Wednesday, October 14, 2009

X is for Xena?

When I found out the sex of the baby, I quickly shared my favorite baby girl names with my outspoken mother..."Penelope? You mean like the pig faced girl?"

And that is why my husband and I are keeping our list of names a secret.

Ever since we made that decision, my parents have resorted to calling my baby girl, Xena, warrior princess, due to the struggles to actually create her, and the fact that she hung on through some trying times in the beginning of the pregnancy. I figured once we were in the clear around 14 weeks, the name would fall by the wayside. Oh no! Xena has stuck. Even my grandmothers now refer to her as Xena in conversation. (And no, Xena is not one of our front runners on the name list.)

As we get towards the home stretch (11 weeks to go now) we talk more frequently about the future name of our baby girl. For years we loved Olivia, but it has since become one of the most popular names out there amongst the Emmas, Ellas, Avas, Evas, Lillys, Madisons, Sophies and Sadies (all names I dearly love, but are too popular for my choosing). We made the decision that we don't want to name her anything too mainstream, but nothing that is too rare, like Mehitabel (yes this is an actual name). So, we started reading almost every name book out there, made dozens of lists, searched our family trees, and finally narrowed it down to about 4 names that we could agree on, and be happy with. We had an even trickier time than most, as my current married surname rhymes with a certain private area of a humans body - let's just say "Harry" would warrant years of teasing.

The final list now hangs on the fridge, where every day I am presented with one of the biggest decisions I will have to make in my life (at least I see it that way!). I stare at the list, say a name over and over with our last name...maybe add in a middle name to see how it sounds...but am I sold? UGH - I don't know! Will kids find some way to turn this name into a horrible nickname that she will be stuck with forever? Will she like this name, or forever be stuck with this horrible title and blame me for it for the rest of my existence?

How do you make such an important decision for someone you haven't yet met? Everyone keeps saying, you will know her name when you see her...what if she doesn't look like a Name A, B, C or D? What if she looks like a Xena?????

Here are two of my favorite name resources:


  1. With my 3 month old boy, I made the mistake of telling my mom that I wanted to name him Daltrey, after Roger of The Who. She decided that sounded like "Adultery" and referred to him as "The Cheater." I never told her a name again. I picked all three kids' names in advance, and for the most part, they're good. I do have twitches sometimes that maybe this name would be better than that one, etc, but I think that will happen no matter what name you pick.

  2. you are 100% right to keep it to yourself. family can be cruel. it is hard enough agreeing with your spouse than to have everyone weigh in. Plus it is nice to have some element of suprise for family/friends!
    The baby name wizard is my favorite book.

  3. I feel your pain! I had the worst time picking a name for our little girl. She arrived two weeks early and we didn't officially name her until we HAD to fill out her birth certificate. I thought I would know which name to go with when I saw her, but I just never got that special feeling I was waiting for. In the end, we went with the name we could both agree on most despite its popularity: Sophia. After 17 months I still wonder what she will think, but thankfully I now have less free time to worry about it.