Baby Girl or Boy, Sibling to Pearl

Dear Swistle,

I must be completely honest: I am writing to you for reassurance, which may seem silly, and I understand if there’s not much to say. But I love your advice, and generally find your logical approach to highly emotional problems very calming. I wrote to you in May at the early stages of my second pregnancy in a panic about possible girls’ names, but sadly miscarried. Thankfully this letter was NOT posted, as I would have been even more sad getting advice when the pregnancy had not worked out. The gist of my (very) long letter at that time was that I wanted a name that had a story behind it that was somehow connected to family. For multiple reasons, a flower name made sense but I couldn’t pick one from our short list. Well, since becoming pregnant again my husband and I have settled on a name that was not even on our original list: Iris. The “rainbow” meaning and flower connection ticks the boxes for us. We love how it is a simple, straight-forward, relatively nickname proof name, easily spelled and pronounced, and relatively uncommon. Our first child is named Pearl, after her great-grandmother Margaret whose name means “pearl.” I think the two go nicely together. We have had our boy’s name picked out for some time, it is an unusual and short Scandinavian name connected to my Dad, and we are 100% settled on that.

Unfortunately, I am now feeling doubts about Iris. I think my problem is insanity and hormones, but… Iris is the name of my mother’s current boss. This is not a terrible association, but still feels a bit weird. I have met this woman very briefly a long time ago, and she seemed nice. I honestly forgot her name altogether, until two weeks after we chose the name and my Mother casually mentioned her boss. My mother does not dislike her, but I worry my Mother may react oddly to the name and not really like it, which feels important to me. I also have this weird obsession with looking at all the other famous Iris’s in the world and in history, and don’t really feel connected to any of them. This is nuts, I know, but I remember liking the book “The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck and knowing that my literature loving mother would appreciate that reference, which she did. I cannot and will not talk to my mother about this- my husband have an iron-clad policy that we do NOT discuss names with family prior to naming, for many reasons, and frankly the risk is too high- if she DOES say that she doesn’t like the name, I have nothing else. Once the baby is here, there’s no going back. If my Mother doesn’t like the name, I believe in my heart she will still understand why we chose it and gradually come to love both the association of the name with her granddaughter and all of the thought we put into the name.

I think another part of my anxiety is that my baby is breech, which was only confirmed two weeks ago. The doctors tried to turn him or her with External Cephalic Version, and it didn’t work. Now I have ten days until a planned Caesarian which I am very comfortable with, but I only finished work today and am suddenly highly anxious about having a fixed deadline to have everything ready. I really thought I had more time, which is of course ridiculous as babies can be born at any time, but when I didn’t KNOW the date I could just assume I would be closer to my due date (I will be 39 weeks along for the Caesarian). With our first daughter I went into labour on my due date at 40 weeks and had her the day after by vaginal delivery. So now I am reading everything about Caesarians, and wondering about all of the after care for that, and what I need to bring to the hospital, or purchase for when I home from the hospital, etc. Unfortunately, I feel like everyone is telling me horror stories about birth in general, babies being stolen from hospitals (yes, really, one woman told me a horror story TODAY as I was getting blood taken- do people have no heart?), etc. So am now feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and having cold feet about all of my choices, including the girl’s name. There is no other name Swistle. I know, because I have now spent over a year in serious, daily pursuit of THE MAGICAL PERFECT GIRL BABY NAME and this is what we have. And I AM happy with it, but still feel on edge.

What I am hoping for is that you can give my anxieties a stern talking to, a “snap out of it crazy pregnant lady” lecture. And maybe some advice about Caesarian birth, and how 10 days is plenty of time to feel prepared, and how everything is going to be fine. Thanks for listening, Swistle. Would greatly appreciate any advice.

All my best,



I am rather late to this, as your c-section date is now only three days away. But I am here now and ready with the reassurances!

FIRST. You have thoroughly searched for a name. You have found an excellent solid beautiful choice with special meaning for you, and it goes well with your first child’s name. High-five me: you have done great and you are all set. I believe this to be cold feet and nothing more. It’s okay about your mom’s boss: if your mom hated her boss and ranted about her all the time, that would be one thing; I think in this situation it’s going to work out fine.

SECOND. C-sections. All of mine were born that way, and I am a fan. I found the first one much harder than the others, because it happened after labor and I was so tired and everything was unfamiliar. The scheduled ones were…well, I don’t want to oversell it, but I would recommend it to anyone. If I’m remembering correctly, the first 24 hours afterward you stay in bed with the epidural and IV for pain management. It would be really good if someone could stay overnight with you to help with changing the baby’s diaper and bringing the baby to and from its bassinet, but with all but our first baby Paul stayed home with the other kid(s) and I was able to manage with the nurses’ help. Then the next morning they take all that IV/epidural stuff out and you switch to oral medication, and they boot you out of bed; it will feel as if you should NOT stand up with your tum feeling that way, but trust the nurses (and Swistle) that you can, and that you will feel better the more you move around. And then you will have the best shower of your life and the nurses will start to plead with you to come out and you will say sorry no.

THIRD. Getting ready. As an anxious person, I rely pretty heavily on Coping Thoughts. My Coping Thought for getting ready for a baby to come home was that everything DOESN’T have to be ready ahead of time. With my first, I went into labor at 37 weeks 6 days, the morning after I’d finally gone out to buy a car seat. But if I HADN’T gotten that car seat in time, Paul could have gone out to get one while I was in the hospital. If we hadn’t already gotten a crib, he could have gotten that too. Or we could have put the baby in a cardboard box for a few weeks until we had time to go out and let me evaluate the pros and cons of every single crib on the market. If I’d somehow forgotten all about diapers, we could have stopped at Target on the way home from the hospital. If I’d somehow forgotten clothes and blankies, we could have wrapped the baby in a pillowcase or one of our t-shirts while Paul went to the store. It isn’t a deadline as much as it’s an arrival time: arrangements can continue afterward.

It’s even more relaxed with the post-C-section supplies: lots of women don’t know in advance they’re going to have a C-section, so they don’t buy anything ahead of time and have to send someone else out for it once they realize they need it. You’ll need some pads and some giant pads; my hospital sent me home with a big package of each. Some of the pads are for postpartum bleeding; some are to place between the incision and your underwear, to keep the incision dry and protected. Your OB may also tell you to buy a few over-the-counter medications; it has been awhile, but I think mine specified a certain type of stool softener and a certain type of pain killer (I was going to say which ones, but suddenly that seems like a poor idea: recommendations may have changed in the last ten years). My OB also gave me a small prescription for narcotics; if you can fill that at the hospital pharmacy so you can bring it home with you and no one has to go back out for it after you get home, I highly recommend it (and get one last dose of oral painkiller at the hospital before you leave to go home, to bridge the gap). Also, I recommend loose comfy pants; I wore pajama pants for a week or two because I didn’t want anything pressing where the incision was. And I had a Boppy pillow; those can be particularly nice for keeping the baby away from the incision.

Comparing my C-section recovery with my friends’ non-C-section recoveries, I’d say one difference is that it takes longer after a C-section to be comfortably up and about: I spent a lot of time in a recliner, and I slept in the recliner at night for awhile. If you want to channel energy into something productive ahead of time, I recommend cooking/freezing meals and doing any cleaning that you can still do around your tum, and making plans/arrangements for other people to handle cooking/cleaning for awhile after the birth.

I hope people who have had a C-section more recently than I have can fill out some more details on things that can be purchased/arranged ahead of time.





Hello Swistle,

Thank you so much to you and your readers for all your kind advice and reassurance. The caesarean birth was fine- everything people said was true. The shower afterwards was definitely a highlight! I used the pain killers early and often and was able to get on my feet the next day. The nurses were brilliant overnight and we managed fine. And as it turns out, we had a baby boy! His name is a short, uncommon Scandinavian name in honour of my Swedish Dad, who is thrilled. (For identifying purposes we wish to keep the name under wraps). Thanks again!

All my best,


39 thoughts on “Baby Girl or Boy, Sibling to Pearl

  1. KLNW

    I had an unplanned c-section with my 1 year old daughter. I actually stayed in the hospital for 4 days/3 nights after she was born due to feeding/weight issues but the plus side of that was that the nurses were awesome. They kept me on schedule with pain medication in the first few days. They sent me home with all the pads/disposable underwear/prescriptions I needed. I second Swistle’s comments on stool softener/pain meds. Go ahead and take what they tell you to until you are feeling better. It is a major surgery, but it is also a common one, so that means the nurses/doctors know how to help you recover. I also highly recommend wearing the “corset” type bandage as long as you want to afterwards. The nurses strap it on tight to help your organs move back where they need to go after surgery and I took three home and wore them for a couple of weeks. It just helped me feel more secure. :) Best of luck to you!

    PS. I think Iris is awesome.

  2. Another Heather

    So I don’t have a c-section story, but I do have heaps of support to lavish on Iris. It is absolutely beautiful, and like Pearl, evokes a pleasant natural image. My hands down favorite flower/nature name and a very wearable choice. Your mom’s boss…well let me tell you, there will *always* be someone. I’m due in a month with our first, and her unusual, much loved family name is randomly the same name as my father’s male coworker. I think it’s important to remember that Grandparents love their grandchildren, no matter what we name them. Your baby’s name is for you guys, and him or her (bonus if it has cross-generational appeal, but not mandatory or worth losing sleep over).
    You sound exhausted by a lot of different worries, and it’s possible that the name has taken the worry pedestal since it’s the most in your control. I’ve been there too. And it’s going to be ok <3 Ignore anyone who isn't being helpful, and rest assured that you have a truly lovely choice picked out.

  3. Colleen

    I had an unplanned C-section 14 months ago. I can’t compare it to a vaginal birth but it really wasn’t that bad. I remember my biggest complaint being the pain of getting in and out of bed, but I think after about a week that had passed. I had some really high waist underwear to go over the incision, and some loose pj bottoms to wear home from the hospital… but I remember being at home a few days/a week after the surgery and just wearing regular (maternity) pants. I was given Tylenol and Motrin after the epidural wore off. I thought they were crazy for only giving me that, but I stayed on top of the dosages and it was fine.

    P.S. I also love the name Iris. I think of Iris Apatow who seems very sweet.

  4. Stephanie

    Iris is beautiful. And I love how it coordinates with Pearl. I’m a big fan of that kind of name – short enough to not require a nickname, easily recognizable, soft sounds, not super common.

  5. Deb

    I agree with another commenter that you seem to be anxious about many things (totally understandable!) but that your mind has focused all that anxious energy onto your baby’s name because that is what you can control in this situation. I think having a Coping Thought to repeat when your anxiety ratchets up may be helpful. Something like “if we have a daughter, her name will be Iris. It is a beautiful name we have chosen carefully for her” might work. Because it IS a lovely name, and you HAVE chosen carefully something meaningful and lovely.

    I remember feeling anxious at the birth of my first son ten days early. He was induced for medical reasons, and I hadn’t been showing any signs of being ready to deliver so I hadn’t even packed a hospital bag! I felt somewhat desperate when my ten days to prepare was suddenly zero days. And yet it all worked out, and everything that needed to be done was handled. I am sure things will work out in your situation too. Rally your people – husband, friends, family – and put ’em to work. People all want to help when a new baby is born, so maybe make a list of everything you’d love to have done so that if people ask what they can do, you have your list of things that would actually be helpful and you can divvy it up and check things off.

    Good luck!

  6. Julia

    100% agree with the earlier comment who suggested the surgical “corset.” This thing saved me! I wore it for more than a month after my c-section. I cannot recommend getting it (and extras if they let you, as they start to permanently wrinkle after some wearing), and using it! I wore it day and night, only taking it off for showers. I felt so much more supported and protected with it on. It really made recovery much easier.

  7. TheFirstA

    Iris is lovely & I agree with Swistle that this sounds like cold feet and not serious doubt about the name. Your mom’s boss will be fine. Bosses aren’t forever & your mom does seem to get along fine with her.

    You do not need to have everything ready for the baby! My first was born at 35 weeks. Crib, but no mattress, car seat was not installed, didn’t have a pediatrician picked out, did not have any pads for me, overnight bag was not packed, etc. We were totally unprepared and everything was OK. Husband was able to handle those things just fine. In fact, he dropped me off at home and then went to pick up a crib mattress. Trust me, baby won’t know or care how many onesies you have.

    My 2nd was an emergency c-section after a long & difficult labor. I really didn’t feel like I Needed anything that I didn’t already have from the first baby. Hospital sent me home with scripts for the pain meds, which we dropped off at the pharmacy drive thru on the way home (husband went back out and picked them up after I was settled at home). I think I took the script pain meds for a day or 2 at home, then switched to OTC. It was really not a big deal. Pad requirements for me were the same, and I used a roll of cotton gauze bandage for over my stitches (which we already had in the first aid kit). If you don’t already have a Boppy pillow, I strongly suggest one. I already had one from nursing my first and found it Very Helpful when holding the 2nd. It really helped reduce pressure on my stitches. I will also second Swistle’s suggestion for a stool softener (Colase was recommended to me both times, but baby #2 is now 9, so talk to your Dr.) I needed one while pregnant both times (damn pre-natal vitamins) so already had them on hand with both babies. I’ll just say that I appreciated them Much More after baby #2 than I did with the first.

  8. PennyUp

    Iris is lovely. Do it. It’s perfect with Pearl.

    I agree with Swistle–if your mom hated her boss, that would be another story, but it sounds fine. I realized I kept gravitating towards boys’ names that were the same as my male coworkers as I had nice associations with the names! So as long as it’s not bad, don’t worry.

    I’m due for a repeat C, and I am mostly worried about getting high-waisted pants as maternity pants would rub the incision. I wore all the giant mesh undies for days. I’m also going to get a dorky zippered bathrobe to wear in the hospital for visitors and waddling down the hall.

    And don’t forget to have lots of cheesy magazines to read and good novels on your kindle!

  9. Eli

    The planned C-section is definitely much better than the unplanned….the anesthesia is easier to recover from when planned (or was for me). Also, by not being as tired after beginning labor, the recovery is easier on the body.

    Definitely plan to not drive for a couple of weeks — have friends and family lined up to help substantially with the firstborn!

    1. Eli

      Also! Maternity dresses and nursing nightgowns were my go-to wardrobe for the first couple of weeks — I couldn’t stand to have anything with a waist band near that incision!

      1. KLNW

        Oh yes! I meant to say this too. I definitely lived in nightgowns and a light robe for the first couple of weeks.

  10. Eli

    I haven’t had a c-section, though the stitches after my kids’ enormous heads passed through were no picnic, either. One thing that I have had is post-partum depression and anxiety, and it started during pregnancy. I’m hoping you’re just feeling the ordinary nerves

    (I’m a different Eli)

  11. Jenn

    I think Iris is perfect! It is a beautiful name, it has a beautiful meaning for you, and your mom won’t have the same boss forever, but Iris will always be her granddaughter. I also had a miscarriage within the last year, and I kind of want to steal this idea/name! Good luck, deep breaths, and lots of calming thoughts!

  12. Kelsey D

    Iris is perfect. It’s uncommon yet not odd, it’s feminine and beautiful and goes 100% perfectly with Pearl (I love Pearl by the way). If this is the name that you’ve been in love with, and sounds like you still are, it’s likely just nerves getting to you.

    I am a mom of 4 c-section babies.

    My first was emergent after trying to labour, my second was emergent after an attempted VBAC. These two were much harder as both my babies were in distress (my second in severe, where they thought they had actually lost his heart beat, so let me tell you they weren’t very gentle taking him out). The recovery was harder the first few days following those two vs. my scheduled two c-sections. Because yours is scheduled and you won’t be at the point of full labour/emergent c-section, I’m not going to say anything more about those two.

    My two scheduled c-sections: when I was having a scheduled section with my third, even though I had had two previous sections beforehand, I was SO INCREDIBLY nervous. Like beyond nervous. Shaking and anxious and a gross pit in my stomach for a week. I was unable to think clearly about anything (I wonder if you are in the same boat as I was)…. anyways, by the time the day came and we were in the hospital waiting for them to call me to the OR I felt so sick to my stomach…. they took me to the OR and had me sit down on the table. (it’s weird just walking into the OR vs. being in a rushed situation where you aren’t really in control). The first thing they did was the spinal… which I think is where most of my nervous/anxiety was around the spinal. The spinal, which I’ve had twice now, was so easy and quick and it was much better than an epidural, as the needle is much smaller (not sure if you had an epidural with your first, but it really is WAY better than the epidural). After that, it was clear sailing… and really, the whole thing is pretty ok. My second c-section, I was less nervous and everything went just the same and good.

    Post-op: The day of is pretty good, you still have medication on board from your spinal. The next day, when the nurses come in and make you get up to walk IS THE WORST. I’m not trying to scare you, I’m trying to tell you that that is the worst of it. That one time, you will feel like you physically cannot get out of bed … once you do it, once you are up, know that that should be the worst of it. The first two days are the hardest for pain and for moving around. The more you move around, the easier it will be and I found the quicker I healed. NOTE: It was sooo much easier to do all the above after my scheduled sections vs. emergent, like a million times better. I would recommend taking your pain meds around the clock for the first week, even if you aren’t having pain, it’s likely because the pain meds are working. It’s a lot easier to prevent pain vs. trying to stop it after you have it. The first couple days I was in the hospital, I had narcotics and then when I went home I was fine on Naproxen (or Aleve). Swistle nailed it when she said THAT FIRST SHOWER IS THE MOST DELIGHTFUL THING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. I brought my own shampoo and conditioner just to enjoy my shower more rather than using the hospital soap. As Swistle said, if you can, it helps to have someone stay in the hospital with you so they can basically do all the work like changing baby diaper and what not.

    Supplies: Like Swistle said, you’ll want to buy pads, one for the flow (which is much less than vaginal I’ve heard, as they remove most of it during the surgery) and then one to put in between your incision and underwear to keep it dry and protected from catching on the edge of your underwear. Otherwise, I would say just make sure you have some less tight underwear and some cozy sweats or yoga pants to wear for a few weeks.

    I know c-sections aren’t ideal or what anyone wants, but coming from me with all four kids being born this way, at the end of the day, as long as your kid is born healthy, that’s all that matters. My first two wouldn’t be here today without having access to a c-section… my second was actually born unresponsive and had to to revive him, so all the pain in the world didn’t matter to me as he was alive and healthy.

    OH – ONE MORE THING: I’m not sure if your hospital will allow it, but when you go into the OR, ask your obstetrician if, when your baby is born, if they could let your husband stand up and tell you if it’s a boy or a girl instead of the doctor…. it just makes it more personal and feels like a bit more of a natural birth (I think). They let my husband do that with our last two scheduled and it was so amazing to hear the words from him :)

    Good luck. Honestly, you’ll be ok. More than that, it’ll be a great day because you’ll have a perfect little girl. Iris is a beautiful name, I think you nailed it.

  13. Carrie

    I agree with everyone else — Iris is perfect.

    My son (my first/only child, so far — actually will be 2.5 years tomorrow, so not so much a baby anymore!) was also breech, and I understand the anxiety that arises when you have a fixed deadline. But then my water broke the day before my planned c-section, so any very last-minute prep I had planned went out the window. And everything was fine!

    I eventually got some high-waisted undies, but ended up wearing the giant mesh ones (grab extras!) for at least a few days/week. It’s probably too late for you, but I would highly recommend getting a bikini/Brazilian wax a few days (or maybe a week) in advance of your planned c-section. Everything just feels so much cleaner “down there” while you’re recovering.

    I think as far as recovery goes, the hardest part is not being able to sit up/switch positions/stand up using your stomach muscles at all. I remember having to really actively focus on pushing myself up with my arms. Same thing with lifting baby — we had one of those Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper bassinets that attach to the bed, and it was unfortunately pretty useless for me for the first couple of weeks, because I couldn’t just reach over and lift up baby for middle-of-the-night feeds as it’s intended.

    Good luck to you! Get some rest before the big day and you’ll be hearing, “Here’s one leg, and another leg…’s a ________!” in no time!

    1. beep

      Make sure if you are going to wax or shave that you do it at least 3 days before the c-section, preferably more, so that small cuts or abrasions don’t serve as possible sites of infection. Hospitals are germy! For myself, I think giving the pubes a significant trim but not going totally bare is the best in terms of comfort.

  14. Sal

    It really will always be somebody (unless you go full-unique). We gave my daughter the same name as my second OB/GYN, and I had some real thinky thoughts about that given that I did not love that OB/GYN and I was like, Ugh, is she going to think we named the baby AFTER her? But then our runner up name was the same name as the mean L&D nurse, so…we went with the OB/GYN’s name. Which was, of course and in fact, my longtime favorite name and the name of my great-grandmother. And now we’ve moved and I will likely never see that OB-GYN again.

    Your mom’s boss = not a namesake, not a big deal. You’re good.

  15. Erin

    I have no C-section related advice, but Iris is gorgeous! It is the perfect name, for all the reasons you listed! Good luck with the delivery and recovery, we will be wishing the best for you and your sweet family!

  16. SarahBee

    Here’s some assvice you may have no need for from my friends who have had sections.

    1.) take all the colace they offer you every time. You can also ask to take Miralax. Its’s easy to get constipated with abdomen surgery and pain meds and that makes you feel worse. Take your pain meds on schedule, even if you don’t feel like you need them. Feeling less pain will help you move better and that aids recovery.

    2.) if you have to cough or laugh or sit up, press a pillow to your incision, the counter pressure makes it hurt less.

    3.) If you have shoulder pain, that’s referred pain from gas (common after surgery) the hospital can give you gas-x or strong gas meds which will help it go away.

    4.) Some hospitals will give you a binder, (you may have to ask for one) They look like this. They provide counter pressure to your incision so it’s less painful. A lot of people I know swear by these and wear them a few weeks postpartum.

  17. Dr. Awkward

    Iris is a fantastic name! And for the literary connection, two words: Iris Murdoch. Good luck!

  18. Phancymama

    1. Iris and your mom’s boss: she will be able to differentiate the two–think of all the people who name their kids after grandparents or great grandparents or aunts and uncles and it generally isn’t an issue. Also, I didn’t name my daughter Nora because I worked with a Nora, and then I moved when daughter was 3 months and haven’t seen or talked to her in years.

    2. Iris is beautiful.

    3. C-section: other people have better and more current advice, it here’s my two cents. I had labor plus emergency c-section, and then I had a VBAC. The c-section was easier to recover from than I expected, the vaginal was harder.

    1. Maureen

      Ditto for everything about #3!! (Same situation, and I logged to comment the same thought “the c-section was easier to recover from than I expected, the vaginal was harder.”)

  19. Dances with diapers

    Iris is a beautiful name. I always get cold feet about names, I think it just means you’re taking naming another human being very seriously. Not that there is anything wrong with the name.
    I had a c section 3 years ago, unplanned, after 47 hours of labor. I wasn’t prepared for it and I was fine. I didn’t buy anything special. The hospital gave me medications and the instructions needed. With my 2nd I was so looking forward to a planned cesarean, but he came 3 weeks and 2 days early. So I labored for 19.5 hours before I had my 2nd c section. Everyone tells me they go so much smoother when they’re planned, and I’m sure it’s true. But even though mine were after long laboring, they truly weren’t bad. Recovery took longer but I wasn’t in much pain. Just follow the doctor and nurses instructions. I won’t go into procedure or recovery specifics because I know all hospitals are different. But I’m sure this is something your hospital does daily, so just know that they’re experts and they’ll tell you all you need to know when you need to know it. Good luck, let us know when you’ve had your baby!!

  20. Jenny

    Iris is PERFECT! Even if your mom hated her boss, I’d still use that name. I love the meaning and I think it goes fantastic with Pearl. It’s really a perfect sister set :)

    I don’t have kids, but I have had abdominal surgery. It isn’t the same as a C-section, but you will be OK. As others have said, you might find it comfortable to use a pillow when getting up from bed and/or a chair for a few days. One hint that my mom (a nurse) gave me was be sure to stay up with your pain medication. Don’t feel like you have to be a hero….they give it to for a reason. So if they say take something every 4 hours, take it every 4 hours for the first couple of days.

  21. juniperjones

    My incision was way lower than I expected so yoga pants were fine afterwards. Recovery wasn’t as bad as I thought. I would bring my knees to my chest and rock to get out of bed. I love Iris with Pearl!

  22. Andrea

    Get lots of percocet and then take it religiously. All these people who say it is no big deal . . . well, all people recover differently. It is hell. The first time you stand up you will want to die, but you won’t. Don’t let anyone funny anywhere near you. Call in every favor humanly possible and get as much help as possible for as long as possible. Rest. C-sections are major surgeries. You have every right to be nervous. But you’ll be okay and the baby is worth it. The baby is always worth it–I know, I had eight (3 natural, 3 epidural, 2 c-section). There is a chance your recovery will be easier than mine and you’ll think that I’m a wimp–which I hope for you and would be awesome. But if that doesn’t happen and it is terrible, feel free to whine and whimper and cry a lot. Nobody is judging, sister. We’re just rooting for you.

  23. Ashley

    I just posted a comment and I think it got lost, so I’m re-posting a slightly briefer version. Basic gist:

    1) I had a c-section and then a VBAC. The c-section recovery was definitely harder, but only because it took longer. As long as I remembered to take my drugs (Percocet and Ibuprofen, I think) on schedule, then I was never in notable pain. Just discomfort when I’d laugh or cough, and I remember feeling like I needed to walk very gingerly for a while. But I also walked a mile with the stroller when my son was just 6 or 7 days old (with my mom along with me, just in case). Overall it wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared it would be.

    2) Our hospital had a rule that if you had a c-section, the baby can’t stay in the room with you if you’re alone overnight. With my VBAC my baby roomed in with me 24/7 even when my husband wasn’t there, but with my c-section if my husband had to leave at night, they would have taken the baby to the nursery. If it’s important to you that the baby stay by your side, check your hospital’s policy. (I have a friend who had 3 c-sections and each time she purposely sent her husband home so the nurses would take the baby away at night and she could sleep :-))

    3) I picked out my son’s name and was 100% set on it and then two weeks before my c-section (also for breech presentation!) I suddenly realized that the middle name might have a negative association for my father. We were keeping the name a secret, but because it was only the middle name I did call my dad and ask how he felt about it. He basically said, “What are you talking about? I barely even remember [negative situation] and wouldn’t have remembered that was the guy’s name unless you told me.” So we went ahead with the name and it has never seemed to bother my dad in the slightest. I suspect your mother would have the same reaction to Iris. Once it’s attached to her granddaughter, she’ll love it! I wouldn’t even bother to run it by her ahead of time. It’s a beautiful name!

  24. StephLove

    Keep Iris. It’s a great name for you on many levels. And your mom’s boss isn’t an important person in your life as evidenced by the fact that you didn’t even remember her name.

    I’ve had one of each kind of birth– an unplanned c-section followed by a VBAC. The recovery from the c-section was definitely harder but not as hard as I thought it would be, and the vaginal recovery was not as easy as I thought it would be (I had stitches and they hurt and itched not unlike the incision site).

  25. Jessemy

    If you are looking for positive associations for Iris, let me recommend IRIS DEMENT! She is a folk singer. One of my favorite songs is “Our Town,” which features this lovely lyric about small town life:

    It’s here I had my babies/and I had my first kiss/I’ve walked down Main Street/in the cold morning mist

    Also, Iris is a really remarkable part of perfumery, the root material is called Orris and it’s in all sorts of famous perfumes. From natural perfumer Ayala Moriel: “…the oiliness of orris butter is reminiscent of the soft and sweet odor of a newborn baby’s head. At the same time, it has a cool, watery and even slightly earthy aspect to it.”

    I had an unplanned C-section and the most helpful thing was all the glorious food that was given to us. Food and a long visit from my mom. People seem to come out of the woodwork to offer extra help when the delivery is surgical, so don’t be shy to mention your situation to friends and family :)

    Thinking of you and little Iris.

  26. Suzanne

    Iris is a perfect, beautiful name and the mom’s boss connection seems worthy of a happy “oh! What a fun coincidence!” And nothing more. Congratulations on your baby!

  27. Jean C.

    So this is a little off topic, but I’m going to have a point I think…probably :)
    My husband and I have maternal grandmothers who bear the same somewhat uncommon name (although mine passed when I was a young teenager). I tried to think of other names for our daughter but nothing felt right except for this name. It was just HER name. So we stuck with it, even though I initially wasn’t in love with it. I liked it–it had beautiful associations for me, and I liked the sound of it. I would say it was even in the exact style of name I tend to favor. But I didn’t love it.
    From a couple months before my daughter was born until probably 4 weeks after, I referred my sweet babe as “baby —-” instead of just —–. It helped endear the name to me as hers. And by the time she was about a month old, I was pretty much obsessed with how perfect the name was for her and how much I love it.
    Anyway, you already know that you love it, but you need your mom to love it too. Maybe introduce her as baby Iris (establishing a distinction from her boss), explain the beautiful meaning behind it and give her a few weeks. If she doesn’t immediately love it, she will by then :)

  28. JMV

    Iris is perfect! Go with Iris. Use your pre-C-section time to visit the library and ask about literary Irises. Then kick back with a book and “conduct research.” You are not sitting and reading, you are researching.

  29. Natalie

    Gah! Just checked today and cannot believe you responded- I am sending virtual hugs to you Swistle and to all you lovely posters- I feel SO MUCH BETTER reading this. Thank you thank you.

  30. K.P.

    Iris is a beautiful name! It was at the top of my girl names list but my husband never got on board. Iris Apfel is awesome, there’s a documentary about her on Netflix!

  31. Jd

    Iris is wonderful! Wonderful!

    My second was breach so I had a scheduled csection. I cried and cried because I didn’t want it. I put off the c-section three weeks in the hopes he would turn. No dice. In the end it was easy. I went home after one night and never had any issues at all. Well my only issue was my inlaws planned to stay to help (heir daughter had a longer recovery) and I wanted to kill them after 1 week (they wanted to stay another 2 weeks).
    Anyway Iris is lovely


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