So, I am coming to you again.....wrote to you earlier about Baby Girl Patterson. She is here and is now 2 weeks old. We went to the hospital with Catherine "Cate" Hazel in mind, but with a few others from our list as well. We didn't name her until they were kicking us out of the hospital and we went with what we had liked the longest - Catherine Hazel. We couldn't decide between that and Caroline "Carly" Harper. Again, my son is Grady Owen, and we call him Gray.
For some reason, I felt liked she looked like a Carly in the hospital (although I have always thought people were crazy when they said a newborn "looked" like a certain name). But I was afraid I would regret not using Cate and so I went with that. My husband wanted me to decide. He likes all the names fine, but his biggest thing is he doesn't want her to have a name like a dozen other little girls in school. He is Josh and hated that when he was growing up for that very reason.
Now that we are home and she is Cate, it just doesn't feel right. When I say it, when I hear it, any of it. I don't know if this is just a case of name remorse, b/c Baby Name Wizard specifically says that you should NOT wait until you are looking at the baby to decide. That you will second guess yourself for weeks. So maybe that is it. I also think it could be that we just need to get used to it. Since we had not decided for sure, we haven't really been calling her that before she was born. Or, is the name wrong???
The other names we are considering are:
Charlotte Harper - do you think Charlotte will make it to top 10? My husband loves this name and I like it too. Think it goes well with Gray. But if we are trying to avoid overly popular, maybe we shouldn't go this route.
Caroline "Carly" Harper - I have always liked the name Carly, but we do wonder if the style of the name goes well with Grady/Gray. I have also had several parents mention the TV show icarly to me. I wasn't aware of this. Do you think this name will become trendy? Is it a totally different feel than Gray?
Hazel Sutton - I am falling more and more in love with Hazel, but I don't know if I want to use it for a first name. One issue is the color thing. Do you think of a color when you hear Hazel? Because my son is Gray, I want to avoid sounding like I am naming my children after a box of crayons. That is the reason I didn't use Violet, which i love. Also, I adore the name - but I wonder if she will like it one day or think it is too old lady sounding? The other option here is to call her Sutton, which is my husband's favorite. I like that it is different, but wonder if it is too boy sounding.
And finally, my issues with Cate - I was already concerned about the popularity of it, especially with all the close names like Kaitlyn, Kate, Katherine, etc. And then the whole Kate Middleton thing isn't helping right now. I also do not want her called Catie at any point since my son is Grady. BUT, we exclusively call him Gray - so I don't think we need to worry about him going by Grady and her being called Catie later. I also feel weird saying it, like it is so short and the "ate" sound. Maybe I like the way it looks better than sounds...or maybe I am just overly emotional right now and totally sleep deprived. :)
So, please give me your feedback and advice on all the names. We want something that goes well enough with our son's name, that isn't too popular, and not too strange. My only musts are I want to use either Hazel or Harper somewhere in the name, and using Harper as the first name isn't an option (husband doesn't like it). We also don't want to call her Catherine (for family reasons I won't go into).
Baby Girl needs a final name! I feel so bad that I am still undecided!!!
We recently answered a similar question, and I'd say the same answer applies to this one: i.e., that you certainly can change the name, but that if there isn't a specific name you feel is the perfect one to switch it to, you're likely to continue feeling indecisive even after you change it.
I do think that a "baby already named" naming decision is much different than a "baby not yet named" decision. When the baby is not yet named, we can all discuss the merits of various names, and which we'd prefer, and which combinations work best and so forth. Once the baby is named, it doesn't work to re-open the discussion as if the baby had not yet been named: it's a matter of whether you want to switch it, and whether you think switching it will make you happy, and which name you feel strongly enough about to be worth the hassle and kerfuffle.
If the baby were not yet named, I'd be advising you to start over: the names you have on your list are causing you to go in circles. Since the baby is named, I find I have a very strong opinion: I think you should keep her name and call her Catherine instead of Cate. It seems to me that most (if not all) of your current uncertainty is about the nickname: too short, wrong sound, too common, too much like Grady/Gray, not wanting it changed to Catie. Calling her Catherine solves all of these problems, and Catherine is a wonderful name: one of my children has a classmate named Catherine, and it is a pleasing fresh surprise each time I hear it. At only 3 syllables, I don't think it requires a nickname, though a nickname may come about naturally (I knew a Katherine who went by Kitty as a child, and a Catherine who in her high school years went by Cat). Gray and Catherine is a wonderful sibling set.
I think you made a very good, solid choice when you chose Catherine Hazel, and I think you would be sorry in the long term if you changed it to Charlotte (which is widely predicted to get even more popular) or Carly (which is a less solid choice to begin with, and then has the iCarly complication) or Hazel (which does sound like a color to me when I hear it with Gray).
[Edited to add:] Dang it: as Elle pointed out in the comments, I missed the part about not calling her Catherine for family reasons. In that case, I don't have any ideas. None of the other names/combinations on your list seem right to you, either, and shuffling them around seems to be increasing the "NOTHING WORKS!!" anxiety. I think you'll have to choose between calling her Cate or starting all over with a new list. Or perhaps find a non-name-related nickname to call her. Or call her "Rinnie" for the second half of Catherine. Or perhaps the "family reasons" can be overcome?