In my uncle's garden
Monday, December 9, 2002

This weekend I called my parents to tell them that we're having a baby girl. They both said "Well, I guess we'd better change the things we've made, then." My mother has been making lots of tiny blue clothes. I assured her that I wouldn't forget that the baby is a girl if she was in blue, but non-the-less she is going to embroider flowers and things on everything. People are silly.

I mentioned that we need to choose a name, and my mother said (in that weird passive, negative way she gets when she wants something) "Well, it won't be Delphine Veronica, will it?" (Delphine was her sister's name.) I said actually we were thinking about Delphine, and weren't sure if she would mind. She said she would be delighted.

I had actually been waffling on Delphine; we'd more or less decided on it for a girl, but then I got so nervous that my mother wouldn't want us to use it that I talked myself back out of it and we were back to the drawing board. But now I know my mother would like us to use it, so I've decided on it again, kind of unilaterally. I'm not sure if I've upset Blake, because we decided on it together, and then I decided against it on my own, and then I decided back in favour of it on my own, and I didn't really talk to Blake during the "back in favour" part. So I'm not sure if he was happy not using it and now he's pissed off that I've decided to use it again.

Anyway, we still need to choose a middle name, and we had an almost-argument about it this morning. I think middle names can be used to honour someone whose name you wouldn't necessarily want to use as a first name, like Great-Aunt Agatha, or something. Blake wants a pretty name for a middle name. I, on the other hand, don't see the point of choosing a meaningless but pretty middle name; it's not something that sees the light of day very often so I don't think it has to be pretty, but it is something that the bearer of the name holds in her heart, and so it should be meaningful and inspiring. My middle name, for example, is Rhoda. I never thought that was a very pretty name, but it's my mother's middle name, and I always felt that it was a welcome connection between us.

I like Meredith, which is a family name on my father's side (and will also provide the subtle bonus of perturbing those relatives, because they usually use it for boys), or Rhoda, or maybe Claire for Blake's grandmother. Or you know what? His other grandmother has Elizabeth as a middle name. I know Blake has been angling for Elizabeth from the very beginning; maybe I'll suggest that.

Delphine Elizabeth Brown Winton. Oooh; sounds expensive.

We had a midwife appointment today, and it was boring and uneventful, rather like this whole lame boring stupid trimester has been. We didn't have any questions for her, and she didn't have anything new and exciting to tell us, she just took my blood pressure (normal) and I peed on a stick (normal) and weighed myself (I gained six pounds but I'm still well within the range of normal) and we listened to the elf's heartbeat (strong) and that was that.

I know I'll regret being grumpy about how boring (normal, healthy, uneventful) this trimester is, but I am anyway, dammit. I wish there were some external sign that such an exciting thing is going on. I wish I could have the ultrasound with me all the time so I could see what my little girl was doing, so I could have some connection with her. I wish I didn't have to go to work and clean the house and study for exams and do all this boring normal everyday stuff when I feel like I should be bathed in a golden glow and surrounded by acolytes. Or something.

At least there's Christmas to keep me amused until I can feel the baby kick.

I'm starting to get over the girl thing, gradually. (I knew I would.) I'm looking out for girl babies and girl children out in the world, and thinking about how sweet and great they are. And I'm focusing on the women I respect for their intellectual rigor or their talent, and reminding myself that my little girl could be like them; Mary Ellen Foster, Jane Jacobs, Mary Bella, Beth Campbell, Jane Goodall, Jen Wade. Just because she's a girl doesn't mean she'll be an airheaded loser; there are a million ways for girls to grow up into wonderful, interesting people.

(No, I don't know why I think the default for girls is to be airheaded and lame, because most of the women I know are very cool and intelligent and wonderful. In fact, I know more lame, stupid men than I do women. It must have been something I learned in grade school. I don't know, and I'm sorry. I'm working on it.)