Naming Imaginary Babies

Me: “What, are you crazy?”

Lillian: “Yes, mama.”

And crazy has to come from somewhere, doesn’t it? I have spent the last several days agonizing over my NFP charts trying to discover the state of my fertility. I have tracked every variance in my waking temperature, parsed out the vagaries of cervical mucus and peered through the tiny lens of my ferning microscope. I have consulted oracles, observed the phases of the moon and read the conglomeration of tea leaves in the bottom of my tea cup. Okay, not that last part. But my midwife has told me that I have a good chance at VBAC if I wait at least 18 months to get pregnant and I am determined, by the grace of God, to follow her advice.

Nevertheless, I have also spent the last few days concocting complicated names comprised of layers of meaning (much like a fine baklava) for future children. Because that’s what happens when you leave an English major librarian type in charge of creating permanent labels for people. And because ultimately, babies are always good even if they arrive outside my narrow and small-minded plans. And because I am a crazy person. So I said.


G.K. Chesterton

My boy name at the moment is Gilbert Keith. Gilbert because of Gilbert Blythe (be still, my literary heart), and Keith because it’s my father’s name. When the two combine, some magic happens and you conjure Gilbert Keith Chesterton, famed brilliant Catholic-convert essayist.

Girl name? Audrey Therese. Because Audrey is beautiful and because St. Therese is my own dear confirmation saint. Of course this is not nearly complicated enough to pass my crazy, self-important naming criteria.



Tingling and Anxious

My scalp has tingled several times today.

Yes. Tingled. For me, that is a pregnancy symptom. Consequently, it’s also an anxiety trigger. You know what else is an anxiety trigger? Going to the grocery store with a baby and toddler in tow to buy a $1 pregnancy test. I find the entire prospect not a little humiliating. Yes, I know how these things happen.

My scalp tingled several days ago while my husband was home and he mercifully retained our post-natal children while I went alone to the grocery store to procure the magic stick of destiny. I tried to be discreet. I am a 30 year old married woman, and I still feel the need to hide the pregnancy test under a load of produce and other grocery essentials.

I made the mistake of getting in a line with a woman cashier and woman bagger. Had my merchandise been handled by a male it would have been unceremoniously scanned and shoved into a bag without commentary. This time, the cashier unearthed the thing from under my sacks of onions and broccoli with the comment, “I just have to look at those things and they go positive. Good luck!”

Good luck! The thing could go either way: positive or negative. Really, either outcome is positive. Becoming pregnant at this period in my life would be a little crazy. I would end up being a mother with three under three. Finances are tight now and would become tighter. I may have to postpone my debut into the glamorous world of working mother. On the other hand, it is a tremendous privilege to incubate beautiful, unique and unrepeatable life created by Almighty God.  A positive pregnancy test would be nuts in the short term, but marvelous in the long term. Life changing. I could almost see myself holding a little son. I would name him Gilbert. Probably because I just finished reading Anne of Green Gables, sigh. 

The stick was negative.

It was also slightly defective-looking and didn’t totally relieve my anxiety, which is why I am sitting here weathering another anxiety spiral set off by the same tingling scalp a mere 5 days since taking my last pregnancy test.

NFP life. I tell ya.