Since I realized I was pregnant while reading your blog, it only seems fitting for you to help me name my baby girl. I am due October 16. I really thought I'd settle on a name as soon as I found out the baby's sex, but here I am at 37 weeks and our list keeps getting longer. The baby's last name will be Wilkerson, but I tend to prefer Italian or Italian-sounding first names since I kept my (very Italian) last name and I want both sides represented in her name. The middle name doesn't have to be Italian, it just has to flow well with her first and last (and not lead to offensive initials, something my husband's parents didn't consider). Here is the list of names we came up with:
Giana Rafaela (Does this name work? My dad's name is Ralph so I thought I'd try it out - I like it best with Giana but I'm not sure if it's too much or not)
Sabrina Eve (Open to other middle names)
Adriana (Looking for a middle name that flows like Marie...but any suggestions are welcome)
I'd like some middle name feedback where indicated, and (if possible), a poll on just the first names, and a poll on the first / middle combinations (one per first name - pick your favorite if you suggest more than one). Which name do you like best?
Thank you so much for your help!
How much do I love Giana Rafaela? HOW MUCH? A LOT, that's how much. Beautiful. Oooo, I want so much to put it with YOUR last name. Imagine THAT lovely rhythm! But it's lovely with Wilkerson too. I don't think it's too much: Giana is an unusual but easy first name, and you can call her Gigi if you want to. CUTE.
But you have a ton of good choices here---I can see why you're having trouble narrowing it down. Have you tried some of the Narrowing Down tricks? Like, pretend you've decided on one name. Say to each other convincingly, "That's it. That's the name." Then see how you feel. Disappointed? Sorry not to be using another name? Satisfied and happy? This helped me to narrow down my girl name when I had a list that included everything from Margaret to Magnolia: I found that one name appealed to me greatly, but not when I thought of actually choosing it for an actual baby---and another name I thought maybe I shouldn't choose (in my case, because it was too unusual) ended up ripping my heart out when I thought of not using it.
Another good trick is to think of what you might like to name future children, and see which of your current names go best with that style.
Another trick is for you and the other parent to both make lists ranking the names. It doesn't have to be 1-5 (though it CAN be)----you can do it like this, for example:
And maybe the other parent's list would look like this:
And then you can see where your tastes intersect most.
And here is my most useful trick: which one seems like My Baby? Picture your baby daughter in your arms, and picture each name on her. Which name makes you feel a rush of MY BABY? I have some names I LOVE but they DON'T sound to me like "My Baby"---they sound like Someone Else's Baby whose name I LOVE.
I don't shrink back from using a lot of syllables in a name ANYWAY, but I think Italian names sound particularly beautiful when they're long. Seven syllables for Giana Rafaela seems PERFECT to me. So then a name like Sabrina Eve is just a little disappointing. I would lean more toward Sabrina Gabriella. Sabrina Mirella. Sabrina Gianna. Sabrina Elena. Sabrina Luciana. Sabrina Bianca.
Same for Adriana: the Adriana Marie sort of rhythm is so pretty (Adriana Nicole, Adriana Celeste, Adriana Clarisse, Adriana Corinne, Adriana Elise, Adriana Louise), but I want less French, more ITALIAN. Adriana Valentina. Adriana Rafaela. Adriana Caterina. Adriana Isabella. Adriana Marietta. Adriana Marilena. Oh so pretty!
Well, and yet I like Zaira Jane just the way it is, so go figure.
Okay, let's have a poll! [Poll closed; see results below.] The poll will be for the first names, and anyone who has a middle name preference to go with their first-name choice can leave it in the comments. I don't even KNOW what I'm going to vote for---I thought I liked Giana best, but then I kind of talked myself into all the others with the middle name stuff.
Poll results (216 votes total):
Giana: 129 votes, roughly 60%
Zaria: 7 votes, roughly 3%
Sabrina: 20 votes, roughly 9%
Lucia: 39 votes, roughly 18%
Adriana: 21 votes, roughly 10%
Name update 12-19-2009! Laura writes:
Thank you so much for your thoughtful response to my email - your advice was just what I needed! You made me realize that my tendency to pair a long first name with a short middle (and vice versa) was limiting my possibilities. I also really liked your advice about whether the name felt like it belonged to "My Baby". As much as I loved the name Giana Rafaela in theory, it wasn't My Baby's name...but Adriana Rafaela is, and it's perfect! Our happy, healthy, beautiful little girl was born at 1:09 pm on October 14, 2009, and she had a name by 1:15. Thanks again for all of your help!