Monday, September 12, 2011

Goodbye 2nd Trimester, Hello 3rd Trimester; (and babynaming expat challenges)

There's an issue with trimesters. While pregnancy is naturally a 40 week long thing, 40 is not naturally a number divided by 3. Hence, several different numbers are given for when one actually crosses the line between 2nd and 3rd trimester. It's a bit frustrating. I've seen the limit set at 27 weeks, 28 weeks and 30 weeks. To me, it would make more sense to just divide it into 4 terms: one for each set of 10 weeks! In any case, I'm considering this, the end of my 27th week of pregnancy, to be my end of the second trimester!

One thing that the third trimester brings with it for me, is a sense of urgency to decide upon a baby name within these last months. Something expat parents must consider with more detail than maybe those who stay in one spot are how the name of their baby will be said (and if it can even be pronounced) in the native language of the countries they plan to reside in. While I truly enjoy researching names, and believe in choosing meaningful names for my children, sometimes this is a bit challenging. A few conversations between my husband and I have gone like this:

Me: "Hey, what about this name!? It works in both languages."
Him: "Hmmmm, yeah, but you say it COMPLETELY different in both languages. Don't you think that would be confusing for the kid?"
Me: "Why couldn't we just stick with one pronunciation?"
Him: "Remember the what-we-thought-was-an-easily-pronounced-name that certain family still can't say right?"
Me: "You have a point. Let's keep looking..." ;)

Fortunately, (or unfortunately) we only care minimally about what people from the States or the next country we live in will do to mangle what we think is an easily pronounced name, so it doesn't get in the way most of the time. Even then, it just becomes something else to consider.

We've learned to prioritize to see if a name even gets on the list:
1. Is it meaningful? Do we like the meaning?
2. Is at least one of the names able to be pronounced in Spanish?
3. Is at least one of the names Hebrew to go with our family naming tradition?
4. If we choose to call the baby by the Spanish name, will our family be able to mostly pronounce it or will they disown us? (just kidding. ;))

Baby naming aside, the third trimester also has other challenges awaiting. The biggest one for me is managing weight. I have managed to walk a mile for every day of my pregnancy. Now, usually, that means I get up at 7:00 A.M. every week day and walk 2.5 - 3 miles (depending on how awake I am) before my family gets up and needs breakfast. I still say I've only walked a mile for every day in this pregnancy, because I like to round it down to be SURE I'm telling the truth. Be that as it may, that still works out to a whopping 193 miles total as of today. I truly believe that little, daily decisions and routines make big changes in our end results. It's crazy how a little bit every day has built up to so much, and probably more! I appreciate the health I have and want to keep it for as long as I can.

So, here I go into the last stretch of pregnancy! Hopefully, my next pregnancy post will be advertising the birth of our little man. :)


  1. it will be interesting what you decide on a name. Wheni was living in Guatemala Leah and Joe were not names that are the same here in the states, they tried hard but the sounds just aren't the same.

  2. I always wanted our daughter's middle name to be Rose, but my husband would tell me it would end up Rosa because nobody in El Salvador can say Rose! LOL. In the end we named her Liliana Cristina with Cristina being his mother and grandmother's name. Liliana actually came to me a few hours before I went into labor. We didn't know if she was a boy or girl at that point and when the name came, I knew she would be a girl! And it ended up being a name that was perfect in English and Spanish :)

    I have just started following your blog and I am excited to go back and read more! Good luck getting through the last couple of months. Those were actually my favorite :)

  3. Hi Adina,

    I'm a follower of Expat Mom who occasionally checks on your blog but I haven't posted till now.

    My husband is Guatemalan and we plan on eventually living in Guatemala for a time (we live in the US now). I am lucky enough to have a name (not Begonia) that is a very common name in many different countries and I thought it would be great to give my child such a name. But here's one of the things I noticed that puzzled me: There are a lot of girl's names that are "international names". Elena, Anna/Ana, Eva, Sara...I can just rattle them off. But boy's names, for whatever reason, don't translate well. The handful of international boys names that I could think of were often biblical, though! (David comes to mind.)

  4. Thank you for the ideas and encouragement!
    I agree that biblical names tend to translate better, especially for boys. (Even those can be tricky!) We think we've found one we like. We'll think about it for a bit, and if we really do like it, I'll share it when the baby's born. :D