Baby names were a lot easier the last two times.
Claire was picked as our first girl's name when she was still qualified only to be called "Embryo."
Our first son was dubbed Scott I think before M and I even got married. (It happens to be a family name, so it made it even easier.)
Do you see how both times in the past we had a name to replace the "Fetus" designation as soon as we knew the gender? As soon as we left the 20 week ultrasound, our baby had a name and we started to use it. So it's been really weird this time, knowing now that Fetus is a girl and still only being able to call her "Fetus." I suppose normal people would say something like "the baby" or even a cute nickname like "bump" or "bean." I guess we're just a little bit overly matter of fact about things, but any other name besides Fetus just sounds too cheesy to me. Sentimentality has never been a strong suit for M and me.
I knew this time around we were in for a much harder time since we didn't already have a name "waiting in the wings." It could have been like this last time if Scott had been a girl. In fact, during my pregnancy with Scott we started making a list of girls' names and then abandoned it when we found out we were having a boy. But not before I got a little taste of the impending horror.
M and I do NOT have a terribly similar taste in names. I think the ideal case is for a name to be something of a unique identifier. Isn't that kind of the point? I mean, otherwise why not call us all "man" and "woman"? But since issuing everyone a serial number might be a tad cumbersome, you try to find a unique name. Not unique in the whole world, maybe even not in their whole school, but hopefully at least in their classroom. I don't want it to be a made up name, or a name no one has ever heard of, but I think it ought to be fairly uncommon.
M, on the other hand, thinks a name shouldn't make you stand out. He figures, if everyone else has used a name, it must be a good name. This is particularly problematic given our last name. Imagine the most generic last name of English origins you can think of. Are you imagining it? Okay, now I'd bet good money you are thinking of our last name. I feel like M's taste in names would doom our children to a life of hopeless anonymity, no matter what. If we pick the names he likes, our child could cure cancer and be the first astronaut on Mars and no one would ever remember their name. In fact, no one would probably even notice what they had accomplished.
It's interesting how different our perspectives are given that we both have fairly uncommon first names. Growing up, I LOVED having an uncommon name and I think he hated it. So our naming goal is to find a name that everyone has heard of and is fairly normal, but that not too many people are using right now. It's a tall order and it's a matter of debate how successful we've been thus far.
We've been working on a girl name for this time around for awhile now. We started talking about girl names even before we knew this one was a girl because we were at such an impasse last time before being saved by Scott being a boy. I'm starting to get pretty antsy. I know I still have over 14 weeks left, but I think I would rather die than walk into the hospital unsure of the name I wanted to use. That smacks of "going with your gut." Pshaw! What, do you want to me to name them based on what they "look" like? Then we should name them "Svork" or something because they come out looking like aliens. And how my kids looked as newborns has absolutely NOTHING to do with how they look later anyway. In our house, names are NOT left to some whim of the anesthesia. Around here, picking a baby name is a intensive process that involves spreadsheets and ranking and scoring and graphs to check for positive or negative correlation... Seriously, it's bad, people.
So help us. Spare us poor geeks. Vote in the polls in the sidebar and give us your two cents in the comments. Here's the lowdown:
When we were pregnant with Scott, we had narrowed it down to M's favorite girl name being Helen and mine being Ellen. Not so easy to compromise on. You can't exactly use one for the first name and one for the middle name. To ease the tension, we said we'd just always say her name with a heavy British accent and call her 'Elen. The deadlock continued so we've come up with some other names.
Kate is our top scoring name. We took a rough list of conceivable candidates we compiled together. Then each of us ranked the list. The score is calculated by the sum of the square of the respective ranks. (For example, if M ranks Svork at #2 and I rank it at #20, then the score would be 404.) This system amplifies "dislike." A lower number is better (like golf!). I'm a little concerned with this one about popularity and about the fact that she would be named Kate and not Katherine or anything. We'd technically be naming her a nickname.
The other "name family" that scores well is Lauren or Laura. Lauren has some real popularity issues as well, but there's a bigger problem here. We like the names, but we don't actually say them the same way. (Crazy east coaster husband...grumble grumble)
So what should we do???