Since finding out that our third and final child – due this fall – is a girl, I have become afflicted with something I like to call “Baby Name Fever.” I’ve been hit with The Fever before, but never quite this hard. Because this will be our last baby, I feel an urgency, a great pressure, to find the right name for her.
It’s made me a little crazy.
I’ve started carrying baby name books around with me wherever I go so that I can look up names whenever they pop into my head.
“But officer, I wasn’t talking on my cell phone. I was looking up “Keturah” in this baby name book.”
“Step out of the car, ma’am.”
“But I need to know what it means!”
I spend hours trolling the Internet, reading all the name blogs and boards, obsessively digging through the Social Security website and the London Telegraph baby announcements.
“Mommy, when are you going to get off the computer? I’m hungry.”
“I’ll be right there.”
“You said that 3 hours ago!”
I’ve begged my friends to please release their reserved baby names back into the general population so that I can use them.
“I know Frances was your dead grandmother’s name, but do you mind if I use it?”
I’ve accosted strangers on the street and quizzed them about their kid’s names.
“I know I don’t know you, but what is your little girl’s name?”
“Get away from me lady, or I’ll call the police.”
It’s becoming a bit of a problem.
Bail money aside, the process of naming this baby has become stressful in a way that I’ve never before experienced.
With our first baby we had a name picked out almost from the moment that the two lines appeared on the stick. I had always loved the name Caroline and knew that if we were having a girl that would be her name.
Our second baby wasn’t quite as simple.
My husband and I had exhausted the one name we loved on the first go round, so there were many, many heated baby name discussions during my second pregnancy. By about the eighth month we had decided on the name Sophie, and we were openly referring to my extended abdomen as Sophie. Friends and family knew that Sophie was the planned name. But I took one look at the baby after she was born and decided that she did not look like a Sophie. I had been given a lot of morphine during my Cesarean, so I don’t really remember how or when we decided on the baby’s name, but by the time I left the hospital we were calling her Avery and that’s what I wrote on the birth certificate.
This time I’m even less certain what our baby’s name should be.
We’ve ruled out family names, even though my husband and I both have some beautifully named grandparents, because we worry about being fair or insulting someone. We’ve also ruled out many of the names that were on our list during previous pregnancies, because they are now just too popular – like Sophie, Isabel and Amelia – and some that just feel stale to us because we’ve thought about them for so many years now – like Piper, Kate, and Harper. I would like to find something a little more unusual this time, but still have it fit in with our older girl’s names.
It seems like an impossible task.
The Baby Name Fever is complicated by the criteria my husband and I use each time we name a baby. Not only do we want to find a name that we like, that we think is pretty, but we like to use names that aren’t too popular; are classic rather than trendy; aren’t too far out there on the quirky scale; and, most importantly, will transition nicely with our children into adulthood.
In addition to these standards, my husband further complicates things by generally outlawing most boy names for girls and he also vetoes place names along with last names used as first names.
In short, we’re picky but not very imaginative. It makes us lousy baby namers and very anxious human beings.
I’m 99.5% sure that my husband and I will find a name we can agree on before we leave the hospital with our new baby. And if not we can cover all the bases and name her Keturah Frances Sophie Isabel Amelia Piper Kate Harper Maselli.
Admittedly, it’s long. But it does satisfy all of our requirements.
And hopefully it will cure the Baby Name Fever.
Jennifer Maselli is a mom of two who left behind the world of medical office management and is stretching out her college career as long as possible to stay at home with her kids full time. She is expecting her third and final baby in October. Maselli writes at Blissfully Caffeinated.