Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

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.

  • Anonymous banonymous

    I’ll throw a couple names in the hat. How about.. June.. Adele.. Ruby.. or Stella?

  • Nikki

    I would like to suggest Cameryn Elise.

    Ok, so it’s my daughter’s name, but I love it.

  • Picking a girl’s name was tough for us to, but I think we came up with a good one – Harper.

  • Tina from K3

    I really love Truman even for a girl, Tru(e)is a really cute nickname as well.

  • Hey, it’s a pregnant woman’s right to pass gas. My husband makes fun of me and I have to remind him that I’m carrying TWO babies, so- TWICE THE FLATULENCE. And then I ask him what his excuse is. If Jon ever DOES say anything, tell him that the word “permission” is misspelled in his copywright message. Because it is!

    My John hates the names I picked out for girls so I’ll let you consider them if you want to since I have to go for “normal” names now. Desmyn, with Desy for short, and Cambell. NO CAMI for short- at least I wouldn’t shorten it, but you know, whatever. I knew a girl named Cami in kindergarten and she made fun of me a lot. Until I hit her in the face with a dodgeball. Good times.

    Good luck and I’m glad your uterus fixed itself!

  • Anonymous

    #24 just made me spit my coffee. That was funny.

    I love a “boy” name for a girl. It’s mysterious.

    I used to love the name Ina for a girl but then my ex-boyfriend cheated on me with an Ina (what are the odds?) and now I will only think of betrayal, hate, murder, & a skinny blonde girl shaped like a 12 year old boy when I hear that name. –So totally not bitter anymore. *ahem*

    Anyway, I can’t use it but you are welcome to it.

    Good luck!

  • Heather


  • 17 weeks

    I’m due the end of July. My husband has a really bad name that he is DYING to name the baby. What I did was take my two other children out to lunch and we talked about names that they like. I suggested all my favorites and they landed on a great name. They are so proud of themselves and have told all their friends about their new baby and the name that they picked out. My husband has suggested his name to them over and over and they wont even hear of it. Saves me the fight and it is really sweet that my kids are so excited about the baby they named.
    Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    I went to hippie school and these were the names of some of the girls:

    Joya (one of my fave people ever!)

    There was also a boy named Omen. His brother’s name was Irony.

  • My grandparents were George and Louise. I wanted to name a girl Georgeanne Louise…I got vetoed.

  • Jennifer

    Heather, I find it fascinating that you feel a difference between Leta’s movements in utero and your new daughter’s motions. I have three daughters and they were all very different inside of me. The first one was just very stubborn about settling into certain positions and would endlessly poke an elbow or knee back into a specific spot after I’d massaged it into a new location (due to PAIN). She is 11 years old and is very particular about things being done the “right” (obviously, “her”) way. The second one would wake me up twice a night, every single night in the later months of pregancy, for a 20-minute punching bag session. Just some weird repetitive beating she felt I needed. At 8 and half years old, she is the most relentless human being I have ever met. My youngest daughter was calm and gentle inside of me and (at age 5) is the only easygoing female in our house. I’m currently very early in my fourth pregnancy and cannot wait to gather hints about who this person might be. I admit that I will live in absolute fear if I get any sign that it resembles the more challenging traits of my second child.

    I love the name Truman. Good luck agreeing on something.

  • Anonymous

    My 2 favorite girls’ names are Aubrey and Paige.

  • Katie

    Don’t you have siblings with weird names? Like a brother with the name Badger, or is it Dodger? Or Charger, or something like that? Pick something weird and obscure like that.

  • Dayna

    I really loved Lila but my husband had an excuse for every girl name ever brought up… I think Lila sounded like an old lady who wore a lot of face powder.. ?

    We decided on Audrey and I really like it but it’s apparently grown pretty popular – I’ve met lots of Audreys over the last year.

    It feels like such a HUGE decision, doesn’t it?

  • You can always just wait until the last minute, then let Leta name her. With any luck she’ll be out of the princess phase by June.

  • Oh what the heck…

    I vote Truman too.

    What a great name for a girl.

  • Pher

    Name her Brandy! My son’s name is Ry…it’s a match made in bar heaven.

  • Anonymous


  • Rhonda

    It sounds like you need a petite girlie name that evokes images of butterflies and ringlet curls and lacy socks and I can almost hear the fairies sings in the background…

    …how about Elise Noelle Armstrong. Leta can call her Princess Elise…..

  • Sarahd

    Here’s the inevitable list I can never help sharing, as I have two boys (Aidan and Cohen) and will never get to use any of these girly ones:


    Sorry if this is assvicey (new word?!)

  • Anonymous

    My husband allowed me to believe we had a name chosen until after our daughter popped out and then changed his mind. We pulled a royal family and waited three whole days to name her, and wound up naming her a boys’ name because we liked it so much. Now that she’s five months old, I have grown to love her name as much as my husband does.

  • Sarah

    As a Sarah, my only suggestion is to avoid an overly common name that will result in your kid being one of 4 kids with the same name in her class, only to be identified on the basis of her last initial.

    Sarah and Sara are both names that need to be used a little less.

    (I tend to like the names Samantha and Bridget, though.)

  • Heather,

    I have two daughters, and would have loved to have more…just to name them. All of the fun names I’ve saved up will have to be future “puppy names”.

    I love names that can be shortened into something “fun”. Ok, here goes:

    Kit ( Katherine)
    Vivi (Genvieve)
    George (Georgia)

    Anything sounds great with Armstrong…Have fun!

  • chantelle

    I like Althea.
    Last nite me and my husband were watching tv and heard a great girls name that we both liked-very rare. And now I can’t remember it. What a shame. All that work I could have avoided later.

    Our boys name is Titus Constantine. He has a lot to live up to. But the way he’s workin it, he’ll fit right into those names in no time.

  • MJBUtah

    This is exactly what happened when I was pregnant with my daughter, we pretty much ended up going through a baby name book, I would mark the ones I liked and then he would go through and mark the ones he liked.

    The only one we both liked was Jessica. Poor kid. Do you know how many billion Jessica’s there are in the world? I really feel bad because I grew up with “Michelle” and there were at least 3 of us in every class my whole life. I know how awful it is to have a common name.

    I vote for Lillian. Then you can have Lily and Leta.

  • Cee

    What about True for a girl? Unless you want to save Truman for the third baby. (I bet you just love thinking of a third child right now, don’t you?)

  • Kim in Alaska

    I like Riley.

  • We were going with family names for our girl name. Piper for my great-grandfather and Irene for his grandmother….until I realized that her initials were going to be PIG. I still like Piper and will gladly let you use it if you want. Just let everyone know that you got it from me and not Sarah Palin.

  • Jennifer

    Congrats on a healthy baby and a healthy Mama. We named our daughter Amelia and we get a lot of compliments on it. It was not the name I had always wanted but we had to pick a new one when my SIL chose a name similar to the one I wanted. Still not sure 16 months later if Amelia is better, but it is a nice name.

  • Have you checked out ? It’s an awesome baby naming tool! You can just type in a name you like (such as Leta) and it will make suggestions of other names you might like.

  • I love Truman (Tru) for a girl.

    Good news on the placenta. I’m sure that worried you a bit. Having had a baby with a heart defect, I can imagine the great news that her parts look good must be such a relief.

  • weezie

    When naming our first son, my mother-law who was so excited about her first grandchild came up with a combination of her name(Letitia)her husbands(Terry), and came up with “Lateria”, I thought it sounded like some STD. We kindly thanked her but named him Joel. I have 2 daughters,

    Carina (means Dear little one)
    Hanna (She was going to be Cobie) a female version of Jacob.

    Have Fun, whatever it will be, it will fit your awesome family.

  • Hmmm, Truman could be interesting for a girl…
    but I really like Piper.

  • Leigh D


    I hardly ever meet any other Leighs (other than middle name). My hippie parents did well 29 years ago.

  • Jayme

    I once worked with the sweetest girl with the loveliest name… Trula. I thinks it’s adorable! And it sounds very nice with Leta.

  • When I first read about you a few years ago and saw that you had a daughter named Leta I was so surprised because that was my great grandmother’s name and I’d never heard of anyone else with that name. Maybe for your second daughter you could use another one of my great grandmothers’ names, Elta. I’ve always thought that was such a nice name. Those old timey southern names are so pretty and different. Elta had sisters named Minnie and Legaitha. Of course if you don’t like that you’ve got my other two great grandmothers Beryl and Geraldine to choose from, but I’d pass on those two.

  • Anonymous

    Kasie / Kasey / Casey

  • Anonymous

    I like Ainsley! Great suggestion #44.

  • OTR sister

    I think a number of people have said this already, but a friend of mine’s daughter is named Truman. She is about 12 now, and one of my favorite kids to be around. I thought it was odd the first time I heard it, but I quickly got over it.

  • And for the love of all things holy, call her by her name….don’t call her Sis or sissy. My mother taught kindergarten and at the begining of every school year she had 5 bubbas, 3 sissys and 14 juniors that she would have to teach them their real names.

    Is that a Southern thing?

  • I have had so many of these same conversations. Our boys name has been waiting in the wings while our family has become, as my husband says “a real taco-fest.”

    We are totally out of girls names, and I KNOW if we have another it is sure to be a girl. My rule of thumb so far is to choose Jane Austen heroines in order of likability. Names I love but will never get to use, because of my husbands irrational hatred:

    Beatrice = “too old, no good nickname”
    Eleanor = “too old, makes me think colostomy bag”
    Rose = “too weird”
    Margaret (including any derivative- Maggie, Molly, etc.) = “too catholic, and sounds like a golden retriever”
    Olive = “too trendy”

  • Ava Armstrong!

  • bxn

    name her Brynn

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    My favorite names are:


    I like Ellery and Harper(suggested above) as well.

  • Chloe

    The pictures of your baby girl are precious. Yes. There IS a human in there. It makes me wonder how anyone could ever consider an abortion, much less a late term abortion. I am a mother of 3 and enjoyed all of my pregnancies. I am happy that yours is going well. Good luck picking a name for your newest family member.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry but some of you have f’d up ideas about names!

    Do your kid a favor and don’t get creative with spelling. No need to add a “y” in the middle of a name just for the hell of it.

  • As a Utahan, aren’t you supposed to make up a name, preferably starting with La____?!

    Chompy–#35–thank you. Add to that Montana, Fontana, Cheyenne, Cayenne, and LaDawnAnne

  • Tanya

    Meleah. I love this name but my father thought it reminded him of an exotic dancer (his words, not mine). I told him if all else fails, at least my daughter would have her stripper name to fall back on.

  • I had a low lying placenta too, and everything turned out great. It didn’t affect the duration of my pregnancy at all. In fact, she decided to stay an extra 12 days. Twelve very long days.

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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