Naming Our Baby Girl

Picking & deciding on a name for your first baby is, in my opinion, one of the hardest things in life! Or at least one of the hardest things about pregnancy! Since all of you should already know what we named our child (considering she’s 8 months old today!), it’s not like this is some sort of name-reveal post, so I’ll just start by throwing this photo out right in the beginning!

We used this photo to share her name via social media on 4/21/17.

I was one of those girls in high school who had picked out the first & middle names for my four (FOUR?!) future kids… Then when we found out that I was pregnant, names immediately started swirling around in my head. But those names I liked so much in high school didn’t do much for me as an adult now…

So the next day I got on BabyCenter and created an account. I loved that website/app so much during pregnancy, because it tracks each week & gives you updates on size and development and such, and gives you so much helpful information. But it also has a baby names section. So I started pouring over hundreds and hundreds of both boy & girl names. It even allows you to “like” names, and keeps those in a saved section for you. 

Early on I knew how hard this decision would be – partly because “Hello, BIG DECISION!,” but also partly because I’m super indecisive about most things in life, so I knew I would be the same way with sticking my child with their name for the rest of their life! But you guys, there were sooooo many names, and it was so hard! Also, since I wanted a girl SO BADLY, none of the boy names even sounded appealing to me. I found tons of cute girl names, but the boy names just all seemed so blahhh.

Then all of a sudden – light bulb!! If it was a girl, I wanted her middle name to be Secille. So let me tell you why that’s special….

My Grandmother’s (my mom’s mom) name is Seleta (prounounced sa-LEET-a) Voncille Powell. She goes by Voncille (pronounced von-SEAL), but one of nick-names is Mommy-cille, which my Mama made up, Lordy knows how long ago… So then when my little sister was born, my Mama named her Megan Secille (pronounced sa-SEAL, like Cecille). The nurse even tried to tell my mom she was spelling the name wrong on the birth certificate, but my mom was like, “Whoa lady, back off, I know what I’m doing!” (Or ya know, something like that, but obviously that’s my paraphrase, haha). But my mom spelled it that way on purpose, to be a mash-up of my grandmother’s first & middle name SE(leta) (von)CILLE, like she just smushed the two names together.

Anyways, both my Baby Seester and my Grandmother are so very special to me, and I love them both dearly. So naming my (potential) daughter after them both was my favorite idea. So I pitched the idea to Jeff one night that if it was a girl, I wanted her middle name to be Secille. And he loved it too, and agreed we could definitely do that if “it” turned out to be a girl!

LEFT: Megan Secille holding Baby, around 5 weeks old. RIGHT: Seleta Voncille holding Baby, around 2 weeks old.

So with that settled, I felt like the best idea at that point was to just chill out, and wait the million years until February, when we would find out the gender, to continue looking for names. 

Earlier on, I had told me my Mama she could feel free to give suggestions along the way, so every now & then she would send an email or text with a list of names she liked. So one email she sent in December 2016 had about 10 girl names in it, and even though I don’t remember the rest of them (and can’t find that email now?), one of the ones Mama suggested was Emersyn! (She liked it spelled with the “Y”, but I wasn’t so fond of that.) I knew I liked the name, and it immediately jumped out at me, but of course I couldn’t settle on it that easily!

So February 8 finally came around, and we found out that the tiny peanut in my belly was a BABY GIRL!!! And as I’ve stated before, I. was. ECSTATIC. I had been not-so-secretly hoping, praying & wishing for a girl, so I was so happy & thankful that “it” was a “she!”

So with the news that SHE was really a GIRL, I input “Secille” into the BabyCenter naming section as our middle name, so that it would plug that in with every name suggestion. So now came the harder part of finding that perfect first name that matched well with her middle name. We knew we wanted something UNIQUE but not weird. We didn’t want her to get lost in a sea of girls for the rest of her life that all had the same name. (Ya know, all the Ashley/Amanda/Jessica/Sarah’s of the 80’s & 90’s. No offense to you girls with those names, there are just a lot of y’all 😉 ) 

So then when we found names we both agreed we liked, we would “try out” the names for a weeks at a time, specifically referring to baby by those names, instead of “baby.” But none of them clicked or felt right. Then mid-April, we circled back around to Emerson, and started calling her that for a while. And it felt good. It started to feel real. Like… like it really was Emerson in my belly. 

And even though I loved the name, and it sounded so good with Secille, I still couldn’t quite commit. We told the family about that name, so that they could “try it out” with us for a while as well. Then right off the bat, my brother-in-law Bo (Meg’s husband), nick-named her Emmie-cille — like my Grandmother’s nick-name Mommy-cille. And when I heard that, I fell in love with the name even more! 

Then one night (4/20/17), Jeff and I were at home, and we were talking about needing to just stinking make the decision already… (For my OCD, slightly-control-freak-self, I couldn’t wait until she was born to see if she “looked like an Emerson” like some other moms do.) But since I am so indecisive, it was hard to just jump in & decide 100%. Jeff told me he loved the name Emerson, but he wanted to let/make me be the one to make the final call. So with my heart-racing, and my voice all squeaky, I finally said YES! and we fully committed to Emerson Secille!

And y’all. Emerson has been the perfect name for her. I still love it so much, and I know I always will! It’s special, and unique, and I’m really glad we chose it. Oh, and we decided to spell her nick-name “Emmie” with an IE, because my first name (Halie) is spelled with an IE instead of a Y. And so, there you go. (Said with accent of Dad from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”)

In addition to her nick-names of Emmie and Emmie-cille, she also has a few others… Em, Emmie-One-Sock, Emer, Sugar Foot, TIny Toosh, Tiny Tot, Tater Tot, Peanut, Munchkin, and Nugget. With all of those nick-names, I’m just hoping she learns her real name eventually! haha 🙂  So with all that finally said (will I ever write a “short” blog post? doubtful…), now you know the story of naming our sweet Emerson Secille!

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