Just like when I proclaimed to family and friends I was engaged, (How did he propose? What is the date? Who are your bridesmaids? What are your colors?) informing people we’re pregnant elicits many standard questions that I’m sure I’ll answer thousands of times over by the time Mini Matto makes his or her appearance. In order to perhaps save a breath or two, I thought it would be fun to fill out a little questionnaire and answer some of those dire questions in depth that people seem to want to know.
1. Was it planned?
In short, yes. But as to how we got there, Eric and I made a deal (or rather I agreed to Eric’s offer) that when we got married we would wait until our one-year anniversary before we even entertained if we were ready to start trying for a baby. Let’s just say that Eric knows me pretty well. Well enough to know that if we didn’t discuss and settle on a “start date” from the get-go then I would be asking him “ok, are you ready now?” every other day once the ring was on my finger without regard to whether or not we were actually ready (mentally or financially). Besides wanting to have a bit of a “baby savings” in the works, Eric also wanted to give our newly married selves time together. In fact, the reason that won me over to wait at least a year was because I thought it was cute that he said he wanted to be selfish for a while and have me all to himself before adding a little one – I mean, how could I say “no” to that? And in hindsight I am very appreciative of the quality time we’ve had together sans baby. So on our first anniversary (July 2010) you would think I would have been chomping at the bit, but an opportunity came up to take a week long cooking trip in Italy in June of 2011. So after thinking it over and realizing I have plenty of time to have a child, however may not be able to take this trip ever again I decided I would be ok waiting another 6 months (making it December 2010), for the baby making to begin because for one, I didn’t want to have a newborn right before leaving for Italy and two I couldn’t be in my third trimester and travel that far. So if we started in December and happened to get pregnant right away then the furthest along I could be was 6 months and I was happy with that.
2. Did it take you long to get pregnant?
Obviously due to the previous question you know we started trying last December; however we did have one unfortunate occurrence along the way. First, Eric and I found out that we seem to be pretty fertile (high-five, go us!) as we actually got pregnant by the end of January after trying less than two months. Unfortunately on March 8th, at 7 weeks along I suffered a miscarriage. This was obviously very sad and disheartening, especially since we hadn’t had a child yet I was worried that maybe it was a sign that we couldn’t. But going through the miscarriage educated both of us a lot and how much more common they are than I was previously aware of. My doctor (who is absolutely great, by the way) let me know that it’s just something that happens and how he doesn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be able to have a child. After opening up to a few friends and family here and there about the miscarriage it was overwhelming (in a wonderful way) to hear all their stories of people they know that went through the same thing, but still got to experience raising a child. All of this helped Eric and I get through that difficult time. After the miscarriage we had to give my body a couple months before we could start trying again, but in May we decided we were ready for round 2 and were taken completely by surprise when we were blessed with another positive pregnancy test in our hands on May 30th! Talk about your quick turn-around!
3. Are you going to find out the gender before birth?
This was never a point of disagreement between Eric and I. We both agree that whether you find out at 18wks or 40wks it is still a surprise either way, so if you can find out before you go into labor than why not? I’m a planner by nature and want the nursery to have hints of boy or girl and I would like to receive/buy clothes that are not only yellow and green. Plus, I think it’s great to be able to better imagine what the baby looks like and to be able to talk & connect with them as a boy or girl prior to birth and call them by their name. And I’m tired of referring to this growing human as an “it” or baby” and no cutesy nickname, like “peanut” or “bean” has stuck for us. Maybe I’ll change my mind on our second child, but for the first we want to be prepared for whatever we can. We find out boy or girl on September 7th – so right around the corner! Can’t wait!
4. Do you have names picked out?
Yes and I’m not shy about sharing! Right now I know approximately a billion pregnant people – ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but there really are a lot and so I feel the need to stake my claim on the names. I may or may not stalk facebook when I see someone has given birth so I can breathe a sigh of relief when they chose a name that wasn’t on the top of my list. The one thing I did want to do though was not announce the name until we had it decided. I don’t like asking people for their opinion on a set of names because you usually end up getting an earful on how they know someone with that name and they were like a serial killer or a horrible ex or something to that nature. Or you get someone who is too nice and just says they all are cute and you’re left where you began. Anyways, we have names so I’m ready to share! If we have a boy he shall be called:
PARKER THOMAS MATTINGLY
I’ve had the first name picked out since college and Thomas is Eric’s middle name as well as his dad’s first name. If you do the math you’ll realize I had Parker picked out prior to Eric and I even dating. It was a deal breaker on whether I married him or not …. I’m kidding, although I would have been crushed had he hated it. Luckily I convinced him that Park Mattingly would be a sweet name for a baseball player – plus I mean if it’s a boy the kid is going to be a “Matto” eventually so why should he even care what the first name is?
Moving on, we have a first name that we favor for a girl but have yet to decide on a middle name. So what we’re working with so far is:
AVERY ______ MATTINGLY
I texted Eric one day while he was home on summer break and I was at work and was like “Operation Baby Name: You have until when I get home to put together a list of girl names. There are too many pregnant people out there and we need to figure this out.” Since I took the liberty of choosing the boy name I wanted him to try and come up with the girl name. Frankly, I thought this would end badly and I would have to break his heart, but besides “Elsa,” which even he wasn’t sure why in the world he wrote that down, I must admit he had a pretty good list. His favorite though was Avery and after trying it out it quickly became mine too. The middle name will also be family related, but we’re still in the works as to what we feel fits.
Ok, I ended up writing way longer answers than I intended so I’m going to stop there for now so you can get back to your regularly scheduled programming. However, if you have a question feel free to leave it in the comments below and I would be happy to answer! I may eventually do a Part II of this Q&A if needed. Thanks for making it to the end!