Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Our Story: Naming Our Little One
We said throughout the pregnancy that this time would be different. This time, we would pick a name before the baby was born. To many people's great frustration that didn't really happen. In fact, it took much longer to name this little one than it did with B. After our "test drive" experience Brent thought it was time for a serious name discussion. That discussion focused on two names with an outside third place contender. We ended with a general sense of what we would name her and an agreement to keep it between us to be able to preserve our ability to change it with no pressure and free of outside influences.
When our little one arrived. We were surprised to find that she didn't look like the name we'd selected. Perhaps it was because she was bigger or less delicate seeming, or maybe that she didn't look like anyone in our families per se. In any case, we decided it was time to re-evaluate. After some mumblings between us our mothers left to give us space to decide while my anesthesia wore off. As with last time, I waited for Brent to voice an opinion and was surprised to discover that he had switched his pick (he may disagree with this evaluation, but there it is). I sort of agreed, but am not a huge fan of Margaret. I blame my siblings who had many jokes around this name growing up so it has an odd feeling to me. I did, however, think he was right that this was our Maggie. It took me awhile to let the other name go as I do love it and it is mine more or less, but just didn't seem to be hers.
When I accepted that this was indeed Maggie, the next round of discussion ensued. I think our mothers were there for most of this. The issue is - I have always been a name them what you plan to call them girl. My Dad and I are good examples of this with the shortened form of longer names (Abbey v. Abigail and Danny v. Daniel). Brent, however, goes by his middle name so to some degree represents the other approach. However, in this instance I had been picturing something more feminine or fancier maybe than a nickname as her name. Not sure why and many say Maggie is perfectly feminine. I just felt in the moment that I wanted to give her more choice or just more somehow. (This makes no sense really as I've always loved that mine was the shorter form and haven't wanted options, but sometimes logic isn't part of it in these moments).
This led to Marguerite which is the french version of Margaret. It is a rare name in the US which we're fine with as we tend toward less common names. Marguerite most commonly is said to mean "pearl" but is also the name for a type of daisy so we got our flower name after all. We also in good Catholic tradition happened to name her after a Saint. This wasn't the focus of our search, but a nice side benefit. Also, as I talked about very early on here, just three days before I knew I was pregnant, St. Margaret is my Saint's name. An interesting coincidence that I happen to post about St. Margaret just as this little one was starting to grow. Due to the beauty of WiFi our naming process included modern research such as the sites linked here and a Google search to make sure we weren't getting her into a name famously (or infamously) held elsewhere. Research done and three hours past delivery we officially decided on Marguerite Jewel Richards.
Jewel, you will remember, was the middle name we chose from the very outset. It is my Grandma Dotter's middle name. As is our rule we love it both for its family connections and for itself as a purely beautiful name.
Once the name was settled on the calling people to announce Maggie's arrival could begin in earnest. It was funny to listen as my Mom told her siblings/friends as most conversations included the... "How do you spell that?" moment. This may be something that follows her and sometimes I've wondered since if we made the right decision in the longer form. At this point though, we're set and loving our little Maggie girl.
---I was reading over the above and noticed that there is much discussion of Marguerite, some of Jewel and plenty debate, but little about why Maggie. Perhaps all there is to say is that it is just her. We did test drive the name in my polls here and with B. One thing I loved is when B would say it he would always smile and generally still does. It is just a happy name to us and right for her.
In all of this, I've been pondering names generally and noticed an interesting trend in name sounds between my names, many of my girlfriends' and (when applicable) their daughters:
Emily S. - Cali (Calista)
Chrissie - Serenity
Jessie - Allie (Alexandra)
Lynn - Molly
Abbey - Maggie (Marguerite)
--- Notice the strong "e" sound? Interesting, no? (Of course, I have lots of girlfriends that names don't fit the model, but I'm just saying..... in fairness, there are a lot ending in an "a" as well.)
In any case, Maggie Jewel thank you for being our sweet treasure....
(The story will continue as we wrap up the hospital and head home a family of four)