Sunday, January 24, 2010

Question of the Week: Names

Today I'm going to participate in Multiples and More's Question of the Week: How Did You Name Your Multiples? It was originally posted Thursday, October 8, 2009, when the boys were just 4 months old.  Enjoy! 

What's in a name?

Naming our boys was a very difficult task for us.  In fact, we easily chose 2 girls' names when we discovered we were expecting twins, but couldn't find even one boy's name that we liked.  I joked (but suspected) that we'd have boys because we couldn't think of a single name, so we tabled the discussion and 'named' them Righty and Lefty.  Sure enough, at our 20 week ultrasound, we learned that we were carrying two boys!  That was in February.  We spent the next three months thinking, talking, and praying about their names.  It's a big deal, and difficult when you, meaning me, have a long list of names you WON'T name your children: a) no ex-boyfriends b)no irritating students c)no first names already in the families d)nothing trendy.  We sat on the couch one night and flipped through a baby names book, each of us making a list of names that we liked.  When we were finished, we compared our lists and kept the names that we'd both noted.  There were about 6 names we'd both written down that met the above criteria.  Then we checked our names on the Social Security website, to see how popular the names were for babies last year.  Nathan's name came in at #66.  We decided that there probably won't be as many Nathans in his life to share his name as Matthew might have (his was #6), so that was another plus.  And we just liked the sound of it.  Oh, and it had to be Biblical, too.  See how hard we made it?

The middle name was easy: we'd already decided to use great-grandfathers' names for both boys.  We couldn't very well name one of them after Steve and the other after me!  So Nathan got John, his paternal great-grandfather's name, simply because we didn't want to give Matthew half of the Gospels!

After we'd chosen the names, I discovered that Nathan is VERY popular!  In my MVMOM's subgroup, Moms and Muffins, consisting of JUST the pregnant women and moms with babies under age 1, there are THREE other Nathans that I know of!  And a dear old friend with whom I've made contact again has a two-year old Nathan as well.  Wow! 

Today is the day I just couldn't believe my eyes, though.  On the Today Show, they featured a couple who gave birth to identical triplet boys on Sept. 30.  They were making a big deal about it because it was the couple's third anniversary, 3 boys, on the 30th, and the odds of having identical triplets are about one in two million (not three?). I was amazed for a different reason: the boys are named MATTHEW, NATHAN, and Michael!  Wonder how long it took them to come up with those names?

And what about Matthew Wilfred?  Since we'd decided to name them after their great-grandfathers, and we wanted to use my grandpa Perry's name, we could choose Wilfred or Perry.  I like the name Perry.  In fact, I know my other siblings do, too, but no one has used it yet.  I just didn't want Matthew to spend the rest of his life explaining that he's NOT named after the Friends actor Matthew Perry!  So that's how they became Matthew Wilfred and Nathan John.
Others have asked how we knew to name which one.  We started trying out the names when we talked to them in my belly.  For whatever reason, Lefty became Matthew quickly.  Righty, who eventually became Nathan, tried out several names for awhile.  Nothing quite fit until we tried out Nathan.

I suppose there are other ways to do it.  My friend A decided to let her husband name their girl twin and she named their boy, but he told her he was going to name her Cinnamon or Sparkle.  So my poor friend A was drugged beyond belief in the operating room and says the doctors held up her girl and asked what her name was, and A said, "Cinnamon Sparkle!"  Thank goodness her daddy came to rescue with a more respectable name just then! And thank goodness it wasn't MY husband who came up with that idea!


Miss Erin said...

My husband's joke is that he'll fill out the birth certificate while I'm in the recovery room- Chamillionaire it is! I don't even think he was at the hospital when I filled out the birth certificates for the boys- good thing we agreed on our names!

Safire said...

Cute names! We had the exact opposite problem...we couldn't pick girl names and were relieved when we had boys. Thanks for sharing this!

Sadia said...

Names are such a challenge. My daughter has been telling me all about the baby she's going to have, but when I asked what his name would be, she looked at me like I was nuts and said, "Jesus is going to choose that!"

Twin-Spiration said...

You boys are adorable...I have identical girls but if I had twin boys they would have been Tracyn and Tanner.

Laura said...

YOur boys are adorable, I see you live in the area I am from. Just from your Frakenmuth post! I am from Midland, MI. :) And I love to eat at Zenders too!