What do you do when the second after your husband announces your newborn baby’s name in the delivery room (a name you’ve had at the top of your list for the past fifteen years), you wonder if it was a mistake?
When my daughter Mazzy Rose was born, I had the baby naming equivalent of “buyer’s remorse”. It was a horrible heart-sinking feeling that I shared with absolutely no one for months.
After all, when you name someone something a little bit out of the ordinary, you have to do it with full confidence. You have to take the negative comments and the confused requests to repeat yourself and say your baby’s name with pride.
This was exactly why my husband and I didn’t breathe a word of the name to anyone before she was born. We knew not everybody would love it, but we didn’t want anybody to change our minds.
And then, after the birth certificate was signed, there I was facing a woman in the hospital who said, “what a funny name for a beautiful little girl” and the friend who immediately announced an unfortunately rhyming nickname that made me want to cry.
I lied in bed at night (for the few moments I was allowed to sleep) thinking of all the other names we could have used. The pretty names, the trendy names, the old school names that all would have been readily accepted by everybody around us.
To be clear, there were plenty of people who adored Mazzy’s name but there were also people (like my dad) who just couldn’t seem to get the pronunciation right. He said “Mazzy” as if it rhymed with “Daisy” when it really rhymes with “Jazzy”. I envisioned my daughter having to correct people the rest of her life.
My baby name regret did not go away overnight. It took a couple of hard soul-crushing months, but eventually all the reasons we loved the name began to resurface. It is an original just like our daughter. She owns it and embodies it and I can’t imagine calling her anything else. Or anything less, for that matter.
She’s Mazzy— there is no other way to describe it.
I have also found that as she gets older (she’s 2 1/2), there is much less questioning from strangers than there was when she was a newborn.
And now that the time has come to find another name for our second child, I find myself using all the same criteria I used the first time around. I want something unique but not too weird, something surprising without being pretentious, something interesting without being fancy, and a name my child will not share with every other kid at school.
I want another Mazzy.
The one resounding response we get when we talk about baby names with other people is, “How are you ever going to compete with Mazzy?”
“I know,” I say. “I shouldn’t even try.”