The Name Game

Between pain medications and very very little sleep, the whole childbirth experience was more like a dream. It’s actually hard to recollect real memories from that week. I have to keep reminding myself of what was real, who I met, what I said.

One thing was for sure: our baby girl was here!!

We had to make many decisions and answer many questions while in the hospital. Most of them were easy enough, but our biggest challenge was still staring us in the face 48 hours after her birth.

It had been two days since the arrival of our daughter and we were still calling her “Baby Girl.” It was time to give into reality! I woke up that morning with one main goal in mind: Choose a name for our princess 👑

Honestly, my biggest motivator was the constant curiosity.

What’s her name?!

Have you picked a name yet?!

Wait, you still haven’t named her?!

When I held her, naming her didn’t seem that important. Nothing seemed important, really. I just wanted to watch her perfect face and listen to her little coos. After lots of inquisitive nudges, I admitted that time was running out. We had to make a decision.

We started this journey with Rowan in mind, but Jacob had decided against it in the early days. His number one pick was Addison, but I have never felt that it fit our girl. There were others…Chloe, Arlyn, Brenna, Quinn…each of them dying out quickly with a “veto” from one of us.

It got to the point where we were so close to meeting her, it seemed almost silly to pick a name before seeing her face. I believed that I would take one glance at her and just know what her name was going to be.

When I first saw her face, it was like looking through stained glass. Unclear, but beautiful. I tried to search her face for clues, but nothing sprung to mind. As I laid on the operating table with her on my chest, Jacob and I kicked around a couple more names. Veto. Veto. Veto.

Then we found ourselves two days out, exhausted, and holding a nameless baby. The sleep deprivation was making Jacob goofy in the head and he couldn’t seem to give me a straight answer when I asked him for his opinion. That afternoon, someone else asked what her name was and I snapped.


K a r a ~ E l i z a b e t h. We’re done with this game. That is her name. Bring momma the birth certificate. End of story.

I have to admit that I’m surprised it took that long. We are usually prepared when headed into any situation! This was just such a big deal. When choosing a name, we wanted something that was easy to say and spell, something that wasn’t too trendy, but something that wasn’t completely made up either.

* K A R A *

In Gaelic it means “sweet melody, friend.” In Italian it means “dear, beloved.” Simple & pretty. It fit the bill.

As cheesy as it sounds, this name came to me in a dream one night. I dreamt that I was coasting down the highway, sitting in the passenger seat, listening to the radio and looking up at a cloudy sky. In the driver’s seat sat a girl that I went to school with. Her name was Kara. In the blink of an eye, it was over. My dream transitioned into something completely different and unrelated, as dreams do. It’s funny how this random glimpse into my subconscious played such an important role in our decision. The randomness is especially funny because I never really knew this girl. I don’t know that we ever held a conversation and I certainly haven’t seen her in years. How she spilled into my unconscious thoughts that night, I’ll never know.

Regardless, I woke up from that dream and took it as a sign. I let the name sink in for a while. I let it roll over and over in my head to see if it started to get worn. When it didn’t, I decided it was time to get Jacob’s opinion. Every time I came up with a name that I liked, I got super nervous to tell him for fear that he would “veto” it. We were under a strict agreement that we both had to love the name (which is something I brought upon myself.)

I remember the afternoon well because when I called him, I was driving down the highway under a cloudy sky, just like in my dream. “What do you think about the name Kara?” Hearing the name out loud made me smile. When he replied “Hmm, maybe,” I realized that we were making progress! One step closer! Although we were making headway, we still weren’t one hundred percent convinced that we’d found the right name. We ultimately let the subject rest until it came time to get serious that afternoon.

Thank goodness we at least had something on the back burner. What would have come out of my delirious mouth if we didn’t?!

Now we are just watching our little Kara grow into her name. She has brought us so much joy and I know that she will do the same for everyone who meets her. It seems to fit her more and more each day: sweet melody, friend, dear, beloved.

I think we made the right decision 🙂


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