We are expecting our third child mid-September, though I think it will show up sooner. We don't know the sex of the baby and I don't have any strong feelings either way.
Here is some background. We already have two boys named Atticus and Avner. Their last name is both of our last names and rhymes with Axel Fur. We didn't plan on having two A-names for the boys and are a little self-conscious about it. We've been pretty adamant that we *don't* want another A name, although in the last few days I've been softening as there are so many great A names! (I also acknowledge that our banning of A names has probably made them even more attractive this round.)
We've done what you don't suggest and know what the middle names will be. The boys have middle names that honour family members (my FIL and my deceased brother) and we'd like to honour a dear friend who is no longer with us. Her middle name was North and we'd use that for a boy. If we have a girl, we're going to saddle the poor thing with two middle names--our friend's first name (Azra) and Joan (which was my Nana's name and also is the middle name of both my mother and my sister). Yes, we're thinking of being crazy and giving the poor child FIVE names! One first, two middle, two last. It's over the top, but I kind of don't care at this point. I am NOT having another child, so let's blow our load on this one!
I've got a long list of girl names that I like and that I think would fit--Harriet being the top contender as far as I'm concerned, with some other names being Lois, Alice, Agnes, Margot, Ivy, Iris, Hazel--but we're still searching.
Boys names are so hard! I feel like there are so many things that we have to consider that no name will work: no A name (but they're the best!), no name that sounds like a last name (as the mn sounds like a ln and he'll already have two lns, poor soul), something not too common, a real name, nothing poncey or with too many syllables. I want it to be strong, a little tough, but something that would go with his siblings. For example, I came across the name Tiernan and thought, that's a good name, but then realized it sounded like a yuppie child's name. I want a name that would be as home on the oil rigs as the theatre as the doctor's lounge. (I know Atticus doesn't necessarily fit that, but...that was five years ago!) Some names that we've been talking about are Ivan, Silas, Callum, Orson (a last name, but I love the meaning: little bear/bear cub, as this baby has very much been one in utero). A names that are suddenly very attractive because they are verboten are: Ansel, Ambrose, Amos, Anders, Arlo.
In the past we have a strong list of about eight names and wait until the baby was born to name him and are hoping to come up with lists that we're both happy with. Also, just to make things even that more difficult, we'd prefer a name that doesn't lend itself to nicknames.
So, as you can see, we're a mess. I would love to hear your thoughts and access the hive mind of your readers.
Thanks so much!
It was my mom who brought my attention to the fact that many people have "favorite initials": one or two initials that tend to be heavily represented in their name lists. One of my mom's is K; one of mine is E. (Most people also have a couple of least-favorite initials.)
If you were planning more children than three, I think I would be encouraging you to avoid A names this time around lest you paint yourself into a corner. But if you're pretty sure you're stopping after three, and if A-names tend to be the ones you love most (rather than ones you feel pressured into using), I find it appeals to me to think of you with your three little A-name children. I think it can be a fun family thing---and with only three, it hasn't gone far enough to seem odd. And it looks to me as if your A-name list is more consistent with your style than your non-A-name list. I think you could go either way: if the favorite name starts with an A, or if the favorite name doesn't start with an A, there are good things about either decision.
My attention was caught by Orson, because although I don't like the way it flows with the other names, I DO like the bear thing. I Googled bear names, and found this list, which has several good possibilities. (Watch out on this and other bear-name lists: the verb "bear," as in "many famous people bear this name," leads to many sorting errors.)
More suggestions, non-A or A, bear-related or non-bear-related?