First of all, I want to state that we never planned to name our children with any particular letter, or theme, or other strangeness. And, I think God gives parents the names for their children in many different ways. I have one friend that prays and researches in depth and always tries to have her babies name all picked out before she ever knows the gender or sees the baby on ultrasound. I know others that purposely choose biblical names and others that try to find the most unique names or spell them in a very unique way. To each their own. I think God can give us all the names for our children in a very personal way for us. I will say that the only real "rules" that I have purposely followed are: (1) I don't like for names to be shortened (like mine.... fortunately, no one has ever called me Shan as opposed to my real name, Shannon), so I look for names that simply can not be shortened. (2) I like a lot of syllables and even long spellings, but it is not a"requirement"". (3) And I like gender specific names (if they are girls, I want it girly sounding... if they are boys, I want it masculine).
So, the next question to answer might be how did our other children get their names... or rather, how did we get them. Before I was EVER pregnant I had the name "Hayley" picked out for a girl. Loved it! It reminded me of all the old Haley Mills movies from my childhood and I just thought it was a pretty name. However, a few years before we actually joined the parenting world the name gained popularity and even a cousin of mine named his daughter that. Okay, so I am not one to intentionally name my children a popular name, so that was out.
- When I was actually pregnant with Savannah I made a list of names and we just talked about them and thought Savannah was the one. Her middle name was also one of those names I had wanted for her first name, but thanks to Faith Hill making it popular I decided that it was better suited for her middle name. And Faith was chosen simply because I wanted her to have a strong faith in God. So, our firstborn was named Savannah Faith.
- Shortly (like a week) after Savannah's birth I was sitting around watching TV and there was a character on a show named Sierra and I had the thought, "If I ever have another girl I like that name." I never told anyone... it was just a thought in my head. A few days later when my husband was off work and we were outside in the yard he looked at me and said, "You know, if we ever have another girl I like the name Sierra." Wow! Now, that was easy... the middle name.... not so easy. As with Savannah, I wanted Sierra to have a strong faith. It was suggested we use Hope like so many people do... Faith, Hope, Charity, but those are not the same as Faith. After much deliberation we decided that they would have the same middle name and it would be a wonderful thing when they grew up and married and still had there middle names in common when they changed to their married names. We found out later that this is actually quite common. With that settled our second child would be named Sierra Fatih.
- When I became pregnant with Caden we realized that we had a little trend going with the girl's names and before we knew his gender we were pondering boy and girl names. It is really then that we realized that both of our girls had names that were geographic locations and both started with and "s". Also, not only were they just geographic locations they were also deserts. So, when we found out we were having a boy that was one less dilemna to deal with and we were happy not to have any "rules" to consider for his name. We never really had too much of a list for Caden. Boy names were hard for us and there were few that we really loved. I am not sure why. Caden was really the only one we were heavily considering. I was on the way to church one Wednesday night for a ladies Bible Study when the name Reese came to me. I believe God gave me that name for him that night. Strangely, as the weeks past I began to see the name wherever I went. I wanted to name him Reese Caden, but sadly I did not listen to God fully hear. I had several family members telling me it just did not "flow" right and that Caden Reese was the way I should go. Confession... I caved.... and it is one of my biggest regrets because I really think Reese is the name God gave him. Oddly, it was a couple of months AFTER Caden was born that we realized what we had done in regards to more complexity we had added to "the name game". Now, all the females in our home had "s" names and the males had "c" names. It was a total accident, but people think we did it on purpose. And it is embarassing to say, but we did it in total cluelessness, because we are smart like that. LOL! So, that is the story for his name, Ceden Reese.
- And then it was time for another girl in our house. I really felt that if her name was too different from the other too girls it would not seem right. I wanted to name her Sahara because it was beautiful and mysterious. It also just happened to be my favorite and followed all the girl "rules" that had developed. Let's just say we had a LOT of opinions about what we should do and I knew after what I had done with Caden's name that I had to really NOT listen to what others opinions where on this. Her name was too important of a thing to let others sway me again and I wanted no regrets this time. I kept it secret (and boy my mother-in-law was not happy about that... it was nothing personal, but still she was not happy about not knowing the name). I did tell a few people that I knew would not try to influence our decision. The big reveal was at the time of birth.... Sahara Faith.
- Now that brings us to the current little one in the womb.... now this one is really interesting, I think. Shortly after Sahara was born I started to have thoughts about a certain girl "s" name. I mentioned it to my husband, but it was just small talk and nothing more at the time. We were considering not having any more children due to the repeat caesarean births. Time moved on and lots of discussion and two years passed. We had started wanting another baby when Sahara turned one year old, but knowing that it would be caesarean I was not open to it at all. After discussing the possibility of a VBAC over the course of the next year we decided that under those circumstances we would have another baby (if God saw fit). And let's just say God saw fit INSTANTLY. Bam! Conception! LOL! We were on vacation for five weeks at which time this child was conceived and I was starting to show slight signs of the possibility of pregnancy before we got back from this vacation. What a cool souvenir! As we were heading home we dropped by to visit Cody's parents. His mother asked it I was pregnant to which I responded, "Why would you ask a thing like that? Not as far as we know" ;) The next week she dropped by our house and as soon as she arrived she started questioning if I was pregnant and we since we had planned to keep this a secret until we did some midwife research, etc. we were trying hard to change the subject. She finally said, "Well, if you are I have a name for this one! You should name her "X"!" And first of all I was thinking she has lost her mind, but how on earth did she come up with the name that has been on my heart. And we do not even know the gender. And she was one of the ones that always gives us a hard time about the "s" name thing. As time is passing everyone is asking about the name and we are able to brush it off mostly, but my mother would not quite calling me to give me her list of names... ranging from Sydney, Sheyenne, Shenandoah (because it matched mine more), and on and on. I kept telling her that I was not naming this baby until birth and I would "consider" them all, but no promises. She was persistent and one day she calls me and says, "I have the name for this baby! Your daddy picked it out. He has been out riding the four wheeler and he came in and said to me, "I have a name for Shannon's baby. It's "X"." I almost dropped the phone. Also, as I was dropping Sahara off at the church nursery one day and one of the nursery workers ask me point blank, "So, are you going to name this one "X"?" I had a teenage girl from our church ask the same question one morning. As well, even a few near strangers. I find that very peculiar, especially since "X" is not a common name at all. The real irony in the situation is that I had decided that it was time to break all the rules and go with a name that was totally different than the others for a first name, but I think God has already named her. ;) That that is the story up until now for the name for "Baby" Faith Swafford.