This post originally appeared at Rebel Angel.
One thing you should know about me – I’m obsessed with names.
Before being pregnant, I had a list of names I loved. Before we’d started thinking about having a baby one day, I had a spreadsheet of names. Who am I kidding, before I even met Ben, when I was a teenager, I had a list of names. As a child, I used to read the baby’s name book that my mum had on the shelves from when she had me and my sister, looking up name meanings and folding pages on my favourites.
So when we found out I was pregnant, I took to my spreadsheet to start to narrow down the names I had. I’ve always liked girls’ names better than boys’ – I’ve struggled to find boy names that really click with me, and when I finally have found them, they became popular in a bad way! We found out at the 20 week scan that we were having a little girl, but up until then, I’d been picking out boy and girl names in preparation. And strangely enough, I managed to fall onto a full boy’s name that really clicked with me, but choosing a name for a girl was still a struggle.
My spreadsheet has over 100 names – about 75% are girls’, so I think this was part of the problem. I had too many I liked!
In terms of girl names, I tend to like ones that are traditional and classic but with a slight twist so that they have something a little more unusual about them, but that aren’t too unique. I cycled between ones that have meaning to me – ie. something with hints of Ancient Greek or Latin – and ones that just sounded pretty to me.
In addition to my “master list” of names, I had a tab for combinations I liked with middle names included, as well as a list of favourites. I then set up more tabs where I got Ben to vote on his favourites with a score from 1 to 5 (and yes, he did give some a 0!) and I did too, then we could see the ones with the highest “scores”.
I also wanted to make sure not to make a mess with initials – hi, I’m SHT (Sian Hannah Thomas) over here, only made worse now I’ve added Ben’s surname to my name since getting married (SHTR). And I wanted to make sure it flowed with that last name too.
Side note: you might notice I’m still operating under Sian Thomas on the internet – I’m keeping my maiden name as my internet and professional name, but using Ben’s surname as my official name, as that’s legally my name now, and Thomas is a middle name. Ben has also taken Thomas as a middle name, and Emmy has our surname.
In the end, it all got a bit formulaic! I decided to step back for a bit and leave those names that I had in my favourites list on my mind to just see what clicked, and if I stumbled across others, then so be it. At this stage, we were considering the following names as strong possibilities, including a few more combinations of these or similar names:
- Maeve Beatrice
- Emilia Maeve
- Dorothy Marie
- Elsie Maude
- Maisie Blair
- Phoebe Louise
I couldn’t ever get Ben to even somewhat give into Persephone, no matter how much I tried!
“Mae” had been really big on my middle name list for a long time, until someone mentioned that it sounded very “Southern Belle”, and after that, I could only imagine it for a girl in the deep south of the US. Emilia Mae had been my strongest contender up until this point.
Then a few weeks before my due date, Emilia Jane popped into my head. Emilia had been on our list since I’d first got pregnant but Jane had never occurred to me before. It’s my sister’s middle name and something about it just flowed. We’d always known that if we used Emilia, it would be shortened to Emmy for everyday life – I think it’s cute but a strong name. And Emmy Jane is very pretty too!
We ended up not telling anyone that we’d chosen a potential name before the birth. If we do it again, I plan not to discuss any names with anyone except Ben – we got a lot of opinions, and even accidental ones where people would react before realising! And even though we had Emilia Jane as a potential, we still weren’t definite that we were going to use it. We didn’t make that definite decision until she was laying on my chest, and it still took me a few days to get used to the name – I just think it’s a huge responsibility choosing a name for someone to identify them forever!