About three months after the birth of our first baby, Madeline, the reality of life as a mom really hit me. I was part frantic and part overwhelmed. I had a very rewarding career, and was anxious to return to it while balancing motherhood. Within three months of becoming a mom, I realized this was not possible. People started asking when we were going to start working on baby number two. I hadn't even gotten my head around life with baby number one! Even my doctor suggested we get moving soon, because at my age, the opportunity was dwindling, so we had to act fast if we wanted another child.
We had always imagined a family with two children... until the baby blues hit. And then postpartum. The first few months of motherhood compromised my sanity and my marriage. I didn't know if I -- or we -- would pull through. I missed my career. I love my baby beyond words, but life was starting to feel a bit mind-numbing. I needed a light at the end of my tunnel.
Click here to read why this mom questions whether it is unfair to have only one child.
A week before my due date, a test revealed that something may have been missed, and our baby may be unhealthy. The week between the results of the first test and the second were the longest of our lives. The second test returned healthy and positive results, although we were still nervous. When my husband exclaimed, "It's a girl!" and added, "A very healthy girl!" I could breathe again. Could we go through this again? Could we live through the unknown?
Maddie slowly developed into a little person. We were in awe of her newly developed skills and talents. Why jeopardize our new-found routine and happiness? Would I still feel balanced and happy if we had to go through it again? And who were we having another child for -- Maddie or ourselves?
Click here to read how this family ensures their only child is never lonely and always loved.
I'm sad my daughter won't have a sibling; however, I have one brother and we aren't very close. I do have a big family, though -- my family consists of those who are friends and even cousins who I am very close to. They are my siblings and my allies. What if we weren't so lucky the second time? An unhealthy pregnancy and baby could mean a lot of stress, and I would definitely have a super-human struggle to balance a career and family that is functioning happily and peacefully.
When it comes to having a second child, we've decided to let that ship sail. I know my capabilities, and I would rather be a great mom to Maddie than a stressed-out and exhausted mom to two. I fully admire the women who can do it. No one but another mother can really appreciate just how hard they work. To my daughter, I must apologize -- mommy chose sanity over a sibling. At least you won't have to split your allowance.
Written By: Jacq Parker, Yummy Mummy Club
Russell Crowe’s "Gladiator" and HBO’s "Rome" may have kindled the trend for Ancient Roman names, but then the megahit "The Hunger Games" drove it into the big-time. With another film of the series set for November 2013, we predict that names of old world gods and goddesses, mythological heroes and leaders will dominate birth announcements. Choices we’ll be hearing more of include Augustus and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Atticus">Atticus</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/persephone">Persephone</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/athena">Athena</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/juno">Juno</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/julius">Julius</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/thor">Thor</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/maeve">Maeve</a>. The appeal transcends the pop culture influence: These names are as powerful as they are deep, arming a child to triumph over earthly challenges. Pictured: LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: A general view of the after party for HBO's new drama series 'Rome' at the Wadsworth Theater on August 24, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
The devastating superstorm is not likely to inspire a wave of baby Sandys or even <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/sandra">Sandras</a>, but the endless repetition of the name is statistically likely to increase the use of S names -- as was the case of K names after <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/katrina">Katrina</a>. Along with a wave of babies born nine months after the storm, we predict the rise of names with a Sandy-like sound, such as Alessandra or <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Cassandra">Cassandra</a> or Sander. From there you can stretch to the word names Sand, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Dune">Dune</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Beach">Beach</a>, or even <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Storm">Storm</a>.
Leo has been climbing the charts since the emergence of Leonardo DeCaprio, but other leonine names popular in Europe are set to invade our shores. <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Leon">Leon</a> has been a top name in Germany and high in Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia and even Ireland for a decade—and that could happen here. Other leonine names stylish overseas with potential in the U.S. include <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Leonie">Leonie</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/lionel">Lionel</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Lev">Lev</a>, along with <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Leopold">Leopold</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Leonora">Leonora</a> which don’t mean lion but feel as if they should. One celebrity cut right to the chase, when Alex O’Loughlin recently named his son <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/lion">Lion</a>.
Using a word, any word with personal significance, as a middle name takes the trend toward using an adventurous and meaningful name in the middle to new heights of quirkiness and creativity. Celebrities have led the way, using everything from Ballerina to <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Bear">Bear</a>, Sweetheart to <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Seven">Seven</a> to Song to <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Star">Star</a> to <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Saint">Saint</a> in middle place following more conventional firsts.
When Reese Witherspoon named her baby son <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/tennessee">Tennessee</a>, it wasn’t in honor of playwright Williams. Rather, it has deep personal resonance, Reese having been raised in Tennessee, her mother’s native state. Other celebs have chosen names of places that also have emotional significance, while another contingent have gone for the more exotic -- Chris Hemsworth’s daughter <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/India">India</a> -- or the down-to-earth, as with Nick Lachey’s <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/camden">Camden</a>.
The last wave of grandma and grandpa nickname names -- <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/annie">Annie</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/molly">Molly</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/ben">Ben</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/max">Max</a> -- are now borne by new parents, who we predict will turn to vintage nicknames from the "Mad Men" era for their own children, with the most fashionable choices for boys. While <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/don">Don</a> and<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/dick"> Dick</a> have not yet reemerged, we see a new generation of kids with names like <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/hank">Hank</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/hal">Hal</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/ray">Ray</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/fay">Fay</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/millie">Millie</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/monty">Monty</a>, and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/lous">Lous </a>of both genders.
Sure, Latin names are sexier and French names have more chic, but baby namers are beginning to appreciate the distinctive charms of the Scandinavian, inspired by a combination of <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/siri">Siri</a> and Stieg Larsson. Some names have been introduced by celebrities, like <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/stellan">Stellan</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Viggo">Viggo </a>and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/liv">Liv</a>, others by starbabies such as <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/kai">Kai</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/magnus">Magnus</a> (there was one born to Elizabeth Banks just this week), and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/axel">Axel</a>, but there are other appealing choices as well, including <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/freya">Freya</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Linnea">Linnea</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Signy">Signy</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Astrid">Astrid</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Soren">Soren</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Leif">Leif</a>, and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/lars">Lars</a>. In the Christmas 2013 "Hobbit" movie, one of the major characters is named Thorin.
At first they seemed irresistibly lilting -- all those lovely girls’ names that doubled up on the L sounds: <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Lily">Lily</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Lila">Lila</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Lola">Lola</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Leila">Leila</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Layla">Layla</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Lillian">Lillian</a>. But we suspect that tongues are getting tired of reaching up for all those L’s and that the trend has passed its tipping point.
Baby namers have started to turn from cultivated gardens and look to the fields where flowers grow wild. Hottest of these at the moment are <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/clover">Clover</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/poppy">Poppy</a>, along with uncultivated tree names <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/juniper">Juniper</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/maple">Maple</a>. For the adventurous, there are choices like <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/thistle">Thistle</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/dandelion">Dandelion</a>, and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/buttercup">Buttercup</a>. The herbal names from "The Hunger Games" are also influential, but more <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/rue">Rue</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/primrose">Primrose</a> and less <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/katniss">Katniss</a>.
Seasonal names have taken on a wintery chill. <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/winter">Winter</a> (used by Gretchen Mol) itself is sounding fresher than <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/summer">Summer</a> or <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/autumn">Autumn</a>, and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/march">March </a>and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/january">January</a> are moving in on <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/may">May</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/june">June</a>. We’ve also been seeing <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/snow">Snow</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/frost">Frost</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/north">North</a> itself, especially as middle names, and we predict there’ll be more crisp and nippy names ahead.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/william">William</a>, of course, has been a stalwart in the baby name world for centuries, but other names sharing that initial have lagged behind. Now suddenly there is a flurry of long-neglected W-names resurfacing. For boys, there are <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/west">West</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/weston">Weston</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/wesley">Wesley</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/warren">Warren</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/walker">Walker</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/walter">Walter</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/winston">Winston</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/wilson">Wilson</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/wilder">Wilder</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/wylie">Wylie </a>and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/wyatt">Wyatt</a>, and for girls, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/willa">Willa</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/willow">Willow</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/winter">Winter</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/winnie">Winnie</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/waverly">Waverly</a>, and even clunky <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Wilhelmina">Wilhelmina</a> is back on board after being chosen recently by Natalie and Taylor Hanson.
Surprising and yet logical. We have seen the progression of top girls’names shift from <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/emily">Emily</a> to <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/emma">Emma</a> to <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/ella">Ella</a>, so <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/etta">Etta </a>makes sense as a successor. She was a Top 100 name at the end of the nineteeth century, falling off the list in 1966, but the recent death of the great blues singer Etta James brought her name back into the spotlight, inspiring at least one celeb -- Carson Daly -- to use it for his daughter.
There are still many celebs who can’t wait to get that money shot of their five-minute-old baby onto the cover of <em>People</em>, but there is now a growing trend for keeping the name (and sometimes even gender) of famous offspring private for a long period of time -- if not permanently. We still don’t know, for example, the names (or sex) of Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyers’s twins or that of Sarah Michelle Geller and Freddie Prinze Jr’s son. Uma Thurman waited three months to leak the names of her daughter <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/rosalind">Rosalind</a> Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson -- though maybe it took her that long to configure them.
Goodbye <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/jayden">Jayden</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/ashton">Ashton</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/ava">Ava</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/emma">Emma</a>: the cutting-edge parent today is much more interested in a single-syllable name or one that has three or even four syllables. On the rise: the short and sleek <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/cole">Cole</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/zane">Zane</a>, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/eve">Eve</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/may">May</a>; and at the other end of the spectrum: <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/macallister">Macallister</a> (choice of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer), <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/penelope">Penelope</a> (new non-K Kardashian name), <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/arabella">Arabella</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/theodora">Theodora</a>.
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