There comes a time during every pregnancy when you realize that you have to actually name the child.
I don't mean like when you were in college and doodling your first name with his last name and then in smaller writing practicing your future children's names with his last name. Nor do I mean like when you were watching that movie that one time and heard a name that you thought was super badass and you filed it away for a later date, like when you were married and were going to have kids and obviously your husband would agree to this name because it was that badass.
I mean like when you have to name another person.
A person that will grow up and go to school and hopefully not get teased because of the name you chose. A person that will go to college and then graduate and get a job and have to be an adult with the name that you chose.
The other thing to think about is how much you really like the name. Enough to say it constantly? Once upon a time, I moved to Indiana to be with my boyfriend (now husband). I moved from grad school with $400 in my bank account and an SUV full of my belongings. Clearly I moved for love, not the job opportunities, and I ended up working at Columbia House (the mail order dvd company... because I am that cool) taking orders on the phone all day. Well, at Columbia House, everyone gets to pick a "stage name" so that there is only 1 person with that name in the entire place. Not realizing how often I'd have to say my fake name, I picked Gianna.
It sounded cute enough; just a bit exotic and yet miles away from Kate. Except then I had to say it upwards of 150 times a day. Hi, thank you for calling Columbia House, Gianna speaking.
Gi-aan-a. Three long syllables. Now fundamentally, there's nothing wrong with it. I just hated saying it, over and over and over.
The moral of the story? I knew that when we named Baby Girl, we had to really try out the names before settling on one because once it's on the birth certificate, there's no going back.
So how did we settle on a name? First, we started an excel sheet with a list for boy names and a list for girl names. We added every single name either of us had ever liked. The lists were very long. Then we each got a turn at the lists, crossing off anything we didn't immediately like with no arguement from the other person.
After the list was narrowed down to our top 18 girl names and top 2 boy names (we just couldn't agree on boy names), we waited to find out what we were having.
When we found out it was a girl, we revisited the girl list and put each name to the test.
We each had our own test. Mine was simple - did the name roll off the tongue nicely and did I want to say it multiple times a day? You really can't tell just from looking at the name on paper. you have to say it. So multiple times a day I'd yell up the stairs "Hey so-and-so, breakfast is ready." Or I'd say it to the dog "Marley, what's so-and-so doing?"
My husband, however, had a different method for deeming a girl name acceptable.
His main concern? Did it sound like a porn star and/or stripper name.
So he went down the list of names and tried each one the exact same way:
"Welcome to the stage so-and-so"
Except he'd say it in a creepy stripper announcer voice. Many names were crossed off via this method and he's quite proud of himself for saving our child from a lifetime of ridicule for having a stripper name. It's quite sweet, really.