Friday, June 11, 2010

What's In A Name?

So, here we are are 39 weeks, 1 day and I know that this baby is going to arrive next week, whatever happens. I am hoping that he will come on his own and at my last doc's appointment, which was Monday, I was already 2 cm dilated, so I know that things are getting started. On the other hand, Pk was pretty happy to hang out and I am starting to wonder whether this one is, too (my mother claims that boys are lazy and that he is probably not feeling any need to do any work at this point). As I have said in past posts, Pk was big and this boy looks like he will be in her range and so my o.b. and I agree that letting him cook for too long might end up with me delivering a baby who comes out needing a shave :-). At this point, I believe that I will be scheduled for induction next Thursday.

So, onto the things we need to do. I think I am largely ready and I think we have decided on a name. I am not going to post it here now, just in case we change our minds between now and then. It's funny how nervous I am about actually committing to the name.

When we named Pk, we had a list of names that we posted on the fridge. We just kept going back to the list and crossing off names that we felt just didn't work. By the time we went to the hospital, it was down to three - she was either going to be Ella, Philippa or Rebecca. Our families had very strong opinions (both sets of parents were adamant that they wanted Philippa and uncles and aunts were horrified and insisted that she needed to be Ella). We didn't actually name her until the morning we left the hospital. I will be honest - Philippa was always my choice (I love older, more classic names, I grew up in a household watching Masterpiece Theatre and in at least two books I love, there were characters named Philippa, and since Dh is English, we hoped to choose a name that reflected our heritage). Neither of us had ever taught one either (which was a mixed thing - had we never taught one because it was just too weird?) We love the book of Philippians and we follow the tradition of giving a baby a life verse, so Philippians 4:4 - 8 seemed perfect. My only reservation was the reaction that we got from some people - "You want to name her WHAT?" accompanied by a very puzzled look. We were doing the paperwork to leave the hospital and one of the nurses asked what we were going to call her and we told her that we had it narrowed down to two names and we couldn't decide which. My Scottish o.b. felt very strongly that it should be Philippa (she hasn't heard it since Scotland and thought it was a beautiful, elegant name) and the nurse told me that they had "100 Ellas here last month" and our decision was made.

Now, we are back at it again, although we have found naming a boy a LOT harder. We know what we want. Again, we have found a name that we think is reflective of our ethnic heritage (something important to us), one that neither of us has taught (you wouldn't believe how important that is for a teacher), a name that we think will serve our son through childhood into adulthood and a name that has Biblical significance (also something important for us). I am dreading the strange looks and silent judgement again. The name we like this time is Scottish (reflecting my background) and we would like to go with the Gaelic spelling, which is what would be assumed in Scotland as being the "correct" spelling but I know that people will think we have made the spelling up (and, I must admit, as a teacher, I have been known to look down on some of the creative spellings I see these days...) Until the name really settles on our son, I know that I will feel slightly uncomfortable sharing it with others and will wonder for a while whether we have done the right thing. I remind myself that this is one of the most important gifts I will give my son and really, which of my friends have chosen the name that I would have chosen for their children? Who cares, as long as we feel that we have given him a gift that helps to shape him to grow into himself, that's all that matters.

And hey, as Pk's babysitter said to me last week, "How could she have been anything other than Pippa????" After nearly three years, I know we got that one right.


  1. I remember feeling like I had made a mistake when we named both our girls...but they really do grow into their names! Kayleigh was almost Ella..after my grandma who turns 95 tomorrow! But since Sydney wasn't named after anyone, we felt a little weird naming our second daughter after someone. I'm so glad we have a Syd and a Kay (I said I would never shorten Kayleigh's name to Kay....)

    Can't wait to "meet" the little guy...I'm glad you are keeping the name to yourselves until you can announce his arrival.

  2. It's fun that it has ended up being Kay - Pippa is Philippa Kathleen (after my mom and dh's grandmother) so her nickname is Pippa Kay - we love that. I always find it funny how nicknames come along and often they are not what you expect at all - I know it isn't the same but our dogs, Chelsea and Lucie, have become Bunsie (Chelsea Buns) and Gooster (Lucie-Goosie) and I can't imagine them as anything else. James is one of our favourite names (and will be a middle name for this boy) and some of the ways it gets shortened are a primary reason why that won't be his first name.

  3. ...and that is why I have a Berkley, Anson, and Campbell. Uncommon yet not outlandish names that are easy to pronounce.

  4. I have always really loved the names that you have chosen - they are very classic and British yet we haven't taught one of any of them. I couldn't use Campbell, though - Scottish memories are long and my grandmother had a deep distrust of Campbells - thanks to the events of 1692 LOL. Yes, she was a very reasonable, open-minded person :-).

  5. I have never felt absolutely sure of either of my children's names, to be honest, but they represented our best compromise, something we were both *okay* with. I'm not sure if they are the name I would look at them and give them now, though, or if it had been just my choice.

    I would have named The Bun "Calder," like Alexander Calder, if I had been given free rein.

    Rebecca was my safety name for Pumpkinpie, and one I still like - I do think it would have suited her (and Pippa, too, actually - a great name for a cute little girl, but can grow up into a woman, too). I do love that name, but with our last name being so very dull, wanted something a little more uncommon up front. (and yes, there are zillions of little Ellas and Jameses about!)

    (and I like Cat's choices, too!)

  6. I really like both of your names, especially Pumpkinpie's - it is so classic and gives her a lot of choice in terms of how she wants to be called. Calder is a nice name, too (and I have never taught one!) but I think The Bun's name suits him. Rebecca was always our back-up name but she just didn't seem quite like a Rebecca and Pippa seems to suit her quirkiness (and since she has become obsessed with horses, it fits, given that it actually means "Lover of Horses."