Naming your new baby has got to be one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy and parenthood! Like many women, I had compiled a secret list of baby names before I even became pregnant. Some baby names and meanings were classic, some were trendy, and some were taken from literature, but all struck a chord with me in some way.
I had never shared my list with anyone -- and then one day my husband and I found out we were expecting! Suddenly, those treasured baby names didn’t seem so significant. There was now an actual person who would be walking around with this name, so we didn’t want to pick just any name. Of course, we paged through the baby name books and marked our favorites -- none of which matched -- and so the conversation continued.
We weren’t finding out the gender of the baby before birth, so we had to decide on not one, but two names! We agreed on the boy’s name easily, but choosing the girl’s name proved more difficult. To complicate matters, I was teaching at an all-girls school and had so many associations with so many names of former and current students that I was having trouble coming up with a baby name meaning that was perfect for us…and time was running out!
I mean that literally -- we were in the hospital and still hadn’t decided on a name! All through labor my husband and I couldn’t agree. We said the usual, “We’ll see what the baby looks like before we pick a name." Well, two days after the birth of our daughter -- yes, a girl! -- we still hadn’t picked a name! I felt bad that after years of adding to and perfecting my baby name list, my precious new daughter was being referred to as “Baby Girl.” We were told we had to have a name before we could leave the hospital. And then my husband suggested the perfect name: Margaret.
Of course! Why hadn’t we thought of that sooner? It is the name of the great-grandmothers on both sides of the family; it is classic; and it has many possibilities for nicknames. Uh-oh, nicknames? Let’s just stick with Margaret for now. We love our choice and our little baby girl, Margaret!