Back to the Name Debate

April 5, 2007

I had another baby dream the other night, and in this dream, we were all surprised when the baby came out a girl. I’ve learned already not to depend on the dreams to tell me what I really want to know, but this one reminded me that I can’t rule out the possibility of having a girl this time. Some things are totally different from the last pregnancy, like my addiction to sweets (hey, I have lots of weight to gain after all the morning sickness). Things like that lead me to believe that, although farfetched, it is still possible.

As much as I obviously want a girl, it brings up one problem. We have a boy’s name picked out. There are very few boys’ names we like, so one presented itself early as the perfect name. If we’d had twin boys, I don’t know what we would have done, but we’re quite prepared for one more boy. But if we’re having a girl, we have to narrow down our list of something like twelve names, putting them together as a first and middle name. That’s quite a feat for indecisive people like us.

We had a frontrunner girl’s name all along, but our favorite first name started having problems. First, there was the fact that we told everyone that favorite name last pregnancy, and my MIL has taken to calling this baby by that name, and I hate the way she says it. Then, I happened to remember a conversation with my sister years ago before either of us was married. We both wanted to name our first girls this name. I was sure she’d changed her mind in the last five-ish years, but I brought the topic up with my mother a few weeks ago just to be sure. They practically have their nursery painted with the name already, and they’re years away from thinking about having a baby at all. I would be stepping on some major toes if I named my first girl that name before she could, despite having had that plan for at least as long as she did.

I know cousins can have the same name. Years ago when we discovered this coincidence, we reluctantly compromised that it wouldn’t be a big deal since they would only be cousins. But now that I see just how attached she is to the name, I’m starting to feel bad about seriously considering “stealing” her name before she can use it. Even though the name has a lot of meaning to me, between my MIL and my sister, I’m starting to rethink using it at all.

Then last week, I was e-mailing one of my pregnant friends who is expecting a girl, and we started talking about names. She’s not revealing their likely choice of a name to the general public yet, but she understood why I was so curious and told me. (Yes, I felt totally special.) Their favorite name works well as a middle name, she thinks, but not a first. To attempt to prove her wrong, M and I tried to think of other names that might sound good as a middle name after their favorite name. We came up with a few, which were quickly vetoed for sensible reasons.

The one name M came up with that I didn’t send on to the friend sounded a little weird to me–the name alone as well as in combination with their favorite name. Since then, though, it keeps cropping up everywhere I look. It’s not even a common name. The more I hear it, the more I like it. I’m starting to seriously consider it. It’s even becoming a frontrunner in my mind. The “coincidences” that made us think of it in the first place are convincing as well. It turns out the issue with my sister may not be one at all. Weird, isn’t it?