Thursday, 4 July 2013

Baby Names: Present and Future

It is less than a week now until my 20 week scan.  First and foremost I hope I am told that everything is well with my baby.  Secondly I hope to find out if the baby is a girl or a boy. 
This week hubby and I have vaguely begun discussing names.  Nothing too formalised yet as there is still a long way to go but just checking we were both on the same page.
During my first pregnancy we were pretty decided on a boy’s name but when we found out we were expecting a girl, a name proved more complicated.  I like vintage names and names that have a family connection.  I love the idea of a name being passed down through the generations.  Unfortunately this is something that has never happened in my family with girls and none of the individual names jumped out of me.  I therefore started to look at my husband’s family tree.  It was here I came across the name Adelaide being passed down the female line.  I know someone who recently named their daughter Adelaide and have always thought it a beautiful name and a family connection over many generations made it perfect.  The only problem was my first name begins with A and I definitely did not want any of my children to have the same initial as me having seen the confusion it caused in other families.  This therefore left the option of having Adelaide as a middle name.  I started looking at girls names that would work with it…..

 Left: Elizabeth Adelaide and Right: Her Daughter Adelaide (just 2 of a long line of Adelaide’s)

One particular family member’s name jumped out at me, Florence Adelaide.  I thought it was beautiful but hubby was concerned about our baby having two "cities" as her name.  Florence, of course, coming into common use after rise to fame of Florence Nightingale, who was named after the city in Italy near where she was born, and Adelaide in Australia was named after Queen Adelaide, wife of William IV.  I therefore continued to look for another first name.

Having exhausted the list of family options I started to look at the Office for National Statistics baby name resources going back to 1900.  This listed the top 100 baby names for 1 year in each decade to the present day.  This resource makes fascinating reading even for those not looking for baby names.  I removed all names ending in an “a” or “er”, and those beginning with “H” as I did not feel these went well with our surname.  I then removed the names I really didn’t like and showed the remainder to my husband.  By this point the list of names was surprisingly not very long at all.  Hubby dismissed a few more which left us with a short list of 4 or 5.

Studying my shortlist, I noticed that not only were they predominantly vintage, but more bizarrely they prominently ended in the letters “ce”.  I turned to an iPad Baby Names app which I knew had a more comprehensive search functionality that others and looked for all names with the the letter combination “ce” in them, and sorted by popularity.  Top of the list, not surprisingly was Grace.  I however, wanted something a little more unusual.  Some way further down, I came across the name Celeste.  Obviously this began with “ce” not ended in it as the search functionality had its limitations.  The name immediately jumped off the page at me.  It was vintage, it was unusual and had a foreign flavour which I liked as reflected that hubby and I had travelled a lot.  I mentioned it to hubby.  He loved it! Testing it out, it also seemed to fit with Adelaide.
Very little was said on the subject after that.  We agreed he would discuss again once I reached full term to confirm we were both still happy with the choice.

As most of you know, we never made it to full term.  Our baby girl was born at 35 weeks and 5 days gestation with very little warning.  I did not even have my hospital bag packed, let alone have a final discussion about names with hubby.   

When she arrived, the hospital asked us if we had a name.  We said we thought so but we would like a little time to discuss between ourselves to confirm before we committed ourselves.  It felt like such a big and final decision and although we still loved the names, we were reluctant to commit ourselves.  Were they too wacky? Would she hate them when she got older?  Did we have any alternative?  After a couple of hours of discussion (and a lot of sighing and shoulder shrugging) we decided to bite the bullet and go with it.  Celeste Adelaide she would be.

Since then her name has brought nothing but compliments, not just from people I have introduced her to, but also from random people out and about that hear me talking to her or see her name written down.  This makes me so proud, and so pleased we were brave and went for something pretty but unusual.  The only problem of sorts we have come across is people of my grandparents generation seem unfamiliar with it and find it difficult to pronounce.  This surprised me as being a vintage name; I thought they would be more familiar with it.  However I guess being foreign, they have just not come across it.  My grandmother calls her "Marie Celeste" (after the famous ship whose crew disappeared) as it is the only way she can remember the name and an elderly neighbour of my parents calls her Cilla.  Mostly though, this just makes me smile.
This time around I think will be sticking to the boys names we had picked out first time around however again a girl’s name will be more problematic.  The types of names we like has not changed therefore I expect some of our strong favourites from last time will feature highly on our shortlist again.  Other than that my lips and sealed… for now ;-)

1 comment:

  1. I think Celeste's a beautiful name. I think a lot of french based names are, as they're so soft when spoken