turducken codswallop.

One of the questions that people ask you when you get pregnant is whether you're having a boy or a girl. I've heard the questions can get much more intrusive, but I haven't experienced any of that. Maybe later when I am more visibly with child, I'll get strangers in the grocery store asking me all sorts of personal questions. I've been preparing snarky answers in anticipation.

The answer to the gender question is that we are going to be surprised. We had our 20-week ultrasound a couple weeks ago, and the technician looked all over that baby, but just skipped the part where she checks out the genitalia. It's possible that she was able to tell, but we are still in the dark. We do know that the baby has two arms, two legs, and a four-chambered heart.

People have been pretty encouraging of this decision of ours, particularly the people who had their children before it was possible to tell the sex in utero. I did have one friend who was insistent upon knowing, so she would have time to prepare. Prepare for what? I asked, scared that there was some crucial thing I didn't know about, since I kinda thought babies were babies at the beginning. Her reasons seemed to be more about mental preparation than anything else, and I figured she was just the kind of person who needed more preparation than I do.

People ask too, if we want one kind or the other. Frankly, the idea of a baby at all is so bizarre to me that having a preference for one kind or the other is just beyond me. What is going on inside the diaper region seems irrelevant to the fact that we have no idea what we're doing with one at all.

The downside of not knowing the sex is that we have to have two names picked out and ready. We have discovered that while there are lots of boys' names that we really like, no girls' names really get us excited at all. In fact, we are pretty set on a boy name, first and middle all picked out and ready to brand a kid forever. For a girl, we have a first name that we agree is okay, and that is it.

I was determined to keep our name choices secret for the duration. My impression is that when you tell others your name choices, they sometimes give their opinions. And these are not all flattering opinions. Sometimes they tell you they knew a dog with that name. My sister got a lot of folks assuming she would be using the middle name.

However, after keeping the secret of the pregnancy itself for so long, Josh was just done with secrets and told a bunch of people our boy name. Immediately, someone responded, "Your kid is going to hate you."

Charming. Josh hasn't told anyone since then. So there are some people who know our name ideas, and you'll just have to ask them. If you ask me, you might get a snarky answer, like "Turducken Codswallop."

In picking out names, I'm discovering that my husband and I have different ideas of what makes a good name. I've always been the only Sandra in my age group. I knew a lot of people who had moms named Sandra, but they didn't count. And I really enjoyed being the only one. Josh, of course, had a different experience. And I guess it wasn't so bad, because he is leery of naming the kid anything too weird. I say, bring on the weird! They'll grow into it and define that name for everyone they meet! Josh says they'll get made fun of. I'm pretty sure that will happen anyway, if not for their name, then for something we gave them through their genetic material.

I've been using the web to research names. I go through lists of women (queens, Biblical figures, saints) and find a name that is acceptable to me. Then I go to the Social Security Administration website to find out how common it is. If there aren't a billion baby girls with that moniker, then I run it past Josh. If he thinks it's okay, we research it together, finding out the origins and any famous bearers. He rejected Ophelia for being too tragic. We rejected Isidora together after reading about Isadora Duncan. We both loved Aria, but found out that it was the 40th most popular name last year.

But whatever, we'll figure something out. And whatever we name the baby, that name will become the name of our beloved child, which will overshadow all the other kids or historical persons who happened to have similarly-minded parents. It'll be fine.

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