Birth announcement: Peter Paul! (and a name question)

A mama I did a private consultation for has let me know her little guy has arrived and been given the handsome, significant name … Peter Paul!

She writes,

As usual my babies end up naming themselves in the end with a name I never considered until the last minute. A couple days before Peter Paul was born I was still obsessing about names and probably had about 20 names on the list. It was all decided when I went to confession and the priest asked what the baby’s name was so he could pray for him by name and I just blurted out Peter Paul! I like to think that Jesus himself was asking the name and basically having me decide at that moment so I would stop obsessing. Ha! So that’s what made it official for me and a couple days later he was born.

Thank you so much for all your name suggestions and help. Hugh and Cormac which you suggested were big contenders, as was Francis which I never imagined using either until the last minute!

What a cool story!! I’ve never heard one like it! And Peter Paul is such a great combo! It is SO cool that they share a feast day — June 29 is the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul!

Mama also added,

I have a baby name question for you still though — when our baby was first born we were using Peter as the first name and Paul as the middle name. I’m starting to prefer Peter Paul as the double barrel first name. What is protocol for double barrel names? Do we add a new middle name? Do we hyphenate Peter-Paul? I’m trying to think of what will be easiest for him long term with social security cards, passports, etc. What do you think?

Such a great question! Fortunately we have John Paul as a frequent example of a double-barrel first name for a boy; unfortunately, even that doesn’t provide hard and fast rules. Certainly there has been Mary Kate and the like on the girl side for ages, and loads of people have hyphenated last names, and I think the way it’s handled on forms, etc., is to put both names whenever possible. So they can hyphenate, which will make more obvious that both names are part of the first name, or they can smoosh them together, a la Johnpaul/JohnPaul or Marykate/MaryKate. I don’t really know what will be easier in the long run! Whatever you put on the birth certificate should be exactly what goes on the Social Security card, and exactly what goes on the passport, but in terms of other forms — especially those ones with the boxes where one letter goes in each box — they might run into difficulty getting both Peter and Paul to fit, especially if they keep the space between or add a hyphen (as opposed to putting them together as PeterPaul). And I’ll bet that they’ll frequently find just Peter as his first name on various documents/in the doctor’s office, etc. But there are a lot of people who deal with issues with their names, and each person deals with it according to his/her personality (i.e., some people hate it and some people roll with it and are even really proud of it), you know?

I do know that some people find hyphens in boys’ names to be a bit fussy, if that’s at all helpful. But if they love it, they should do it! (And there’s Jean-Claude Van Damme as an example of a guy with a hyphen.)

As for middle names, probably the easiest of all the options would be to keep his first name Peter and his middle name Paul. I’ve known several people that go by their first+middle on a daily basis, as if it’s a double-barrel first name, so they could still call him Peter Paul in real life, and introduce him that way, and make sure that’s what he’s called at school, etc.

If they decide to add a middle name, they don’t have to do anything to Peter Paul (hyphenate etc.) unless they want to; they’d just add another name, which would go in the “middle name” spot on forms. Which means he might end up being Peter MiddleName sometimes, if whatever person or computer is dealing with his name can’t compute a double first name. Or Peter Paul with the middle name dropped, which often happens to second middle names.

I’ve often thought this mom handled the whole multiple-name thing well — it might inspire this family to come up with a creative idea as well.

Please share with this mom (and me!) what your thoughts are regarding her double-first-name question!

Congratulations to the whole family, including big siblings Niall Jude, Phoebe Rose, Linus Noel, and Johnny Blaise, and happy birthday Baby Peter Paul!!

Peter Paul

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Birth announcement: Zelie Grace!

Our girl Jenny Uebbing had her baby!! I posted a consultation for her less than a month ago, and she’s let me know that her little green bean turned out to be a Little Miss whose been given the gorgeous name … Zelie Grace!

Jenny writes,

I know you probably saw on social media but wanted to tell you that Zelie Grace arrived yesterday at 5:10 am on the feast of St Thomas Becket and King David, a cool coincidence for her daddy, David, the chancellor.

We named her something else, called her that for the first few scary minutes of her life (very blue high altitude baby) and so I started praying for the intercession of St Zelie Martin who lost so many of her own babies. I didn’t think we were going to lose her, but I did think she was going to need to go to the NICU. Happily she perked up and has been doing great ever since. Her birth was so different and so much more peaceful than her older siblings’ were that at once point Dave leaned over and said ‘if she’s a girl, grace should be part of her name, because there’s so much if it here.’ So there you have it, Zelie (zay-lee) Grace Uebbing. 7 lbs 11 oz and sweet as can be.”

I’m so happy for Jenny!! I know the end of her pregnancy was tough (I just about died when I read her description on Instagram of her Christmas Eve, when she thought she might be in labor: “Santa may or may not be upstairs barfing and Mrs Claus is hunched over her contraction timer app”), so for her to say this birth was so much more peaceful than her others is such a gift. And the fact that, in the first consultation I did for her (for the baby before this one), she’d said about the name Zelie:

Dave will never let me get away with this one but I’ve loved it for years … And yes, I’m aware there is going to be a Catholic ghetto baby boom of little Z’s running around as a result [of St. Zelie’s canonization]. But I still love.”

Dreams do come true! ❤

Congratulations to Jenny and Dave and big sibs Joseph, John Paul, Genevieve, and Luke, and happy birthday Baby Zelie!!

Zelie Grace with Mom, Dad, and big brother

(Be sure to check out Jenny’s Instagram for more yummy baby pics!)

Birth announcement: Oscar Xavier!

I posted a consultation for Lisa and her husband just a week before Christmas, and Lisa let me know her little guy has arrived and been given the awesome name … Oscar Xavier!

Lisa writes,

We’re happy to announce the early and unexpected arrival of our little babe, Oscar Xavier, born 12/20 at 36w5d. Our little Ox wasn’t doing so well, so it was time to meet him. As we prayed for his safety and health, we realized we needed some strong intercessions. Upon seeing his face, he was most certainly an Oscar. It took us a bit to decide on a middle name, but found Xavier was the perfect fit. He has some very active saints (and soon-to-be saints) in his corner, and we’re sure God has big plans for our little Ox.”

Ox! I love it! 😍😍😍 Not only does this little guy have Bl. Oscar Romero and St. Francis Xavier watching out for him, but Ox reminded me right away of St. Thomas Aquinas, who was called The Dumb Ox by his classmates — I feel like it’s come to feel affectionate to the Dominicans (if you google “the dumb ox,” you get some pretty amazing results!). So this baby boy is SET!

Congratulations to Lisa and her husband and big sibs Eliette, Margot, and Quentin, and happy birthday Baby Oscar!!

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Oscar Xavier

Birth announcement: Marigold Thérèse!

Our dear reader Grace, for whom I posted a prayer-intention post a month ago as she was enduring a difficult end to her pregnancy, has had her fifth baby — a beautiful little girl with the gorgeous name … Marigold Thérèse!

Grace writes,

Our baby girl Marigold Thérèse was born on November 27. Baby turned head down just in time for my induction and we were able to have a successful VBAC and entirely avoid anesthesia, which was my big concern with having another c-section (I had a serious reaction to the anesthesia with my last c-section). Thank you to all your readers who prayed for us during the week before her birth! We had so many people praying for us over the 9 weeks that I was on bedrest and also right before her birth, and those prayers were deeply felt and appreciated!

Now onto her naming story! When you posted my make-believe consultation, long before I was pregnant, I mentioned that our last baby (now 4 1/2 years old) was to be named Iris Maria Thérèse had he been a girl, and that I thought we’d keep that name if we ever did have another girl. (I also mentioned that I was very set on the name Xavier for a middle name if we had another boy, and the doctor who ended up delivering Marigold was named Javier, which I think is a cool connection.)

Shortly before I found out I was pregnant last March, I had started to have second thoughts about the name Iris. I still really love it, but I don’t care for the initial “I” with our surname, and ultimately felt like, as much as I love the name, it just wasn’t the right choice for us. I also started to think a lot about the name Marigold during that time. It has been one of my two favorite Marian names for years (the other is Maria), and with the floral element and a more English feel than Maria, I started to think it would be a great replacement for Iris. Soon after this, I learned I was pregnant, a miracle after several years of trying, so much prayer (so many St. Thérèse and St. Gerard and St. Andrew Christmas novenas and Our Lady’s Impossible novenas…), and some help from a wonderful Catholic NaPro physician.

I was pretty certain that I had been “led” to the name Marigold during that time, and although my husband was at first a little hesitant to change direction from Iris, he quickly came on board. The middle name would, of course, be Thérèse. St. Thérèse has been a companion and friend to me for years and I really wanted to honor her by using her name.

In May, I had some genetic testing done for the pregnancy (because I’m old😬), which allowed us to find out the sex of the baby. During the time we were awaiting those results, the beloved grandmother of one of my dear friends died. Her name was Marilynn, and as my friend shared stories about her grandmother in the days and weeks that followed her death, I felt a strong sense of connection to her, though I had never met her, and I started to feel even more strongly that the name Marigold was the right choice for our baby (if it was a girl). I felt that I wanted to honor my friend’s grandmother through her name, as well, because I had been so moved by the stories my friend had been sharing. When we got the results of the genetic testing in June and learned that we were expecting a healthy baby girl, I let my friend know that we had chosen the name Marigold and that what she had shared about her grandmother in the previous weeks had confirmed the choice. She told me then that her grandmother had the habit of saving marigold seeds every fall to plant in the spring and that this was a special memory shared by her grandchildren. I’d had no idea there was a connection to marigold flowers, only the similarity of the name Marilynn to Marigold. This was so moving to me and really confirmed that this name was in some way “meant” for this baby.

The final two connections for the name Marigold came from you, Kate, in discussing how marigold flowers can represent the crown of Our Lady (we have selected the Queenship of Mary to be Marigold’s feast day — with a Marian name, there are many choices and the marigold flower/crown connection seemed a good one), as well as the fact that this year was the centennial of Our Lady of Fatima, who is portrayed wearing a golden crown. It’s very exciting to have a Marian-named baby during the centennial year for one of her major titles!

I will also add that I really wanted to do a double middle name for this baby because it seems to be fairly popular in the U.K. (according to the Baby Names of Britain site), and I’m a pretty obsessive Anglophile. One of your readers suggested the name Rosamund as an alternative to one of my old favorites, Rosalind, in a comment on my consultation. Rosamund means “rose of the world” and quickly surpassed Rosalind on my list of favorites. My husband and I went back and forth on adding the second middle name literally up to the evening I was filling out the birth certificate information in the hospital. Ultimately we decided against it, mainly because for it to flow well, it seemed Rosamund would have to come before Thérèse, and I really wanted to honor St. Thérèse in the #1 middle name spot. I’m glad now that we didn’t give her too big a mouthful of a name because she’s such a tiny little thing, though I’ll admit to having the tiniest bit of regret about not getting to do a double middle name on what I expect is my last baby to name.

I am so excited that this lovely little lady has joined our family, and also that we were able to use a name that is both meaningful and also matches our daughter Fiona’s name well in terms of “sparkle”. I feel that the addition of Marigold to our set balances it and also helps solidify the theme of their names (at least in my view).”

I love this explanation so much! I just love it when there are layers of meaning, and you know how I am about Marian names!! All the heart eyes!! Marigold Thérèse is such a perfect combination for this family!

And thank you all for your prayers for Grace! I’m so glad we can ask each other to pray!

Marigold joins her big sisters and brothers:

Elisabeth Grace
James Julian
Fiona Catherine
John Peter

I love them all together — amazing names, all!

Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Marigold!!

Grace had professional photos taken of her children after Marigold’s birth by Alzbeta Volk — I know you’ll want to check out her web site after seeing these beautiful photos! The print of the M and the T with Our Lady of Fatima surrounded by marigolds and St. Thérèse surrounded by roses was done by Studio Senn and given as a gift for Grace and Marigold by a friend (I did a giveaway of one of the amazing Studio Senn prints last spring).

Marigold Thérèse and her big siblings and Studio Senn print of her initials and patrons ❤

Birth announcement: Matthias Victor

I did a spotlight on Matthias back in the spring for a reader who’d requested it, and lo and behold the reader has let me know that she’s given birth to a little boy and given him the fantastic combo … Matthias Victor!

Laura writes,

I just wanted to let you know I had my baby about a month ago. Thanks again for doing the Matthias name spotlight. We did in fact name him Matthias … Matthias Victor. He is a very sweet baby and we are all doing well.”

When I asked her if I could post a birth announcement, she provided this additional information:

My children’s names are as follows:

Jude Thaddeus
Augustine Thomas (nn Augie)
Matthias Victor

Andrew and I have dubbed our naming-style as “old school Catholic”. We love the meanings behind our children’s names as we feel they proclaim that this child belongs in our family. So far, with each of our boys, we have been able to honor a family patriarch and an apostle. This pattern might be hard to maintain in the future if we keep having boys, but it has worked for us so far.

Jude Thaddeus – My husband, Andrew Thad, was named after his grandfather Thaddeus. We like that Jude is named after the apostle, but also after his father and great-grandfather. We don’t know any other Jude’s in our circle, but we definitely feel the name is due for a comeback.

Augustine Thomas – Our second boy was named after my grandfather August who went by Augie. We modified it to Augustine to honor St. Augustine of Hippo and we chose Thomas after the apostle. We also love that Augie’s initials match my husband’s initials. Like Jude, Augie is named both after his father, an apostle, and a great-grandfather.

Matthias Victor – We chose Matthias (pronounced ma-THIGH-us) because we simply loved this apostolic name, but as it happens, it was first brought to my notice because “Mathias” is an ancestral name on my side. We ultimately chose to spell his name with two t’s as we felt this was the more common spelling that is seen in terms of our Catholic faith. Victor was chosen to honor my grandfather, Victor, but it is also my father’s middle name and the first name of my brother, who is both a priest and this child’s godfather. His two names together mean, “a gift from our victorious Lord”.

Since this is a name blog, we have silly pet names for our boys too. We often refer to Jude as Juderbug, Augie as Aug-Dog or Augie Doggie, and Matthias has recently been dubbed MaTiger.”

I love all this! What a great set of brothers! I love the reasoning behind all of the names as well, and also Laura’s articulation of their style as “old school Catholic” — right up my alley!

Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Matthias!!

 

Matthias Victor and his big brothers

Birth announcement: Lewis Maron Job!

Our dear reader eclare, aka Emma, for whom I had the privilege of posting a birth announcement for her fifth baby and fifth boy almost two years ago, has had her sixth baby — her sixth boy! She and her husband have given him the amazing and meaningful name … Lewis Maron Job!

Happily, Emma provided lots of details about his naming!

Lewis: both our childhoods were defined by C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, our adolescences enlightened by his Screwtape Letters, and our adult faith refined by Lewis’ many works of nonfiction. The name Lewis also is tied to our Arthur’s patrons (Blsd. Arthur Bell and St Edmund Campion) by a 3rd hunted priest of the Reformation: St. David Lewis, a Catholic priest who was martyred for the “crime” of offering Holy Mass in England in the 1600s. Lewis is also a distant family name on both sides. And St. Louis Martin, the first married saint to be canonized alongside his wife, is another patron through the French spelling of the same name.
http://lastwelshmartyr.blogspot.com/2009/10/family-of-st-david-lewis.html
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Lewis_(Jesuit)

Maron: a holy hermit in Syria in the 400s, namesake of the Maronite Catholic Church. St. Maron lived in the open air, exposed to all the elements until his death at a very old age. His faith in the Lord and his dwelling in the Spirit sustained him, beyond physical explanation. Our spiritual director and his monks — near whom we plan to move and raise our sons — are Maronites, as are Lewis’ godparents.
http://www.holy-transfiguration.org/library_en/saints_much.html
http://www.itmonline.org/bodytheology/stmaron.html

Job: our devotion to St. Job, the Much-Suffering, has been strong these past two years of many difficulties. Throughout our months without water which resulted in the deaths of many of our animals and plants (adjacent property owners challenged our water rights), to a flood/mudslide that ruined our fences and pastures, another flood that saturated the interior of our house, dozens of mudslides that closed our road for up to 3 weeks at a time, 20 months of essential unemployment, a 1st trimester that coincided with Don’s police academy, 3 blown car engines, and so on, we looked to the unfailing faith-while-suffering of St. Job as our model. http://otftd.blogspot.com/2013/05/righteous-job-model-of-long-suffering.html

I’ve loved the name Lewis for awhile now, for all the reasons listed, but it took me some time to find a patron. Once I found St David Lewis and his story, we were both sold. We’ve had Lewis Maron picked out for #6 since #5 was born (then the “Job” addition came to us this Fall). The same thing happened with our Arthur and Reuben: loved the name, then found the patron. It feels a little backwards, but I like to think of it as the Saint finding *us* through our love of the name. ❤️

A second weird name-y confession: I’ve always disliked the name Louis, and I still do!! Isn’t that so weird? But Lewis is completely different to me. So balanced, with the consonants in the front, middle, and end, and no danger of being a “Louie.” Even Lew is different from Lou — so literary and all. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Lastly, I had some misgivings about using Lewis because it is very much a place-name where we live. It’s near the end of the Lewis & Clark Expedition/Oregon Trail and every hill, dale, and puddle is Lewis-something. In the end I decided to own it, since it makes this spelling more familiar to everyone. Plus, it’s kind of cool to see his name wherever we go!

Isn’t this all so great?? Emma has such great taste in names, I’m not at all surprised that her little guy was given such a handsome and unexpected combination. And I love all her additional thoughts — her “weird name-y confession” of disliking Louis but loving Lewis, having Saints find us through the love of certain names (I so agree!), and just owning a potentially difficult characteristic of a name — such great stuff!

Congratulations to Emma and her husband and the five big brothers, and happy birthday Baby Lewis!!

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Lewis Maron Job

Birth announcement: Finn Douglas!

I received such a fun email the other day! Cheri is a reader who wanted to let me know about the birth of her baby, and to tell me a little about the names she and her husband have chosen for all their kiddos! I fell in love with all of the names and the stories behind them, and of course I was all, “Can I post this on the blog??” and I’m so delighted Cheri said yes!

She and her hubs recently welcomed their sixth baby — and sixth boy! (My mom-of-six-boys heart always sings upon meeting another!) They gave their littlest guy the swoon-worthy name … Finn Douglas!

Cheri writes,

I just wanted to say thank you for your website!! I was SO close to getting a consultation. I even started typing up an email to send. I think the process of writing it all out in an email helped us narrow down our choices. And reading through consultations was incredibly insightful. It helped us look at the names we had given our children with fresh eyes and helped us articulate why we’ve chosen the ones we did. You helped without even knowing you were doing so!

We had our 6th baby at the end of September. We did not find out the gender at the ultrasound. Probability said that would be a boy since we had already been blessed with 5! Ha! But it was still exciting not finding out until the birth.

We were very happy to welcome Finn Douglas into our family! As soon as the doctor said, “It’s a boy!”, the first thing that I though was, “well of course it is!”

We had a really hard time coming up with a name that fit our criteria, wasn’t used by someone close to us, and fit with our other sons’ names.

I think your website was where I first saw the name Finn. I’m pretty sure I’ve read every consultation where you’ve mentioned it.

[Re: Finn Douglas] Our last name is Irish and we like the stories of Saint Finnian and Saint Finbar. Douglas is both my brother’s middle name and the first name of my grandpa. I was very close to him. He passed away 16 years ago. He LOVED babies! I wish he could have met mine. There is also a Blessed George Douglas who has a very interesting story.”

I’m a HUGE fan of the name Finn, and Finn Douglas is such a great combo! And isn’t this such a great email? I’m so so so happy that the blog helped this beautiful family choose a name! You all have helped me create such a great resource!!

Before sharing Cheri’s older boys’ names, I’ll share the criteria she and her hubs have used:

So our naming philosophy: we like names that are easy to spell, familiar, masculine, and have some Christian/ Old Testament/ Saint connection, with no obvious nicknames (so maybe we’re a little boring? Ha!). We also did not want any first initial duplicates (I’m a homeschooler & list lover and usually label & list things by each kid’s first initial). We kind of have an Irish/Old-Fashioned thing going on. We also seem to have a knack for picking names that rise dramatically in popularity 2-3 years after we use them. Ha!! Oh well…”

I don’t think their taste is boring at all! I love it! These are the names of their older five boys:

Isaac James (“We love the story of Abraham and Isaac, and that Isaac means God laughs. James is both his grandfather and godfather’s name“)

Aidan Xavier (“We were hesitant to use this name because it was fairly popular. But we kept coming back to it. Someone told us at the time, “God names our children, we just have to listen.” Once he was born, we KNEW God had named him. Aidan means “little fire” and he was born with a full head of beautiful auburn hair. We love the stories of Saint Aidan & his generosity. During college, my husband lived with 5 amazing Catholic men in a house named after St. Francis Xavier. This is a nod to them and to Saint Francis Xavier“)

Owen Dean (“Owen was born at 33 weeks & was tiny. It is fitting that he was named after St. Nicholas Owen I read that he was a very small man, under 5 feet – it seemed perfect for preemie. He was such an amazing & heroic Saint! Dean is his Grandpa’s middle name“)

Liam John (“We loved the name and unfortunately the only Saint Liam we could find is a race horse. Ha! But it’s a variation of William so Saint William works. We found out that he was a boy on the feast of Saint John Vianney and his great grandpa’s name is John“)

Eli Anthony (“We like the OT story of Eli and Samuel and how Eli told Samuel to respond to the Lord, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening!” We chose Anthony after our family prayed a Novena to Saint Anthony when this son was in utero and diagnosed with some serious growth problems. He was born perfectly healthy so we chose this middle name in thanksgiving to Saint Anthony“)

Amazing, right?? I love each one, and I love them all together!

Congratulations to Cheri and her husband and big brothers Isaac, Aidan, Owen, Liam, and Eli, and happy birthday Baby Finn!!

Finn Douglas with his big brothers ❤