When I found out I was pregnant with our first child, one of the first things I started thinking of was names. I looked at clothes and I thought of names. To me, naming a baby is the first big parenting decision you have to make. It’s kind of a huge responsibility, right?
We always knew what we wanted to call our first son, but I wasn’t really sure about a middle name. I had no idea what I wanted to name a girl. I agonized over what we would name a girl.
For a boy or a girl, I just really wanted to avoid the top ten most popular names in the United States. I didn’t want a “weird” name, but I didn’t want the most common name in the kindergarten class. I had daily chats on the phone with my mom as we went through our family trees and thought of different name combinations for a potential little girl. And then we arranged different first and middle names around the boy name we’d chosen.
Of course, after all of the choices and time spent on deciding on a girl name, I found out I was pregnant with a little boy. We knew that we wanted to call him Hudson, but we decided to keep the name choice a secret. My dad’s name is Hudson and his mom’s maiden name was Hudson. I wanted to use a family name and I wanted to use a name that I loved.
We decided on John Matthew Hudson Carroll for his official name. I like four names for a boy. “John” was the name of a cousin I loved dearly, and “Matthew” is Todd’s first name. So we had our boy’s name all set. But then we had to keep it a secret.
We chose not to share the name because it was nice to have something for just us. It was also something we decided because I knew that as long as no one knew his name they wouldn’t criticize it. People have a tendency to say some really thoughtless things to expecting parents about their baby names of choice.
We figured that if no one knew the name, they couldn’t say anything negative. After the baby was born, would someone really tell you they hated your baby’s name after they’d met your baby and held your baby? It’s a lot harder to criticize a name when the sweet baby is sleeping on your shoulder, right?
For the most part, we never heard anything negative about Hudson’s name. But it didn’t really matter. We love his name and that’s all that matters.
When I found out I was pregnant again, I was all set to use our girl name. And then we found out we were having another boy. But I’d already named a boy and didn’t have another favorite boy name.
I knew I wanted a one-syllable name with four or five letters. I have no idea why. So I had a very short list of names that I loved that fit that criteria. And only one of those names started with an “H.” I had already put the letter “H” on so many little outfits, pillows, blankets, and cups that it made sense to use another “H” name.
But the trouble was that Todd was shooting down all of my baby name ideas, but like most men, he didn’t have any suggestions either. So… we were back to my list. And I wanted another “H” baby.
So we decided on Hayes. I was so excited about his little name. It took a longer time for Todd to get used to Hayes’s name. Because Hudson’s name was such an easy, quick decision, it was much harder for us to decide on a name for our second boy. We both just couldn’t agree.
Hayes’s middle name is Claxton, which is Todd’s mom’s maiden name. We love being able to use family names as much as possible.
We didn’t keep Hayes’s name a secret for long, and it was actually really nice when we let his name out of the bag.
I still have my girl name ready to go in case we ever have another baby. I love thinking about possible future baby names. And we have another boy “H” name just in case. You just never know when you might need it! (But not any time soon, I promise.)
How about you? Did you keep your baby names a secret? Did you have specific criteria when choosing a name? Do you have any baby names on “reserve” for future babies?
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