Some very unscientific observations I've made on my pregnant friends and thus applied to all pregnant people of my generation

November 14, 2011

Four years ago or so was the time when all my friends my age started getting hitched. Now my Facebook page is lousy with pictures of newborns and soon-to-be moms. I’ve noticed a few trends amongst my peer-parents lately:

Not learning the sex until the baby’s born. My theory on this is that there are no surprises anymore and we know everything about everything five seconds early. While there is probably an app that tells you what kind of kid you’re going to have, I know a lot of soon-to-be parents my age who decide not to learn whether they’re having a boy or a girl until it’s born. I think it’s that one last sweet old-fashioned surprise to enjoy before they endure lifetime time of horrifying old-fashioned surprises or new-fangled types of surprises which aren’t really surprises at all.

More traditional names. In 2005 some of the most popular baby names were Madison, Tyler, Caden, Jaden and Kaylee. My friends are giving their kids names like Nora, Hannah, Lucia, Catherine, Josephine and Jack. These names aren’t better or worse than earlier names (unless the name is “Claire,” in which case it’s the best name of all), but it’s interesting to see this swing. I wonder if it’s because kids my age grew up liking certain names, and other trendier names came along but by the time we got of child-bearing age, the original favorite names became slightly exotic again.

An okayness with the epidural. I haven’t exactly done a lot of investigative reporting on this (“So WHY exactly did you decide to go for less horrible pain as opposed to more?”) but I when I ask friends whether they’re going for the shot, they say “Yes” with an intended “Doy, obvs” attached to it. My theory is that a lot of women a few generations older than us either didn’t do the epidural or had one experience without it and one experience with and don’t understand why on earth you’d opt for more horrible pain instead of less, and have been whispering to the younger generation: “Go for the shot.” Doy, obvs.

Again, these observations are loosely-based and involve large sweeping generalizations that I probably made while I was drunk. But have you noticed any of these trends yourself, or anything else that’s a little different about this new wave of new parents?