Blog on Pregnancy by Babble - an ever-evolving collection of wisdom and perspective and humor. It brings together unique voices that foster refreshing conversations. Real moms sharing real moments that help you think, help you learn, help you laugh, and help you be a better you.
If you think you’re a big Justin Timberlake fan, you might wanna slow your roll. New York mom Maddie Putrino says she’s a “huge” fan, has been to multiple concerts, and has loved him ever since his Mickey Mouse Club days.
“I noticed that Justin is pretty interactive with his audience,” Putrino tells Babble, adding that “he’s been known for taking selfies with fans at his concerts and the Super Bowl.”
So, before heading to the concert on October 20, she made a large poster that asked the pop star a simple question: “Justin, gender reveal selfie?” Then, on a smaller piece of paper, Putrino wrote her baby’s gender in all caps, intending to hold it up herself if she was able to snap a photo with the singer.
Image Source: Maddie Putrino
If she couldn’t get a selfie with JT, Putrino says she would have still been psyched if he took a photo with the sign. But she never predicted what actually wound up happening — and it was straight-up AWESOME.
While standing in the audience, not too far from the stage, Putrino held her sign up, and quickly caught the attention of Timberlake.
Image Source: Maddie Putrino
Sadly, JT wasn’t close enough for a selfie, but he did reach down to grab the slip of paper Putrino had written her baby’s gender on, and alert the rest of the audience as to what was happening.
And then …
Image Source: Maddie Putrino
He proceeded …
Image Source: Maddie Putrino
To spill the beans! Before a stadium packed with thousands of excited fans.
Image Source: Maddie Putrino
DEAD. WE ARE DEAD.
The incredible moment, which was captured on video by Putrino’s friend and later posted to her Instagram page, revealed that the mom-to-be is having a girl — and the audience went WILD.
“I was in complete shock!” Putrino says. “I thought he was going to just take a picture with me, but he really just stopped the whole show to tell the whole audience.”
Putrino tells Babble that she’s no stranger to fun gender reveals — she threw a gender reveal party for her first child, a boy, that involved cutting into a cake to reveal blue frosting inside.
But that’s clearly child’s play compared to this one. Good luck topping it for Baby No. 3, Maddie!
Acrylic nail art has been making a major comeback in the last few years, and you don’t have to scroll through Instagram for long to see how impressively intricate many of the designs are. But amid the thousands of nail selfies with glitter and hearts and holiday motifs, you may come across a few with painted images that hold a special meaning: nails painted black, with tiny white swirls that recreate ultrasound photos of babies in the womb.
Sara Peterson, a California-based nail artist and former owner of the salon Nails by Sara, says she was first inspired to create an ultrasound photo manicure last year, and did some research to figure out how exactly it could be done.
“There are some nails done as far back as 2013 that have sonograms on them,” she says. “They were not hand-painted, though. Instead, the actual ultrasound or a small photocopy of it was printed out and then applied to the nail and encased in acrylic.”
So Peterson set out to hand-paint her own, and proudly shared them on Instagram:
For Peterson, this was far more than just a unique manicure — it was a way to honor the baby she had recently lost to miscarriage.
“I don’t know what it means for other mothers,” she tells Babble, “but for me, it made me so happy to look down and see my baby and have him with me for a little while. People would see it and ask what it was, and that allowed me to share about him and spread awareness for miscarriage.”
“This manicure has been a long time coming,” she shared in her photo caption at the time. “After three years and numerous fertility treatments, my hubby and I finally conceived in April. On May 30, my heart was broken when I found out my baby was no longer living and growing, and he was taken from me the next day. I lost all inspiration as I struggled with the grief. I learned how to love him and his brief life and move forward with renewed hope.”
She then ended her post with a sweet message to the baby she lost, writing: “I love you jelly bean, and seeing you on my nails makes me smile.”
Peterson says many people she knew were touched by the moving tribute, and that in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, she’s currently offering to paint a sonogram photo on the nails of other women in her area who’ve experienced a loss.
Since Peterson’s post last year, she’s noticed more and more hand-painted ultrasound nails popping up across Instagram.
Some, just like hers, are done in honor of a loss; others are done as a creative way to announce a pregnancy.
“It’s so hard to tell these days ‘who was first’,” Peterson says, when asked if she thinks she started the trend. Either way, she’s just happy to see it catching on, and to do her small part in raising awareness for pregnancy loss. In fact, she’s since launched the blog and online store Invisibaby, with the mission to “empower parents of pregnancy and infant loss, honor and celebrate our babies, and break the silence.”
For all the long, exhausting days of tantrums and butt wiping and breastfeeding at the park on a 90-degree day, there’s one thing I know to be true about parenthood — kids are a gift. I was blessed with three healthy babies, and I will never take that for granted. And perhaps no one else quite understands how miraculous a gift it is like newlyweds Renee and Anna McInarnay. Both women are expecting babies at the exact same time, and remarkably, they’re both expecting girls.
Image Source: Ginny Sims Photography
The couple, who first met as teenage camp counselors in 2001 and wed just last year, both work as teachers and live in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Married, happy, and ready to become parents, Anna and Renee first began the process of conceiving through a fertility clinic.
“We entered into motherhood hesitantly,” Anna tells Babble. “We knew that the laws surrounding adoption for same-sex couples in Mississippi were difficult, so we decided to go into fertility. After reaching out to fertility clinics in our state, we felt the most love and openness from a fertility clinic when we called Audubon Fertility in New Orleans. After initial testing, we were told we could both conceive.”
However, the couple feared that the path wouldn’t be a smooth one for Renee, who has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Ultimately, both women decided to try to get pregnant using sperm from the same donor, and throw the rest to fate.
Although Anna had three healthy eggs, Renee had only one; but the couple moved forward. It wasn’t too long after that they received the incredible news: Both women were pregnant and due at the exact same time.
Image Source: Ginny Sims Photography
“You can’t imagine the joy of that phone call,” Anna tells Babble. “They started by telling us that Anna was pregnant. After that shock settled, they said, ‘But wait … so is Renee.’ That joy; that overwhelming moment where you learn that nothing will ever be the same again … it all felt miraculous and funny at the same time.”
Because the babies were conceived just 15 minutes apart with sperm from the same donor, the girls — who will be named Avonlea Grace and Emma Reese (and nicknamed Avi and Emmy) — are thought of by their moms as “paternal twins.”
They will also be arriving into this world at pretty much the same time, since the couple has chosen to give birth 36 hours apart so they can both be present at the birth of their babies.
If that isn’t a love story, I don’t know what is.
Anna also tells Babble that she and Renee have received tremendous love and support from colleagues, students, and family.
“Parents from students from years past have reached out to us, delighted that we are having children,” she says. “We have so many babysitters already lined up from former students who have volunteered. (Teacher perks!) We work with so many wonderful people who have volunteered to do anything they can to help us and offered up countless mom tips. They gave us such a generous shower at school and have all tried to predict gender, due date, and which mother they will take after. They laugh at the chaos that is coming our way, but then offer their services to rock our sweet babies anytime we need them.”
Their families are just as excited — at the gender reveal party, relatives “jumped with joy as we all screamed and celebrated together. It was such a special moment that we will forever cherish surrounded by our family.”
Image Source: Ginny Sims Photography
When asked what they wish others would take away from their story, Anna says, “Hope. It is such a powerful thing, especially now. It is not lost on us how rare our experience is and how long some couples wait to have families of their own. This has deepened our gratitude for this double surprise. We hope our story brings someone else hope.”
So what does the future hold for this family of four? Not much is certain in parenthood, but one thing Anna and Renee can absolutely anticipate is laughter and joy, as that’s what brought them together so many years ago.
“The summer after I lost my father to cancer, I met Renee,” Anna shares with Babble. “She had no clue the loss my family endured, but she made me laugh through the biggest heartbreak. Oh how we laughed together! We still laugh together, and imagine our daughters doing the exact same thing.”
When 28-year-old Nicole Berkley of Aubrey, Texas first learned she was pregnant with her fifth baby, she knew she wanted to announce the news in a big way. She just wasn’t expecting to go viral for it.
But hey, it’s not every day that a family of six dresses up in dinosaur costumes and stages an epic pregnancy announcement photo shoot, right? So maybe the viral fame was somewhat inevitable.
When Berkley once again learned she was pregnant in July, she finally shared the unique (and hilarious) idea with her fam, who gave her … somewhat mixed reviews.
“My husband was actually NOT on board at all,” Berkley admits. “It took some convincing to get him to agree, but he eventually did and he was such a trooper! I think now, he’s glad he did.”
Her kids, on the other hand? They were more than game. (Okay, after 10 minutes of trying to sell them on the idea.)
“When they saw the costumes on each other, they thought it was the funniest thing they’d ever seen in their lives!” she says of her four children, which include Myleigh, 10, Montana, 6, Lane, 5, and Hannah, 4.
The photos themselves were taken by Susan Garrett Photography, and believe it or not, the whole thing took just about 15 minutes.
“The day we did the photo shoot, it was actually really rainy and and stormy in Texas,” Berkley explains. “If you’ve ever been to the state, you know that when it rains it gets super muggy and humid, so the costumes were actually really hot!”
Still, during those fun-filled 15 minutes, Berkley says her whole family could not stop laughing (for obvious reasons).
“I am thankful you couldn’t really see our faces well, because we were drenched in sweat and dying with laughter,” she says, adding that the funniest part of the shoot was watching her kids awkwardly walk around in their dino suits. “These costumes have huge rear-ends,” she explains, “so the tails and bottoms waddle and sway when you walk in them.”
Another reason the Berkleys were probably having a hard time keeping a straight face? They weren’t exactly alone in a wooded forest — the photo shoot was held in the middle of a park in Plano, Texas, where people were passing by and slowing down their cars to capture photos of the dino family for themselves.
“The photographer [Susan Garrett] was amazing,” Berkley shares. “Between laughing, juggling a camera, and [holding] an umbrella to keep her dry, she had her work cut out for her!”
But the hard work clearly paid off. Not only did the Berkleys surprise their friends and family with the hilarious photos, but they’ve also had the whole Internet laughing for days.
“The reactions have been incredible,” says Berkley, who is due April 23, 2019. “Everyone has absolutely loved our announcement and the attention it has gotten both locally and world-wide has been really exciting!”
While the Berkleys continue to bask in their newfound viral fame, their mom says she already has some fun ideas for the gender reveal. But don’t expect her to spill them anytime soon — just like this incredible photo shoot, she’s keeping the details a surprise.
If you check the annual Top Baby Name list as a general “What Not To Name My Baby” reference — as many modern parents do — then this is the cool baby names list for you.
You’re looking for a baby name that’s cool and usable, but you’d prefer if your child wasn’t one of many Jessicas/Michaels/Sophias in school — destined to be identified with a last initial. You moan and groan when your favorite formerly unique names (Henry, Penelope, Oliver) creep up into the “popular” zone, and you take your naming seriously.
And so I give you cool baby names that haven’t hit the Top 1,000 … yet:
First of all, how about that meaning? Mabel is one of those old-fashioned granny names coming back into fashion — but not fast enough to make it into the Top 1,000. Use this as one of the cool baby names before it starts climbing.
Florence has all the qualities of a chart-climbing name — vintage, exotic, feminine, and it’s even a place name. Will Florence and the Machine give it a boost up? Maybe, but it currently ranks way down in “unique” territory. So have at it.
Well, it means princess; we can start with that. And it’s also a super happy and friendly name — with a trendy mid-century flair.
Meaning: Marsh flower
This one feels like it should be popular, but it’s totally not. So that’s probably exactly what you want in one of those cool baby names.
Maren is a unique variation of Mary — so you could easily use it as a more modern namesake.
Well she’ll always love the meaning of her name — that’s for certain. The name “Astrid” is pretty popular over in Sweden and Denmark, and it’s heard more frequently in the name-enthusiast community, but your little girl probably won’t have multiple Astrids in her class.
Flower names are extremely popular right now, but there are a few attractive options that haven’t fully caught on yet, like Poppy and Iris. Add “Flora” to that list. (Also: the Disney connection, obviously)
Meaning: Color name
The more formal version of Grayson/Greyson is quickly scooting up the ranks, Grey is an attractive color name that’s hanging just below the Top 1,000 list. It could be an especially awesome middle name choice.
Autumn is a beautiful time of year, of reaping in a bountiful harvest. As the days and nights cool down, we all look forward to warm soups, fresh baked goods, fall sports, and the gorgeous, vibrant foliage.
If your baby is due in the autumn, have you considered fall baby names? These lovely, unique choices range from the traditional to the trendy.
One of the most beautiful fall baby names, which for some reason or other has gotten the rep of being a hippy classic. Pshh. Autumn replaced the word Harvest mid 16th Century and has quickly become more popular than Summer.
Thanksgiving Day is almost here! Many people associate Thanksgiving with the food, the turkey and family gatherings. It’s also a time to count your blessings and share your gratitude with those you care about the most.
Perhaps Thanksgiving means quite a bit to you and your family as well, or maybe your baby is due around the same time as the holiday. With the holiday approaching, I thought it would be fun to share Thanksgiving baby names. Some of these names are slightly unusual, while others are more common.
This name comes from a Latin and Gaelic origin. Maize is another name for corn, a food that is a staple for most Thanksgiving dinners. It’s one of the more unique Thanksgiving baby names with a nice twist to it. Maisie and Mason sound similar and are good options for those who like the name, but want a variant.
America was a popular name in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It is a strong name for a girl and was made famous by the actress of America Ferrera, the star of “Ugly Betty.”
The meaning of Pilgrim is traveler; wanderer. It’s a rare name for boys that comes from English origins.
This Hebrew name means thankful, “God will judge.” It’s an attractive name that is a variant of the popular -en names like Caiden.
Sweet, wholesome, cute and red. Not convinced? Gwyneth Paltrow named her first child and daughter after this fruit.
They’re cute, round, sweet and wholesome! Pumpkin is commonly used as a nickname, but some parents are naming their children after this traditional vegetable. It is a name that could be used for both boys and girls.
Would you ever name your child Chutney? It’s a name that would have worked well in my hippy name round-up several months ago and offers a nod to the holiday as well as the Eastern culture.
Aimon is a French name that means “Home.” It’s a handsome name that symbolizes the soul of the holiday.
This name is commonly used for babies with red hair, but it’s also a form of Virginia. The spice is very warming and used quite often during the autumn.
The autumn season wouldn’t be the same without cinnamon. This warm spice adds sweetness and spice to everything we cook. It’s also a cute name suited for a girl.
William Bradford was one of the men who travelled to America on the Mayflower. His recorded experiences and the voices of those who came to this country with him can be found in his book “A History of Plymouth Plantation.”
Samoset was one of the Native Americans present at the very first Thanksgiving celebrations. He was said to have spoken English. A variant of this Native American name is “Sam.”
Around this house, we LOVE musicals. OK, maybe my husband doesn’t love them quite as much as the rest of us (i.e. at all), but my toddler and I are big fans.
When I was a kid, my favorite movies were Annie and The Sound of Music. I still have the words to all the songs memorized, and I have a feeling that my little one may follow in my footsteps. She loves to sing, and while she’s still too little to sit through a musical, we definitely listen to the soundtracks to our favorites quite often.
Lately, it’s gotten me thinking that Broadway musicals would make a great source of inspiration for a baby names list! These names would be perfect for musical-loving parents, but even if you aren’t, there are some pretty great names here. Here are 30 musical baby names to consider!
This is the name of a character from Porgy and Bess, and although I’ve never actually seen it, I’m a big fan of Gershwin’s music and many of the songs from this musical. I think Clara is one of the sweetest musical baby names for a little girl and definitely a bit off the radar.
The quirky best friend to Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray, and makes for one of the more adorable musical baby names for a little lady.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific is another musical that I have on my “to see” list, and Nellie is one of the main characters. I’ve always thought Nellie was a fun name and could be a nice nickname for those who like the name Eleanor.
Emile De Becque is the name of the French plantation owner who falls in love with Nellie in South Pacific. This is a great gender neutral name, although I think I’m partial to using it as a boy’s name.
The name Jet comes from Westside Story as it is the name of one of the gangs: The Jets. A cool boy’s name with a “tough guy” vibe.
The last name of Dolly Levi of Hello Dolly. Fun fact: My first official date with my husband was the see Hello Dolly. I tried to sell him on the name Levi for a little boy, but I couldn’t win him over. I love it though.
Being strong and brave is something that we talk about almost daily in our home.
With three little girls, it’s easy to tell them they’re pretty or cute or adorable. But we make a conscious effort to make sure they know how strong and brave, funny, and smart they are. We don’t want them growing up thinking that looks are the only important thing — we want them to have a diverse childhood. Instead of just playing with baby dolls, we want them exploring. We want them climbing trees and running through fields, throwing rocks, and exploring nature. We want them to be adventurers, and for these types of people there are bold baby names.
If you are hoping for the same, consider an adventurous name for your little one. Here are 30+ examples of bold baby names for boys and girls.
For boys …
The ultimate explorer name, after Huckleberry Finn, of course.
When I was 10 or 11 years old, I saw Gone with the Wind for the first time.
I’m sure there were many things about the movie I liked, but the thing that stood out to me was that there was a MAN named Ashley. I knew plenty of Ashleys, but I’d never known one that was male (and now, 20 years later, I’ve still never met a male Ashley).
This is a staple name for girls, although it’s way down in the 300s now, compared to the top 20 status it enjoyed for decades. It was popular for boys in the 1900s, but eventually fizzled out in 1937.
Ashley didn’t appear on the top 1,000 for girls until 1964, but it was a rock star, jumping all the way to #1 in the early ’90s and continuing to hold strong today at #122. As a male name, it dates all the way back to the beginning of the list in 1880 and hit 282 in 1980. By 1994, though, it was off the top 1,000 for boys.
This is my mom’s name, so it strikes me as strange to see it on the male list. It was a top 5 female name in the 1940s for six years running, then plummeted in the ’90s. In the 1930s, it was up into the 300s for males, but then dropped even faster, until it disappeared in 1965.
This name is wildly popular for girls, never dropping out of the 500s in the last 130 years and continuing to rise (it’s 49 right now). In fact, our baby’s middle name is Claire. For boys it’s been less stable, bouncing around up to #531 in 1905 and then vacating the premises in 1936.
This name hasn’t aged well — it dropped off the list for boys in 1942 and in 1992 for girls. Do you think it’ll make an encore appearance for either?
Dorothy is making a slow comeback for girls (it’s currently #601) after ranking in the top 5 for a solid 25 years between 1909 and 1934. No such comeback looks to be in store for males, as the name dropped off the list in 1945.
Hazel was a solid part of the top 1,000 for males until 1940; it hasn’t returned since. On the female list, Hazel spent 50 years in the top 100, before nosediving spectacularly and disappearing altogether in 1976. Then it roared back in the late ’90s, jumping all the way to #43 in 2017.
Ivy’s been a showstopper for girls, remaining on the list since 1880 and currently ranking at #108. It did less well for boys, though, dipping into the 900s in the ’30s and leaving forever in 1935.
After a 20 year hiatus, June came roaring back for girls, hitting #244 in 2017. For boys, though, it tapered off in the 1920s, departing permanently in 1939. I’m guessing it’s not a hiatus …
Lacy made it into the top 400 at the turn of the 20th century, but lost ground after that and disappeared in 1968. Six years later it appeared on the girls list and held on until 2005. Think it’ll come back for girls? I’m not holding my breath that it’ll come back for boys.
Lauren did well for boys through 1958, then made a brief comeback in the ’80s. It really took off for girls, though, in the late seventies and hasn’t dropped out of the top 1,000 since! (It’s currently sitting at #148).
Lindsay has jumped on and off the list for males as much as almost any other name, all the way back to 1880 and making its last appearance in 1985.
Madison is currently #9 for girls, but it was a boys name through the 1920s, and then made a big comeback between 1987 and 1999. It made one last appearance in 2004 at #857. Do you think it’ll come back for boys or is it firmly entrenched in girl territory now?
Margaret was on the list for males all the way through 1943, bouncing around in the 600s and down into the 900s before disappearing completely.
Marie had its heyday for girls 100 years ago at #10 and has never dropped below 600, but only showed up on the list for males in 1913 and 1926.
Meredith was huge for girls in the ’70s and ’80s and still makes a respectable showing, For boys, though, it lost its place in 1954 and shows no sign of returning.
Poor Patsy. It was up at 371 (for boys!) through the 1930s, but then dropped off entirely by 1949. As a girl name, it also lost ground fast and hasn’t been seen on the top 1,000 since 1975.
Pearl is just starting to creep back into the top 1,000 names for girls, but I was surprised to see that it’d been in the top 600 for boys for most of the 1910s!
Like many old-fashioned names, Ruby has been making a huge comeback in the last few years for girls. It hasn’t made a comeback for boys, though. It hasn’t hit the top 1,000 for boys since 1940.
Ruth was the #5 girls name from 1913-1922, but it was also on the top 1,000 for males during that same time period (although, certainly not at #5).
Sandy hit its peak of popularity for girls in the sixties (topping out at 126 on the list), but it remained a name on the male list all the way through 1982.
Vivian is up to 97 for females as of 2017, but it was a strong presence on the list for males until 1933 when it fell off permanently.
It tried so hard, popping on and off the list all the way up through 1988, but finally gave its last breath for males and hasn’t returned. It didn’t show up on the female list until 1962, but it’s been a strong contender there, peaking in the mid ’80s and currently holding a place at #838.