We’re expecting a little boy!
It came as such a surprise! Gert was convinced from day 1 that we’d be having a girl, and all our friends and family seemed quite sure of it too. I had to try real hard to stay as neutral and open to both as possible. I kept having to tell people “stop saying it’s a girl, we don’t know yet”. But I admit in the end I started getting a bit carried away by everyone’s certainty! So, when the doctor said “boy”, our jaws dropped.
And then we panicked because, although we had agreed on an option for a boy name, it wasn’t quite as sure as the girl name we had picked. And now it was definitely serious, so we threw our idea out the window and started back from scratch.
First it took me a whole day to get used to the idea of having a boy lol Don’t get me wrong though, I was not disappointed. Just very much surprised and unprepared! Then I started going through the national list of almost 8000 baby boy names, all born last year. So I wrote down whatever I found decent. I grabbed my list, went to my mom’s place and said them all out loud. She nodded yes or no as I was saying each name, so I started unchecking a few. And then I got to “Sam” and she stopped and said “oh, I like that.” I thought “Ok, we have a winner”. Especially since it’s a name I had actually considered from the very beginning, but sort of wrote off because there wasn’t really any family tie or meaning to it. But now it was definitely back on the top of my list.
It ticked all the boxes:
– the same in every language (this is especially important to us in Dutch, French and English, since we use all three on a regular basis).
– nothing weird or too original; just nice and normal
– flows well with our last name
– won’t be made fun of or twisted into something messed up
I also didn’t want something that would require him to spell his name to everyone. And we didn’t really care to be unique. We just wanted something that would be easy for him to carry for life.
Then the next day, we started considering Louis, which is Gert’s father’s name. We actually considered Louis from the very beginning of the pregnancy. But when I checked out the national list, I noticed it was in the top 10. Now, I know I wanted something nice and normal, but a top 10 first name was out of the question, because we have one of the most common last names of the country. We went back & forth between Sam and Louis the whole weekend. At the end, I sat down and said both names out loud and tried to get a feel of it. I started imagining him as both a “Sam” and a “Louis”, and I realized that “Sam” felt much more right. I can’t quite explain it; it just felt like it would suit him better. And extra bonus: it’s way down in the national top 50. So, not too popular, but without being too rare. Which is exactly what we were looking for.
Now, I know there are definitely other people named Sam who also have our last name. But at least it won’t be as many.
So I asked Gert when he got home how he would feel about naming him that, and he agreed right away and said he liked it :-) Hallelujah! A name at last!
We traditionally have one first name and two middle names over here. We figured those out quite quickly after we settled on a first name. He will thus be named: Sam Alexander Louis. Alexander after my great-grandfather, and Louis, obviously, after Gert’s dad. We had gotten so close to naming him Louis that it still deserved a spot in the full name.
The next day, we went to Gert’s parents to ask their opinion about “Sam”. We were 99% sure of our choice, but I didn’t want to name him something they would hate. Thank Goodness though, they said they liked it and seemed happy :-) Quite frankly though, I think the fact that we asked their opinion made them more happy than the actual name lol I wasn’t planning to get the whole family involved in the name choosing process, but the grandparents matter a lot, in my opinion.
Soooo … here are the gender / name reveal cards I’ve been working on:
Quite a stash to send out …
I know nobody ever sends out cards like these (maybe we’ll launch a new trend here?). But I figured it was such a nice gesture and would make people feel more involved, as well as a bit more excited about the upcoming birth. We generally just get birth announcements in the mail, and often think “okay … we had no idea they were expecting” lol So this gives time to whoever we may have not seen in a while, to maybe reconnect and meet up or drop us a note or whatever they feel like doing. There are no strings attached and we’re definitely not expecting any response, but at least it gives people a chance if they want to. And for those who already know there’s a baby on the way, I thought this was the most diplomatic way of handling the gender and name reveal. Because I sent out all the cards at once, so everyone will get them the same day, and nobody can moan and complain about finding out after other people. I also included a little handwritten “thank you” note for those who have already purchased some early gifts.
Some people may wonder why we didn’t opt for the more formal “Samuel”. But we would personally NEVER call him Samuel anyway, so I figured there was no point. I’m really quite happy about our choice. I think it’s versatile enough to suit him whatever life path and profession he chooses later on. I absolutely wanted to figure out his name as soon as possible so that I can start calling him that and start feeling more familiar about it before his birth. Just being able to say “him” instead of “it” or “he/she” already feels awesome! I can’t wait to meet our little boy and dress him in mini-Gert outfits :-)