Scott and I took naming our children very seriously. With the exception of Jackson, who Scott early on said "if it is a boy his name will be Jack", we went back and forth, between several names, consulting websites, books, friends, and family before permanently marking the birth certificates. Aida was known as "Baby Girl W" until day three in the hospital and probably only received a name on day three because the birth certificate lady gave me that look after she had come to my room four different times.
A person carries their first name with them for...the rest...of their...life. We finally choose Aida Jane after contemplating the meaning, spelling, pronunciation, and popularity. Aida (actually aaah-e-da in Italian) means happiness. Jane is my grandmother's middle name. Her name honors my grandmother and my dad's Italian heritage. Aida has been nothing but a happy child since the day she was born; living up to her well-thought out name.
Ivie was also known as "Baby Girl W" until day three. We waffled back and forth between two different names, both with significant meaning and with family honorees. After we had Aida, we found the name "Ivy" and both agreed that if we had another little girl, we would use this name. We liked the earthy tone. An ivy plant climbs and is strong. And the name was an old name. Our only reservation: Was Ivy professional? Was it too hippyish? Was it too unique? But we loved the name and its meaning.
Finally, on day three in the hospital, we decided on Vivien. What?!?!? What happened to Ivy? Well. We decided that she needed a professional name; something that would look great on a resume. We both liked the name Vivienne and the meaning: Full of life. Creatively, we changed the spelling to a less popular form "Vivien", abstracted "ivie" and that is how we arrived at the name Ivie. Cecilia was my great-aunt's first name. It was official: Vivien "Ivie" Cecilia.
Whenever we introduce Ivie to others, we are greeted with smiles and compliments on what a wonderful and pretty name.
Today, the headline is the birth of Beyonce's baby girl: Ivy Blue or Blue Ivy. I cannot even express the disappointment in the celebrity couple using the name Ivy, whether as a first or middle name for "Baby Girl Carter". I'm sure Beyonce and Mr. Carter also painstakingly waffled between several names. However, what I can guarantee is that hundreds of soon-to-be mothers will not. Americans are obsessed with celebrities in every way, including the naming of their children. I do not know if Americans are too lazy to research their own names or in such awe at the wealth and popularity of celebrities that we attach ourselves to them in any way possible.
When we chose Ivie, the name hovered somewhere between 700-800 on the Social Security Administrations list of baby names for 2007-2009. The name had not seen the top 100 since the early 1900s. I will bet that in the next two years, the name Ivie, Ivy, Ivi (however you spell it) will leap to the top 100, all because of a celebrity couple named Beyonce and Jay-Z. This is very unfortunate for someone like my Ivie Cecilia who went three days known as "Baby Girl W" as her parents searched for the perfect name. She will now be amongst other little girls whose mothers found the name on TMZ. Scott and I will probably spend our lives explaining, "No, we are not obsessed with pop culture or Beyonce." Ivie will probably also be in class with seven kids named Blue, Red, and Yellow.
So what's in a name: For us, months of research, thought, love, and family. For the rest of celebrity-obsessed Americans: The hopes of their little girl becoming the next Beyonce - or something like that.