Liz and I emailed a bit over the past few months about names for her baby, and I’m very happy to report that her little girl has been born and given the absolutely beautiful name … Gemma Theadora!
“We had the baby Friday. We were between 2 first names, and my husband decided he preferred Gemma (so did I), so that stuck. Since the first name was shorter, I was trying to gun for a longer middle name. I absolutely love the name Stellamaris, but he’s not keen on it. I was looking up some longer names, and I honestly don’t remember how I came across this one, but I threw out Theadora … He really gravitated to it, so much so that he was thinking of overriding our first name choice and calling her Theadora nn Thea (saw your blog post about a recent Thea’s birth). Ultimately, we decided to keep the names how we’d picked them, and Gemma Theadora arrived after 41wk2d. It’s a lot of A’s, many people we’ve informed via text have already asked if it’s a hard or soft G, someone thought I’d said Jenna, and lots have asked how we came up with Gemma. But it’s sparked some fun conversations about the Italian mystic from the 19th century. I don’t have a devotion to her; I just really like the name.”
I love so many things about this name story!! Gemma was a name Liz liked from the beginning, and it fit her husband’s preference for a name that would be used as-is; I love that Hubby was crazy for the middle name idea Liz suggested; I love that despite some issues that before birth might have seemed prohibitively annoying (a lot of A’s, others not knowing how to pronounce it or thinking it’s a different name, etc.), Liz has been enjoying the conversations that the name has sparked. And I love that St. Gemma has found this family, despite them not having a previous devotion to her! And Gemma Theadora is an absolutely gorgeous name!!
Congratulations to Liz and her husband, and happy birthday Baby Gemma!!
My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links) — perfect for the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life! (And check out my buy-the-book-get-a-consultation deal!)