What's in a name?

I was recently asked by a blog reader why we gave our daughter the name Ivy Elizabeth. 

When we first found out we were pregnant for some reason we were convinced the baby would be a boy {it’s totally nonsensical to make such an assumption but I’d always imagined that I would have a boy first!}, and we had quite a few names picked out that we liked.

Then we found out it was a girl and we had a problem; neither of us had any girl’s names that we particularly liked and any names that were suggested were quickly vetoed by the other! We went through biblical names {didn’t like any}, Welsh names {some nice ones but no-one outside Wales would be able to pronounce them) and family names {no first name favourites there either}.

I was a fan of older, traditional names but Josh dismissed most of my ideas so we continued praying about it. Choosing a name for your child is a big responsibility and we wanted to ensure that God made it clear that we were making the right choice. 

One night in the early hours of the morning I was asleep and dreaming. I can’t remember what I was dreaming but suddenly totally separate from the dream I heard a voice clearly saying “Ivy”.
I woke up immediately and thought that’s a nice name! It had never even crossed my mind as a potential choice.
I rolled over to Josh and said “do you like the name Ivy?” expecting him to say no because he hadn’t liked any of the other traditional names I had suggested. He said “yes, actually I do” and then we went back to sleep.

After that, the name stuck. It was the only girl’s name we agreed on even remotely so it made the choice easy! Josh chose the middle name Elizabeth as it’s my middle name and he thought it went well with Ivy.

I don’t want to over spiritualise things by saying it definitely was God who spoke to me in my dream. All I know is that I hadn’t thought about the name Ivy before that night and the voice was very clear and separate from my dreams. I like to think it was God giving us a helping hand! 

Anyway, that’s my rather long answer to your question!

I’d love to hear stories of how you chose your child’s name, or how your parents chose yours. Leave me a comment!


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  2. I was nearly called Penelope (Penny Pincher)! Grateful my parents decided not to go for that one, its make a great pseudonym though.

  3. This is so cute. Ivy is super cute, and my middle name is Elizabeth too! Thanks so much for linking up for family fridays with us :)

  4. Love it! Names are definitely important.
    I knew Liza was a girl from the beginning and didn't even look at boy names. It took a while but we chose Liza Mae because of the meanings. Liza means consecrated to God and Mae means strong and discerning.

    Then I got pregnant again and I knew without a doubt that I was having a boy (was buying boy clothes before a positive pregnancy test haha)... anyways... only looked at boy names from the beginning but I just wasn't finding anything at all that I liked. And then one day, while reading through the name book AGAIN I saw that Jason meant healer and that is when I knew it was right. His name was chosen because I first liked the meaning. Michael is his middle name and it means "who is like the Lord" so when you put Jason Michael together you get "healer who is like the Lord."

    And that's how/why I chose the names I did. :) Thankfully Mike is easy and agreeable and liked my choices haha.

  5. I love love love the name Ivy! And i agree it sounds good with Elizabeth. :)

  6. THis is so beautiful. I LOVE her name:) Thanks for sharing. Much love from Nepal!

  7. She's so beautiful! And her name is too! We chose Lillian Eve because we wanted our daughter's name to start with an "L" like my Mom's name (Lonnie) and my grandma's name (LaVada). And Lillian ends with 'ian' which is Josh's middle name. We chose Eve as her middle name because we wanted her to have a Biblical name too. We were absolutely certain she was a girl all the time :) We sure prayed for that! We desparately wanted a girl. So blessed!
    Now I'm pregnant again, and we were so sure (and really wanted) it to be another girl...we had her name picked out and everything Clara Lydia...but lo and behold it's a boy! So we really need to get going on settling on a name. It's harder for a boy for us. So far we think he'll be Gabriel. Middle name either "Niel" - Scandinavian for champion; or "Finn" - Irish for fair; or "Luke". We have to choose!

  8. My parents picked my name because it went with my twin brother's name. :) Choosing our girls' names was tough. We picked our first daughter's name when we were about a month or two pregnant; it was a name that I liked, and then her middle name is for both her grandmothers. Our second daughter was harder; I liked Grace (something about motherhood requiring grace!) but we couldn't find anything else we liked, until one day my hubby was looking at a baby name's list and came across a name we liked. Then we looked up saints with that name and I really liked both saints, so we named her that. Our last daughter was harder... we already had two girls, so it felt like we'd used all our girl names up. We were still talking about names while I was in labour, but when she was born, one of the names we'd tossed around just seemed to fit. Her middle name I knew right away; I wanted to name her for a dear friend of mine who passed away this summer. So it's a complicated process! :)

  9. Oh, beautiful pictures, btw! I love Ivy's blanket. :) And I wanted to say that I'm hosting a blog hop for moms if you want to stop by: http://www.thekoalabearwriter.com/2013/04/why-do-you-like-being-mom-write-mama.html.

  10. Aww, you shared your middle name with your daughter. I have my mom's middle name, and I gave it to my daughter as well.
    I love stories about how parents chose their children's names. Your story is sweet, too.

  11. My parents thought I was going to be a boy up until when I was born--they just figured they'd have a firstborn son. :P So they were planning to named me "Joshua Lee" but had to change their mind.

  12. What a cool story of how you came up with her name!

  13. This is really similar to what happened to my husband and I.

    For years, I wanted our first son to be called Charlie. I've just loved the name. We didn't find out the sex of the baby, but I always *knew* it would be a boy. {When they placed our baby on my chest, I couldn't see if it was a boy or girl, so I asked my husband and told me it was a boy. I cried out, "I knew it!"}

    One night, I had a dream that I went through labour and they passed me a baby boy with auburn hair and I said, "It's Charlie!" But, immediately I felt that it didn't suit him. It was so vivid. I woke up the next morning and told my husband about it, and he said that he had been going off the name anyway. I lay there for a few minutes and suddenly the name Josiah came into my mind. I'd known one Josiah in my life but had never considered the name, even though I really liked it. I too, turned over and told it to my husband expecting him not to like it too, but he really did.

    So when our baby boy was born, he became Josiah James!

    Similar stories, right? We can never know if it's God, but I believe that, because I prayed that God would guide us to the right name, He did :)