Hi Duana,
My husband and I are expecting our first baby after some health issues and are very excited/nervous/anxious to welcome our first daughter in early August.  We have one name that we have been playing with but wanted to see if you would mind sharing some of your lovely ideas before we me make the final decision. Our current favorite is Sasha Marie T****.  Is it becoming really popular? Too trendy?? We really like all the names that are super popular right now so that immediately cancels them out (Sophia/Olivia/etc.) but my fear is Sasha is on the upswing. What do you think? Is it too sexy? My family is ready to strangle us if we don't share the name soon. Other names we considered were Helena, Kiera, Ramona (wow they all end in A.) but Sasha by far is our favorite.

Desperately seeking Susan - Sorry I couldn't resist =)


It feels weird, doesn’t it? When you arrive at the name you love before it’s absolutely go time, it feels like you shouldn’t. It feels like you should spend all of the nine months researching and testing options, and making absolutely sure you’ve got the right name. When you land on the one that you kind of know is the one – the one that’s “by far our favourite” – it feels like cheating if it’s not down to the wire, doesn’t it? Especially when you hear the stories of people who were about to leave the hospital but still had no idea?

All this to say, I love Sasha (obviously!), and I don’t want to dissuade you from it. Is it on the upswing? I wouldn’t say that. I know two Sashas under 10, one under 20, and a few who are older than that (including one boy Sasha). The name is always there, always in use, but never popular enough to risk there being three in one room. 

Are there coincidences? Sure. The other day I noticed a dance class full of about a dozen kids, and two of them were Celeste. That’s just coincidence, not popularity.  That’s okay.

But if you want to consider other options (while keeping Sasha in your heart), I love both Helena and Ramona. Kiera, to me, has always been pretty, but sounds like a little girl’s name for reasons I can’t quite pinpoint. Maybe it’s because your mouth basically makes the same shape as it does when you say ‘cute’, which isn’t the most grown-up adjective. Along similar lines, I also love Elsa and Dahlia and Cecily and Willa and even Vera.

But – I think you’ve nailed it early, and I think you know that. Which is an extra reason you might be anxious about telling your family, because all the ‘mystery’ is gone. You know I don’t recommend telling anyone beforehand because who needs the opinions so keep a lid on it.

It’s okay to compare and contrast against the name you love. But you know, some people meet their true, forever loves in high school. Most of us don’t, but it doesn’t mean those people should throw away those loves! Similarly, just because you found her name early doesn’t mean it’s not the best possible name for the kid you’re happy to finally have.

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