One of the many exciting things about being pregnant is discovering if you’re having a boy or girl… you start to imagine who that little person might be? Would they suit their name? Drawing up lists and lists of names… then vetoing the majority of them due to reminders of people you would rather forget. The ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, that girl who always started an anecdote with “my boyfriend bla bla”, the one who sniped away at you for years, the Mummy’s boy.. As we volunteer with teenagers there were so many names we had to veto straight away because all we could remember about them was their bratty behaviour (we were the same as teachers in this regard)
When I was pregnant with Alexandra we didn’t find out what we were having (obviously a human baby). We did the whole list thing and eventually we stuck on two boys names: William or James. William after my Grandad Bill and I thought a wee little Billy Mc would have been so cute as a nickname. I’d even started singing a little rhyme to the tune of “Jimmy back”. James was an option for my parents for me and after one of Andrew’s uni friends. Sorry Simon – I keep thinking of sodding chipmunks when I hear “Simon”… wuv oo! Girl names on the other hand…. we went around the houses and then back again. We just couldn’t pick and we had completely different ideas. I desperately wanted Georgia and Elizabeth as a middle name. Elizabeth is my middle name and Georgia is my favourite character from a book: Angus Things and Full Frontal Snogging (go read it – you’ll laugh like a loon on tablets) Unfortunately “Educating Yorkshire” put paid to Georgia as one of the delightful girls on the show stood on a lad’s head!
As my pregnancy was progressed it was getting more and more uncomfortable: SPD, carpal tunnel and severe acid reflux. I was definitely going to have a boy with all that going on. Boys cause pain right?! All the girls at work were having boys so clearly there was something in the water.
Anyhoo, I wanted something to work for and aim for during labour but we never got that far. As labour never started naturally I never had that experience of bringing life into the world the “natural” way. I didn’t get my goal to work for. On the way to the hospital I said to Andrew that I didn’t think Alexandra was all that bad as a name, little knowing that we would be very shortly referring to Alexandra in the past tense.
Alexandra was the perfect choice in the end. It was a brand new name for both families and therefore wouldn’t have any connotations with anyone else. All the Alexs I know are definitely Alex not Alexandra or Alexander.
When I went back to work I doodled her name over and over. It was so bloody unfair that we weren’t going to be yelling it across a playground or cheering her on at something – with our gene pool it was never going to sports! It was such a satisfying name to scribble out especially if I had a nice pen. It just flowed.
When I was pregnant with Ophelia I wanted to find out as I felt that I didn’t have enough time with her as her. During pregnancy she was baby not her or him. When we had the first chance with our consultant to find out I bottled it. Dr Breeze gave us the option to find out if he could tell at 15 weeks but in the end we waited until the anomaly scan at roughly 20 weeks. There wasn’t really a surprise as this time around I just knew we were having a girl. My Mum was a bit worried but it wasn’t really a shock. It was weird to think that I was getting another baby, another girl but not Alexandra.
We had the same struggles with names but basically it came down to Ada and Ophelia to fight it out. I wanted something new again and ideally another name beginning with A. Andrew liked Ophelia and only Ophelia. About 4 weeks before the planned C section I read that Ophelia means to heal and it was like a spark went off. We had been healing slowly (and still are – you don’t fully heal; it’s literally a scar) and Ophelia would take us that bit further. It was only after she was born that I let Andrew know he had won (again). He often claims he never gets his own way but when he does; he gets it right.