Baby Names I Love (and Why I Can’t Use Them)

We are struggling--struggling--to come up with a name for our baby girl who will be here in roughly two weeks. By this point with our first two we had narrowed it down to two names to bring to the hospital (Alexander or Christopher for Alex; Nora or Charlotte for Nora). But naming a third is exceptionally hard, especially if you already have one of the same sex. Chances are you've used your favorite name. Plus, you have to name your third something that works with your first two ("at the very least so it looks good on the Christmas card," a mom friend of three, who's been helping with ideas, joked). I wouldn't want to have an Alex, a Nora and a Buttercup, for example. Which is a shame because Buttercup Ruddy has a nice ring...

Other than actually giving birth, coming up with a name is the most exhausting/excrutiating part of having a baby for me. Especially this time. I just feel like it's a big responsibility and one I don't want to screw up. Especially since I had those second thoughts after naming Nora. The stakes are high! But here's the real problem: It's not that we can't come up with names we like, it's that we keep finding ways that those names are all flawed or tainted or taken or just don't work for us. Here's what we've recently crossed off our list for various reasons:

Molly: I've always loved this name and have never met a Molly I didn't like. But apparently it's now some form of ecstasy. Goddamn drug addicts ruin everything.

Kate: Love Kate and it was tops on our list for a long time but it's starting to feel too popular and plain (that's what happens when you find a name you love too early-you get over). Also: I know and love a lot of Katies, but I would want Kate, not Katie and I'd worry people would add the ie….

Alice: I'm pretty sure Alice and Alex are a little too close for comfort, right? If I could change his name and make this baby Alice, I would.

Cameron: Nick and I both keep coming back to this name but everyone (including our little children) tells us it's a boy name. Which it is (I know three little boy Camerons currently) but it's also a girl name, no? That said, the boy-name-for-a-girl is a little too cool for me to pull off.

Rory: Nick's best friend who introduced us in college and was the best man at our wedding is Rory. I love the name and the special meaning. But our last name is Ruddy and Rory Ruddy is a mouthful. So is Wowwy Wuddy, which is what the kid would likely call herself. (We would have definitely used it for Alex but I would have given it to a girl too, I think. Or, see above.)

Zoe: I've always thought this was such a great name-very old family friends of ours who live in Barbados had a Zoe and a Heidi and both seemed super cool to me. But an old boyfriend recently named his kid Zoe and, well, that just feels weird to me. I'm probably overthinking it but what can I say? I'm an overthinker (clearly). Also, Nick doesn't love it.

Gwen: I recently thought of this and I think I totally love it but Nick has some weird issue with someone he once knew named Gwen that I won't get into but he's used his veto.

Anna: See Kate, above.

So here's what's left on our list that we still like and haven't quite found a reason to scrap yet:

Mary Kate

And I really don't feel like we have a winner anywhere in there (especially Maggie, which I literally just threw on there out of desperation). It's making me nervous. More nervous than the fact that we don't have a nursery or a carseat yet. You should see my web search history: "Classic baby names," "Traditional baby names," "Not weird baby names that also aren't too popular." "Baby names--help!" Has anyone else struggled like this? How did you come up with your kids' names? Am I just overthinking it? (Part of me thinks I'm obsessing about the name so I don't have to think about the impending drug-free birth and subsequent sleepless nights). I bet you think some of my reasons for cutting the names we love are kind of neurotic, right? I agree. I'm sure the drug Molly won't be a thing in a few years so maybe we could still do that…. Who knows. I welcome any and all input at this point!