I'm know I've mentioned it before, but I love baby names. They are (one of) the best parts of new babies! Needless to say, naming my own babies is a joy. Look at how much I managed to type about two names. Two!!
I apologize in advance for all my cryptic name references. God willing, we are not done naming babies, and don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves in public proclamation of naming decisions.
Naming Clare was fairly easy. That didn't stop us from talking about it and mulling things over. I has decided years earlier that, if I ever had a daughter, I wanted her middle name to be Louise, in honor of my mom (whose middle name before marriage was also Louise), and Charles was able to get on board with that. We both have devotions to Saints Francis, Clare, and Dominic, so Clare had been discussed, and mostly decided, as a first name since before we were engaged.
Once I was pregnant, we did toss around another girls' name. At one point, Charles wanted to consider it for Clare's middle name. But, since Louise was important to me, and since I wanted to save it for a future daughter's first name, we stuck with Clare Louise, and have been totally happy with it. There are people like me out there who will remember it, and that' takes all the fun away (for me).
I wanted to have names somewhat settled before finding out the sex of our little one, so that we could start using the name right away. It's probably the one thing that keeps me from being Team Green. Anyway, that meant we also decided on a boy's name. The first name we chose was the one we loved before we were engaged, and the one that we're still planning on using in a few weeks. :)
Naming Mr. Man (totally holding out on blog and FB name announcements until he arrives!) has been much more interesting. At the beginning of pregnancy, we had first names picked out. The beloved and leftover girl name from naming Clare and the unused boy name.
Then we started talking middle names and things got interesting. The girl name never changed, and after lots of hemming and hawing and debating we settled on a middle name we'd have probably stuck with had Mr. Man been a Little Miss. If we have a delivery room surprise, it's probably the name we'd still go with!
The boy name on the other hand . . . Charles had his heart set on using a particular middle name. I, however, don't like the way it sounds with the first name we had picked. The way the name sounds is important to me. I have to be able to yell it across the house/yard/playground. I have to be able to imagine a priest saying, "________________________, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." I have to imagine that slow, loud proclamation at graduation. There were lots of things wonderful about the middle name, but the sound with our chose first name was not going to cut it for me. I suggested changing the first name in order to use the middle name.
We discussed. We debated. We finally decided to table it until we knew whether we even needed to select a boy name.
Sure enough, we're expecting a little boy. Driving home from the ultrasound, we didn't make it out of the parking lot before we started talking. We decided together that keeping our first name was more important than a middle name. So, we set out to decide on a middle name we could both agree with. We tentatively decided on one, but still don't feel like we can say with 100% confidence, "His middle name is _______." It is not the middle name we had chosen when I was pregnant with Clare. There is at least one other middle name that hasn't been ruled out. I don't know when we'll make a final decision -- maybe we'll go with an in-hospital decision. :)
We've discussed names. A lot at this point. If we are ever blessed with another girl, we have a name we love ready and waiting. I would say that the middle name would almost certainly be placed back up for discussion, based on our experience naming Mr. Man. For boys . . . I think things would be a bit stickier. There are a few names that we like but don't love. A few names that we disagree on. A few names where we like the name but not the nicknames that go with it. Lots of potential middle names, but not so many potential first names. In all of our discussion, we have discussed our criteria for a name that gives us some loose guidance in choosing future names:
- Saint's name: we agree that we want our kids to have a saint's name for both first and middle names. We very, very strongly prefer that we have some devotion/connection/love for the saint, rather than just conveniently having a saint with the name. We, at a minimum, have to know that the name is a saint name without researching. This is not to knock those who use that strategy. It's just the rule we've set in place for ourselves.
- Old Testament names, virtue names and angel names, while good Christian names, are not for us. Again, not a knock, just our naming decision.
- Nicknames are not a deal breaker, but they are a consideration. We live in an era where there are more and more Alexanders and Andrews and Michaels on the playground (vs. Alex, Andy and Mike), so by using a full-name exclusively and gently correcting those who try to nickname (at least until a baby is old enough to rebrand him/herself among his/her friends!), we think we can avoid nicknames we don't love. That's the hope for Mr. Man. Our experience with him could affect naming future boys.