Sunday, May 7

The Name Game

So, back when we were so set on having a boy, we picked out a fabulous boy name, and I was only awaiting confirmation of our fetus' XY status to start addressing my belly as "Zane." Now that little Zane Dean Caballero no longer exists, we've been dealing with the conundrum of what to call little Baby Girl Sangster Caballero. After a week of discussion, research, brainstorming, and vetoes, we have come up with the following short list:

Possible Names for Our Baby (in alphabetical order):

Apollonia (ap-oh-LOH-nee-ah)
Female version of "Apollo," Greek god of the sun, music, and poetry.

Years ago, while watching The Godfather, I commented that Apollonia is really a cool name. Ian agreed, and this choice has been in the back of our minds ever since. (For those of you wondering, Apollonia is Michael Corleone's first wife whom he meets and marries in Sicily. She eventually gets blown up by a car bomb--very sad.)

Pros: A classic (indeed, ancient!) name that is rarely used now. Lends itself to lots of possible nicknames: "Polly," "Lola," and "Nia" being my favorites.
Cons: A lot of name for a little baby.

Famous Apollonias: Apollonia Kotero, former Prince girl. St. Apollonia, martyred by having all of her teeth shattered, patron saint of dentistry.

Clementine (KLEM-en-tine)
"Merciful," from the same root as "clemency"

While trying to help my friend Crystal come up with names for her baby girl, I offered up Clementine as a suggestion (having recently seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). I liked it so much that we're now considering it for our baby.

Pros: A very pretty name, ranked by Steven D. Levitt in Freakonomics as one of the top twenty names that highly intelligent people are currently naming their daughters.
Cons: Levitt also argues that the baby names of the current intellectual elite become the common name fodder ten years later (think Brittany, Madison, Zoe). Lends itself to two very unfortunate nicknames--Clem and Clemmie--which sound too much like Clam and Clammy for my liking.

Famous Clementines: The darling and unfortunate daughter of a 49er. The wife of Winston Churchill. An orange.

Ione (eye-OH-nee)
Celtic, "from the island of the kings"

I thought up this one when trying to think of "I" names that went well with "Ian." Not surprisingly, Ian likes it.

Pros: A beautiful and unusual name. Sounds kind of like she would be named for her father.
Cons: People would never know how to pronounce it.

Famous Iones: Actress Ione Skye.

Matilda (mah-TIL-dah)
"mighty battle maiden"

I found this one when looking up a list of Arthurian names on the internet. It immediately struck me as a wonderful name.

Pros: No wussy sounding names for our daughter! She shall be a mighty battle maiden! Historically a name held by many strong women.
Cons: People might be tempted to call her Mattie, which I hate.

Famous Matildas: The waltzing Australian one. Mathilda of Flanders, wife of Willliam the Conqueror. Holy Roman Empress Matilda, wife of Holy Roman Emperor Henry V and Geoffrey of Anjou. Matilda Joslyn Gage, 19th century feminist and abolitionist.

Rowan (ROH-win)

Before finalizing our short list of possible baby names, I decided to read through a baby name book to make sure I wasn't missing anything obvious. While I didn't miss anything obvious, I did discover this name, which I love.

Pros: Not only is it a cool-sounding name, but I feel certain that the meaning will be appropriate as well. Put together with Matilda as a middle name, our baby's full name meaning would be "mighty red-headed battle maiden," and that is just AWESOME!
Cons: Also a boy's name; people might get confused.

Famous Rowans: Comedian Rowan Atkinson, a tree common in the British isles, Brooke Shields' first daughter who gave her all that postpartum depression.

So those are the final five. We hope to make a decision soon. We're not on board with that whole, "We'll know what the baby's name should be as soon as we see her." It's a baby. She'll look like a mewling little alien covered in slime and gore. I'd rather pick her name in a slightly more thoughtful setting than the chaos of the delivery room. Plus, I'd like to start calling her by her name now, lest Twitch stick for good.

Any thoughts on this matter are welcomed!

Wednesday, May 3

I am Forced to be Nice to Our Readers

I had originally written a different post here, but She made Me take it down, operating on the theory that only Our friends would read this thing. This is highly likely to be true. It can be said, however, that I don't write things here for you, any more than anyone else does. These things are the insane ramblings of deluded maniacs who believe that other people want to hear what they have to say. In fact, if only your close friends read what you post, then why don't you save yourself the time and just tell them in person what needs to be said.


If people unknown to the author read the posts, then, why, one can feel free to say whatever one wants to them, no? After all, I either know you, or I don't. This being the case, if you know Me, you know what I am like, and if you don't, well, I do not owe you anything, including decent treatment.

That being said, because this is a joint operation, insofar as it is really about Our relationship with TWITCH, I am compelled to accede to Her wishes in this matter and remove the offending post.

More on this as things develop.

The new entry begins below, like so:

Another Ultrasound, or, Finding Out That TWITCH is Not Human Yet
Twitch at twenty weeks

We went in for an ultrasound that We anticipated being far more exciting than it was. Let me tell you how Thrilling it was (see blarg title):

We arrived promptly at the scheduled time. This was good, because it allowed us to watch many people who came in after us go right in to their appointments, while I read
Latina magazine and found new and interesting ways to be bored.

Approximately 30-40 minutes later, we were ushered into the room for the ultrasound, which was to be given by Debbie. Debbie had apparently forgotten that we had met before, and proceeded to rush us through the ultrasound as though she had a vital appointment in Monaco and didn't want to miss the plane. Herself's mother was there, and so naturally the room was quite moist and soothing to the skin, because T-Rae's eyes were gushing like a firehose. This is understandable, since everyone cries with joy when they see indistict black and white blobs which are identified by the ultrasound technician with such precise terms as "good" and "not deformed." I have always felt that blobs were, by definition, deformed, but I guess I'm just an idiot for not feeling that I should weep at things that resemble Jackson Pollack's earlier, crappier work.

TWITCH is fine, of course, but My untrained eye cannot and will not tell My most excellent brain that something that resembles a crushed jellyfish is in fact a beautiful baby TWITCH, so I just took Debbie's word for it.

After this, We had a quick visit with the doctor, who asked us if we had any questions, made a few notes, and left. This was the best part, and I applaud the doctor for not wasting any of our time. I only wish that the speed with which We were rushed through had been evident during our long stay in the waiting room. Fortunately, the Dark Side teaches Us patience, so We endured (and by We I mean Me; Herself has no patience).

We then went to Peg's to eat. My dish, the Crab Cake Benedict, resembled My progeny as revealed by the ultrasound. This did not bother Me, as TWITCH will undoubtedly spend the next 50 years devouring My spirit and crushing My soul, the symbolism was pleasing, and the dish delicious.

Tuesday, May 2

Week 20: Half Baked

OK, when last we met I was awaiting the results of my amniocentesis. I'm just going to skip over the gory details of those horrendous two weeks and tell you what you want to know.

1) Twitch is fine and dandy! Totally healthy!
2) Twitch is a GIRL!

Now, in order to keep the spirit of honesty alive in this blog, I must admit my first two reactions:

1) Oh thank God Twitch is OK!
2) But I don't want a GIRL!

Yes, it's true. Anyone who knows me well knows that I had my heart set on a little boy. Really set. In fact, I didn't know just how badly I wanted a boy until the nurse told me it was a girl. I must confess, some tears were shed. Ian also wanted a boy, but he got over it pretty quick. And why wouldn't he? He'll be the father of a girl, worshiped and adored her entire life. I will be the evil mother, the reason she had to go into therapy. My worries essentially stem from my loathing of all things "girlie." I hate pink, Barbie dolls, and those stupid Bratz things. I hate the puke-pink girl aisle of the toy section in Target and wonder why do boys get all of the cool toys while girls still get fake make-up and plastic cookware in this day and age? I hate baby dolls. I hate the manipulations that little girls put each other through. And lord help our family if our daughter ever decides she wants to be a cheerleader.

People tell me not to worry because this will be my daughter so she will be a strong, independent, and intelligent woman just like me. I'm not counting on that. I've seen too many girls who are nothing like their mothers to believe it (including me!). So I'll just have to hope for the best, and in the meantime, I'm trying to be optimistic by developing a list of things that are good about having a girl:

  • Girl diapers are easier to change.
  • I am really good at pony tails and fancy braids.
  • I get to read her my favorite books that a boy might not appreciate. (Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, Alice in Wonderland, etc.)
  • The title of first female President of the United States is still available.
  • I'll inherit tons of cute girl clothes from my friends who have girls.
OK, I admit that's a pretty pathetic list, but it's a work in progress. Any suggestions are welcome.

Another exciting milestone this week is that I'm halfway done! Hooray! Only twenty weeks to go! I'm sure it's all downhill from here...right? Right?! (See how skillfully I delude myself.)

Pregnancy Weeks 18-19: Amniocentesis

Twitch at eighteen weeks
(When Twitch almost got its named switched to "Chompers.")

Things were going along so well for the first part of my second trimester, and then the Dr called. "Now, I don't want you to be alarmed...." were his first words, immediately causing me, of course, to panic. Turns out the test results from my 16 week bloodwork had come back indicating a higher-than-normal risk for Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida. The Dr wanted me to come in and get an amniocentesis the next day to make sure that everything was OK. For those of you unfamiliar with this most unpleasant procedure, follow the link above, or just take a gander at this handy illustration ----->
Yes, that's a big ass needle going into a pregnant belly. My pregnant belly, in this case. After I hung up the phone, I obviously proceeded to have a full blown panic attack. For those of you who may not appreciate the extent of the stress caused by an amnio, let me explain:

Reasons to Freak Out When You Have Scheduled an Amnio:
1) The big ass needle they're going to stick in your belly.

2) The chance that the big ass needle will cause you to have a miscarriage.
3) The chance that you will find out your fetus has a birth defect.

4) Thinking about what you are going to do if there is a birth defect.
5) Waiting the 2 weeks (TWO WEEKS!) for the test results to come b
6) Wondering if you will manage to retain an ounce of sanity during those 2 weeks.

and, to be fair,

Two Good Things About Having an Amnio:
1) You will know for sure that your baby is healthy and can relax for the next 5 months.
2) You will know for sure whether it is a boy or a girl.

However, I don't know anybody who is willing to go through the six bad things in order to find out the 2 good things. I know I would have been quite happy with the "no news is good news" adage in this particular situation.

So, I went in the next day for the "procedure," and, to my credit, I did very well. That is, I didn't start screaming hysterically, which was my immediate impulse. The ultrasound technician kept commenting on how easy everything went--the placenta was lying on the back of my uterus, the baby was staying still (for the first time in its short life), she found a nice big pool of fluid "as big as Tahoe," etc. And, because she had to take a good look to make sure everything was safe for the needle to go in, we got a nice long ultrasound, resulting in an incredibly frightening picture of Twitch looking like it is ready to chew its way out of my belly.

So everything went well, I was sent home to bed for the rest of the day, and the two weeks of waiting began.

Pregnancy Weeks 13-17: Oh Bliss! The Second Trimester!

I call this one "Beached Whale in Cowboy Hat"
17 weeks pregnant

Happy, happy, happy! Feelin' good and livin' large! Literally! I'm huge! I've been in maternity pants since week 10. Let me tell you how sick I am of this particular conversation:

Random Person: Oh! When are you due?
Me: (Resisting the urge to say, "Due? What are you talking about?") September 19
Random Person: Umm, are you sure you aren't having twins?

This was cute the first time. Now I want to shout, "Yes! I get it! I am a gigantic pregnant woman! I look like I'm a month away from giving birth! Thanks for mak
ing me feel fatter than I already do, though, you motard!"

My mom says it's genetic. I just think it's weird. How can such a little baby make such a huge belly? However, as many people
have pointed out, I do get to appreciate all of the perks of being obviously pregnant for longer than most women. So I guess I should just relish this time of people being nice to me while I have it. You! Be nice to me now! I must also admit that it is kind of freeing being this huge. I no longer worry about sucking in my gut; I just let it hang out and then wait for all the oooing and aaahing from those ladies who find pregnant women so adorable. Husband also finds me adorable. Go figure. You spend so much of your life trying to be skinny just to get the most compliments when you're at your fattest. Maybe this is why some women have 10 kids!