Why Our Son May Just End Up Being Named Fitzliam

I’ve always been envious of the women who’ve known since childhood the future names of their unborn sons and daughters. Or those who, after consulting with their partners during the early months of pregnancy, have decided on names and feel, with a certain degree of certainty and relief, that they’ve chosen well.

My husband and I do not have a great track record when it comes to making these kinds of decisions. Both of our daughters were named (finally!) in the hospital, the day after they were born. It’s not that we wanted to wait and see what our children looked like before we named them. We’ve just struggled choosing the right name from a small list of contenders. We haven’t been able to decide on such an important, meaningful thing as a name—a future identity—with any ease.

And also, I guess there’s the fact that we don’t prepare well. Waiting until almost the third trimesters to even begin conversations that are more than:

Well, anything sticking out to you at this point? No? Me either.

isn’t very helpful.

So why should things be any different this time around? Even our parents have come to expect that our child will be nameless until at least the day or night after he is born. With all of my pregnancies, my father has insisted on giving the babies—fetuses really—names himself, like Maggie and Seamus, abandoning them only after we’ve stepped up to the plate.

Liam loves the idea of having a junior. This tradition exists in both of our family trees; his father and my uncle are juniors. Liam’s also fond of his name. I am too, but the idea of calling out to Liam at home, or any place really, and having to differentiate between two beings for a lifetime makes me totally crazy. I’m looking for less, not more, stress in my life.

So, we’ve been tossing about William since Liam is derived from that name. I love the name Will, but then when I say it quickly with our last name, Powers, it sounds too much like willpower. I don’t know, maybe we should name our son this, and he will grow into the name and fare far better than his mother and father have in the area of self-discipline.

Liam just picked up the baby name book this past week (which is about right, since we are nearly into the third trimester) to have a look and see if anything resonated with him. I find that when this sort of thing happens the two of us spend more time entertaining ourselves with all of the really terrible names that are out there, instead of locking on to something we really love. Again, an example of how we are lacking in WillPower(s).

When Liam got to the “Fitz” names (Fitzgerald, Fitzpatrick, Fitzhugh), he read that “Fitz” means son of. Mind you, Fitzliam was not in the baby book; it was my guy’s compilation entirely. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t plenty of strapping Fitzliams running about. If you should happen to meet one, will you ask him if he likes his name, and then get back to me? Because if we don’t get our act together soon, Fitzliam just might be a contender.

P.S. We do love the names we eventually chose for our girls. They’ve grown into them quite nicely.


Our girls: Nora and Frances


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