Jan 22, 2013
I'm nearly to my third trimester and I never thought I'd ever have this predicament, considering my husband and I chose two names (boy and girl) a year and a half ago when we planned this pregnancy. We found out last month that we're having our third son, and confindently had a name to call him the moment we knew, a name that we had waiting for him: Asher Zane.
He is known by that name now, not just to our immediate family, but, well...to everyone. Once we knew we were having a son, we announced it to all friends and family along with his name.
The fact that we chose this name so long ago was not just to have the first moments of knowing our child's gender and being able to give him/her an identity, but also because the meaning of the name this time around was very important to us. If this had been a girl, we would have named her Laurel Evangeline; Laurel after my mom, Laurie, who passed away last March, and the name means victory and esteemed stature. Evangeline means "bearer of good news and blessings."
Well obviously, we're not having a girl, and our boy's name, Asher, means "happiness" or "joyful" and Zane means "God's gracious gift." Since I don't necessarily find myself fond of the name Laurence or any other variation of that name for a boy (in order to name him in honor of my mom), we found and decided on Asher Zane since we liked the ease of flow and sound to it as well as the meaning bearing a lot of significance to us, especially since this pregnancy is the biggest blessing and source of joyful anticipation since the passing of my mom 10 months ago. Also, although this pregnancy had been planned over a year and a half for our lives, we did not think or expect that when we started the trying-to-conceive process last August that it would happen on the first try. So it really seems like everything about this conception and expected child has been a source of happiness and a gift from God.
But here's where my recent name dilemma has come into play. While meaning of a name holds the most significance to me, origin is kind of my weird OCD thing about names. Everyone in my immediate family (myself, husband, and two older sons) have names with origins that are either English or Welsh. Personally, I like how all our names "fit" together from the same general location of Europe, the British Isles, my name being Audrey, my husband's, Brandon, my youngest son's, Greydon (all English), and my oldest son's, Trevor (Celtic/Welsh). Even our middle names are of these origins.
Now, as much as I am in love with the name we've chosen for our youngest based on its meaning, it's entirely Hebrew in origin. Asher is a Biblical name (one of the 12 brothers of Joseph) and Zane is a Hebrew variation of John...or so says many of the baby name sites and books. So...to me, as much as I'm used to the name already and have told everyone that this baby will be named this name and everyone is already calling him by this name...in the back of my mind, every time I hear it or say it, I honestly think the name stands as kind of the odd one out in our immediate family. Nothing I can't get used to, I'm sure, and just forget over time. But for now, it's just...like a soundbit that doesn't quite fit with the flow of our names. But I realize this is just my personal weirdo issue and no one else cares, so like I said, this is something that I can get over in a matter of time and not even notice after awhile.
Anyway, a few days ago, I was scanning through a bunch of names on an app to help a friend come up with some ideas for the baby they're expecting a couple of months after ours is due. Naturally, I look up categories of origins that appeal to me first--generally starting with Celtic and moving along into English, Gaelic, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh, with many of the names falling into multiple categories (like Gaelic, Celtic, and Welsh, for example, and Irish and Scottish). By chance, I came across two names that immediately stood out to me when I saw them (both of Irish/Scottish origin), each by sight, pronunciation, and meaning. It was like finding two needles in a haystack, honestly. They do not have the same meanings as Asher and Zane, but the meanings they do have give me more connection to the memory of my mom as an individual, rather than meanings surrounding circumstances and emotion. However, these two names, being of Scottish/Irish origin, are spelled uniquely and would almost certainly need to have the pronunciation of them corrected with anyone and everyone who encounters it, BUT they are names that, once you DO know the pronunciation, it's easy to see the phonetic connection and simply adjust your brain to saying it that way with total ease--unlike many of those names that I do like, but would never use simply because the spelling and pronunciation, no matter how many times you look at it and say it...you just can't make the connection unless its a name that is used in that specific realm of origin--know what I mean?
The significance these names have in their meaning to me in connection with my mom is, in the first name, "mighty." My mom, to me, was my hero. She was the strongest person I knew, from her stong-willed personality, intelligence, creativeness, assertiveness, and her zest for life. Nothing could bring her down, nothing could stand in her way, nothing was too much of a challenge for her. She fought into the very last moments of her life, sure to hold on for me and wait for me to rush to be at her side before she let go. She took her last breath as I leaned down to lay my head on her shoulder and told her I was here, and she could let go. She literally fought for every breath, every second of her life, to be sure I could carry on, live with myself after her death, knowing I had been there the moment it mattered to say goodbye and how much I loved her and would miss her. Yes, my mom, to me, was Mighty, which is why this name stood out to me in a way that connection could honor her.
The name is Raighne. It is pronounced "RAY-nee" or "REH-nee," either way. I prefer "ray-nee."
The second name, which I'd use as the middle name because the spelling and pronunciation are just a little more "unique," is Achaius. It is pronounced "ah-KEE-us." It means "Horseman" (Irish) or "Friend of horses" (Scottish).
This name has a special connection to memories with my mom because one of her most favorite animals were horses. She grew up with horses and often told me stories of her childhood and being labelled by her teachers and classmates as the "horse-crazy girl." I think she knew every classic horse story ever written, from Black Beauty to Misty of Chincoteague to collections of books in general filled with short stories and non-fiction about horses. She kept many of those books from her childhood and I have them on my bookshelves now. Her love for horses never ceased with age, and I inherited the same passion for horses and horseback riding as she had herself, so it was a really special connection. When we had two "pasture ponies" for years, some of my fondest memories I have spending time with my mom were on long trail rides around our ranch. A couple of years before she passed away, she got to fulfill a lifelong dream she had, and that was to purchase a saddlebred horse and learn to ride either saddleseat or drassage. She found a local stable that provided saddleseat lessons. Her gelding she bought was a giant gray goofball named Charlie, and my gosh that horse was the definition of gorgeous (I recently had to sell him, which broke my heart).
Also, horses to me signify a lot of just who my mom was. Elegant, strong-willed, graceful, beautiful.
So you can see why that name also holds much significance to me. Along with that, well...to be honest it just flows with our last name in its meaning too, because our last name ALSO means "lover of horses," lol. Redundant, perhaps, but...I love horses so what does it matter?!
So here lies my name dilemma, and it's not as simple as just "plan to use the name for your next child." That is not realistic, in my opinion. First of all, I don't know if we are going to have another child. By golly, I'm about to have THREE boys (along with a husband who instigates as much mischief, if not more, than my sons) and honestly, I'm overwhelmed with that thought at the moment. IF we do decide to have a fourth, number four may turn out to be a girl. And going for a fourth is a BIG "maybe."
I can't imagine five. Even so...in the exremely low nearly impossible most likely never will happen chance of having five, again, who's to say the fifth won't be yet another girl?
What I'm getting at here is that there is no guarantee I'll never get to use one boy name or the other ever again. So it's either choose Asher Zane and stick with it, or change it to Raighne Achaius (and obviously, he will go by his first name only--middle name will only be used on documentation and when he's in trouble, lol).
My husband is completely fine with whichever I want to choose. I know he's leaning more toward the preference of Asher but that's only because he's used to it, as is everyone else. But he said if I feel that strongly about changing the name, that he doesn't mind at all and will support the decision I make since, as he tells me, "You're the one going through the physical demands of growing a human inside your body and you're the one who has to push him out, so you are totally entitled to the final say on his name as far as I'm concerned."
I've honestly not only spent the last few days deliberating this in my head and heart, but it has seriously been stressing me out! I truly feel like both names are absolutely perfect in their own significant ways and I'd probably do myself a favor to just flip a coin already, I don't know. With the name Asher Zane, I feel like I'm giving my child a name that carries a meaning of joy and healing in the midst of the toughest trial I've ever faced in my life so far, and with the name Raighne Achaius, I feel the meaning carries a strong connection to honoring the wonderful memories I have of my mom and her personality. Asher is an easy, culturally familiar name no one will have any issues reading or pronouncing. Raighne is of origins that "fit" with our family names and, once you tell people how it's pronounced, they'll "get it," much like with my son Greydon's middle name, Rhys (the original Welsh spelling of Reese, pronounced the same).
Trouble is, if I do decide to go with Raighne, then I don't think it'll be received too well by friends and family because like I said, everyone is already used to calling him Asher. Ultimately, it's a choice that falls only on myself and my husband, and Brandon has already told me that he's basically leaving it entirely up to me. If I change the name to Raighne and people don't like it, so what, right?
I don't know. I'm thinking maybe the best way to go is to wait until he's born and see which name suits him best, but until then, I don't think I can bear having people keep calling him Asher if I'm undecided and then just throwing everyone for a loop the day he's born and he is given a different name--that would be inconsiderate, in my opinion. Especially if some people plan on having little gifts personalized with the name Asher and ready to give for him when he's born.
Not really sure what to go with here.