I was a certified master dog groomer with my very own salon when I found out we were pregnant with our first "non-fur" baby. (I know, you're jelly...it was quite glamorous). My husband and I were no newbies to the baby game having named, decorated and cared for our own Egg baby - Sebastian - in marriage and the family class...yet this time seemed a bit more, shall we say, permanent.
I created the classic "100 names I love" list for a boy and a girl, which we quickly whittled down to about 20 after scratching off the names of ex's, the kids we didn't get along with in school, the names that rhymed with obscene body parts and anything that was the subject of a bad love song. We then ran our "top 10" by family and friends who used the same aforementioned criteria to fine tune our choices to about 2.5 (accounting for the unacceptable use of certain nick names...sorry Uncle Richard)
We were left with: Fergus, Samantha and Noah. My favorite: Siobhan, was cut because of the obvious life-long mispronunciation issues she'd face in rural Pa. and honestly, Noah was on the chopping block simply due to the fact that 50% of my family speak Pennsylvania Dutch...and the child would constantly think he was being scolded every time his name was called.
But as most expectant parents know - unless you're one of those exceptionally well planned people who know your child's name since you could speak - we were still not sold. So, we spent the next several months bouncing names off each other while watching TV, or at restaurants or family functions...and with each bounce was a limerick or bad memory or "Nate the Nosepicker" reason why that name just wouldn't work.
Then, nearly a month before my due date, while I decorated Christmas wreaths in my livingroom at 1am...It happened. My water tore (not "broke"...just tore. So I basically felt like I was peeing myself every time I shifted my weight - which actually wouldn't start happening for real until AFTER I had my baby) and off we went to have our baby...what'sitsname.
Once in the birthing center, they did an ultrasound to make sure what'sitsname's lungs were developed since we were only 36 weeks in. We didn't get a really clear view of the baby's lungs, but we did find out that "he was exceptionally large for his gestational age" - AWESOME! - and as he squashed his tiny butt to the camera and mooned everyone in the room, the tech informed us "WELL! I guess he wanted to let us know he's a BOY!" - At which point Samantha and Siobhan were officially scrubbed from the list...
In 1998, wi-fi was not a "thing" yet, so my hubs, being the ever dependable engineer, rigged the landline in my labor room and got himself on-line so we could spend the next 3 hours researching baby names - I sh*t you not. A site called "Baby Soup" (which now that I say it out loud, is kinda gross) gave us several fine options for our now "what'sHISname" and I fell asleep to allow the epidural to kick in.
At 7am, the new shift nurse arrived to tell me it was time to start pushing. But the hubs had just gone home to leave the dog out and we didn't have a cell phone!!! We reached him at home and he did manage to get back just in time to witness his giant headed baby come into the world. Once we saw him and his chunky little...well...everything, it was obvious. He was MAXWELL (Max for short)! It was perfect! No one messes with MAX! It fit everything about him, from his physique and his personality to our oversized hearts once we held him. We had picked the perfect name. YAY!
I only managed to stay away from my grooming salon for a few days before I had to get back to my other "fur-babies" and show off my sweet baby boy. There were piles of cards and gifts to open and tons of calls from excited customers who had watched me "grow". The first message was from Mrs. Foreman who had been a client for years..and was so excited that after struggling with names for so long, we had finally decided to name our baby after her baby...a cocker spaniel, named Max.