Birth Story

I’ve been wanting to write out our birth story but debating whether to put it here or not. I am fully aware that this may not be something everyone cares to read so feel free to skip this one. I won’t be offended.

Here it goes…

December 27: A Groupon appears in my inbox for a prenatal massage. It is serendipitous. I buy it and go that afternoon. Surely, this will induce labor.

December 28: I’m 40 weeks pregnant and my midwife says not much is going on. In fact, I’m in exactly the same place I have been for weeks. D asks her if there is anything we should do and she suggests acupuncture.

December 29, 30 & 31: Stick needles in my face? Sure. I’ll do anything. This baby needs to come out. I go three days in a row to a hippie community-acupuncture clinic. But, I’m a bad hippie because right after acupuncture, I go through the McDonald’s drive-thru for a Coke (and maybe some fries).

December 31: Our friends are so nice to come over for New Year’s Eve since our only plans are to wait for this baby. Late at night, I start feeling different but I blame it on the queso that we are all eating.

January 1 @ 1:00 am: Our friends leave and I tell D that I think I am having contractions but I’m not sure. I go to sleep for a few hours.

4:00 am: I’m definitely having contractions. Nothing crazy and totally manageable. I breathe through them and the come every seven minutes or so. I’m excited now…too excited to sleep, something I will regret later.

8:00 am: Contractions are the same. The boys wake up and we tell them that their sister is going to come today (what did we know?). AIB just stares at my belly, waiting for her to jump out. They proceed with the day as normal. We let our family know that I am in labor.

12:00 pm: My parents take the boys to lunch and we finish packing up our bags for the hospital. Contractions are still very manageable. I just move from the balance ball to the tub to walking around the house. We’ve let my midwife know that I am in labor.

3:00 pm: My contractions pick up and are now closer together, maybe three to five minutes apart (and they stay this way until she is born). We call the midwife again and she wants me to sleep (this was excellent advice). I try my best and maybe get a couple of hours of sleep, with contractions every five minutes. Our friend comes to pick up the boys and they are totally spoiled for the afternoon and evening.

7:00 pm: My contractions seem to be slightly stronger and are as close as three minutes apart. We decide to go to the birth center.

8:00 pm: As soon as we arrive at the hospital, my contractions slow down. I feel silly for being at the birth center and the midwife tells me, “You are not in active labor.” (If you really want to know, I’m only at 2 centimeters dilated). I’m really annoyed by this. They tell us to go home. I’m that lady – the one who went to the hospital too early. The midwife tells us, “Stop timing contractions and try to rest. First babies take three days to come.” I’m super, super annoyed with her. I tell D I don’t like her (about 12 hours after this, I am in love with her).  As soon as we get back in the car, my contractions pick up again and the ride home is awful. We get home and I labor more.

January 2 @ 1:30 am: I’ve gotten a little bit of sleep but not much because, well, contractions are uncomfortable. While leaning over the balance ball, my water breaks. I tell D to call our friend back who is watching the boys and she kindly comes back to stay the night. He also calls the birth center to tell them we are coming back. I tell him, “Tell them to turn on the tub.” All I want is to be in the giant tub they have at the birth center – pretty much my whole reason for deciding to have a baby there.

2:00 am: We arrive and I’m now 5 centimeters dilated. I hang out in the tub. The awesome-ness of the tub cannot be overstated. I am there for a while.

5:00 am: I keep looking at the clock and thinking, “For sure this baby will be here by 6:00 am.” The nurse checks me and I’m six centimeters. Seriously. I labor on the bed for a while and get back in the tub but I am obsessed with sleeping. Sleep is the only thing I can think about. I start to think getting an epidural would be a fantastic idea so that I can sleep. All I want to do is sleep. I tell D that I want something so that I can GO TO SLEEP. Things get unpleasant. I keep asking D to get me some drugs and he keeps saying encouraging things (D states: “At this point, I had no idea what I was doing”).

6:00 am: After moving to a few more positions, the nurse and D put me on the bed because I can’t even keep my head up. I have never been so tired in my entire life. My contractions are still three to five minutes apart and I’m starting to think I’m going to be doing this for a lot longer. I really want an epidural so that I can sleep but I am able to lay in bed with my head down and belly propped up with a bunch of pillows, getting small portions of sleep between contractions.

7:00 am: I’m so over this. I’m so, so tired and I tell D I want some drugs. The nurse gets the midwife and tells her I want to discuss getting some help. The midwife arrives and she is really calm. She says she wants to check me before we even discuss any medication. I’m about 8 centimeters dilated and, turns out, my water didn’t really break all the way. She asks me if it is okay if she breaks my water. Yes, it is okay. It would have been okay like five hours ago. She tells me that anything she gives me for pain would just slow things down and I know that she is right. In some genius move, she totally changes the subject and I’m talking about something completely unrelated to labor between contractions. I don’t feel so stuck now. By breaking my water and distracting me, she has helped me get over my frustration about not progressing as fast as I would have liked.

9:00 am: I am ready to push. I move to a few positions but squatting seems to be the most effective for me. (Sorry if that is TMI but it is the truth). I never really envisioned things going this way. It is a bit primitive but I don’t care because if it means the baby is going to come out, I am down with that. The midwife asks me if I can drink a Coke because an Amish midwife she used to work with always gave women Coke when they were pushing to help. I love Coke and she goes off to find one but the baby is coming and the nurse has to go get her before she can find any. I’m pushing on the bed at this point but it isn’t that effective. I hear the midwife say, “If she squats again, she’ll have the baby.” I say, “I’ll squat” and that is exactly what I do and, sure enough, Baby Girl is here just minutes later (at 10:09 am). It is crazy and awesome. She is big (8 lbs. 6 oz.) and has lots of dark hair. I go from being obsessed with sleep to wide awake and in awe of our little girl.

A few things…

  • My husband is a really awesome doula. He was encouraging and there the entire time. One of my books said to have people around who relax you. He truly is my “relaxing” person – in childbirth and in life, in general.
  • I’d say I was about 80% committed to a low-intervention birth when we were planning. I’m not even totally sure why this was important to me because I really have no issues with pain medication or epidurals. I had a lot of fear about having to be induced and having a c-section. From what I researched, planning for a birth with low-interventions would help me avoid those things and it did (but it did not make it fast).
  • The midwives and nurses at the birth center were so helpful before, during and after birth. I want to hug all of them…a lot.

Random Snippets

The whole blogging thing is going to be sporadic for a while. Here are a few snippets from the past few weeks…

  • A few weeks ago, we took a full-day birthing class. Honestly, I found the whole thing fascinating and really enjoyed it as well as meeting other couples who were due around the same time. I think D enjoyed the class a lot too. The two doulas who taught the class were funny and kept things moving so it didn’t get too boring. And, the graphic videos and images, were kept to a minimum. This past Friday, we have a private “bonus” class with one of the doulas to get some additional information and I am feeling pretty prepared now. I’ve read a few books but I’ve always learned better by what I hear and see so these classes were a great preparation for me and D. Just before Thanksgiving, we toured the birth center so now we actually know where to go at the hospital when the time comes (four weeks to go)!
  • The woman who taught our class has a six-year-old son and mentioned that she got him the Lego Police Station for Christmas. As soon as she said that, I couldn’t help but think about how much our boys would love something like that. I made the mistake of looking up the police station and fire station on Amazon. In total, they are over 1300 pieces of Legos. After talking to D, we decided to go for it and make this the boys “big” present for Christmas (the storage system might be a gift more for me though).

  • As usual, I’ve done most of my Christmas shopping so far online. I ordered the cutest dress-up police costume for our nephew, Shay. It arrived today and D opened the box. As soon as I could see what was in it, I said, “Don’t show that to AIB.” However, he was right there and really wanted to know. We prefaced letting him look by saying this was a gift for his cousin, not for him. And then we talked about how we need to think about others and how important it is to give gifts to those we love. He shook his head and we let him look inside. Immediately, I could tell what he was thinking. We asked him to pretend like he was Shay opening the gift and told him that if he was really nice to Shay and was a good gift-giver, that sometime Shay would probably share it with him. We have a long way to go on teaching the boys to be generous and self-less.
  • We are getting the house ready to add our fifth family member and it seems like there is no end to the work. I’m trying to make peace with the idea that it might not all be done by the time she arrives. But one thing that is the top of my list is to record a new podcast. We have seriously slacked on this and have lots to share about the boys, our “family-versary” and how they are doing. I have a drafted outline and I am hoping by putting this out there that it will get us motivated to sit down and record an episode ASAP.

That is my quick, not-too-exciting update on life.

Going Gluten Free

In the last week or so, I’ve had several friends talk to me about going gluten-free. About six years ago, I asked my doctor to test me for a wheat allergy after years of digestive problems. She said she really didn’t think that was the issue but went ahead and ran the blood test. Much to her surprise, it came back with an indicator that I may be wheat and/or gluten-intolerant. She recommended I visit a gastroenternologist. The did a scope of my intestines and the results were “suspicious but not conclusive). He told me to go ahead and cut gluten out of my diet and see what happen. Within two-weeks, all the stomach problems I had experienced for several years were gone. I know for others it can take longer to see results – maybe more like a month of being gluten-free.

One of the firsts books I bought was The Gluten-Free Bible by Jax Peters Lowell. It is pretty overwhelming but covers pretty much everything. I never read the whole book but used it as a reference point as I started to eat gluten-free. Basically, I just stopped eating anything with wheat. That meant no pizza, no sandwiches, no pasta, no crackers, no cereal, etc. A few things have changed since I went gluten-free. The FDA now mandates that any products containing any of the eight major food allergens (milk, eggs, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat or soybeans) must be clearly stated on the label. This certainly helps but wheat-free does not necessarily mean gluten-free. Trader Joe’s puts a label on all gluten-free products and most major grocery stores now have a small gluten-free section (or products that have gluten-free signage throughout the store). It is a lot easier to eat a gluten-free diet now than it was several years ago. Someone said to me the other day, “You were gluten-free before it was cool.”

So, here are my top-five tips for going gluten-free simply (you can get more adventurous after you try it out for a bit):

  1. The perimeter of the grocery store is your friend. Fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy gluten-free (unless something has been added to them). Rice and potatoes are also okay in their natural state (you have to be careful with mixes though).
  2. Before eating at a restaurant (including fast-food), search online to see if they have a gluten-free/wheat-free menu or call ahead to see if they can tell you what they can provide. I always hate when they make a big deal about it at the table. Some places have even had the chef come to our table to talk to me. I HATE this. Once at Pei Wei, the server came to the table and said, “Who ordered the allergy meal?” Sounds delicious. So, I prepare ahead of time. If you have no choice about where you are eating, be prepared to eat a very plain salad (Sad but true).
  3. Don’t cheat. I’ve never really determined if I am gluten-intolerant or if I have celiac disease. The symptoms I have sound more like gluten-intolerance. If I accidentally have something (and this rarely happens), I can tell within twenty-four hours. People ask me all the time if I cheat and I always tell them if just isn’t worth it. That said, I don’t stress out about cross-contamination as much as others may. For example, I know Qdoba states that there is  possibility for cross-contamination in the preparation of their wheat-free/gluten-free products. I eat there often and have never had an issue. You have to determine how sensitive you are and if it is a risk you want to take.
  4. Eat before you go out and/or offer to bring something. I know this sounds kind of annoying but you never know what you might be able to eat when going to a shower, party or other social event at someone’s home. If we are eating a the house of someone who does not know us well, I always tell them ahead of time that I am gluten-free. I offer to bring something, especially if they seem overwhelmed with the idea of cooking within these restrictions.
  5. Find a gluten-free bakery near you. I am at Sugar Kisses at least once a week. I seem to hear about a new one every month and if you want bread but don’t want to make it yourself, this is probably your best bet. There are a few brands sold in grocery stores with decent options. I like Udi’s products and Whole Food’s (both are usually in the freezer section).
I hope that helps. For kids going gluten-free, I saw this book over the weekend. Since gluten-intolerance/celiac  disease are hereditary, I’m almost counting on Baby Girl to have the same issues as me (because I’m an optimist like that).

Fall Pinterest Challenge

The Pinterest Challenge is back from some of my favorite bloggers. The whole goal is to actually make something that you have pinned. I have my eye on one of these two DIY mobiles.

Now I just need to decide which one.

Quick Update from our house…

Baby Update: Baby Girl is good and we have just nine weeks to go (maybe ten, but hopefully not eleven).  Her butt is right up at the bottom of my ribs where it is supposed to be according to my midwife. This is a fact that makes both boys giggle.

DIB Update: The good news is he is learning and getting better writing his name and letter sounds. The bad news is that he is very easily distracted by the things around him (specifically 25 other classmates) making it hard to demonstrate his skills. I’m very thankful for his teacher right now who is on top of things, loves him and is helping us figure out some stuff together.

AIB Update: The kid still loves school. He loves going and playing with the other kids and he is a delight to his teachers. Something he doesn’t love? Eating anything with nutritional value. Mealtimes are no fun right now.

D & K Update: We have a new goal to accomplish one task/project per night. Some are big and some are small. Last night we went through the chaos that is the basement/toy room and got rid of a lot and organized what remained. I am happy to say that Mr. Potato Head, his friends and all their parts are in two plastic bins now rather than dispersed around the floor of the basement.

Life Update

I hate titling blog posts. I might just stop and leave them title-less.

Not much is new around here except that every morning I wake up larger than the day before and someone literally has their foot in my ribs. It is an odd feeling.

On Thursdays, our schedule usually allows both D and I to go pick up the boys at school. The boys have termed this “a double.” Both the schools are in our neighborhood and end at nearly the same time so it is always a bit of a scramble to get to DIB’s school. Thankfully, our neighbor is always willing to wait with him for a minute or two if we are late. It usually works out that we are walking up just as his class gets released.

Last night, we had a potluck at AIB’s preschool and needed to pick up our assigned item so we headed to Trader Joe’s right after school. Since D was with me, I agreed to let both the boys use the child size carts for our groceries thinking that surely two adults could manage two kids. After a few warnings to be careful, DIB ended up loosing his cart after he nearly took out an elderly woman in the frozen food aisle. He went straight into the ugly cry (seriously, it is awful) and since the cart was full of food we actually needed that left AIB and me to finish the shopping while D dealt with the ugly-crier. This means I (a very pregnant looking adult woman) was left to push a miniature shopping cart around. The thing about being consistent in discipline is that you end up doing things you really don’t want to do sometimes.

We got to the potluck at AIB’s school and ate a very random dinner. AIB loves school…a lot. He was so proud to show us his classroom especially the class gerbil and the orange line where they line up. He assigned himself “line leader” (there was only the four of us there) and led us to the science room. We enjoyed dinner but it was a bit to hectic to converse with the other families. It was loud and there were so many kids (it is a very large preschool). We do love how diverse the school is and I’m very happy with how happy AIB is at this school. I think he would be happy anywhere but it is proving to be such a great experience for him.

This weekend, I’m headed to a Mom-2-Mom sale to pick up some stuff for Baby Girl and probably a few things for the boys, if there is anything good. Finding used clothes for boys this age is challenging because most clothes do not survive the activity level of a five year old boy. We also have a visit with M & T and their mom planned. We haven’t seen them since early summer. We often see little girls at AIB’s school who remind us of M a lot. We are really looking forward to being able to visit with them.

In pregnancy related news, we signed up for our child-birth class which means we are actually going to do this whole “having a baby thing.” I may have to live-Tweet/blog/Facebook the whole thing because I think D is going to be hilarious (intentionally and unintentionally) as we sit through a full-day class taught by a doula in a fairly crunchy near-by town.

Hungry Lady

I had a pretty minimal appetite in my first trimester and a normal one in my second. I was hoping that would stay the same but in the last week I have found myself really hungry. I was priding myself a bit on not being the “eating-all-the-time-pregnant-lady” so I’ve been humbled. It goes back to that not wanting to be a cliché thing. It is stupid, I know.

This recipe is known as “Cheryl’s Muffins” among my friends but Cheryl says the original recipe is from Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet. Sometimes for those of us who are “intestinal-ly challenged”, it can be hard to find tasty recipes but I love these. Even though I’ve had the muffins a few times, this is the first time I made them. I was looking for a high-fiber, high-protein, gluten-free option to curb my appetitie.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Nut Muffins

  • 5 cups ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 eggs
  • *1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • *1 tsp. cinnamon
  • *1/2 bag mini-chocolate chips
  • *1/4 cup ground flax seed

*these are Cheryl’s additions to the original recipe

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (they brown quickly so keep an eye on them…they may need less time).

I bought the almond meal at Trader Joe’s ($3.99 per bag, there are about 4 cups per bag). Others have bought bulk almonds at Costco and ground them up into meal in their food processor but my mini-prep won’t do that and I’m too lazy to add the extra step anyway.  I also used flax seed that also included ground blueberries since it was all Trader Joe’s had when I was buying the ingredients (you can’t taste the blueberries at all). I am planning to add some pureed carrots and/or spinach next time.

I think they are delicious and they make a very filling breakfast.  D liked them (he added a little butter and drank them with a glass of milk). They are not low in calories but they are full of stuff that is good for you.

Twelve more weeks to go!

And Just Like That…

We are back down to a family of four (well, five, if you want to count Baby Girl and, six, if you want to count our dog, Piper, which I do).

G moved in with her long-term foster family Wednesday (where she can be with her brother). She has known she would be going there so the transition was not too difficult especially because she already knows them and has seen them multiple times in the last few weeks. AIB said he wanted her to stay with us. It reminded me to talk to him again about how some kids only live with us for a little bit but he and his brother were going to stay with us forever.

G was very cute and I am glad she was able to stay with us for a bit. She was probably the most traumatized kid we have cared for yet. I can’t get into all the details of her situation (obviously) but she was very verbal and expressive about her situation. In fact, she seemed totally preoccupied with what she had gone though (not that you can blame her). I submitted a request to the agency that she be able to meet with one of the therapists there and I am hoping she continues to do well in school even though her mind seems like it is in a different place. Please pray for her if you think about it.

This weeks also marks the beginning of my third trimester of pregnancy. I’m feeling rather “large & in-charge” these days even though my midwife says I am on totally on track for weight gain and belly size for 26+ weeks. You know what is weird? Having someone take a measuring tape to your stomach. My last visit was the first time she had done this and it made me feel like a home improvement project.

I am probably one of the pickiest  most particular people I know, which honestly, is annoying to myself. What would be simple would be to find some baby bedding that I like in the store. But I can’t find anything I like except some curtains at Urban Outfitters that are back-ordered until November. This has left me with one crazy looking mess of a “getting ready for baby” pinboard.

Baby Girl will wear the John Stewart onesie.

I also liked some of the Missoni for Target baby stuff but, I’m not sure if you heard or not, but it all sold out and crashed Target’s website. I blame Rachel Zoe.

A Pregnancy Post

I have not really written much about being pregnant. If you are not into this sort of post, feel free to skip it. I totally understand.

I think I started realizing about last week that I really am actually pregnant. I know that sounds kind of crazy since I am 25 weeks but it has been fairly easy to forget with two (well, three, right now) other kiddos running around. I was nauseous but never sick really early on and that went away quickly. I have not had any strange cravings or been ravenously hungry. The only thing that has changed about my diet is that I don’t really like chicken anymore.

According to some websites, I’m in my third trimester. I divided 40 weeks by 3 and got 13.33 weeks makes a trimester. According to that, I have a couple more weeks to go until my third trimester which makes me feel a bit better because then I feel like I have more time until she arrives. But I know, I really don’t, and I’ve started reading a couple books to get me prepared for labor and delivery (this one & this one). Tonight, I am going to a meet & greet with the doulas and midwives from the hospital where we are planning to have the baby. We have not hired a doula (although, I am sure they are worth it the fee is expensive and not covered by insurance).

Last week, I found The Longest Shortest Time the way I find all good things (via random link on Twitter). Since then, I have listened to every episode and probably should have spaced them out a bit more since some of the stories are sad or a bit scary. But, truly, it is a great podcast/blog and I highly recommend it. Also, I may or may not have read every birth story I can find on the internet. We’ve had a newborn but I’ve never been through labor. I feel prepared for somethings and totally unprepared for others.

After a cool week last week, the temperature went back up Monday and, to me, it felt like it was the hottest day ever. I was doing the school pick-up (preschool > kindergarten > other neighborhood to get G off the bus) and was so angry at how hot it was. I am totally over summer. It can go far, far away for all I care. We are doing a lot these days and my energy level is not what I would like it to be and I have suddenly realized that I actually do have some physical limitations now (I mean, not that I was running marathons or anything before). A very kind neighbor of mine offered to help me last week and then, even better, came over and said, “Seriously. Let me help.” Sometimes you just need that.

Emotionally, I am dealing with mom guilt, mostly which is completely irrational. I have guilt that this little girl will grow up with us from day one. That I get to feel her kick me. That we will see her do all her firsts. I feel guilty for missing all this with the boys and I know that makes no sense because missing out on that with them has nothing to do with me. Adoption is joyful and wonderful but also full of loss. Pregnancy is highlighting that a bit for me right now but I am trying to focus on what I do get to do with these boys and remember every hilarious thing that they do (or at least write it down for when I can’t remember).

Two Kindergartners & a Preschooler

We received a call from our agency early last week asking us if a little girl, G (age 5), could come stay with us for a few weeks. It is a long story but she has a long-term placement with her brother that is not available until the middle of the month. Since that foster family lives in our city, by staying with us she is able to start kindergarten next week (hopefully) without having to change again when she moves in with them. It has been a little crazy getting all the details worked out but it seems to be coming together.  I asked the boys how they felt about it and, DIB said, “Mom, I will not hit her.” Thanks, buddy. Both DIB and AIB understand that kids come to stay with us from time to time. It has not seemed to affect them much yet but G will be a little different since she is closer to their age than the babies we have cared for in respite. So far, it has been going well. DIB has been especially sweet and kind to her.

Watching TV and holding on to backpacks, which now seem to be needed for everything that we do.

Tomorrow is DIB’s first day of school. We’ve been getting ready by taking tours of the classroom, having a home visit from his teacher and meeting a few new friends. He has been fairly shy at first but I can tell he is already warming up to his teachers since he has met them twice now. The way our district starts for kids in kindergarten is that eight kids from the class go on Tuesday, another eight on Wednesday and another eight on Thursday. On Friday, they will all be there for their first full day as a full class. I’m not sure yet when G will start (her long-term foster family is in the process of getting her enrolled and set up).

AIB starts preschool in a little over a week and I think he is looking forward to it. I’m anticipating some shyness and reluctance from him at first but I think he is going to have a great time. It will be good for him to establish some independence from his brother.

It is safe to say that the person having the hardest time with the boys starting school is me. D just told me earlier today that we will have to drop DIB off and likely won’t be able to walk him into the classroom (he talked to our neighbor and another friend about it and apparently this is how it is done). When he told me this, I said, “No. That is not how it works.” He said, “I’m pretty sure that is how it goes. Are you going to be alright?” My response was, “I don’t want to talk about it” followed by a little crying. I’m weepy; I’m pregnant. I can’t help it. I know DIB is five years old but he has only be here nine months. It is like sending my nine month old to kindergarten in a way. So, yeah, I’m having a bit of a hard time. But we will all make it.

It is possible that G will be our last respite placement before the baby arrives in December. Fall means that D starts school two evenings per week, I head into a busy season at work, and we have a few home renovation projects going on that are going to make life pretty interesting. Never a dull moment at our house. Even though we are tired (okay, maybe, I’m just the one who is tired), I would not change a thing. I absolutely love our life.

Baby Naming

I feel like the title is a bit of a tease because we are not actually sharing Baby Girl’s name until she arrives. I feel so smug every time someone asks me if we have a name. In all sincerity, I’m sorry. Just in case anyone wants to share their unfavorable opinion and because something has to be a surprise, we decided to keep it a secret. But, I’m not going to lie, it is hard and I could break sometime in the next 17 weeks. We picked out her name before we knew that she was a she. Boy names were much harder for us to agree upon, especially since we already chose two earlier this year that we really love.

The first picture is my mom pregnant with me in 1983. When I saw a similar shirt at Target, I had to get it.

My parents have told me I was almost a Meghan. Then it came down to Kristin or Kristal which is how they compromised on my name. I like that my name is kind of unique.

I’ve mentioned before that I am fascinated by names. I love hearing what people like and dislike. I love hearing what celebrities pick. And there have been some great celebrity baby names lately.

  • Penelope Athena: The name of Tina Fey’s newest daughter. But, of course, I’m going to love anything Tina Fey does.
  • Haven Garner: Jessica Alba’s new daughter. I love Haven. I love her other daughter’s name, Honor Marie, just a tiny bit more.
  • In breaking news, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are expecting again. Their daughters, Violet and Seraphina, set a precedent for baby number three having a great name.
  • Two famous bloggers, Heather Armstrong of Dooce and Rebecca Woolf of Girls Gone Child, have picked out awesome names for their kids. Heather’s daughters are Leta and Marlo. Rebecca’s son is Archer, she has a daughter, Fable, and two more children on the way.
  • A couple big family bloggers, Design Mom and Soule Mama, have great sibling sets of names. Gabrille has Ralph, Maude, Olive, Oscar, Betty and June and Amanda has Calvin, Ezra, Adelaide, Harper and Annabel.
  • As for non-celebrities, I think both my sisters-in-law are great baby namers (nieces: Elliana “Ellie”, Annabel “Annie”, and Willow; nephews: Mason and Shay). I’m sure my brothers-in-law had some say in those names too.

A few ideas we played around with but did not end up choosing for this baby were Zoe (means “life” in Greek) and Eden. We thought both went well with the boys’ names (as does the one we chose). There are lots and lots of other names I love but they don’t mesh well with the boys’ names so those will have to be for someone else’s babies.

Feel free to take a guess. The only hint we have given is that it is Biblical. So, for now, we refer to her as Hagar.