Editor’s note: With apologies to Catherine, I was just sorting through my drafts folder and realizing that this has been waiting for weeks! Here’s what I love about her story – it shows that even a familiar name can be rich with meaning. You can purchase Catherine’s poetry anthologies online here.
What is your child’s name?
Stephanie Elizabeth, born 9/18/2001
When did you choose?
When I was pregnant. Her dad was due to be deployed on a submarine (half way through a 6 month deployment) at the time of my due date (and she showed up 3 days before it!). SOMEONE kept her legs crossed during ultrasounds so we had to come up with a full girl’s name and a full boy’s name well in advance.
What were your criteria?
For a girl, it had to have a Stevie Nicks reference in there somewhere. She is one of my all time favourite artists. My initial choice was Stevie Rhiannon but my husband vetoed that one (ix-nay on Rhiannon and no daughter of HIS was going to be named Stevie). So, went back to the drawing board and decided that since we met through a medieval re-enactment society and had a French last name that we wanted our future daughter’s name to be bilingual English/French. At that point, he asked me what Stevie was short for. I answered Stephanie and he said “I can live with Stephanie”. Her middle name, Elizabeth, is a family name. In addition to it being my middle name, it is also my mother’s first name and my great-grandmother’s first name as well (since deceased). It was very important to me that she have a name that was “hers” for a first name. The meaning was also an important factor – “Light, Gift of God”.
Who was involved in the decision?
Just my husband.
What were the other options?
Madeleine was a contender for a girl and Aaron David for a boy.
Did the meaning matter?
The meaning was also an important factor – “Light, Gift of God”. She was born a week after 9/11, with bright orange hair.
Did you second guess yourself?
She came out looking like a Stephanie!