I am a baby name nerd. You need to know this to understand this story. I make extensive lists (despite my aversion to listmaking) of baby names I love for future use. I have a giant document on my laptop of first names, middle names, various combinations that I update every time I fall in love with a new name.
Since my pregnancies are rough, choosing a name is one of the rare joys I experience during the months of nausea. It really helps me mentally get through to the day the baby is in my arms.
Before I tell this story and share the name we chose, I did ask my husband Daniel’s permission about posting because he’s a more private person than I am and he said, “Sure! I mean…it’s not like blogging about it is a binding agreement.” I disagree. Blogged means binding! And I’m sticking to that unless I change my mind.
This pregnancy we were pretty sure we were having a boy. So we focused on boy names and agonized over them. We did a baby name consult with Sancta Nomina (so much fun!) And after much deliberation, by the 20 week ultrasound we had settled on Lavrans Arthur after St. Lawrence and after a character in Kristin Lavransdatter.
We’d spent less time discussing girl names but had agreed on Evangeline Rose (although I didn’t think TOO much about it because we were surely pregnant with a boy.) But I loved the idea of naming our child “Good News” because isn’t every sweet little life good news?!
Lo and behold, a third little girl was kicking on the ultrasound screen! I was immediately smitten by her precious face (she has the same nose as her sister Gwen!) and while I still think Evangeline is such a beautiful name I could see right away it wasn’t HER name.
As we waited for our follow up with our midwife I thought about the long list of girl names we had talked over…..and then a COMPLETELY different name I have never before considered for ANY of my pregnancies just popped into my head: Hilda.
“Daniel!” I said. “Hilda! Do you hate it?! I’ve never thought of it before but I am suddenly VERY into this name. I think it’s her name. I’m looking up what it means and everything about it.”
Here’s what I found:
Possible patron saints: St. Hilda of Whitby, St. Hildegard von Bingen (Doctor of the Church!)
Meaning: Hilda: Battle Woman. Hildegard: Battle Garden.
Favorite middles: Rose or Rosemary after Our Lady (Mystical Rose), St. Rose of Lima
After discussing with the kids, our favorite combination is Hildegard Rose which would mean Battle Garden of Roses which is incredibly Marian! I imagine the power of the Rosary or a rose garden devoted to Our Lady who crushes Satan under her heel with the strength of her fiat. It’s honestly kind of metal. A rose is both beautiful and dangerous.
I’ve always felt that I was choosing my babies’ names. But this time, I feel like I was just TOLD what her name already is. Which is kind of weird or mystical but I’m here for it.
Hilde, Hildy, Hildie (the pronounciation would be Hil-dee, but I’m not sure how we want to spell it. Suggestions welcome.)
Am I missing any?
With a more unusual first name, I like a classic like Rose as a middle in case she totally hates Hildegard and wants to be H. Rose Stewart someday.
So we are anxiously and impatiently waiting to meet Hildegard Rose Stewart in 3.5 months time. From her extremely active antics in the womb, I’m pretty sure our little rose garden is going to be a force to be reckoned with. And I can’t wait to kiss her precious cheeks.