Baby Names and “Not Finding Out”

My fellow blogger laughingpromises recently blogged about choosing a name for her son and it made me want to share my own name-choosing story.

We decided not to find out if we were having a boy or a girl….  Until the baby was born, of course!  Toward the end of my pregnancy when hormones had just completely taken over my mind, it really started to irk me when people would say, “Are you finding out if it’s a boy or girl?”  Um, duh, of course, YES!  Just not until the birth!

I really never expected myself to make such a decision, but to my surprise I found myself suggesting it to my husband, who was all on board.  I guess we didn’t really care if we had a boy or girl first, so we thought it’d be fun to wait until the end for the big surprise.  We drove our friends and family crazy all during the pregnancy (an added bonus).  Especially fun were the times when we joked that we actually did know and just weren’t saying- haha!  After awhile everyone was thoroughly confused.

I won’t lie: it was tough not knowing.  At first I was worried about decorating the nursery, but then I found all kinds of cute gender-neutral nursery ideas and I ended up loving how it turned out.


The crib, along with a few stuffed animal favorites.  The giraffe winds up and plays a song which I usually let Alex listen to while I go rinse his dirty diaper out in the bathroom.


People also couldn’t shower us with blue or pink clothing, but that’s ok.  Babies don’t need a lot of clothes at first, and they grow out of newborn sizes so quickly anyway!

At first, I was SURE it was a girl, mostly because I’d been noticing a girl trend in babies lately.  Absolutely everyone I knew who’d had a baby recently had had a girl.  There was an obvious discrepancy.  After a couple months of my co-workers and myself consistently referring to my baby as a “she”, I started to feeling kind of bad.  What if the baby was actually a boy?  I decided then to refer to the baby as a “he” at least every other week so I wouldn’t get it stuck in my head that it was a girl.  At that point I was no longer sure that we were having a girl.

Ok, so we diiiiid kind of “find out”, but not overtly and not on purpose.  We had one ultrasound to make sure my uterus wasn’t bicornuate.  We told the doctor that we didn’t want to know the sex of the baby yet, so when he was ready to pan to the baby’s lower regions, he turned the monitor away from us.  Pretty soon he said, “Yep, just what I thought!  I can clearly see- or not see- something.”   Later in our conversation, he called the baby a “he” and then said, “Don’t worry, I’m not trying to give anything away- or hide anything!”

Later that night as I thought back over our visit, it suddenly struck me- the baby was a BOY!  Doesn’t it sound like it to you??  He didn’t mean to, but that doctor totally gave it away for me.  Also, we just both had a feeling that it was a boy starting around that time and lasting throughout the remainder of the pregnancy.  I definitely wasn’t surprised that we had a boy, but I think a girl would have surprised me for sure.

So, names. We had a girl name almost immediately.  There were actually several that we both liked and could have agreed on, but one stood out and became “the” girl name from then on.  No, I’m not going to tell you what it is because I’m still hoping to use it someday.  🙂  We kept our name choices a secret during the pregnancy.  I did show people lists of possibilities just to gauge the reception of certain names over others.  Here are some of our favorite girl names:

  • Brynn
  • Gretchen
  • Laila
  • Mia
  • Sophie
  • Phoebe
  • Anne

A boy name was much much more difficult!  When we left for our babymoon to Hawaii we still had no idea what we would name a boy and I was feeling pretty anxious to decide (especially since, by that time, I was quite sure the baby was a boy).  I bugged my husband all the time to help me decide.  He wasn’t in a hurry, which frustrated me because to me it felt so important to get that detail nailed down.  Our list of boy names included the following:

  • Sean
  • Logan
  • Adrian
  • Simon
  • Alexander
  • Caleb
  • Matthew
  • Corey
  • Aaron
  • Kelvin
  • Peter

There were also some names that I liked but my husband had vetoed:

  • Colin
  • Rede
  • Clive
  • Arden
  • Javan
  • Kenan

Those last two are little-known Bible names.  I was really bummed that my husband hated them- haha!  He was much more particular about a name for a boy because it had to be “manly” and I guess too many of my choices were too…. unique?  It’s funny because for a girl he is all into unique names.  Men are funny.  There were names he’d suggested that I’d vetoed too, but they were all joke names like Sunroof or Brisket (joke names seem to be a pretty common man contribution….)  Anyway, so we had a long enough list of names we liked, but we didn’t love any of them.

We were hiking Haleakalā (a super amazing volcanic mountain in Maui) and at the summit I began to think about the name Alexander and knew that it was the one I wanted.  I asked my husband and he agreed that it was a good name.  We didn’t really talk about and solidify our decision until later, but I knew from that point on that Alex was the name.  I would say our chosen names to myself all the time, testing them out on my tongue, testing them out together.  🙂

The issue of middle names was just as tricky.   We kinda knew early on that we wanted to do family names for middle names, but which names to choose without making one side of the family sad?  We finally told them that if we had a boy, we were using a name from my husband’s side of the family.  If we had a girl, we were using a name from my side of the family.  Alexander’s middle name then became Josip after my husband’s father.  It’s a Serbian name, and I like that it speaks to his heritage.  People always remark that Alex looks so much like his grandfather, too.  So it’s fitting.

Alexander Josip, I’m so happy that you were a boy and that we chose a wonderful name for you!

Alex with the grandfather he was named after

Alex with the grandfather he was named after

Now, if we have another baby and it’s a girl, we’re all set.  If it’s a boy, we’re in trouble!  😛



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. andi
    May 31, 2013 @ 08:08:21

    Hey for the record as soon as you told me you were preggers I said he was a boy 😀


  2. laughingpromises
    Jun 01, 2013 @ 08:10:52

    Thanks for the shout out! Loved reading your journey, too. Boy names are hard.


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