parenthood post: names

for today's parenthood post, i want to talk about names! the names of your children, specifically, and the process you went through in choosing one. did you choose a name early on? are your kids named after someone? is there a name you would never give to your child? is there a name you've always wanted to use, but your spouse doesn't like? what's harder, choosing girl's names or boy's names?

i'll tell you what i think, and my own experience, after the jump (click below)
before i was pregnant, before i was even married, steve and i talked about names that we liked and didn't like. it never went well. it seemed like we could not agree on anything! names i had loved my whole life, he rejected without question, and names he had always wanted to use, i laughed at. when we found out i was pregnant, we would literally sit in the living room for a good half hour at a time, and just spit out names until we were too irritated with each other to continue.

we finally found that we both seemed to like biblical names. so, one day, we were flipping through the bible, trying to find names we both liked (weird, i know), and steve flipped open to the book of jude. and miraculously, we both loved the name. then we started thinking about middle names (which we had a lot of because every time we found a name one of us loved, the other would say, "maybe as a middle name...") but about seven months into my pregnancy, we were pretty set on naming our first son jude steven tompkins.

so then he was born. the nurse gave me all the paperwork to fill out for his birth certificate, and told me to get it done as soon as possible. but for some reason, i kept putting it off! when it came time to give this little being a name, all of a sudden i wasn't sure anymore! it felt like such a huge responsibility. the first night in the hospital, i literally stayed up until one o'clock in the morning rethinking the name of my child. i felt so stressed out that i wasn't going to give him the right name. it was agonizing! ridiculous, right? it's just that the baby in my arms was different than the baby i had imagined in my tummy. i thought i was going to have a dark-haired, brown-eyed nine-pounder, and instead i had a blonde-haired, blue-eyed six-pounder. steve and i tried out a dozen more name combinations, came up with names we had never even considered in the months previous to his birth, before we finally just decided that we should stick with what we had. just a little different.

in the end, i wrote in ink, steven jude tompkins on his birth certificate (and i mean the very end...like, five minutes before i checked out of the hospital). for some reason steven jude just seemed to suit him better than jude steven. i know it sounds totally insane, but it's true. after that experience, i refuse to name a child before he or she is born. steve and i have scrounged up a few more names that we both like and agree on (for us boys names are way easier than girls names), but i'm not committing to any name until that baby is born.

that being said, my boss told me once, that her first daughter's name is victoria and no baby comes out looking like a victoria. people grow into their names. so what do you think? agree or disagree? did you wait to name your baby until it was born? did you think it was hard to think of a name for someone you didn't even know yet? did you feel like there was a lot of pressure in choosing a name? oh, and don't you hate telling people the baby names you like? i feel like so many people have strong opinions about baby names!

image by me


Ruth said...

So crazy that you would do a post about names when this topic has been on my mind A LOT recently! I feel like both boy and girl names are difficult to choose, but girl names are worse. Matt and I do not like the same girl names. I don't like girl names in general... It's hard for me because when I pick a name I don't want it to be totally weird and uncommon, but at the same time I don't want to pick a super common name either. Also, I like a name to have more meaning than just be a name I like; either have religious or ancestral meaning.
With Lily I orginially wanted to name her Isabelle, but spelled Isobel. We thought for a middle name we'd use Courtney, after Matt's best friend Court Eccles. But, the fact that Isabella is the number one baby name in the country kind of deterred me, and then when my sister-in-law said she was naming her baby Isabelle then there was no way I was naming my daughter Isabelle also.
I looked at tons of baby name lists online and nothing really jumped out at me. Then one day when I was trying to think of a name I liked "Lily" just came to me. I liked it and I also liked that there was a biblical connection, too. When Matt said he liked it too then it was basically decided. For some reason I didn't really like Courtney for a middle name paired with Lily, so Matt suggested Ann, since it's a family name on his side of the family. After that we didn't have any problems or hesitations about the name. She was born and we named her Lily Ann.
As for the baby I'm pregnant with now, we have no clue. We were thinking it was a boy and we actually had the name picked out since before I even got pregnant. But, since we found out it's a girl we have no clue. I won't even consider a lot of biblical names because Lily has four girl cousins who all have biblical names, not to mention my name, my sister's name, my mom's name, and Matt's sister's name...

elise said...

ruth, i used to want to name a girl isabelle too, and now since it's so popular, will probably never do it. steve and i have agreed on one girl name we like, and that's it. if we have more than one, i don't know what we're going to do.