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.