"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"

Picking a name for your child is a huge moment, and something that takes plenty of time and consideration. We often have a short list of names, and when the child is born, we decide whether the name suits that child. We've all heard people say "We were going to call him James, but he looked more like a Dave when he came out". 

So what is really in a name? This blog series is here to share why people picked the names they have given their children. Each week we will be hearing someone's story about their choice in names, and how they came about.  Today we find out how Tracey from Pack the Pjs decided on the names of her two children.

When I was a very vulnerable 20 years old I was told by an ‘old school’ matronly nurse that I had PCOS; that I’d always struggle with my weight because of it, and I’d never be able to have children. This came one week after a long-term boyfriend left me with no warning – so I walked across the road to a park and I cried my eyes out.

When I met my now husband, 8 years later, one of the first conversations we had was that I couldn’t have children, “so run now before it gets serious”. He stayed. We married 11 months later, in 2001. Bizarrely I never questioned that nurse’s comments. Around our 4th wedding anniversary all our friends were starting to have children. I was already in my 30s at this point and I found it really hard to cope. Then, I don’t know what the trigger was (probably all these babies!) but I decided to get a second opinion. This started a year of many appointments, tests (quite a lot of spent money), but after 5 rounds of Clomid I became pregnant. It was quite surreal as I’d convinced myself – and lived with the fact – that children weren’t on my life agenda. 

At the 20 week scan I was DESPERATE to know if I was carrying a boy or a girl. Well actually, I just needed confirmation that it was a boy as I was convinced it was. He was going to be called Oliver Jay and he’d have blonde hair and blue eyes, like me.
The NHS scan was inconclusive – everything was fine, which is the main thing – but I was beside myself as I thought I’d find out that day. So my poor husband phoned around every private scanning clinic in the country to find a free appointment that same day! We found one in Birmingham, a 2 hour drive from our then home on the coast of West Wales. Friends came to the house to dogsit for us, and off we went …

Amazing scan, will never forget the details it showed. But then the bombshell … it was a girl! Aarrgh … I’m SO not very girly, I wasn’t sure how I’d cope being a mum to a daughter! We drove home excited but stunned … I couldn’t really get away with Oliver Jay now could I! I realised that it wouldn’t feel real until she had a name too.

We got home and our friends stayed over and we didn’t go to bed until a name had been decided. I wanted there to be a family connection, but with a nana called Doris May and a mum called Valerie Joyce, none of them appealed much! My dad’s aunty (who was a grandma figure to me) was killed in a car crash when I was 11). Her name was Hilda Alice, so I knew I wanted Alice to be in her name somewhere.

In the end, after a stupid amount of thought and debate, we decided on Millie-Mae Alice. Millie was just a name we liked, and it went well with Mae (after my nana). The following day Huw phoned his mum and dad to tell him about the scan and that they were going to have a granddaughter - and to tell them the names we’d decided upon. We then learned that Huw’s grandma was called Millicent – Huw never knew that! So as it turned out, she is named after grandparents from both sides of the family.

My son, born two years after Millie-Mae (yet another Clomid miracle!), didn’t cause quite so much stress when it came to a name. My beloved King Charles Spaniel, Jack, had died a month earlier – so his middle name was going to be Jack regardless I’d decided! I downloaded the top 100 boy’s names and scrolled down to the names around the 50 mark … nothing overly popular, nothing too wacky. Toby was ranked exactly 50 in the top 100. Sorted. So that was that – Toby Jack. It also means that he shares the same initials as me … so when he’s old enough to have his own car, he can inherit my personalised number plate! Oh, and he has blonde hair and blue eyes too, just like his sister!



No comments

If you would like to leave a comment about the subject covered in this post, please feel free! I allow links to your own blog, as long as you have left a relevant comment!