Our firstborn son and daughter were more or less named before they were conceived. In a way, I thought that was a little boring and took some of the fun out of pregnancies (at the time), but I always forget what a wrestle it is to name a baby if you don't have something solid in your mind. Naming a child feels like such a responsibility and expresses something about you and about them. There are so many associations with names out there, both good and bad, and they vary from person to person.
For example, one of the contenders for Ian's name was Owen. I'd say it was in our top four, which was as close as we could get to naming him until he was a few hours old. But about two weeks before he was born, we watched an episode of Criminal Minds, which is a detective show about serial killers.(In general, this is not a great show for mothers to watch, and I have learned to avoid it, as it gives me more things to worry about in the middle of the night.) This particular story was about an 11-year-old boy who was a pathological serial killer. And his name was Owen. By the end of the night, the name was scratched from our list.
What's hard is that family members also feel the need to remind you of their own associations with a name. Another of my favorites for Ian was Mason, which reminded me of the years that I spent working in the bakery of a wonderful family. It is also a German name, and Jared has German blood; as we like to give our children a name consistent with their heritage, it worked. But it was also the last name of somebody's ex-husband and brought a shudder to Jared's parents every time it was mentioned. (Incidentally, now it is a favorite with a couple of my brothers and will probably be used at some point by one of them, so they are probably glad that we didn't use it.)
Now I have no regrets about letting go of those names. Ian is Ian and I can't imagine him as anything else. But once again we are struggling to find a name that clicks for our coming little girl. We want it to be a classic, but one that is not over-used. We want it to match our heritage, which means English, Scottish,Welsh, Danish, Norwegian, or German. There are a few family names that we really like and her middle name will definitely be a family name, like all of her other siblings.
The front-runner for a long time was Lucy, which also happens to be the name of one of my great-grandmothers. But once we found out we were having a girl, it somehow didn't seem right. And we don't LOVE it with our last name. It may stick around as a middle name, but it is off the first name list.
Other top names include Margaret, (my grandmother's name,) and Violet, (Jared's great-grandmother's name). But we differ a bit on what we would call Margaret. Jared likes Meg, which I don't really mind, but this weekend we discovered that Meg is the name of the vixen-n0t-quite-heroine in Disney's Hercules, and I'm kinda turned off to it at the moment. I'm not saying I couldn't get over it, but let's just say that she's no one whom I want my daughter emulating.
So we started perusing web lists of names this weekend, and I'm going to share some of our favorites with you. I've decided that I like positive feedback on names-- if you think one of them is hideous, please keep that to yourself or gossip about it to your sister, but don't tell me! I'll put up a poll in the sidebar and you can vote for as many of them as you like. This doesn't mean that we'll use the most popular one, but I'm interested at this point in knowing which names you all like.
As Bronwen's name is Welsh, we've looked a lot at Welsh names and a few that we like are: Eleri (Ell-er-eye), Meredith, Aerwen (Air-wen), and Sabrina. Other Gaelic names that pique our interest are Rowan, Maren, and Regan. Old-fashioned names (besides Margaret and Violet, which are still on the list,) are Eleanor, Helen, and Maeve (May-vee).
There's a good chance that she'll come home being named Margaret, but she may have a name that isn't even on this list, as nothing has clicked to the point of calling the baby by a certain name, even though I've tried it out for a day or two with a couple of them.
So, give me some (positive) feedback. Do you like any of these names? And please warn me if you already know three children under 4 with one of these names. We'd like to NOT choose a future top ten name, even though it doesn't need to be previously unheard-of.