None of this is to say, though, that I was intent on going the route of some celebrities — or the Twitter-tastic new mom who reportedly named her baby Hashtag (# for short, I'm guessing?) this week — and gave our kids names that were way over-the-top. I didn't want uber-popular, but I also wasn't gunning for totally obscure.
In the end, baby-naming was a much trickier enterprise than I thought it would be. I remember poring through the books during both of my pregnancies, calling my husband at work with various suggestions.
"So how about Maya?" I'd ask as soon as he picked up, before he even said hello. "What do you think of Maya?"
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He'd mull it over, frustratingly non-committal about the whole thing. I could her the clack-clack-clack of his keyboard in the background. How could he type at a time like this? This was only the rest of our unborn child's life we we were talking about! I was a little dramatic during my pregnancies. Hormones.
"It's okay," he'd finally say. "But I don't know if I want a name with a 'Y' in it."
What's wrong with a 'Y?' Don't ask. He has some strange little ticks when it comes to baby names.
"Maybe Jessa instead?" he asked.
Jessa? What is Jessa? People will think we were aiming for Jessica but just got lazy and forgot the "ic." No Jessa. Baby names are clearly a very subjective business, but me being the one with the baby in my belly — not to mention the nausea, stretch marks and inexplicable sobbing sessions — I earned some veto power when it came to his picks.
There were dozens of these ridiculous, round-a-bout conversations before we finally settled on names that we both liked: Madeline for our first, Amelia for our second. Numbers 13 and 20 on the list, respectively.
So far they've stood up well. They like them, we like them, and while other little girls with the same names occasionally pop up at the playground, it's a rare enough occurance that it's a fun little ice-breaker.
I have to give my lovely husband credit where it's due, though: We've yet to come across a single Jessa.
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What do you think of 2012's top baby names? Where do your kids' names rank?