Baby Names: Choosing a Name for Your Child


Baby—I  have always been an avid journal writer. I started writing when I was six and would begin each journal with a list of the names of my future children—all 11 of them (two boys and nine girls)! Two names that always made the list were Aimee Lynn and Jamie Lee. It didn't really matter to me that Aimee and Jamie rhymed (I may not have even realized that at the time). I simply liked those names so much that they topped the lists in at least five of my journals.

Fast forward 20 years to when I met my husband @TroyPattee. When we started talking marriage, I naturally brought up the subject of baby names. I probably did this before even talking about kids, because that's how important names were to me. By that point, I had moved on from Aimee Lynn and Jamie Lee to Victoria Noelle. I was pretty convinced my daughter would be a prima ballerina and this name seemed to fit perfectly. Troy immediately shot it down not liking the potential nicknames and that should have been a warning for me of what was to come. But... you know how when you're in love and have stars in your eyes, you overlook things that ultimately are very important to you? Well, this is what I did.

We ended up getting married and I got pregnant 3 1/2 years later and 12 weeks after that, I learned that I wouldn't be having my prima ballerina. Troy must have been thrilled to not have to fight the Victoria Noelle fight with me. But what he wasn't prepared for was how equally strong I felt about boys names. Right when I saw the ultrasound picture, I pronounced: "His name is Chase!" I even surprised myself. Wasn't Chase a last name or the name of a bank? I had never considered it before. But it stuck!

Troy quickly tried to curb my passion by throwing out names like Andrew and Jack. Jack? Jack and Jill? Really? I don't think so. I started poking fun at his attempts to get me to consider other names by calling the growing baby inside of me Chase. And the more I said it, the more I was convinced that there could not be a better name for this baby. I tried to consider his recommendations, but somewhere inside I knew I was having a Chase.

When he was born, I didn't feel it would be fair to not consider other options. I kept trying to call him Andrew. I actually liked that name. But he wasn't an Andrew. And Troy agreed. Without a better option, and with my constant urging, Troy finally gave in to the name. We named him Richard Chase, because Troy's first name, my dad's name, Troy's dad's name, and both of our grandpa's names are Richard. Perfect! Victoria Noelle would be the perfect name for a sister, I thought!

Then, I had a second son and after the first baby name fight, we decided to put ourselves on a baby name discussion moritorium until we could talk about names without getting too excited. This lasted the entire pregnancy. I, of course, talked about names with everyone else and had a list going, but the only boy name I liked was Ryan and Troy refused to even consider it since his brother's name was Ryan. I honestly couldn't come up with another option, so I poured through books and asked friends' opinions, but didn't broach the topic again.

A week before I delivered, we were driving down the freeway and all of a sudden and out of nowhere, Troy asks: "What about Connor?" And I knew we had our name. We named him Connor Scott Pattee because what child wouldn't want to have double letters in all of his names?

I never got my prima ballerina, which is probably better. Troy never would have considered Victoria Noelle and the other name we liked had us fighting over the spelling? Cate? Or Kate? And just Cate? Or Caitlin, shortened to Cait? Too many decisions. So little time.

You probably aren't surprised, for someone with such strong feelings about baby names, that I changed the spelling of my own name!

How did you decide on what to name your babies? Did you go with a family name? Have a favorite? Choose together? Pour through baby name books?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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