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oh, baby!

Your pregnancy is a time full of decisions, important decisions - are you going to breast feed? Will you choose to give birth naturally? It feels like your choices on these important matters speak to what kind of parent you will be. These choices weigh heavily on your mind throughout the entire nine months, but none as weighty as what to name your future child.

A name can say a lot about a person before you even meet them. You get to select the name your child carries for the rest of his/her life; this is a heavy decision. A lot of factors can go into name selection: is it easy to spell? Is it easily mispronounced? Do I know someone by this name already (that I might not like)?

We spent hours carefully weeding through each name on our potentials list that had to meet strict criteria to be considered. Mike and I are practicing Roman Catholics, giving our child a Saint name was very important to us. And we aren't just talking "okay, he's a saint", but in-depth research into what each Saint was the Patron Saint of and their backstory. Couldn't name our baby after the Patron Saint of potatoes. This knocked a lot of modern day baby names off the list. Secondly, I wanted an easy to spell name. I couldn't have Baby H trying to write "Kynnelee" or something equally hard to spell with a bunch of (unnecessary) repeating letters. We also decided that one of Baby H's names would be a family name, whether it be first or middle, because continuing our family heritage is significant to us. Lastly, like any Southern Mama, I had to make sure his monogram looked nice.

Once we had our parameters, we spent more time than I care to admit creating a rather long list of potentials. Here are four of our top "maybes" for both genders that didn't quite make the cut (and their significance to us):

1. Mildred Anne

My great-grandmother's name was Mildred and I have always thought "Millie" is precious for a sweet little girl. Millie seems perfectly fitting for a spunky and sassy child, which, is really the only type of offspring I think I'd produce.

2. Cecelia Anne

Cecelia is a striking name - it is the type of name that just *feels regal. "Cece" is downright adorable (do we sense a theme here- cute nicknames were important) and as she grew older, she could choose to go by her proper name if she desired. "Anne" is my mother's middle name and flows perfectly with both Mildred and Cecelia, so we were hooked on that middle name option.

3. Octavian John

It is a known fact in my family that if I was a boy, I would've been named Octavius. Unfortunately for my dad, (read: fortunately), he was blessed with two daughters and my parents now have a cat named Octo. While discussing names, we did consider Octavian, a version of my nearly missed name, as a viable option. My father's name is John and each generation in the Karaus family has a male bearing the family name.

4. Ruth

The Book of Ruth strikes a deep chord in me, particularly the passage in which she states paraphrased "where you go, I will go...". My husband and I work tirelessly to strengthen our marriage as a team in which, where he goes, I will go. Naming our child Ruth felt like a fitting nod to our dedication to exist as an intertwined entity.

Ultimately, we selected a name with strong ties to both of our families. Baby H will be named Calvin James, after both of our paternal grandfathers. I believe we covered all of our bases - no crazy spelling, no possible way to mispronounce, pretty standard Catholic names. And a cute monogram to boot!

Can any Mama's relate to the heaviness of naming your child? What factors were important to you? Share how you chose your child's name(s) below!


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