What's in a name?

For what it's worth I think the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made a super choice of names for their beautiful daughter.

You always have to be a bit brave when you share the names you have chosen for your baby.  My top tip is to keep schtum until the baby arrives and that way people are much less likely to tell you that thats what their neighbour's dog is called.  

With our own baby we were a bit unprepared with names  He gave us a bit of a surprise and started to let us know that he was thinking about coming early at around 33 weeks.  We didn't even have a nappy never mind thoughts of a name.  To be truthful it was a bit of a shocker that he was a boy.  We didn't officially know what we were expecting but in my heart of hearts I 'knew' he was a girl.  I remember singing to my bump and talking to him as a Mammy talks to her daughter.  I almost felt like apologising when he popped out.  Chris suggested the name Noah when he was about 20 minutes old.  My husband said that it meant 'rest or repose'.  Surprisingly, post delivery this sounded very pleasant and soothing to my ears (as well as all my other aching bits).  At the time I knew of not one other baby called Noah.  I am very proud of my Noah and will always love the name but am also aware that every fourth boy in the playground seems to be called Noah too.

With our second little boy we knew what we were having and had chosen names in advance.  The thing that I didn't plan for was the fact that my North Eastern accent seemed to make people think that I had named my 9lb 9 chunk of a boy 'Jewel'.  After (I am not kidding) about 15 times of this I learnt to put my posh voice on so that folks heard 'Joel' instead.  

The North East accent continues to cause me mischief.  In my role as a community midwife I have the privilege of finding myself in the homes of many families not originally from the UK.  (The hospitality I encounter is a blog for another time and not in the least bit weight watchers friendly).   I can see some of the interpreters having to work extra hard to tune in to me and its when they aren't there that things have become interesting.  Several times now a Dad who only speaks a little English has asked me to write down  the name that he would like to call his son or daughter according to how I would say and spell it.  I have tried explaining the accent issue and that often I have an extra syllable here and there , (think fil-im instead of film).  The Dads never seem to fussed by this and bless, there are some lovely Arabic little girls  pottering around Cardiff with a dodgy north east spelling of their Arabic forenames.  I think of it as part of the legacy I am leaving in the City.

I have so many other stories about baby names that due to professionalism I am not at liberty to share, including tattoos and unfortunate pairings of names.   However  my final thought is to bless baby Charlotte Elizabeth Diana this evening.  May the rich history of her names be like stepping stones to her own amazing destiny and future.

Blessings, Helen