Heater, Mother of Lance

Not yet on a first name basis

When we went in for an ultrasound a little over three weeks ago the doctor determined that I had a low-lying placenta, meaning it had formed at the lower half of the uterus. Excuse me while I slip into technical pregnancy talk for a moment: this can potentially be a problem if it doesn’t eventually move upward during the pregnancy because it can cover all or part of the cervix, a condition known as placenta previa that can cause bleeding or symptoms of early labor. She also couldn’t get the baby into a position that made it possible to inspect the end of her spine, so we scheduled another ultrasound to take a look at these concerns. That appointment was last Friday, and during that exam we got to meet the baby’s feet:

another profile shot

She yawned four times while we were watching, a gesture that silenced both me and Jon. I’ve only recently been able to feel her kicking around in the womb, so in many ways the only physical manifestation of the pregnancy so far has been my increasingly immobile body. This baby moves much differently than Leta did, and where Leta’s movements within felt like she was knocking down walls, this baby feels much more like she’s tiptoeing through the room. Watching her stretch her mouth wide open crystallized the reality of all these symptoms— the swollen fingers and toes, the flesh-eating acne, the embarrassing, uncontrollable flatulence that I often try to pass off as a creaky wooden floorboard. There is a certain look I have perfected when out in public, and when Jon turns around suddenly because he cannot believe that my dignity would allow such a sound to happen, all I have to do is raise my right eyebrow. This is code for YOU DID NOT HEAR ANYTHING.

Friday it sort of hit us squarely in the face: holy shit, there’s a human in there.

The placenta had moved upward significantly, and all the baby’s parts looked well-formed and jutted into and out of all the right places. The doctor asked us if we had chosen a name yet, and my answer was probably a lot more detailed than she had planned for. Thing is, we had a name picked out for a boy. In fact, we’ve had a name picked out for a boy since the beginning of our relationship. A boy was always going to be named after Jon’s grandfather, Truman, and then we’d only have to negotiate the middle name. Something short, precise, something I could yell easily and derisively when I discovered he had peed on the toilet seat.

But we cannot agree on a girl’s name. And every time I suggest something lovely or something sweet he says, no way, absolutely not, he knew a girl in grade school with that name, and she used to eat her boogers.

Then how about this name? No, he once dated a this name, and not only was she a bad kisser, but she eventually became a polygamist.

What about this one? Hell no, he once worked with a this one, and her hair smelled like cat food.

This? Reminds him of moldy cheese.

That? Makes him want to shoot squirrels.

So no, doctor. We haven’t yet chosen a name.

  • TWM

    2009/02/09 at 2:30 pm

    I think Truman would work fine for a girl…why not. Tru..it’s lovely.

  • Anonymous

    2009/02/09 at 2:30 pm

    first to comment wooo!

    soo jealous. wish i was pregnant. 🙁

  • Susan B

    2009/02/09 at 2:31 pm

    Truman is the prefect middle name for a girl.

    I remember the gas — I blamed mine on the guy who sat behind me at work — he had gas issues anyway.

  • Rachel

    2009/02/09 at 2:31 pm

    Well, you could always resurrect Fawnzelle.

  • Daddy Scratches

    2009/02/09 at 2:31 pm

    Wait, didn’t Leta already decree that the child shall be named Princess Aurora?

  • Mel

    2009/02/09 at 2:31 pm

    How about a family name again? It worked well the first time, right? I like #1’s suggestion. Truman would work for a girl, Tru for short.

  • TriptikGirl

    2009/02/09 at 2:32 pm

    I’m glad to hear the ultrasound was positive.

    Please don’t pick ‘Emily’…it’s way too popular these days.

    (btw, that’s mine name, and I wish it was still somewhat unique)


    2009/02/09 at 2:33 pm

    Just name her Dooce and call it a day.

  • Tesa

    2009/02/09 at 2:33 pm

    Congrats on the baby

  • tanyakristine

    2009/02/09 at 2:33 pm

    Glad she’s healthy…how about Tanya (*pronounced like lasagna not can ya)

    Need new title bar.

  • Anonymous

    2009/02/09 at 2:33 pm


  • allison

    2009/02/09 at 2:34 pm

    i’ve always been partial to boys names for girls. tru would be a cute nickname and none her friends will have ever heard of the show Tru Calling with Eliza Dushku.

  • Jeff

    2009/02/09 at 2:34 pm

    The internet has spoken, and “Fawnzelle” is the winner.

  • Anonymous

    2009/02/09 at 2:34 pm

    we had a white board of names in our kitchen for AGES, and over time i was able to wear down my husband. and i got the name that i preferred. ;o)

    i hope the placenta eventually moves where it’s supposed to!

  • Anonymous

    2009/02/09 at 2:34 pm

    Same dilemma at our house for kid #2. We had used the girl name that we both loved and felt that #2 would end up with sloppy seconds regarding her name.

    She’s Nora and it suits her, even though my husband did hate a Nora once. I won and he got over it.

  • Anonymous

    2009/02/09 at 2:34 pm

    Wait. Trudy.

  • erin

    2009/02/09 at 2:35 pm

    the way you described her in there, tip-toeing.. completely in tears.
    think i might just be pms’ing. who knows. but i cannot wait to meet her through your words-i think that she and leta will be night and day.

  • Vicky

    2009/02/09 at 2:35 pm

    We had the opposite problem – we had a girls name we both loved (Amelie) but nothing for a boy. We agreed in the end (Felix), maybe you guys will come up with something soon.

    I love the foot! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    2009/02/09 at 2:36 pm

    I vote for Meredith.

  • Tina Babb

    2009/02/09 at 2:36 pm

    The gas…Oh dear lord the gas. Watch out blaming it on the floors. The hardwood in my house actually has several places in it now that do make that noise.

    With my second son the placenta was within an inch of my cervix and everything went fine.

    Good luck with the name. I didn’t have the third son named until the day before I had him.

  • Cate

    2009/02/09 at 2:36 pm

    We had the exact opposite problem. We had a girl’s name picked out and then we had a boy.
    We borrowed a baby book at the nurse’s station & just kind of picked one. My son appreciates not having to go through life named Rachel.
    Now he owes us.

  • Scargosun

    2009/02/09 at 2:36 pm

    Although I kinda like the suggestion that you still use Truman and call her Tru…her name would still be Truman and on that first day of school every year you know the teacher will use her FULL NAME…

    Sigh…it is cute though.

    I like Loralei if my vote counts. 😉

  • Mindola

    2009/02/09 at 2:37 pm

    thankfully my husband and I started talking baby names very early in our relationship and thankfully it took us 5 years to conceive because it took that long for us to agree on a name for our baby.

    Me: “How about Amelia?”

    Him: “No way, sounds too much like Emilio Estevez!”

    So I feel your pain Heather!! 🙂

  • joansy

    2009/02/09 at 2:37 pm

    My husband suggested “Ho” for one of our twin daughters. We are not Chinese. I didn’t talk to him for 3 days.

    Good luck with the decision.

  • Tee

    2009/02/09 at 2:38 pm

    Well, I keep getting ‘no we cannot use that name, its too old fashion.’ Or ‘no we cannot use that name, my friend with that name killed themselves when we were in high school.’

    So I feel your pain.

  • Liz

    2009/02/09 at 2:38 pm

    Oh I am so happy to hear your placenta moved up. Mine did not and I ended up having to deliver 6 weeks early because of a antepartum hemorrhage caused by placenta previa. All is okay now, but I spent 5 weeks in the hospital on bed rest waiting for something to happen because of it. So happy that didn’t happen to you!

  • Beth

    2009/02/09 at 2:39 pm

    I teach, and I currently have two GIRLS one who is named Landon and the other Dylan – both traditionally boy names but I think they make cute girl names.

    I agree with the wise oracle known simply as “internet” – go with Truman.

    Oh, and blame the dogs for the gas. They can’t deny nor defend.

  • orsi

    2009/02/09 at 2:39 pm

    Congrats! I wish you had had mentioned a few possibilities you guys have been arguing over. 🙂

    I vote for Willow.

  • Kristan

    2009/02/09 at 2:39 pm

    Can I veto “Truman” for a girl, please? I mean, I know I’m just some twenty-something reader of your blog and I really haven’t EARNED veto power, but… please? For the sake of your baby not turning into a fat guy with glasses and chin hair?

    For better choices than Truman for a girl, please go back to the post where we all tried to name your friend’s dog.

    Other than those two thoughts, I won’t deign to contribute to what to name your baby, which I imagine is a deeply personal decision involving all sorts of random factors and traumas we Teh Internetz could not possibly begin to imagine.

  • Anonymous

    2009/02/09 at 2:40 pm

    Do NOT name her Truman for goodness sakes! It’s a marvelous name but she would hold it against you forever. And if she’s the tiptoey yawning, moving sweetly through life type, she’ll need an ethereal girly name. And that is decidedly not Truman!

    Since you asked. I’m just sayin.

  • Jill Put Up A Blog

    2009/02/09 at 2:40 pm

    Wow, this name discussion sounds very familiar. Mine also goes through what potential nicknames kids could create from a name – ‘absolutely not THAT name, the kids at school will rhyme it with fart.’

  • Lana

    2009/02/09 at 2:40 pm

    I like Emaline. And she can have a Ben Folds song about her. Jane is sweet and simple too.

  • Pam

    2009/02/09 at 2:41 pm

    Glad your placenta moved up. Good luck with choosing a name, seems like it’ll be a pain in the butt

  • Kristan

    2009/02/09 at 2:41 pm

    Oh, and LOL JOANSY! (Comment #24!)

  • chompy

    2009/02/09 at 2:42 pm

    Trudy would be adorable! Family names are the way to go. Since Leta has one the next baby might feel left out if she doesn’t.

    I know you would never use these, but just in case Jon is thinking of one, please, please, PLEASE no:


  • Angela

    2009/02/09 at 2:42 pm

    Oh my gosh I’m going to be in the top 100.

    On a more related note…I’m 9 weeks pregnant, and we have already decided on a name if it’s a girl. Since the chances of our two children ever meeting are slim, I’ll totally let you steal my name. It’s Mari Jane. Mari is pronounced like the planet MARS — not like the Virgin Mary 🙂

  • mediumcrazy

    2009/02/09 at 2:42 pm

    I can see True being kind of a cool–if celebrity baby sounding–name for a girl, but I can’t support the people suggesting Truman for a girl. It’s a very masculine name.

    I love the name Leta and I know you both to have cool taste, so I have no doubt you’ll come up with something.

  • Lydia Gwilt

    2009/02/09 at 2:43 pm

    Echoing everyone else, Truman is a fine girl’s name and Tru a lovely nickname.

  • Jennifer

    2009/02/09 at 2:43 pm

    I wish you the best of luck!

    I’m welcoming a Hannah Noelle into the world in about 3.5 weeks! Madeline Grace would have been my second choice.

  • SurprisingWoman

    2009/02/09 at 2:43 pm

    I am so happy for you guys! That’s awesome.

    I like the name Olivia. Just to throw it out there.

    My daughter sucked her thumb so much in utero that when she was born she already had a callus on her thumb. So adorable. I didn’t get to see it because ultrasound machines were crap back then but I can’t even imagine getting to see a yawn. How adorable.

    Good luck guys.

  • Sam

    2009/02/09 at 2:43 pm

    I was going to name my daughter Laura, but I had a miscarriage a few months ago. Reading about your pregnancy is getting me down. Maybe I should stick to looking at pictures of Coco harassing Chuck for a while. They usually bring a smile to my face.

  • Teegees

    2009/02/09 at 2:44 pm

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Tru! Good suggestion commenter numero uno.

    We also went through the name wars with the husband.
    _________was a girl in my first grade class who peed herself.

    ________ was a smelly old lady with 20 cats who lived next door.

    Our oldest is named Mallory and he was convinced that kids would quack at her and call her Mallard. How shameful to be mocked as if you were a male duck! Well, she’s 21 and she and I laughed about it AGAIN last week. She said no one has ever called her mallard. Ever.

    This is how we resolved the issue. Whoever pushes the baby out of their vagina gets to have the final say on the naming of said baby.

  • nicole

    2009/02/09 at 2:44 pm

    We had the same problem. We picked a boy and girl name and ended up with 3 boys. Jackson and Sydney were our picks, but we have a Jackson, Isaac and Carter. I lost on Isaac the first time around because my husband said it reminded him of the bartender on Love Boat. Um, dude – if our child resembles Isaac from the Love Boat I’m sure you will not care what the name is because I will have clearly been sleeping around on you since we are both very white.

  • Anonymous

    2009/02/09 at 2:44 pm

    I vote for Ainsley

    I think it goes perfectly with Leta.

  • Lindsay

    2009/02/09 at 2:44 pm

    There’s no way to have it not sound very odd when I congratulate you on your placenta moving up. I can’t even make it sound not weird that I’m inspired and relieved because of it! I’m due June 1 with our first, and go back for a second ultrasound in 2 weeks because I have marginal placenta previa and I’m so afraid that it won’t resolve itself! Thank you for writing so much about your pregnancy, it is helping me stay sane through mine.

    Hah! Not sane in comparison, just sane, I promise!

  • Heather R.

    2009/02/09 at 2:45 pm

    How about Emlyn?

  • Kim from NY

    2009/02/09 at 2:45 pm

    Okay I vote for all of the following:

  • Annie

    2009/02/09 at 2:46 pm

    Well, since we’re having a boy, I’ll offer up my girl name: Grace Anne (it’s a little redundant since Anne actually means “full of grace” but I figure you can never have too much of a good thing, right?).

  • Bronwen

    2009/02/09 at 2:47 pm

    Trumanella? (sounds fatal, nevermind)
    I like Elle, Ella, Emma, Laina, Laine

  • Anne

    2009/02/09 at 2:47 pm

    I’ve always loved the name Maryn (Mare-en) but my husband hates it because he’s a jerk. So if you want it, you can have it. I do think Tru is cute too. And Heather, you go ahead and let your farts fly.

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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