I have been following your blog for a long time and love reading your baby naming advice. I am hoping that you and your readers can offer some suggestions on a name for our baby girl.
This past June my little brother (and only sibling) passed away unexpectedly after a horrible accident. He was only 25 years old. Being not far apart in age, we were always really close, and so it goes without saying that losing him has been incredibly difficult.
Two days after he died, and after almost a year of trying, my husband and I found out that we were having a baby. This is our first, and we are beyond excited. Our little girl is due on March 8th.
When I first found out that I was pregnant, I knew without a doubt that I would honor my brother somehow with our baby's name. My brother's name was Jordan, spelled with an "i" between the "J" and the "o." My parents did this because the Italian version is Giordano and they wanted that to be represented in his name. My maiden name is very Italian, so it worked. I decided that I wanted to use his name as our baby's middle name, regardless of whether we had a boy or girl.
Now that we know we are having a girl, we are having a hard time finding a name that sounds good with my brothers name. I know it's always more challenging to pick a first name to go with a middle name than the other way around, but we are beginning to think that because of our situation, we might just have to live with the fact that our daughter's first and middle names may not go together as well as we would like.
Our last name is Welch, spelled with an "s" instead of a "c." We have a good list of boys names that we love, but not so many girls names. For girls I tend to like to antique charm and androgynous names. Our favorite right now is Avery, but I think Avery would sound best with a feminine middle name, like Elise or Isabella. If we used it, our daughter will have two androgynous names. I'm not sure if this would cause an issue for her. The other girl name we really like is Alivia (or Alyvia). I love the name Olivia, but it is so popular now and Alivia sounds to me like a fresh version of it. What are your thoughts on this name? Which spelling do you prefer? Another name I like is Ainsley because it would go great with our Irish last name, but my husband does not like it (same with Aubrey).
Our list of boy names is below:
We would like to have 3 or 4 kids.
We would love to hear any advice or suggestions that you and your readers have. This baby is bringing so much joy to our lives during a time when we really need it, and we want to give her a name that she will hopefully one day love and be proud of. Thank you!!!
I agree: there are situations where other issues trump flow and style, and this is one of those situations. I think people can get stuck when they try to have it both ways: a crucial preference AND perfect flow / style / everything else.
I also agree that since you have a variety of names you like, it would be nice to choose one of the more obviously feminine ones with a unisex middle name. You could save Avery for a future child, or you could see if you like any similar-but-more-feminine names such as Ava or Avaleigh.
The question about whether to use a different spelling of a name will get you every answer from the entire spectrum. Some will think it makes it completely different in a positive/fresh way; others will think it's exactly the same but with the addition of a complicated spelling issue; still others will think it makes it completely different but in a negative way. And pretty much everyone thinks it depends on the particular name and the particular spelling/pronunciation variation: Madison/Maddisynn is a different issue than, say, Isobel/Isabelle, or Catherine/Katharine. I've noticed a lot of negative word choices being used by both sides of such discussions, so clearly it's an emotionally loaded topic.
My own personal opinion is that I'd generally prefer to use a common name than to use a re-spelling or alternate spelling of a common name, and that I would myself prefer to be a Kristen than a Kristynn. Others will feel THE EXACT OPPOSITE: they will FAR prefer to change the spelling of a name, and they will have always wished their own names had a more interesting spelling. Furthermore, one of my children has an alternate spelling of a common name (it's an honor name, and we used the honoree's spelling), so clearly my opinion is only general, and is considerably flexible.
I wonder if you'd like:
I notice that some of my favorite combinations are the ones that would give you a 3-2-1 pattern: Genevieve Jordan Welch, Avaleigh Jordan Welch, Livia Jordan Welch, Eliza Jordan Welch, Cecily Jordan Welch. I find I tend to put the names that end in N toward the end of my list, because of the repeating ending with Jordan: I don't like Avelyn Jordan as much as Avaleigh Jordan, for example.
Because this is your first baby, there are some other issues you may want to consider. If you find you like antique charm AND androgynous names, it can be helpful to think through the subject before choosing any names: would you want to mix them (sisters named Avery and Isabella, for example) and, if not, which style would you prefer to allow to dominate? One good way to mix styles is to do first names in one style and middle names in another; since your first daughter will have a unisex middle name, a pattern of antique charm first name + unisex middle name might work beautifully.
I also think it's useful to consider ahead of time which names might rule out other names. If you use Alivia this time, will you still want to use Avery later, or would those two names be too similar in sound? If you use Alivia, would you still be able to use Oliver for a future boy? If not, it's a good time to think about which name you'd prefer to use.