As most of you know we decided to keep our little girls name a secret until she was born. The main reason was that we had a hard time deciding on a girls name and we didn't want to tell anyone and have it change at the last minute!
But another fun reason is that we thought it would be nice for the family to say, "This is your new granddaughter, Avery Cate." So, after she graced us with her presence, (taking her sweet time) we happily announced her beautiful name. I had a hint of a worry that her name wouldn't match her face but when I saw her in the little hospital bassinet blinking up at me, it completely fit her.
When we knew we were pregnant I went out and bought the essential baby name books and we scoured them for hours each night. Nick liked to quickly Veto any of my quirky favorites...(Valentina, Fiona, Quinn, Emory). We had a much easier time narrowing our boy list down for some reason, I think mainly due to the fact that every member of his family and mine were convinced that we were having a boy because of past history of the family tree. All except Nick. From day one he said he knew we were having a girl.
Two months from her due date we had our girl names narrowed down to five names.
In no particular order:
1.) Amelia - one of our old favorites from when we first started trying to have a baby but a year after we started trying, even though we hadn't shared our favorite girl name with anyone, Nicks cousin had a little girl and that is the name they chose for her. Funnily enough I became very close to his wife and Amelia is the cutest little bug so it doesn't bother us! Not to mention if we did choose this name it did make us think there is already another Amelia Ellwood and that was something we didn't care for, especially since the first one was so cute. :)
2.) Lilah Grace - This would be a first and a middle name but I frequently said them together. As much as I loved the combination of the two names it didn't work for many reasons, one of the biggest is that Nick said Lilah Ellwood sounded like a mouth full of marbles...Another is that a friend of mine who is also TTC said in a conversation one day that it was their chosen name for their yet to arrive miracle. And lastly as much as I liked the name the more I tried to picture my daughters face with that name it just wouldn't come into mind.
3.) Olivia - all of the names I wanted for my girl were perfectly princess kind of names and even though this one was an extremely late addition, (because it was so high on the social security website for names in popularity) Nick somehow attached himself to the name so much that he would tell my pregnant belly, "Goodbye Olivia!" when he was headed to work.... It was a pretty name but just too popular, I didn't want her to be Olivia E. More of a unique name called to us.
4.) Avery - Our big winner.
I grew up in East Hill in Pensacola and near Avery Street. My first introduction to the name was the first babysitting job I ever had at the age of 14. My neighbors one street up had two little girls, Jennifer and Avery. I thought Avery was such a cool and unique name for a little girl and I had never heard it before. Fast forward to us trying to have a baby of our own and it danced in the back of my mind but never came to the forefront because I thought it lacked the "Princess Quality" that the other three did. So I kept ignoring the signs that this would be the name for our girl.
The day after Christmas I had a major scare with our pregnancy. I started cramping in the early afternoon and it got pretty bad around the early evening. After heading to the bathroom I noticed I was bleeding quite a bit but not what was considered to be heavy. I called the doctor and he put me on bedrest. Because I was only five weeks pregnant he said there was nothing the ER could do if I went there and all of the coming and going to get there could cause more problems. I was to go to Urgent care in the morning and get an Ultrasound before going to my regular fertility appointment that Monday. Needless to say I was an horrible, anxiety filled wreck all night. I prayed we would see a heartbeat on the way to the clinic in the morning and was preparing myself for the disappointment of a loss.
When the doctor started the ultrasound I was holding my breath while she searched for the baby. Finally we saw a tiny little blinking light. She said, "Do you see that right there? Thats the baby's heart beat." After bleeding this early she said our chance of a loss was down to only 20% after seeing the heartbeat. She even let us hear it for a few seconds. The minute the little light of life came flashing on the screen my mouth produced the words, "Hi, Avery, hi baby." I didn't even know the baby was a girl! I should have known from that point on that it was meant to be her name.
Many months pass and I am in Pensacola awaiting Nicks move down her so we can get settled in our new duty station. My mom still lives in East Hill and every time I would drive to her house I would pass Avery street and my heart would just soar. It was a true physical reaction in me to seeing the name. I called Nick right away and said, "I feel like her name is Avery and I just keep ignoring the signs!" He replied that the whole week we were apart he was calling her Avery in his head and he didn't tell me till that moment!
Cate is a literary reference from Pride and Prejudice. And overall just a classic southern name.
Funny how we can't see things that are so clearly in front of our face at times. :)
We love you so much our sweet and perfect Avery Cate.