My husband and I never see eye-to-eye on baby names. I always knew I wanted Hudson, so that one was a given from our first date. We picked his middle name, Dean, as an homage to Dean Martin, a favorite singer of both my husband and his father. My husband also initially suggested Miles, but then he moved on to other favorite names, and I wanted Miles, so it was "my pick" again. His middle name, Taylor, is in honor of Taylor, Michigan, where my husband grew up.
So now, we are finally having a baby girl, and this may very well be our last baby! We are completely gridlocked, since we both feel like we have The Perfect Name. I'm desperate for some input, and maybe, more suggestions, since we're stuck and this is getting really stressful and emotional. We've been working our way down the Social Security list and trying to add names, but it's hard.My husband suggested years ago that if we had a girl, we should name her Nico, and at first, I must say, I adored it. We both love The Velvet Underground, and it seemed like such a cool, unique, strong name. I mentioned it to a friend recently, and she said it was a "total rock star" name. Her middle name would be June, in honor of my maternal grandmother, who passed away 2 years before I was born. I thought that gave it a nice feminine touch, and would allow her to use the more feminine June as a first name if she decided that Nico was too much to deal with it.Sadly, I am now really concerned about using Nico. It has started to sound more like a weird name than a strong, cool name to me: Nico Zebraitis. I mean, how much are people really going to call her Nico June? I don't want her to be a Nicky or a Nic, either. I already have to spell my surname for strangers all the time, and I think she'd be constantly spelling and explaining Nico, too. It also reminds me of nicotine and rhymes with geek-o, freak-o...you get the picture. Another friend remarked that it made her picture a vacationing with a swarthy man named Nico on a Greek island. I am just having a hard time even liking it anymore, much less loving it, but hubs is so smitten with it, I feel like it will be so hard for him not to use it.A few weeks ago, I loved Juniper, and I still do, but hubs doesn't. And I have to admit, Juniper Zebraitis is also a pretty tough name, weird even. I began to think that what I want for my daughter is a name that's simple but unusual, that everyone will immediately recognize and know how to spell, but that isn't currently in popular use as a first name, something uber-feminine, soft, and classic. Suddenly, I realized that she was trying to tell me what her name was all along, (see, I'm obviously emotional and smitten with my name choice, gah!), ever since I came home from taking the pregnancy test at the doctor's on my birthday, and played The Decemberists' "June Hymn" over and over on the way home. We should name her June. And we could give her the first names of the 3 of our grandmothers who meant the most to us: June Estelle Liudvika Zebraitis. June is a popular middle name choice, but not for first names at all.Liudvika was my husband's grandmother, who raised him, and he would have used this as a first name choice. His name is Vitas, and he has no problem using the "Boy Named Sue" approach to a challenging name makes you stronger. I looked into variants: Lulu (too babyish to use for a lifetime?), Louisa, but couldn't see anything great. Frankly, I think it's a harsh-sounding name, and would be fine with just doing June Estelle Zebraitis, but that doesn't seem fair to my husband. We could do June Liudvika Estelle, but the syllable pattern of 1-2-3-3 sounds much better to me than 1-3-2-3. Or, we could do, June Liudvika Zebraitis, but then I feel like all she's really got to work with is June, and all the other names are just harsh and not very pretty.Other names on our list:Brooksley (after economist Brooksley Born, but since no one would likely get this, it then sounds like Kaylee or something to me, so I don't like it for that reason)BrookeDylanAva (too popular, though, so no)Arden (i kind of don't like that it sounds like "harden", though)MadisonStella (my grandmother went by Stella, we could do Stella June Liudvika, but I like my first choice far better)Please help us!
Currently the name Nico is used much more often for boys than for girls in the United States: the Social Security Administration reports 522 new baby boys and 35 new baby girls named Nico in 2011. It seems like a cute choice for a girl if I say it again and again, a name like Mia or Nicki. But if I saw it on a piece of paper, or in a sibling group with a Hudson and a Miles, I'd assume Nico was a boy---not like, "I wonder if that's a boy or a girl? More likely a boy," but rather in the same way I'd assume Hudson and Miles were boys. There is nothing inherently wrong with choosing a more-often-used-for-boys name for a girl or vice versa, but I think of it as the kind of choice that needs extra thought.
It's hard to know what to advise here. I can throw my full support behind the idea of June with grandmother middle names, which seems perfect to me---but I can't picture that endorsement making your husband think, "Oh! Well, okay then, I'm happy with the name June!" Even if we had a poll and we ALL voted for June (and of course not all of us would), you two are the only real voters.
It would be best if we could find a way to make a better offer, more like a compromise that lets your husband keep his choice without forcing you to use it as the first name---something like using Nico as the middle name, or using Nico as a nickname: June to Junie to Nico? It's not traditional or intuitive, but these are desperate times.
I'm afraid that what usually happens in cases where each parent has committed to a favorite the other parent can't agree to is that both parents have to drop their choices and find something new: for most of us, it's too hard to go through the heartbreak of giving up a favorite name AND then agree to the other parent's favorite. If it does come down to starting from scratch, you'll need to both make sure you're not thinking of the task as "Finding a name I like better than Nico/June," but instead as "Finding a name we can agree on from all the names that remain."
One possibility for compromise is the name Annika. It lacks the simplicity of June, but it's more feminine and flexible than Nico, and A.Z. are very cute initials. And it certainly has room for the nickname Niko or Nika; your husband could call her that exclusively, if he liked. Annika June is lovely.
Veronica and Danica could work the same way.
Or Cleo has some of the sound of Nico, while being more feminine.
Juno may be too associated with movies and goddesses, but it's like a hybrid of June and Nico.