What's In A Name?
...In my opinion, a whole lotta goodness and a bright future-- if it's done right.
I've always believed that there is power in a person's name. After-all, they say if you hear something enough you believe it to be true. So when it came to naming our baby, I wanted the name to be something powerful, reflective of the baby's personality, and the energy that I'd hope would be brought into the world with his/her arrival.
We wanted the gender of our baby to be a surprise. So for the ten months that I was pregnant, when speaking of our mystery baby bump we just lovingly referred to him/her as "the bean". This was awesome for keeping everyone on their toes and in anticipation of the baby's arrival, but not so great once the baby was delivered. After we learned that the baby was a girl (yaaay!), we were immediately struck with the heavy task of figuring out what to call her-- and we had to figure it out quick. As NJ state law would have it, you're not allowed to leave the hospital until your child is named. In retrospect I guess it makes perfect sense. You can't just have people walking around the streets with nameless newborns... that could lead to a whole lot of craziness and baby snatchings!
For two days straight, Nick and I barely slept-- not because our newborn was keeping us awake (she was a dream baby and slept through the night from the start)-- but because we needed to determine her name. We took shifts searching online for names that we liked and started compiling lists to compare.
Her middle name (Oyindasola) came easy. We knew from the beginning that we wanted her middle name to be Yoruba (as a shout-out to my parents and her Nigerian heritage). I wanted her Nigerian name to be reflective of the fullness of God's joy and love that I experienced while pregnant, but after much deliberation and conversation with my parents I couldn't find a name that elucidated those exact sentiments. With this in mind, we decided to name her Oyindasola (meaning "honey pours into wealth"), which is a play on my middle name, Doyinsola (meaning "honey poured on wealth"). No matter how you shake it, the name translates to sweetened wealth. ... and that's was the exact effect that the birth of our baby girl had on my #LiveRi¢h life.
Then came the hard part. What would her first name be? After a full day of searching I realized that I gravitated towards names that began with the letter "A". I decided to take that direction and focus on what I felt our new baby's personality was like (given our experience of her in the two days since she'd been born):
She brought us so much joy-- from the time we discovered she existed, until now, I'd never been so joyous and laughed so much in my life. Every day I was pregnant I felt the blessing of God's love for me through her.
She was super sweet and happy
We could already see that she was very strong-- in terms of both physical strength and personality
She wasn't fussy-- aside from when she made her entrance, she never cried (it even worried me at one point)! lol
She was born with open eyes
And she was born with a glorious head full of hair
With these things in mind I started plugging away at a list of "A" names, taking into consideration their meanings and how she would take them on as she develops as a woman. By the time we were ready to be discharged from the hospital we'd narrowed our list down to five potential names; four that I liked, and one that Nick googled the day I went into labor right as we were leaving for the hospital (and for some reason was very keen on) lol:
Aria - a beautiful melody
Ariella - Lion of God
Amina - Princess
Ayana - Beautiful blossom
and Akilah - clever/bright
There was a lot that I liked about each of the names, but of the four I liked, three of them felt a little too pretty and princess-y. My hope for our daughter is that she grows up to be a strong woman who speaks her mind and stands for her beliefs with conviction-- not that she's a helpless princess-type that's always in distress. On top of this, I wanted to choose a name that would sound cute when said as a child, but one that would also be taken seriously when spoken as an adult. That narrowed my choice down to one: Aria.
There were a couple of reasons I loved the name Aria so much.
It's a pretty name, but not sickeningly pretty
It's "a beautiful melody", but in the opera it's a song meant for a solo voice
When I began to look I saw that the name carried different meanings in various cultures around the world:
Italian: It literally translates to "air"
Hebrew: it's means "lioness" and is derived from Ariel, meaning "Lion of God"
Teutonic: it's related to an eagle's wisdom; intelligence of an eagle
Persian/Sanskrit: it means "noble" and "honorable"
**The bonus: the name Aria also reminded me of Arya Stark, the kickass "lady"-warrior, and my favorite character from the show Game of Thrones. She doesn't take ish from anybody. ...However, Nick was still keen on Akilah. :)
So we took a couple of hours debating over the two options: Akilah and Aria. Deciding that if we were to go with Aria, we would add an extra "r" so that the name was unique-- like our baby girl. :)
...Well, you obviously know which name won out of the two! haha
How did you pick a name for your first born child? Was there a special process involved, or did you come to the hospital prepared with a name ready to go? Let me know in the comments below!
In the meantime, press play and check out one of my recent Adventures Of A #LiveRi¢h Mommy TBT videos from when we brought Arria home for the first time!
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