Mena Suvari has decided on a name for her son!
The Don't Tell a Soul actress, 41, and husband Michael Hope are currently expecting their first child, a baby boy, and she revealed to Access this week that his name will be Christopher Alexander. Suvari explains that the meaningful name is to honor her late father-in-law.
"We're naming him after my husband's father who passed away when he was really young," she says. "Bringing it back around."
Suvari announced her happy pregnancy news exclusively with PEOPLE back in October, opening up about how finding out she is expecting was a "very emotional experience." "It's still this process for me of believing it and accepting that something this beautiful could happen for me," she said at the time.
Although she and Hope, who tied the knot in 2018, were hoping to grow their family, Suvari admitted the pregnancy still came as a surprise. Earlier this year, the couple decided to actively start trying for a baby — and what ensued was months of an emotional rollercoaster met with its fair share of disappointment.
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"I was recording my temperature every morning and peeing on these ovulation sticks," the mom-to-be said. "You expect that it'll happen and it didn't. I got to this place where I felt overwhelmed and stressed out."
Adding to the pressure to conceive quickly was Suvari's age. "I'm 41 and there's this air of like, I've got one foot in the grave and good luck," she says, sharing that the mounting stress and continuous negative pregnancy tests made the actress finally take a step back.
In the end, however, Suvari trusted in her own body despite external opinions on her maternal age. "Even in my late 30s I had people questioning me. It put a lot of fear in you," she said. "It took a lot of work to really pull back from that and really believe and trust in my own body and where I was at, have my own journey with it."
Suvari also shared her excitement about bonding with her baby boy. "I've always had this attitude of I can't wait to get to know them. I just want to be like, who are you? Where do you come from? What do you have to teach me?" she said. "I want to give as much as I can and try to communicate as much as possible and be really present."
"But I don't want to be that helicopter parent!" jokes Suvari. "I feel like my husband is going to be the cool one and I'm going to be the one that's nervous about everything."
On Friday, Suvari shared a beach photo of herself and Hope on Instagram, showing off her baby bump as she wrote: "My loves. My life. My greatest gifts. Never did I think I would find you and yet I did. So many sacrifices. So many lessons learned. You are my heart @mikehope__ and your heart now beats inside of me as we bring this new being further into this existence."
"I can't wait to meet you, my son," she added. "I can't wait to search for and find the joy in seeing my reflection somewhere in you."
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