Thursday, 1 March 2012

What's in a name?

Probably the most common question we get asked after "Do you know what you're having?" is "Do you have any names picked out?" With good reason of course. People want to get to know this little being I have growing in my tummy, and after finding out the sex the next natural thing to want to know is what are we going to call her.

We have decided to keep the name a secret. We aren't telling anyone - not even our parents or our closest friends. We were happy to share the news that we are having a little girl, but this piece of news we are holding on to. We've decided to do this for a couple of reasons. The first reason is because we want to maintain some element of surprise. We don't want the world to know everything about this baby before she gets here (which might sound strange coming from someone who is writing a blog about being pregnant...). So now she has two surprises going for her - when she will be born (sure she has a due date but what baby actually listens to that) and what her name is going to be.

The second reason we don't want to spill the beans is because we don't want people judging her name. An old colleague of mine said while she was pregnant that they weren't telling anyone the name because as soon as they did, people would pass judgement on the babies name - and he wasn't even here yet to defend himself! I had never thought about it like that before, but realized that it is totally true. Whether its positive or negative you just can't help but have an opinion about a babies name when you hear it for the first time. You will probably associate it with someone that you know/knew with that name, and immediately have a stigma attached to it. Lots of people have told us straight up if they do or do not like a name when we have made an off hand comment about a name we had once considered. People are a lot quicker to offer their opinions when it's just a name that you are thinking of.  They are less quick when that name is actually attached to a little tiny person. I mean, would you really say to someone "Oh you named your baby Cupcake? I don't really like that name." Of course not! You're more likely to say something like, "Oh you named your baby Cupcake! How cute!" Sure,  you will still have your opinion about the name Cupcake, but you're more likely to keep it to yourself. 

And you know what - all of this is absolutely fine. I don't get mad or upset when people share their opinions on babies names - heck I do it all the time, even now when I am going through it myself. It's only human nature and you are entitled to your opinion. It's just that for us and our baby - we would rather not hear those opinions until you have an adorable little face to match that name to :)

The last reason we have decided not to share our leading baby names is that we haven't really decided yet. We already know the middle name so all we have to solidify is the first name - ie the most important name. We have a short list of names that we really like, but we aren't really committed to one front runner yet. It is such a massive decision - I feel an incredible amount of pressure to pick the perfect name that will be suitable for a baby, toddler, teenager and respectable adult - that more often than not we just push the conversation aside. When we do want to talk about it our conversation usually goes a bit like this - 

B: What do you think of randomgirlsname?
T: Yeah I like that, it's pretty
B: Yeah, its nice.
*long pause where our fear of name commitment sets in*
T: So...whats on TV?

It feels like such a BIG decision, I know that if we were to pick a name now I would just second guess myself every day until she is born. There are so many elements to think about and consider - how does the first and last name flow together? How does the first, middle and last name flow together? What would her nickname be? Is there any way at all that her name/nickname/initials can be made into a joke or teased by other kids? No wonder easy names like John and Elizabeth are so popular.

In all reality I think that we will end up with two or three top names that we love and we won't confirm the name until the baby is actually born. I think it will be a lot easier once we see her little face to decide what name fits her the best.

How about you? Did you tell people what name you chose for your baby before he/she was born? For the love of God please tell me how you managed to pick a name! Did you have a lot of negative opinions? Share your story with me so I know we aren't the only ones!

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