Monday, July 29, 2013

WHAT'S IN A NAME?


With all the excitement about the new royal baby and the naming debacle, I've been giving this process a whole lot of thinking. I must admit that George isn't a name I would call my child, but if I had names like Charles, Richard, Albert and Alfred to choose from, perhaps the name George starts to look really good.

And the fact that there was no name for the first few days, reminded me about the time when my husband and I had our first baby together. We didn't know what sex our baby was going to be, and because my husband already has two daughters, we sort of suspected that we might have another. When a little baby boy arrived, we were a little surprised. You can imagine the blank look we gave each other when we were asked what this boy was going to be called. But before we go on with this story, there's another that needs to be told first - a week before Baby Piez was born.


Throughout my pregnancy, I admit we both had other things on our mind. My husband was in the process of negotiating with the Papua New Guinea government a way to save 100 or so schools from closure, while the aid agency I worked for had come to the end of funding for its major project. We also knew that by the end of the year we were moving back to Australia and were house hunting. I had to move back to Australia in my seventh month, and was working via computer and telephone during this time.

So when I was due to have our baby, my husband flew from Papua New Guinea to Australia too. And between visiting real estate websites and looking at houses, my husband started visiting baby name websites too. It was time. The only two things my husband and I had agreed on was this:
  1. Our daughters were to be included in the naming process.
  2. The name needed to start with M. That's because we had Kelly and Leah and it made sense to connect our children this way.
Once you limit yourself to a letter, the naming process becomes harder. For girls it wasn't a problem. We all agreed on Milly or Minnie (named after my husband's grandmother). For a boy, my husband loved Milo, Kelly loved Morgan, and Leah loved Makin. I really wanted Mackenzie. None of us liked each other's favourite name. But we didn't really come to any conclusions because we sort of thought we'd have a girl.

So, there we were. Back in the operating theatre. Labour had gone well for eight hours, but the baby's heart had stopped beating and we ended up having an emergency caesarian. It was a bit stressful for a while. Six days later, Baby Piez was renamed. In the end we went with a name we all liked, but it was none of our favourites: Madison Edward (after my husband's father). We loved the meaning of Madison: Son of a powerful warrior. It was beautiful and masculine.

When we were pregnant with our next child, we didn't want a surprise. So at 20 weeks we knew we were having another boy. Looking for a name starting with N was even harder than M. Although we all liked the name Ned, it wouldn't work because it was short for Edward (Madison's second name). We agreed on Nathaniel (or Nate for short). Until he was born. He looked more like a Noah (Kelly really liked this name). So, Noah Stephen it was.

For me, it was hard to get use to my baby's name at first, but by the time they're a few weeks old, the name just fits.

I always love to hear stories about the naming process of a new baby! What is yours?