What’s In a Name?

October 19, 2012

Having a name like Heli has given me major concern when naming my children. My wonderful parents wanted to honor, what I hear was an amazing lady, Aunt Helen. So in 1980 when Helen was only a Great Aunt or Grandma name, they named me Helen. Shortly after they realized that Helen was an old lady’s name and nicknamed me Heli (like Kelly but with an H and spelled funny). My mom chalks it up to the fact that “I am sooooo a Heli,” however I think that’s just her guilt in naming me a name that no one ever understands. Questions of ethnicity and origin become an instant conversation topic when I meet people. Plus, the fact that family members still get my name wrong should bear example to why you should never make up a name for your child.

When I was pregnant with Drew, we had specific relatives that we wanted to honor. That limited our letter choices and narrowed down the names we were considering drastically. Pretty early on we knew he would be Andrew Russell and that was it. With Gabby, we had more of a tough time. There are so many great girl names, we didn’t have any extremely close relatives to name after (thank G-d) and the choices were endless. Days before she was born we drew names from a hat, picking Gabriela three times in a row. It was a sign! And so she was named Gabriela Blair.

My middle name is my mother’s maiden name, which she still uses as her last name. One of my cousin’s also has this family name as his middle name. So in efforts to honor my grandparents, who I am fortunate enough to not have to name anyone after, I will pass on the same middle name to our future child. Beyond that, we are stumped!

I have mentioned that we are not finding out the gender of this baby, which has been very challenging for me. I’m excited to experience the surprise but the planner in me is struggling to not know. Without being able to connect with the gender, it’s hard to even think of name choices for this new family member.

My goal for this name is something a little different but also common enough that they aren’t sounding out the syllables for every person they meet. It’s a tough one! The name you decide on defines that child for the rest of their lives. It’s almost too much pressure to take. We might have no choice but to go back to the trusty hat trick or just settle on “Baby.”

3 thoughts on “What’s In a Name?

  1. If the name was/is a problem, why didn’t/don’t you give yourself a nickname?
    There was a time when you, as a teen, decided to use HELYN, to modernize the name. What happened?
    Hal has also had problems with his name. People want to drop the H to call him Al or change it to Cal or add an ending to make it Halvador.
    And so it is.
    Marcia recently posted..What happened the day you were born?My Profile

  2. I’m going through the same thing…although I know this one is a girl. I’ve “narrowed” my name choice down to FIVE!!! I’m in trouble! I had 3 for my son and it took a good day and a half to decide on one! I’m not putting any pressure on myself which is the reason why I’m concerned…I don’t want my daughter to be nameless for too much time after the birth!
    Lisa @bitesforbabies recently posted..Bye-Bye “Bottomless Pit!”My Profile

    • Sounds like you might want to go for the trusty hat trick method of deciding on a name! I don’t think it helps that I have severe pregnancy indecisiveness…are you suffering from that too?

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