One of my favorite things about photographing maternity and newborn photo sessions is finding out what name each couple picked. Deciding on a name for your child is such a huge decision, and often the name itself is just as fun as the story behind how mom and dad chose it.
My husband and I didn’t know how easy we had it with our first daughter – we agreed on her name pretty quickly. At the time, I only knew one other couple with a little girl named Annabelle. It took us longer to agree on a middle name, but, overall, selecting her name was pretty simple!
When we found out we were pregnant the second time, my husband didn’t see the point in discussing baby names till we knew what we were having, but I wanted to anyway. Early on, we each had a favorite for a boy, but the girl name was much harder.
There hadn’t been a “runner up” name with our first child – one we liked almost as much as Annabelle – so I spend hours pouring over lists online and testing out my favorites on Jordan via text message while he was at work.
He’d send back a simple “No” (this happened a lot) or occasionally a “Maybe” while I tried not to take it personally when he didn’t like my suggestions!
Both of us preferred classic, feminine choices – and I was against a name, no matter how pretty, that could be spelled a million different ways. I have a first name spelled so differently that I don’t even bother anymore to correct the barista at Starbucks, or the hostess at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Naturally, I didn’t want that same lifelong annoyance for my own children.
So, when my husband fell in love with a sweet, traditional name, although I loved it, I just couldn’t get over how she’d always, always have to spell her name for everyone. We reluctantly crossed it off the list.
I also hesitated to select something that I knew would be shortened, even though I knew it could easily happen no matter what once our children were old enough to prefer a nickname.
Lastly, I was drawn to names that you don’t hear too often, but were still traditional and feminine. Luckily my husband was too!
Eventually, we settled on Emily for #2, which is certainly pretty common, but beautiful nonetheless.
Both of our first two girls are named after family members, which wasn’t particularly intentional. It just so happened we have family members on both sides with “Ann” or “Anna” as a first or middle name. Emily’s middle name is a shortened form of a relative on my husband’s side of the family.
When we found out baby #3 was on the way, we waited until birth to find out if it was a boy or a girl. I just knew this was our chance to add some blue to our home already overflowing with pink. We settled on Everett and William as our favorites (without knowing what order we preferred) with me gunning for Everett as the first name and Jordan holding out for William. William is also a name of significance on both sides of our families.
But then our sweet baby turned out to be baby girl #3 – and when she arrived healthy and happy, we hardly cared that she was wrapped in pink instead of blue. Her name, however, was a battle that raged in our little hospital room until it was practically time to go home.
I’d had Josephine on my list for months – it was traditional, not super popular, adorable and so classy. My husband liked something else, so we referred to our newborn as “Baby girl” for 2 days as the nurses bugged us to death, urging us to decide on something. The lady in charge of the social security documents gave me a deadline when “Baby girl” was barely 36 hours old: she needed a name by that afternoon at 5 pm, or else.
Jordan and I stuck to our guns, both trying to wait the other out.
Eventually, he gave in, and Josephine has a name that fits her perfectly!
So far this year I’ve photographed precious maternity, Fresh 48 and newborn sessions featuring little ones named Leah, Arabella, Cade, Roosevelt and Charlotte, just to name a few.
Out of curiosity, I checked the Social Security Administration website for the most popular names for babies born in Texas. The most current data is from 2017, with the following baby names rounding out the top 10:
I think it’s interesting that Sophia and Sofia both made the list, which booted Emily off. Runners up Evelyn, Charlotte and Amelia are definitely popular names I see often, along with David, Alexander, James and Jayden. Number 83 on the current Texas list is Everly, a new favorite of mine that I wasn’t familiar with when my husband and I were expecting.
So what was your criteria for picking out a name? Is your favorite in this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
I specialize in maternity, Fresh 48, newborn and family portraits in Houston, TX and surrounding areas. My favorite thing is to spoil clients with a luxury photo experience so they don’t have to worry about a thing along the way! To learn more about booking your photo session, click the button below to get started.