Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Whats in a name?

From the moment I know I am pregnant until the time I give birth, I love to play the "name this baby game". I become obsessive! I read baby name books and websites (for far too many hours). I make name list. Lists of first names. First names + middle names. First names + middle names + last name. Lists of just initials. Lists of our names + potential baby names. And with each baby the lists become longer and more complicated. To put it mildly, I put a lot of thought into THE NAME! Probably too much thought. So much thought in fact that I have a hard time making a final name decision until after the baby has arrived.

So just for fun, here are the explanations of how we named our babies. Because a name is not just a name!  It is so much more. It is a story with meaning and a lot of thought behind it (at least it is for my babies). 

First, a little pertinent background information, during our first year of marriage we decided Joe would name all our sons and I would name our daughters. We of course would allow the power to veto names we disliked. However no hard and fast rules were established for veto-ing. And so far we have stuck to these loose guidelines.

Fast forward four years and we had our first baby...
Isaiah Michael
We did not find out the gender with this pregnancy. So we made our respective baby name lists. For a girl I had selected Teya Rose. I also really liked Lydia but Joe did not. So if Isaiah had been a girl he would have been Teya! And oh my goodness, I am so SO SOOO glad he was born a boy. Because Teya?! Really?!? Clearly my 24 year old self was not up to the responsible baby naming challenge! 

Joe's boy name list was short: Malachi and Isaiah. Both strong Biblical names. I liked Micah and Isaac more, but it wasn't up to me. We never discussed middle names for a boy. I kind of assumed Joe would use his first name, Joseph. It was just minutes after he was born that Joe held our new son up and declared his name "Isaiah Michael". I was caught off guard because I was sure he was going to use Malachi and I didn't know what to expect for a middle name. But I love it. He did a great job naming him and it suits him well. 

Oh and Michael. That is Joe's younger brother's name so Isaiah is partially named after his uncle.

Exactly one week short of three years later we welcomed our (first) daughter into our family...
 Charlotte Esme
At my 20 week ultrasound we found out we were expecting a girl. (I was over the moon excited once I got over my disappointment that Isaiah would not have a little brother.) Since Joe does not enjoy the name game he never created a list. We had no boy options. If the ultrasound had been wrong we would have been scrambling for a name!

Knowing the baby's gender ahead of time (somehow) made the decision even harder for me. I had a list a mile long! By the time she arrived one week overdue I had it narrowed down to three first names and two middle names, but no definite name.  First names: Hannah, Esme, Charlotte. Of the three Esme was my favorite and Charlotte was Joe's favorite. Middle names: Elizabeth, Rose. 

Shortly after her birth the nurse asked me what her name was and I couldn't commit to anything. I was worn out and feeling loopy (from the unplanned c-section) and I did not trust myself to make such an important decision in that condition. After a couple hours of gazing upon my new daughter I declared her "Charlotte" but would not commit to a middle name. A little while later I panicked (thinking this was my last baby and therefore my last chance to name a person) and threw both my middle name selections out the window. And from that point forward she was "Charlotte Esme". Esme was my favorite name because it is pretty AND it means beloved. So she received two of my favorite names, but no family name. Oops. I blame the pain meds:)

Surprise! Two years and two months later came...
Hannah Rose
I decided I wanted to be surprised by the gender this time around. Joe wanted to know. So he knew and I did not. It was a bit tricky but fun. I was convinced I was carrying a boy. Ha. So much for a mother's intuition! Joe's name list wasn't a list. Just a name. Judah Joseph. He still liked Malachi but I wasn't sold on it. Regardless it was a moot point and he knew it. 

The girl names I liked were: Olivia, Lydia, Amelia and Hannah. Of the three Joe agreed to Hannah although he was lobbying for Hosanna. While close, I felt Hosanna was too "out there" to be used as a name. Just minutes after SHE was born I easily and confidently named her "Hannah Rose". I was in awe of the fact that I had two daughters and was able to use ALL of my favorite girl names. I suppose it is worth mentioning that Rose is my middle name as well as my maternal grandmother's middle name and I am so happy to have passed it along as I have always loved the name.

So there it is, the really loooong explanation of how our children became Isaiah, Charlotte and Hannah. I love their names. But of course I love them even more!

This post was inspired by this fun link-up that I randomly stumbled upon recently. If you enjoyed finding out how/why we named our on over to find even more similar posts! You are welcome. Enjoy!


  1. Ok, so since this is so much fun for you...I need help! I am really having a hard time coming up with names this time around. And we're almost 1/2 way through this pregnancy. I'm just not sold on ANYTHING! We'll have to chat when you come visit. :)

    1. Oh we will chat!!! And I have an ever growing list of names for you:)