Picking a Name

A lot of people have been asking me why we chose the name Ivy. It’s a quirky enough name where people are genuinely curious.

Before getting pregnant, I was 100% sure what my daughter’s name would be. I loved long princess-style names and wanted something that could be formal and still have a little nickname (like how my name is Larisa but some family and friends call me Lara). When we got pregnant that all changed. I have no idea why or how, but every name that had been on my list just no longer made sense.

So as we found out we were having a girl, we talked a lot about names. Texted each other throughout the day, discovered random baby name websites that I didn’t even know existed. But truth is that we couldn’t agree on a name to save our lives. We changed our minds every day. Eventually, we had our own short lists. I was partial to one name, and Mike had a few he kept tossing around. But we kept having to try and convince the other that our pick was the right name. We kept doing this so much that eventually it just felt like we were forcing names on each other.

After a while, we both decided on our own to make separate lists without discussing it with each other. It’s funny, I don’t remember saying “you make your list and I’ll make mine” or anything. It just kind of happened. We hid our lists from each other until one random day just before Thanksgiving when it somehow came up. We talked about the names we had really liked, and about our “secret” lists. Between us, there was one name we weirdly had in common. One we had never talked about before.

You can probably guess what name was.

We tested it out, calling the bump “Ivy” and seeing how it felt. It never felt quite right. When we flew to California for Thanksgiving I was full on against the name. But somehow we always ended up coming back to it.

One night in early February, when I was very pregnant and we were still undecided, I told Mike to just ask the bump which name she wanted. I was due in the next week or two and we still weren’t 100% sold on what to call her.

So he sat down my belly and began asking.

Violet? Nothing.

Leia? Silence.

Ivy?  KICK! 

And not just a little cute kick. I mean a huge, Mike could see my entire body shifting, felt like she was destroying my insides, alien kick. We laughed, but figured it was just a fluke. So I told him to test it out and ask her if she wanted a ridiculous name instead.

Frappuccino? Silence.

Toodleoodleder? Nothing.

You want your name to be Ivy? KICK!

It was settled then. And even though we wouldn’t admit it to family and friends, we had a name for our girl.

And that is the story of how Ivy chose her own name.