Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Names

Both of my girls have a unique to them name. Although on the surface, Ashleigh’s name may appear common and popular her name is actually a reflection of Scott and me. Scott’s middle name and mine were combined to form her name. She is as close to a “junior” as we will get. And it was easy to decide on her name; equal bits of names from both of us signifying that she was ours. We made her and we would love her unconditionally forever.

Cyra’s name was a little more complicated. You see, I was convinced she was a boy. I didn’t want to find out the gender when I was pregnant and even though I told the sonogram technician I didn’t want to know, she exclaimed in the middle of the scan, “Well, I can’t get a good shot, but I’d say 80% likely for a girl.”

I was mad. I didn’t want to know number one and number two, I was having a boy. It was clear in all aspects of the pregnancy: A boy name was easy to decide on. I carried all in the front like a basketball. Every thing felt different from when I carried Ashleigh. How could I not be carrying a boy?

In any case, once the technician said what she did, I knew I needed to have a back-up name. Just in case. I spent hours in Barnes & Nobles looking through baby name books. Ashleigh and I would sit in the kids section and while would play with the train I would call out different names to her.


“Nope.” She pushed the train along the track.


She shook her head, blonde hair flipping.


“Mommy! No!”

On and on this went, week after week. With the due date looming I was becoming quite anxious about names. I knew that, if it was a girl, then the middle name would be after my maternal grandmother. All the while, every time I talked to Scott (at the time he was driving over the road), I would throw names at him as well. Each one shot down succinctly.

“What about Jamie.” I asked at the end of September once again sitting with Ashleigh in B&N.

“Hmm.” Ashleigh raised her head a bit from the trains. “I like that.”

“Really?” I replied. “Okay. I like it a bit too. Let’s keep that in mind.” And I continued to flip through the pages of a baby name book I hadn’t gone through yet.

A few minutes later, as I was flipping through the Cs again, I noticed a small four letter name I had never heard of before: Cyra. This book listed it as being the feminine version of Cyrus meaning “lord.” I supposed, as I looked at it, that it could be pronounced with a hard C so it sounded like “kyra” but “Cyrus” is pronounced with a soft C and I preferred the softer C anyway. So when I pronounced it, it sounded like “seara,”

“Hey, Ashleigh,” I called, “What do you think of Cyra?”

Ashleigh stopped jamming the train into a building and looked up at me. “Say it again?” she asked.


Ashleigh blinked, walked over to me and sat by my side. “Cyra.” She repeated and put her little hand on my belly. “Yes. That’s my sister’s name.”


  1. What a great baby naming story! I was supposed to have your name, but the lady next to my mom in the hospital gave birth first, and stole the name Heather that my mom had told her she 'd be naming me. Which is actually a good thing, 'cause I'm very much a Melanie.

    1. That is so wrong! A woman should never steal a baby name! I had three other Heathers in my class during HS. I was actually best friends with one of them. I like Melanie too. It isn't a really common name and it is very lyrical!!

  2. Cyra is a beautiful name. Ashleigh is a great name too, and she's smart. "Mommy! No!" is the absolute, 100% correct response to "Prudence", unless you wanted the second child to grow up to be a lonely cat lady.
    I love hearing name origins. They're so fun. Like the lady in the news whose name is "Fellony" who got arrested and was charged with a felony (Check out the "Weird News" section of the Huffington Post).

    1. There was a few weeks during the pregnancy when I was leaning heavily towards Victorian "virtue names." I am glad that it was only a phase.

      And there isn't anything wrong with being a crazy cat lady, per se. It's when you move to cat hoarding that it becomes an issue!

      Why would someone name their kid "Fellony?" That's just tempting kharma and fate too much!!

  3. My gasterentologist - the guy who looks after my colon - has the initials B.M.
    Ya gotta consider the initials....
    (by the way, after remarrying, mine are C.O.W. ... WHAT was I THINKING????)

    1. Youch! I took initials into consideration when I picked names - especially with a last initial of "w."

  4. When my wife was carring our third child, she was convinced he was a her. All we picked out were girls names. She was going to be jillian Grace. Baby jill. When she turned up a he, we didn't have a thing. We were so stumped that in the end, we couldn't take him home because we hadn't named him yet. All said and done, i think he got the name that fit him. He's definately a Wyatt.

    I liked both of the names you have, the stories behind them are what make them special. :)

    1. It is so funny how we become convinced of the gender! Did she opt to not find out? I like having that surprise and besides I'm a big fan of gender neutral colors like green, yellow, orange and royal purple! So I don't need to know for planning a theme or anything.

      I really like the name Wyatt. It makes me think of a rough and tumble cowboy kid!

  5. I love that spelling of Ashleigh. My daughter's middle name is Leighann. And Cyra is beautiful! Perhaps I'll use it in my next novel!!

    I'm a new follower via the A to Z. Nice to meet you, Heather!

    1. Thanks! I've only met a few others that spell it our way, so it might be "common" but the spelling makes it unique and the meaning behind it makes it wicked special!

      Thanks for following!! I appreciate it!