Hi-- Our last name is very "holy" and begins with an "L"!
I am 27 weeks pregnant and scheduled for my 3rd (and last) C-section on February 29th. We are super excited to be having a GIRL after 2 boys. The boys were relatively easy to name--my oldest is 7 and is Nathaniel ("Nate") Thomas 1-ord--with Thomas being my husband's middle name. The younger is 20 months--Zachary ("Zach" or more often "Zach-y") Harrison 1-ord--with Harrison being an honor name for my dad, Harry, who passed away while I was pregnant with Zach.
Compounding our naming dilemma is a series of issues that have come about with the early pregnancy scans (downs syndrome scare, heart defect scare, hair lip scare, etc.) which have all turned out OK so far but caused lots of stress for the first 24 weeks or so and kind of made me worry about naming this baby too soon. (I had 4 pregnancy losses between Nate and Zach as well). Also, my mother has been recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemo right now--causing another set of family stress issues and conflicted feelings about the joy I have in this pregnancy.
Our naming style: We both like longer first names with a nickname that we use every day--but we also use the 3 names (Zachary Harrison 1-ord or Nathaniel Thomas 1-ord) when either child is in trouble (so I have to imagine saying the name in a stern tone while the child is misbehaving!). I am German/Scottish and my husband is Italian/Swedish and so far we haven't been able to come up with any names that "go" with any of these thus our rather traditional "American" named boys. The only issue we had naming the boys was that I LOVE biblical boy names like Noah, Jonah, Josiah, Lucas etc. which, with the last name of "1-ord" really is just too much (Although both boys names do come up in the bible)! We have also chosen "family" or "honor" names for the 2 boys' middle names so I feel pressured to do the same for this one. The problem is that my mom is Kathleen--which I don't love as a middle--but that would be the most obvious choice. I do like Kathryn which is similar to how we changed my dad's name to Harrison as an honor name....I don't know how I feel about it at this point, but it is a possible middle name choice.
For this pregnancy I have made lists of girl names and then my husband shoots them down...he wants to use a name we had "picked" for the first baby that turned out to be Nate--but I don't like the name anymore and it feels dated and already "used up" so I am unwilling to even consider it at this point.
Names I have considered:
Emilia Kathryn--right now is my top contender. I would go with Mia or Mia Kate as a nn. My problem with it is that it is pretty popular--especially when you add in all of the Amelias and Mias...have not pitched to husband b/c I don't want to "lose" it as a name!
Bridget nn Britta or Gretchen nn Gretta--love both but husband does not like. Not sure about middle names with either
Tabitha--love, husband hates "Tabby" or "Tibby"
Daphne, Fiona, Felicity--can't come up with usable nn's for any of these with "1-ord"--husband doesn't like
Abrielle or Briella--like both, but not sure about "Ella" with 1-ord--no idea about middle names for either
Alice nn Ali--like the simplicity, but not convinced it is "the one"
Brynne, Bronwyn, Brynlyn, etc. I like the idea but not the execution of these
I like Quinn as a middle name but it kind of feels like it comes out of nowhere in terms of our naming style...
I don't want a super popular name and would like to stay out of the top 100 but it is not a deal breaker. We have never run into another Nate (mostly Nathan which I dislike as a nn) and we rarely hear of another Zach that is under the age of 12-15. Names we hear ALL THE TIME in our part of the US--and would like to avoid as names or nn's-- are: Abigail, Chloe, Lucy, Lily, Lila, Olivia, Kaylee, Kylee, Leah, Hailey, Hannah, Delaney, Isabella...I like these names and think they are cute, but they are in every daycare, preschool and primary classroom!
At this point I am at a loss--and, I keep thinking I have plenty of time to decide but we are getting a lot of pressure from family and friends regarding the name of this baby as Christmas approaches and I have a baby shower scheduled for January 14th that I would like to have personalized (if possible)! As a side note, I am an only child and my husband's sister has no children so we have the only grandkids in the family....first and last grand-daughter comes with some pressure!
Does your mother go by Kate? That would make such a good middle name, though perhaps not with 1-ord. Or just changing the dated-sounding -een to a current -in sound might help: Kathlin is pretty. Also, Kathleen is how the U.S. initially translated the Irish name spelled Caitlin (which is pronounced more like Kathleen)---but since then we've also adopted the pronunciation KATE-lin for Caitlin. You could use Caitlin as a middle name, if you think your mother would feel honored by it.
But that's always my sticking point with changing honor names: DO people feel honored, when it isn't their name? It seems like it's a double issue: first, it implies their name wasn't liked enough to use; and second, they might not feel honored by a name that doesn't feel like theirs. But people vary hugely on this, and some people are honored if even their initial is used, so this will depend on how things are in your own family and with your own mother. It helps that you've been through this already with your dad's name, and have had a chance to notice your family's (and especially your mother's) reaction to an altered namesake name.
I am in favor of leaving it Kathleen: I think over time it will grow on you, especially if -een names make their expected comeback in the next generation or two. (Little aside: my mother considered giving me the middle name Grace after her grandmother, but couldn't stand to give me such an ugly name. A generation later, here it is sounding lovely again and I would love to have it.) And I love middle names that add to the nickname possibilities: just as with Kathryn, Kathleen gives you Kate to pair with the first name.
Or, you could drop the idea of an honor name. It's fairly common for families to run out of honor names they want to use, and also for families to prefer a different naming style for the girls than for the boys.
If you like Emilia but it's too common, I suggest Emeline. (I'm thinking of the emma-LINE pronunciation rather than emma-LEEN.) Emeline Kathleen 1-ord, or Emmie Kate, or Emma Kate.
Or Anneliese? It's German, and pretty, and I like it with the brother names: Nathaniel, Zachary, and Anneliese; Nate, Zach, and Annie.
Would your husband prefer Margaret over Gretchen? You could still use Greta, but it also opens up the possibilities of Meg, Maggie, Daisy, etc. Margaret Kathleen 1-ord. DAISY KATE. Maggie Kate. I love this name. I want it for myself.
Instead of Tabitha, would you like Agatha or Meredith or Meribeth or Bethany? I love Meredith 1-ord. Meredith Kathleen 1-ord, Merrie Kate.
Emilia and Briella make me think of Camilla. Camilla Kathleen 1-ord; Millie Kate or Cammie Kate. Same possible issue with the surname as Briella, though: a little bit of a ill-la-la with the surname.
Name update! R. writes:
Felicity Kathleen was born on February 29th and is a happy little Leap Day baby! My mom was initially not on board with us announcing that we were using Kathleen...but now she seems pleased with the honor name (I think her "mood" about it also coincided with ending the chemotherapy--once she started to feel better, she was much more pleased with our decision). We still have not figured out a nickname that we agree on--but Zach (our 2 year old) calls her "Dee Dee" for Felicity and Baby, and so far that is her only nickname! Thank you for the input and help (and note that the headband below was a gift--but too funny not to share with the interwebs!)