decide on a name, and, once we do, I think we'll "feel the magic" of the name.  Especially when we see that baby for the first time!
I'm really starting to get excited about having another child.  I feel like I have been pregnant for-ev-er, probably since I have been pregnant now between this pregnancy and the last one that I lost for ten of the last eleven months, and I still have two months to go!  But it finally feels like I can see the finish line and imagine holding a sweet little newborn in my arms again.
I'm also getting more anxious about the birth.  There is a tiny bit of positive anticipation, in hoping that things will progress more naturally this time, and because I feel better educated about the birthing experience this time around.  I've got a few birthing books on the go right now, including Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block, and Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake, and Abby Epstein.  I watched the documentary companion to Ricki Lake's book, called "The Business of Being Born" (only after I finally figured out how to change the parental control settings on our Netflix!) and I finally understood why people want to have home births.  I feel like I'm caught in a bit of a loop in that regard: I think that many of the reasons my birth experience with my son was difficult was because of unnecessary medical interventions, which probably wouldn't have happened if I had given birth under the care of a midwife or a more natural-approach doctor, and perhaps in a home-birth setting.  However, because of the complications that we encountered with the labour and delivery, and then my son's breathing problems and infections and an 8-day stay in the NICU, I can't feel comfortable giving birth away from the immediate skill and equipment found at the hospital.  It's a bit of a catch-22 - I know that being at a hospital might put me at more risk for complications, but I want to be at a hospital in case there are unforeseen complications.  In the end, I decided that I just wouldn't be comfortable birthing at home, which would defeat my purpose in ever considering having a home birth - to be more comfortable and allow things to progress more smoothly.  I feel like I would be too fearful of something going wrong to be able to relax and let my body do what it needs to do.
One thing that most of these books, the Ricki Lake doc, and a few other books that I have flipped through seem to agree on is that pitocin (a synthetic version of oxytocin, a hormone that your body naturally makes) necessitates a need for epidural pain relief.  Without writing out all the sordid details of the birth experience, I'll just say that I had my labour augmented with pitocin and no epidural, so maybe I wasn't crazy for thinking that my labour was much more difficult than I had anticipated.  Maybe I'm not as big of a wimp as I felt like afterwards.  One of the books even goes so far to suggest that subjecting a women to pitocin without an epidural is like cruel and unusual punishment.  I'm really hoping to avoid pitocin or any other form of induction this time, and just have a normal labour.  Prayers are welcomed!  As are suggestions for girl names!


  1. Yep, I've heard the same thing about pitocin. my sis said she had a 45 minute long, hard contraction with pitocin before she got her epidural. my sister is pretty tough, and she needed an epi after pitocin, and i went natural all the way without a problem so ya, pitocin makes it come on harder and stronger. aaron and i wanted a biblical girls' name too but it's soo hard. how about jezebel? ;)

  2. Anneliese, Annabelle, Ava, Francesca, Georgia (I really like that one), Willa, Imogen, Ellis, Eden, Iris... just off the top of my head.

    Good luck with the name game, and sending you positive thoughts for an easy delivery.

  3. Oh, and my sister's second went 30 days with no name because they couldn't agree. Little Farrah was known as baby sister... very cute! :)

  4. Oh, I like "Farrah" - it would sound nice with "Heinrichs" too.

    Farrah Elynn Heinrichs

    Or, Jesus Jones is still free: Jesus Jones Heinrichs.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions, all. I'll keep Jezebel and Jesus in my back pocket for now.
    I do like Farrah too. I don't know about Elynn - maybe if you would like to make a sponsorship deal for naming rights?


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