Antique Crazy, Faith

Hello My Name Is Blank

I am the kind of person who gets half way through a novel and then goes to the last few pages to find out how it ends. I enjoy the story better knowing what to expect. Surprise endings stress me out.

So, it should be no surprise to you that when I was pregnant with Sean, I wanted to know if I was carrying a boy or girl. At 16 weeks, the amnio results reported good news and bad news. The good news was that the baby appeared to be healthy. The bad news was that I was carrying a boy. I had no idea what I would do with a (cringe) boy. After I got over my disappointment (I already had a girl name chosen and the nursery mentally decorated) I set to work finding a suitable (ugh!) boy name.

Even given the fact that Sean came six weeks early, one would think that knowing the sex of the baby that far in advance, would have given Antique Daddy and I sufficient time to settle and agree upon a name. But no, it did not. Five days after his birth, Sean was still Antique Baby.

The night before he was born, I pulled out the short list of names and the name Sean was on the back at the bottom listed under the heading Second Tall Man. We took a vote among the visitors, we polled the hospital staff, we Googled, we went through the phone book, we hemmed, we hawed. But after all this time, nothing seemed right. And it did not seem like a good time to start over.

After he was born, the hospital immediately wanted to know what his name would be. Antique Daddy and I acted as though it had never occurred to us that we would have to name him. What? A name? Why didn’t someone tell us!?

Every day and sometimes twice a day, for the next five days, the hospital baby name person would stop by the room asking, “Got a name for that baby yet? We need a name you know. Gotta get this paper work in,” she’d say in her burly voice tapping a handful of papers. Post-partum women do not like burly voices, so whenever I saw her coming, I would burst into tears, as I was prone to do, and she would find some other insane pregnant lady to hassle come back later.

On the fifth day, as I was preparing to go home without my baby, Antique Daddy said that we’d figure out a name for him after we brought him home. The idea of leaving my baby in the hospital was bad enough, but without a name seemed unbearable. I blew a post partum gasket of epic proportions. I was not leaving the hospital without naming that baby.

After the smoke cleared and gasket blowing debris was swept away, the name Sean settled on my heart. Not in a light, happy and reassuring way. Not even in an “aha!” way. But more in a soggy hunk of clay trying to pass through my aorta like a bean burrito kind of way. This Sean name was digging in and wasn’t going to budge.

I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Isiah 43:1

Antique Daddy and I discussed it and we both agreed that the name Sean seemed providential. It was the third thing we had agreed upon since our wedding day five years before. A good sign. We looked up the meaning: “God has been gracious.”

And so He has.

How did you choose a name for your baby?

38 thoughts on “Hello My Name Is Blank

  1. Named son Elijah ‘coz I was reading the chapter on Elijah and we were living in San Diego’s Carmel Mountain at the time. It was God’s will and we obeyed. Named daughter Julyn upon a very French-accented radio commercial which I thought sounds great, it stuck and grew on me. I worked on it a bit and came up with my own version of the word that got stuck on me.

  2. Well, no bean burrito tried to work its way through my aorta or anything like that, but…

    My three boys all have family names. My daughter’s name is not a family name but has some significance behind it (can’t tell you the story without revealing the name), so I’ll tell you in person sometime!

  3. Our first child – we did not find out the sex of the baby until he was born. So, we had to pick a girl and boy name.

    But with months (I mean) months of research (my husband) on the internet looking at meanings of names & origin of the name. We also used “The Name Book: Over 10,000 Names–Their Meanings, Origins, and Spiritual Significance”

    We had decided on a name for both a boy and a girl. Then he was born and I saw his face, I told my husband that name doesn’t fit him we need to come up with another name. And of course we didn’t have two names picked out only one boy & one girl name. We finally settled: Our first born son was named after my husbands great-grandfather and my father’s middle name.

    Then our second pregnancy we found we were having twins – this time I needed to know what we were having boys or girls (we already knew they were identical) so we could begin the name process and the nursery decoration. Well, two more boys…(Praise God!)
    Twin A first name was after my husbands grandfather and middle name after my husband’s middle name. Twin B first name was after my husband’s uncle and middle name was after my grandfather. So they not only had significant meaning to us, some heritage but also Spiritual meaning to us.

  4. My ex and I went thru a baby name book the day I found out I was six seconds pregnant and settled on a boy’s name. Never chose a girl’s name. Had a boy. I just knew. For my daughter, it was a little more complicated. My ex wanted a certain name, but it had the same first letter as our son. I didn’t want to do that to our kids, assuming of course that we’d have a third and maybe a fourth (which we did not). Then one day I met a little 2 year old girl who looked like an angel and danced around and around in circles singing. Her name rhymed with the name my ex wanted — and I was sold. So was he.

  5. When I was pregnant with our third child, my husband announced that he was tired of talking so much about names, and that the name would just come to us. Our daughter was born three weeks early and was named on the stretcher ride back to our hospital room after her birth… but her middle name? I stayed up all that first night looking at her, trying to make her name come to me. Eventually I just used my mom’s name as her middle name.

  6. Oh, oh, very interesting post!!! Thanks for sharing this. I (oops, “we” – LOL) are in the middle of trying to choose names and there are so many, I really just cannot decide!!!

  7. My sister (Laura), my brother (Scott) and I (Audrey) are all named after characters from the soap General Hospital. Although my mom claims she was not obsessed with the show…

    So should I follow suit and choose names from Desperate Housewives or Grey’s Anatomy?!?

  8. It’s a lot easier to rule names out than in. I have one baby name book that should have been titled “1001 Names You Should Not Name Your Baby (Or Your Dog)”

  9. I have carte blanche to name our babies whatever I want. Az has no veto power. So JellyBean is named after my Dad, but I waited to see what Sweetpea looked like before I named her. I brought a list of my thirty possible names into the delivery room, and went through them after she was in my arms. We chose one before we called everyone to say she was born. They would have killed us otherwise. She is named after her great-great-grandfather.

  10. The Only Possible Names (according to my mother) are family names (preferably last names as first names…we’re that sort of inbred… err… Southern family). Biblical names are a last resort. I come from the family of Thou Shalt Not Name a Child After Any Less Than Three Relatives.

    My brother’s two girls have first names that sound like last names, but they aren’t OUR last names (or those from their mother’s side)–they were just picked because my brother and his wife *gasp* liked them. (So do I…shhhhh!)

    Mom had conniptions, and has assured us that all the grands and great-grands and great-great-grands are spinning in their graves.

    So when we get our little Chinese or Japanese child, she’s probably going to have some weird string of three or four family names. Can you just see it now…our adorable Asian pixie, named something like “McCullough Carson Anderson Jones”?

    Poor kid! (Nope, I’m not telling any of you MY middle names!)

  11. We picked the girl’s name just because we liked it. . .and I will reveal both. . .Victoria Lauren. Lovely don’t you think? Any of you are welcome to use both in any way you wish. I’ve not met another Victoria Lauren in the 8 years she has been on the planet. I have lots of people say, “Oh, that is so pretty.” But no takers. . . There is no family connection. In the hospital a nurse said, “How lovely. Is Victoria a family name?” And I said, “It is now.”

    Because we had a somewhat questionable boy’s name chosen (see below), and because we didn’t know either time the sex (I ALSO read the end of the novel about a chapter into it–hubby finds it D-E-P-L-O-R-A-B-L-E) we did not reveal names pre-baby. We did not want anyone’s opinions. Post-baby I could just tell them to shut up and get away with it due to hormones. After the girl arrived, we found out that Tony’s dad’s grandfather was named Victor.

    Always had two boy names–both biblical–both spelled biblically (with an additional “a”–those crazy Greek/Roman name spellers) Thaddaeus or Nathanael (pronounce Thaddeus or Nathaniel–the Puritans did some tweaking. I guess they figured the extra “a” was too fancy).

    The boy ended up with QUITE a moniker. . .Thaddaeus Walton (middle name=family name). Good thing he weighed 10 1/2 pounds. He needed to to haul that thing around.

  12. I also had to know the sex of my first-born. I knew it was a boy, the doctor just confirmed it. I always liked the name Jonathan and luckily I married someone who agreed with me. His middle name (Lewis) was my grandgather’s middle name. (Turns out there are Lewis’s going WAY back in my family, but I did not know that at the time.)

    With the second pregnancy, Mark did not want to know the sex of the baby. We found out sort of accidentally (long story). Jackson was a name that my sister liked. I mentioned it to Mark and he liked it too. We never would have picked it had we known that every third boy born that year would be named Jackson. His middle name is Mark’s grandfather’s name, Charles.

  13. Our oldest has my middle name as her first name and my mom’s name as her middle name. Our oldest DS has DH’s middle name as his first name and a family name as his middle name. Both of those children’s first names are also Biblical, so we’ve stuck with Biblical names as first names and family names as middle names.

  14. My first was Joshua from the time I was about six months pregnant. I just knew!

    My second was going to be Bradley or Benjamin. I couldn’t make up my mind and once he was born we tossed both of those out the window. Finally it hit us, Seth. We love that name now and it’s perfect for him!!

    Your story was cute. I love to hear how parents pick out the names!!

  15. Great topic, AM! My name was “BLANK” for days as an infant. They were convinced I was going to be a boy named Jeffrey, but I came out with girl parts, and you can’t girlify Jeffrey. Jeffrette? Thankfully, no.

    Pie Girl shares her first name with a little girl I babysat when I was young. I just always loved the sound of the name. Pie was almost “Emily”, which was my imaginary friend when I was little, but with Emily topping the most-used girl’s name lists for the last decade we ruled that out. I was in school in the Jennifer years where you only knew which Jennifer you were talking about by adding a last initial or hair color. Not doing that to my child! Pie’s middle name (Danielle) has no significance whatsoever. Just beautiful on the ears.

    We knew we’d use Moose’s first name if we had a boy since we first got married, no significance other than we both just knew that would be our son’s name should we be blessed with a son. My father and grandfather, both John, are watching over us from heaven so that is Moose’s middle name.

  16. I cried…cried hard at the ultrasound when they told us we were having a baby girl. I wanted a boy so bad. I would not trade her now but I still want a boy!!

    Great story, I am sure Sean will appreciate the history of his name eventually!

  17. Great post! That birth certificate lady that stalks your hospital room still gives me nightmares. We had a first name, but the middle name we couldn’t agree on. Like it matters….
    Our son just had to have the initials B.O.B so that he could have a variety of name choices if he didn’t like Benjamin. That name just fit for us immediately.
    My husband picked my daughter’s name before I was even pregnant with her. I did not like it. It means “Ruler of Elves” and name meanings matter to me. Not sure which came first the name or her fitting it. She doesn’t just stick with Elves, she rules this house. I love her name now.
    I loved the scripture too, thanks for sharing.

  18. Enjoyed reading this…and could so relate in the name delema.

    When our second was born, we still hadn’t settled on a name. Hubby wanted one name, but though I liked it OK, it did’t seem quite right. He had basically chosen the name of our first girl, and I so wanted the name for our last to me more “mine”. And our nurse was a little less burly but still making me feel like losing it, every time she came in wanting a name.

    Finally, hubby and I had a huge discussion our last morning at the hospital, resulting in some very hormonal tears but also a hubby giving in when he finally agreed that I did to most of the work here…and with him choosing the middle name (which I liked a lot). And she so looks like a little Jenna… not a Kristen. So I was right. 🙂

  19. Most people I know keep their baby’s name a secret until after the birth. I understand that because everyone has an opinion and can’t refrain from saying “Ugh! My uncle is named that and he’s a pervert” or “A kid in my 3rd grade class who ate his boogers was named that” or something like that. I would have told everyone if we’d had a name picked anyway because I’m not so good containing exciting news (it’s genetic). When I was about 4 months pregnant I sent out an email to everyone I know soliciting suggestions and got some really good ones back – some pretty funny. It will be fun for Sean to look back at that someday and see who suggested what names. I may go through the list and share some of them.

  20. LOL!! Baby #4 (aka Kacie Cathleen) didn’t have a name. I had decided on Rylie Cathleen, but at the last minute DH backed out on it. Everyone was just panicked that she didn’t have a name for a couple of days. We tried several names on her but non seemed to “fit”. My 5 year old nephew even went to school and made a list of all the pretty girls in his Kindergarten class to read to us.
    I was pretty bummed about not getting Rylie until I was at the peds office and there were 3 Rylie’s (all girls) in the waiting room. Since my name is Jennifer (a PP explained how that worked out) I didn’t want to do that to my kids. So, I’m happy with her name now. I hope she is.

  21. My best friend handed me a huge package of papers she printed out. I turned to the J’s first because it was the letter I always wanted to have my childs name begin with. It was the first name I saw, it’s meaning is “God has heard” so that was it. We had been praying that everything would be okay with this pregnancy (had had a miscarraige before). As soon as he was born we looked at him, and the name seemed fit.
    His middle name is his father’s middle name.

  22. their meanings specifically describe the child (or how I felt about them at the time) or describe our lives at the time.
    Holly Austa: In the old English-consecrated to God and majestic

  23. My little two pound baby girl we were not ready to bring into the world. She is such a miracle. There was another baby getting ready to leave the hospital after our daughter was born and her name was Ashley Nicole, what a fighter she was. So we named her after her, we still have contact with her to this day.
    Caleb Jaimeson I miscarried a baby boy the year before Caleb was born. We named him Joshua. So when we had Caleb we named him to pair up with the big brother we lost.

  24. I am a strange person who really likes naming babies. But it was so hard to find a name my husband liked. We did not find out our first, and had a boy’s name (picked the week he was born, because I said if it was a boy we MUST have a name) and a girl’s name that I adored. I am from a family of girls, so I was really expecting a girl. He turned out a boy, so now we have Christopher. His middle names are his grandfather’s first names.

    The next child was easier. I had kept my favourite girl’s name secret (in case a sister pinched it, we’re a pretty unscrupulous family). We found out the gender this time, and knew we had a girl. Samara, which means guarded by God, suits our little girl perfectly. She has an Irish middle name, because I am proud of my ancestry.

    Joshua’s name we jut liked. We find it hard to pick boy’s names. His middle name is my maiden name.

    Thanks for coming by my fledgling blog. I really appreciated your thoughtful comments. I have been reading here for a few weeks, and enjoy your writing very much, so I felt quite honoured when you appeared on my comments list!


  25. I wanted to name my first boy Andrew and call him Andy and my husband and I battled it out all through the pregnancy. He had had a roommate who went by Drew that he didn’t like at all and everybody called him Drewl, because really, he was that gross. I argued that we would call him Andy so it wasn’t the same name at all. When it was all said and done, my husband looked at me still strapped on the table and said “you can name the baby anything you want”. So I won that one but I caved on my second child’s middle name, which I regret to this day (he’s 14 now). His middle name is Todd which I have hated since I was little (no offense to any mothers of Todds out there).

  26. Love your story AM! Love it! Our lil’ guy has the same name as your lil’ guy, only another form. Both his first & middle names are Biblical and family names. His middle name is Israel.

    By the way, Rabbit (see above) is my cousin.

  27. It’s tradition in Jewish families to name a child after someone special who has died. We took Swimmy’s first initial from Husband’s grandfather and my grandfather (both had same initial and were close friends) and her middle initial from her Husband’s grandmother (again, family connection).

    LittleMan’s name comes from Husband’s mother’s and my mother’s maiden names. And we found out that the name we chose for his first name was also his great-great grandfather’s name.

    There you go.

  28. Though for his whole life my DH swore it wouldn’t happen, we named our son John V. As in “the fifth”. My husband is John IV.

    To make it interesting, the middle names are not all the same, though they all start with “A”. Sr was John Adam, Jr was John August, III is John Anthony, IV (my DH) is John Anthony, and our son, V is August in honor of Jr.

    To make it even more interesting we found out not too long ago that John Sr’s dad was also John. We decided to refer to him as John “Prime”. We’re not sure what his middle name was though.

    Anyway, to keep things less complicated around the house, we call our son “Jack”.


  29. It’s so hard trying to find the right name isn’t it? It’s such a permanent thing. We were another couple who ‘had to know’ and once we found out we were having a girl, we started making name lists. We had decided on Marisa and this was months in advance, and our little Holly may very well have been named Marisa except for one thing. My husband turned to me one day and said, you know what Marisa sounds like? It’s like ‘Melissa’ except with a Chinese accent. Well, since I hate the name Melissa with a passion, out went Marisa. Holly was the name next on our list…

  30. Me? I love surprises. We didn’t want to know what the baby was until he/she made his/her first appearance.

    We made our daughter’s name up. Poor girl. But she has nothing to worry about because everyone has weird names nowadays. When I was growing up, everyone would totally butcher my name because everyone was named either Jennifer, Michelle, Kim or Christina. Hmph.

    My son? We just kind of saw it one day and liked it. When we looked it up, it showed to be a Biblical name and that did it all the more for me.

    Now my daughter asks where her name is in the Bible… I may have to make up an extra book just to get it in there.

  31. Love this post, and all the comments!

    My first son is adopted, and he was 2 1/2 months old when we met him and brought him home. His birthmom had already selected a name for him, Samuel Paul, and although I had other names picked out, my former husband and I chose not to give him a new first name. It didn’t seem fair to do that to him since he’d been Samuel for 2 1/2 months! Plus, the name Samuel meant a lot to me, after going through a 2 year waiting process with the adoption – I could relate to Hannah’s prayers for a child, and Samuel means “God hears”. It still makes me tear up a little when I think about how God gave me my son. Anyway, we DID change his middle name to Robert, which is my younger brother’s name. My brother passed away in 1993, so it was in honor of him.

    I got re-married when Samuel was two, and I did so knowing full well what any future children’s names would be. My husband was THAT sure and THAT determined, and he made sure I agreed to it before I was wearing the engagement ring! 🙂 So, son two is Allan Bruce, the III. Samuel and I call him Baby AB, although now that he is 15 months old, we might have to stop with the “baby” part.

    We also have a daughter’s name picked out – or rather my husband had one picked out. We were able to compromise on it, and hubby gets the first name he wanted and I created the middle name as a mixture of my grandmother’s names. Course, we don’t have the daughter yet, but we’ll be ready if/when that happens! (Soon, I hope, cause I’m not getting any younger). And if by some chance we have another boy? Poor thing will be BLANK forever, because we canNOT agree on another boy’s name!

    Thanks again for this post – fun, fun stuff to read and share!

  32. All five of ours have first names that we just really like and middle names come from searching all over the family tree.

    I tend to use sir names for first names and middle names too.

    Loved this post–I can’t imagine leaving the hospital without naming the baby either.

  33. One of my friends was the same way. Her baby was born early and they did not pick a name until five days later. Fourteen years before I even thought about having a child, or even getting married, I saw the cutest little girl named Hannah. I decided then and there, that I would name my daughter that someday. Luckily for me, I had a girl. My Mom’s name is Kathryn, so Hannah Kathryn worked out really well.

  34. have you read The Poisonwood Bible? I like how she named Dinah, looking into Dinah’s eyes and saying the names aloud until the baby responded to one of them. 🙂

    My brothers and twin sister and I all have family names. Another good thing to check is how easy they are to write…

  35. Oh you make me laugh. Donn and I are both stubborn as mules…that is, both have strong opinions when it comes to names. Since he is not here, I will tell you in confidence that his favorite names do not work for actual children. He loved the name Linus. (He said the kid’s peers no longer read Peanuts so they wouldn’t tease him…I said I didn’t care what the kid’s friends thought; I cared what MY friends thought and they would mock us) I told him the only way I would have a son named Linus was if I died in childbirth! Since I didn’t, it was obviously not God’s will that we have a child named Linus. My mother’s Welsh and her mother’s maiden name was Rhys (Reece) and I loved that and he said…well he didn’t like it.
    Elliot didn’t get named till Day 3.
    Then we conceived twins. Why? We can’t agree on baby names, and the ultrasound was inconclusive so we had to come up with 4 possible names! What a laugh. Day 2 came and it was time to leave the hospital and I said, “I will not leave until I have named these babies.” (well we had managed to agree on Ilsa, although he liked Evangeline (???)but since I’m not living in the 17th century, I didn’t.) I’m wondering if you want to know all this, but on I go. At one point with Abel, we were considering giving him TWO names–he would call him one thing and I would call him another! Yeah like that would work in real life.
    Anyway, we now have 3 children, all satifactorily named real names, nothing TOO weird, even got some family names in there (for example when I first saw Abel’s nose and knew I had to name him after my grandpa and my brother for his middle name) and thankfully, we’re done now because Donn says that if, God forbid, we should ever have another boy, he’s going to put his foot down and insist upon Linus, and I don’t want to have to die in childbirth!

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