Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Name Game

Now that our precious girls have arrived and we've revealed their names to everyone, I thought I should share with you how we chose their names and what they mean to us. Also, I think that someday the girls will be interested in this information, so what better place to document it than here?

We've had several people ask us if we planned to give all of our children names beginning with the same letter. The answer? No. In fact, unlike many couples, Chris and I didn't really have any name plans set in stone. What we would name our children was just something we never talked about before we got married, and rarely discussed after we were married. I'm not sure why? I do remember very early on in our marriage (we were still in college, so we had been married less than 3 years), we watched a movie with a character named Malachi that everyone called just Chi (with a hard "K" and long "i" sound). After the movie was over, we both said we really liked that name/nickname combo, but that was pretty much the extent of our talk. Also, I had heard the name Brenson when I was about 15 years old and had loved it ever since. Chris was aware of this, and I knew that he really liked it, too. Other than that, we hadn't really discussed names and certainly hadn't decided anything.

Our four adorable Bs

After we realized that infertility was going to be a serious issue for us, the topic of names kind of became taboo. It was just a big trigger for both of us, and I think it's because it brought up a lot of fear. What if we never had the privilege of naming a child? What if we picked out names that we loved but never got to use them? How would we feel every time we heard that name? There was just too much baggage, so we didn't go there.

And, even after we found out we were expecting Brianna, we put off the name conversation for quite a while. In fact, we didn't decide on her name for sure until about a week before she was born! When we did finally decide on her name, we weren't thinking about what we may name any subsequent children. We had no idea if we'd even be able to have any more after her, so it's just not something we considered. Had our first two children been girls, I'm pretty sure their names would not have both started with the letter "B". At the time we were expecting Brenson, we really liked Katelynn for a girl. However, as we all know, he came out a boy so we named him Brenson and that gave us two children with "B" names.

Our sweet baby Brianna Elisabeth Jo

When we became pregnant with B3 in October of 2012, I immediately told Chris that I wanted another "B" name. For me, I didn't like the idea of having two children with the same letter name and a third child with a different letter (especially since we didn't know if we'd be able to have any more after B3). I actually know quite a few families where that is the case and it doesn't bother me, but for my family that's just not what I wanted. Chris was fine with that, and thus we began calling the baby B3. For the record, both of us were convinced that B3 was a boy, so we had pretty much decided to name him Ben . . . we just didn't know if we would go with Benjamin or Bennett. We didn't even discuss a girl name.

The twinbies were probably the most difficult to name out of all our children. After two losses, we didn't discuss names until I was at least 14 weeks along, and even then we weren't for sure if we were having two boys, two girls, or one of each so naming felt very overwhelming. When we did find out for sure that we were expecting two girls, we talked very seriously about giving them their own letter. However, the two names that I loved were Brooke and Cammie (this would have been a nickname for something . . . probably Campbell or maybe Cambria). How do you have Brianna, Brenson, Brooke, and Cammie though? I really didn't like the idea of that! But, I couldn't find a name that I loved more than Brooke, so that brought us back to the "B"s.

Our handsome Brenson Charles Jacob

Chris actually preferred to go with all "B" names, so he pretty much immediately agreed to Brooke. Now we just had to come up with a second name. We looked a lot online and came up with three names that we both thought could work: Braigen (where the ai is pronounced with a long a and the e as a short e), Brecklyn, and Briley. I was really fond of both Braigen and Brecklyn, with Briley coming in a distant 3rd. Chris liked all three, but his favorite was probably Briley. Braigen was deleted from the list fairly quickly as every time Chris said it, it would come out sounding like Bregin (short e and short i). He didn't mean for it to, it just did and that would never work for me! So, with Braigen deleted, I was set on Brecklyn. It {surprisingly} didn't take much convincing for Chris to love it too, although he didn't tell me that immediately. I found out that he had converted to my side when one night before bed he prayed for Brooke and Brecklyn. I may have squealed just a little during the prayer :-).

Then, we were left with the task of choosing middle names. Both Brianna and Brenson have two middle names . . . a bible name and a family name. Brianna's middle names are Elisabeth Jo (Jo is my Mom's middle name), and Brenson's are Charles Jacob (Charles is my Dad's name). We knew we wanted to use Mae as one of the middle names as it is my middle name given to me because it is the middle name of both of my grandmothers. We had also decided that we would use Faith as a middle name to represent our long journey of infertility and baby loss. That left us needing one more bible name and one more family name (I count Faith as a bible name).

Chris's mom had sent me some name suggestions, and one of those suggestions was Sara. This was the name of her grandmother who helped raise her, so it was certainly a family name that meant a great deal to her. I have always been fond of the name Sara, and it was actually already on our list. However, I wanted to spell it Sarah like Sarah of the bible because I just love her story of how God fulfilled her dreams for a baby in a most unexpected way (even though she had tried to take matters into her own hands . . . such a lesson there!). Chris and I agreed that Brecklyn Sarah Faith was both beautiful and meaningful to us, so we officially decided that that would be Baby B's name!

Our darling Brecklyn Sarah Faith

As far as Brooke goes, we had a much harder time. It was her first middle name that was tripping us up, as we thought something with three syllables would sound the best. After googling "female bible names with three syllables", we were able to come up with a short list of names we thought might work. However, we didn't really love any of them or their meanings. Then one day, I was browsing the internet and the name Eliana came up. It wasn't exactly a bible name, but I read that it meant "My God has answered" and I was sold from that point on! How perfect was that?!? We had prayed for YEARS for these babies - and especially after losing two babies and not knowing if I'd ever be able to carry another - I just LOVED the meaning of the name. I brought it up to Chris, and he also loved the meaning.

What we didn't love is the way the name sounded. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, it was not our favorite. However, the more I used it (and said it with Brooke), the more it grew on me. Chris struggled a bit more with learning to like the way it sounds, but he also came around. I was about 34 weeks along when we finally settled on Brooke Eliana Mae for sure.

Our precious Brooke Eliana Mae

While we definitely struggled with naming these babies, we do love the names we finally settled on! We feel like they are the perfect mix of names we like and names that are meaningful.

1 comment:

Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples said...

I love their names and how they all ended up working together to weave your family together! I just wrote our post revealing baby boy's name. Debating between sharing on the week he's due or after he arrives.