Maternal Instinct: What's in a Name?


Editor's Note: We will be regularly following Cecile's journey as she becomes a first time mom to see what her experience is like after miscarriage.  You'll find her posts on our blog once a month.

Words by Cecile Davis

I read an article years ago about why your name matters, and it really got me thinking. Not only about what I’d name my future children but my own name and how it has affected my life. My name is almost always mispronounced, because there is a more common, alternative spelling (Cecily) and I’ve never been one to immediately correct people. I simply rush to tell them my nickname and laugh about my parents opting for an “E” and not a “Y”. I won’t even begin to tell you the trouble my husband has had with his Icelandic name and how it doesn't sound anything like how its spelled (oh, the verbal butchery!). So, I knew that a priority when choosing our child’s name was that it was easily pronounceable and therefore save her the annoyance of correcting people. 

The next decision to make was, do we go for a classic, “normal”, family name? Common names have power, one wonders if there will ever be a President Brandii or Rayne, where as well known Mary’s and Sarah’s breed confidence in their commonality. Or do we give our kid a wild and unusual moniker, one made for a race car driver or pop singer? We had a huge list of both kinds of names and tossed around many more, then one day my husband threw out one that stuck to my heart instantly. He claimed it was a joke, but I just couldn’t get it out of my head. When I thought about her life I could see her introducing herself without shame or hesitation in many different scenarios, and even being noticed when seen on a name tag or business card. I think it’s futile to worry about playground nicknames, kids will be cruel no matter what and bowing to what some second grade bully can twist the name into isn’t worth factoring in. The one problem is that there is a famous character in 20th century pop culture that shares the name, but luckily she is an awesome character and one we all love dearly… Alright, I held you in suspense long enough:

Wednesday Owen Storm

Now what are you thinking? Here’s the crazy thing about baby names, we’re so quick to judge, right? We’ve all done it. Let me ask you this, when you meet an adult what is the first thing you think? I bet it’s not crazy harsh, judgmental things about their name. So why do we find it so easy to be mean about baby names? Is it because we feel like it’s such a huge responsibility to give a name? And when we don’t like the choice (even when it has nothing to do with us) we feel compelled to comment? Now, I’m not saying we’re not all entitled to our opinions, I’m saying we should smile and be happy for parents that they’ve found the perfect name for their child. Then go home and tell whomever what you really think about it. If you happen to truly like the name, I would encourage you to heap praise on the parent and reinforce their decision.

In other news, our baby grows bigger every day. Right now she’s about the size of a papaya, and kicking like a Rockette. You can’t feel her from the outside, but hopefully soon! I can’t wait for my hubby and family to feel her, it makes it so much more real.

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Cecile is a photographer and filmmaker living on Maryland's rural Eastern Shore. She specializes in artistic and highly emotional wedding coverage. Her husband and two dogs are expecting the arrival of their first human baby in April 2017.

Pregnancy | Motherhood | Naming | Parenting