When we were pregnant with our first child, our world was sunshine and puppy dogs. The news that we were expecting a baby girl only made the sun shine brighter and the puppy dogs.....bark more? Anyway, we were thrilled and excited and got right down to business selecting her name. Due to some health issues I was having, we got some seriously high-level ultrasounds and that shit was HD. I swear I saw our daughter wink at us during one of them- it was that defined and clear. At the 14.5 week point, our perinatologist told us with absolute confidence that the image we were staring at onscreen was in fact our child's vagina and vagina means GIRL!!!!! My head immediately began to spin as I mentally threw out every girl name I had in mind as now that I knew this was MY DAUGHTER, none of those names were good enough.
Even though I started out thinking this would be an intrepid search fraught with obstacles and arguments, the opposite turned out to be true. My husband and I were drying dishes together one evening about two weeks after that ultrasound when I looked at him and said "How about Claire?" He smiled and said "I think that's perfect". We decided shortly after to give her the middle name Elizabeth, the same middle name of my 104-year old great-grandmother who passed away a few months prior and bada bing, bada boom. Our daughter had a name. We literally never discussed it again and felt very at peace with our choice.
Fast-forward 15 months, and we were expecting our second child. This time, the ultrasound tech told us at 22 weeks that it was a boy! Hurray, one of each! We left the ultrasound office elated- my husband heading back to work and me to collect our daughter from my friend's house. I waited anxiously the rest of the day, so excited for my husband to get home so we could start figuring out what to name our little guy. With nothing to go on but the one other time we did this, I figured it would be a quick process and that I could start calling my belly by our son's name, toute suite.
The first week went by and we could not agree on anything. My husband shot down nearly everything I suggested saying the names I was coming up with were not "manly" enough or that they could get him teased. I strengthened my resolve and bought more baby naming books and spent Claire's nap-time making list after list of names. He did not like ANY of them and I was starting to get pissed.
This went on for several weeks- at least until the start of my third trimester. The most infuriating part was that he never suggested anything when he vetoed my choices. That is, until one fateful night deep into my 3rd trimester. We were watching TV- he was happily eating ice cream and I was shooting him hormonal death glares from my side of the couch. Out of nowhere, he turns to me and says "What about Samuel?" and I said "What about him? Did you feed him his dinner?" and my husband says "No, for the baby's name. I love that name, we should use it."
You guys. Our dog was three years old at this point and we got him as a puppy and named him Samuel Adams, after my husband's favorite beer (try not to be bowled over by our level of Klass). Overtime, we shortened it to just "Sam" and truth be told, I did sort of regret it once we got pregnant because I do love the name Samuel for a baby. However, the die was cast (in my mind) and we could no longer consider this as a name for our baby. My husband's conviction was not as strong as mine. He didn't think it unreasonable to re-name our dog and use Samuel for our son because, in his words, "the dog won't live forever anyway". Seriously, this is what I was dealing with.
Many arguments ensued with me shrieking things like "WHAT THE FUCK WILL WE SIGN OUR CHRISTMAS CARD? VALERIE, GABE, CLAIRE, SAM AND THE DOG FORMERLY KNOWN AS SAM??" Hormones aren't fun. And the next few weeks with my husband refusing to back down weren't fun either. Thankfully, he saw the light and decided I was right (duh) and we went back to the drawing board. By my 39th week, we had settled on Benjamin and all was right in the world. I am not sure why it took us so long because having him here now, I can't imagine him with any other name. The process felt endless and arduous but at least now I have a funny story about the time my husband legit wanted to name our son after the dog.
Please share your baby-naming horror stories in the comments! I can't imagine I am the only one with such a tale.
You can reach this post’s author, Valerie Williams, on Twitter or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org