Tough Task: Choosing A Baby Name

Of all the preparation my husband and I have done for the arrival of our first child, choosing a name has been, by far, one of the hardest things to accomplish.

Early in the pregnancy, when I was convinced I was having a little boy, we were mostly in agreement on our top choices. It was easy to come up with a short list. Once we learned we were having a girl, it was sort a deer-in-the-headlights moment. There just weren’t any names that stood out to me that also stood out to him.

It seemed like every time I would suggest a name I really liked, my husband would respond with, “Meh.” When he’d throw out a name he really liked, my reaction was usually the same. Around Week 25 or so, we finally sat down and spent and afternoon creating a list – going through every possible baby name we could find or think of. I was drawn to fancier names like Genevieve and Vivian. He liked simpler names, like Brooke and Kelly. Eventually, we found a perfect fit (which we’ll reveal once she’s born.)

The thing is, I felt real pressure to make the “right” choice on a baby name. I mean, it’s going to stay with her for her entire life! There’s also real evidence that what name you choose for baby can impact how others perceive them as well as how successful they will be.

One study found badly chosen baby names can lead to low self-esteem, low education and even more smoking. Polls show classmates, teachers and job recruiters judge individuals based on their names. A recent trend favoring exotic spellings of names like Rian (instead of Ryan) or Aeryn (instead of Erin) may also not be such a good idea since it forces a child to have to “defend” the spelling of their name.

Given all that, my husband and I used the following criteria to make our pick…

1. Does it flow well?

First, middle and last names all need to sound nice together.

2. Can we include family names somehow?

We looked for ways to incorporate family names in honor of lovedones.

3. Is it classically pretty but still unique?

We sought out names from older generations that would hopefully have positive connotations but not be overly popular – thus giving our daughter a bit of individuality without having to give her an alternate spelling or “reach” for a name that is too wacky.

Moms and dads, what criteria did you use to pick a name for your little one? Was it hard or easy to come to consensus? For those with older kids, how do you think the name you chose fits your child as they’ve grown?

Share your thoughts below! Can’t wait to hear from everyone.

Oh, and you can also vote (for fun) in our baby names poll! BabyNamePollPick your fave out of some of the top contenders my husband and I liked… and we’ll reveal the results live on-air Wednesday, Feb. 27th on WHNT News 19 This Morning!

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Birth Options Recap: How Should Your Baby Be Born?

Last week on WHNT News 19 This Morning, we aired a special series of reports called “Birth Options” with the goal of helping moms-to-be and families across the Tennessee Valley learn about various methods of labor and birth available to them.

Birth Options: A Recap

Birth Options: A Recap

I began researching for this series a few months after I learned I was pregnant. Like any first time mom, I was overjoyed. I also had a LOT of questions. What should I eat? What exercises are appropriate? What should we register for? How do pregnancy and labor develop? What can go wrong during both?

As I read and talked with people, I found myself facing a very fundamental question: How should a baby be born? The obvious, easy answer, is safely. That’s what all parents hope for. How families achieve a “safe” birth though is actually more varied than you might realize. There are several different ways of birthing a child in the United States – including at a hospital, with a Certified Professional Midwife at home, or in a specialized birth center. You can go without drugs, opt for a C-Section, or experience a mix of natural labor and interventions.

Deciding which of the above experiences are right for you is a big deal. So if you missed any of our special Birth Options reports, you can click on the links below to watch each one and learn more:

The Farm Midwifery Center – Nestled to the southwest of Nashville, Tennessee, in a rural community dedicated to sustainable living, The Farm Midwifery Center is run by highly-trained midwives. These women care for pregnant moms who come from around the world for a natural, drug free labor and to birth in cabins among the trees.

Home birth with a CPM – A certified professional midwife – or CPM – is trained to attend out-of-hospital home births and provide care to pregnant women. Many women desire a home birth to avoid medical interventions in a hospital, as well as to feel comfortable in familiar surroundings. Home births with a CPM are an option in Tennessee but illegal in Alabama and some women would like to see the law changed.

A modern hospital experience – The modern hospital experience offers epidurals and other pain-relief medications, as well as instant access to the latest technologies and physicians. For many women, this is a great comfort and in rare cases when an unexpected emergency arises, can be life-saving.

Having a baby is a miraculous and complicated experience and this series of reports was in no way intended to be a comprehensive guide to birthing. Instead, it should serve as a springboard for moms hoping to learn more and motivate them to research medical and natural options in consultation with a care provider.

Feel free to share your Birth Options experiences with us below! Only 5 weeks left until my own little one’s due!

The Home “Stretch” Of Pregnancy

Oh boy! Only 7.5 weeks to go until our due date! It’s hard to believe how quickly this pregnancy has flown by and how much is left to be done. One thing that isn’t hard to believe? I am well into my third-trimester.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter

If you’ve seen me on television recently you’ve probably noticed tummy has “popped.” Baby girl appears to be all out in front… and could be a large one. At my last update, ultrasound suggested she could be 9lbs. or so at full term. Now, I know these readings can be off by several pounds but there’s no doubt I’m feeling the “stretch” of the final weeks.

How so? Well, I’ll just go ahead and admit… I have recently acquired a small hurricane of stretch marks on the tummy. That skin is stretched to the max! lol. I was holding out hope I would escape without those odd-looking red lines but they popped up almost overnight! I’ve been slathering on lotion and creams with Vitamin E… and thought Cocoa Butter might help. Oh well.

Other “stretching” I’ve noticed at week 33? My fingers! OK, they’re actually more bloated than stretched but the effect is the same. I can’t even get my wedding rings on! They’re like little sausages.

I’m also struggling to fit some of my maternity clothes around my baby bump. It’s like baby girl decided to streeeeeeeeeeeetch out as long as possible inside and is making her little home as large as possible until she comes to meet us.

Ladies, did you experience any of the same “stretching” in the home-stretch of pregnancy? What were your third-trimester experiences like? Were you low energy? Big bumped or little? What was the biggest challenge to overcome? Sound off below!