January 27, 2012
© Ashley Fraxedas
23w5d- I think we found it. I think (emphasis on think) we’ve decided on a name.
Eh, no big deal. It’s just a name… You know, the one word everyone in the world will call her for the rest of her life! Holy pressure! And do you know how hard it is to pair a name with Fraxedas?! I’m jealous of you Smiths out there.
I know this is a total tease because we aren’t quite ready to announce her name. Sorry! But I do think that this moment deserves attention. So here goes.
We’ve always had more girl names than boy names. Guess we just got lucky. But we really didn’t seriously talk about baby names until our 20-week appointment when we could cut our search in half. And when people give you baby name books titled, “20,000+ Baby Names,” cutting them in half is a big deal. OK, we’re having a girl. Now we can talk.
We played the Ross and Rachel (from Friends) name game. Jason suggests a name. I have veto power. I suggest a name. Jason has veto power. So on a long car trip, we started spouting off random names. Surprisingly, we agreed on everything, and one in particular stood out. We kept coming back to this name, even under my rigorous, nitpicky standards, which include:
- Has to soften Fraxedas. I love how unique our last name is, but it does add a different challenge to this process.
- Has to sound appropriate for a baby and an adult.
- Can’t be too common.
- Can’t be too uncommon (no Blue Ivy for my little girl).
- Has to be easy for the poor girl to learn to spell in kindergarten. Again, she's already going to have to learn to spell and write Fraxedas.
- Has to be pretty in both print and cursive.
- Has to be pretty in both uppercase and lowercase (I work in publishing! This is a very important byline quality!)
- Can’t have too many descenders in typography.
- Has to flow phonetically. With a long last name, can’t be too long of a first name.
- Has to have a decent meaning. Doesn't have to mean goddess of the universe, but it can't mean ugly fish either.
- Has to stand out as strong and recognizable on a resume, for example.
- Has to sound good in Spanish when my grandma-in-law says it.
- ABOVE ALL: Has to be a name that I think my daughter will love.
I can picture her little girlfriends coming to the front door, asking, “Can ____ come out and play?” And then her boyfriends calling and asking, “Hi Mrs. Frax. Is ____ home? May I please talk to her?” (Her boyfriends are going to be very polite, of course.)
So much goes into a name. I’ve never felt this kind of pressure before! I hope my daughter loves hers. I think she will because I think it already fits her. You really get to know your child in utero — her schedule, her movements, what she likes, what she doesn't like. My husband and I call her by this name when it’s just the two (or three!) of us at home. It sounds right. It feels right. The perfect combination of sweet and spunky. And, we’ve even asked her if she likes it: “Kick once if you like the name and twice if you don’t.” She kicked once. I think.
As for a middle name? Forget about it. We have one for now — Isn’t that enough?! Hopefully the middle name will come to me in a dream.
What were your criteria for a baby name? Did it take your forever to decide?