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.
What a beautiful name!!
Thank you, Lizzy!
H. Rose Stewart sounds like someone super fancy and important. She could write books or discover new species (which would probably mean writing books) or run the country! And Hildy/Rosie sounds like the sweetest little girl in all of Texas! I can see pictures of her on a blanket in the middle of a field of wildflowers!
lol! I am so here for all of this! <3
It’s perfect, Haley. I love it!
I would expect it to be spelled Hilde. ?
I think I like that spelling the best! But would it be confusing whether it’s pronounced “Hilda”? Decisions!!!
I second this! That’s the spelling I saw in my mind’s eye, too. 🙂
I am so very happy and excited for you! I can’t wait to see pics of your Hildegard Rose when she arrives. ?
Thank you so much, Beth! <3
Mary Silloway says
I had exactly the same naming experience with my youngest boy! I keep telling people that he “told” me his name when I was looking at him on the ultrasound. It’s wasn’t one that we had really considered, but it just popped into my head the second I saw him and knew he was a little boy. I’ve never heard someone else say they experienced that, so I was super happy to hear your story!
So cool! I don’t have very many mystical experiences, so it was definitely special.
I definitely had a similar experience! We were thinking our second would probably be a boy, due on Christmas Eve. But as I was pondering Christmas names, I thought of the prophetess Anna waiting for the Lord in the temple and it was like lightning – I had never thought of using that name before but after it came I could not get it to go away! I worked myself up with worry about possibly having a boy after all that – it was a relief to see our baby girl on the ultrasound and know that she was supposed to be an Anna after all! I feel like the name (and all its associations with her scriptural namesake) definitely came down with her.
Beautiful name! Our daughter is Helen Rose and we call her Rosie. I love Helen and Rose but husband couldn’t quite get over the “old lady name” so we compromised on calling her Rosie. I love all the nickname choices for Hildegard! You can’t go wrong! I’m due any day now with surprise number five and I have no sure idea what to name the baby if it’s a girl!
Congratulations to you and your family!
Helen and Helena have both been on our list for ages. So lovely!!!
Yay!!! I love St. Hildegard – what a beautiful patron for your little one!
I also think that, should God bless you with another little girl, Evangeline would fit right in! I know, #toosoon, but the name nerd in me can’t help it haha.
Anjanette Barr says
I LOVE it! What a cool name!! St. Hildegard was my second choice for a confirmation saint and I’ve loved learning about her. Little Hildi is going to grow up with such an inspiring woman to model!
Laura Fidler says
I LOVE the name Hildi. Hildegard von Bingen has been a desired patroness of our next little girl for a long time for me. I am also a big name nerd and I think Sancta Nomina is the best page on the whole internet, not to mention the Baby Name Wizard and Behindthename.com.
Blessings to you and the baby!
Sancta Nomina is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy! lol It is THE BEST.
This ia a brilliant name. Well done!
And I hear you on the name getting you through months of sickness.
When our first son was 26 weeks, I had to get my appendix out. There was a risk of preterm labour, and so the doctors had to read me all the lists of things that could potentially go wrong if he was born that early. Or was horrible. But somewhere in there, between convalescing in the hospital and getting repaired shoes of morphine to stop contractions, I learned his name. We’d it in mind, but if was just a little bit out there, and we weren’t too sure about it. But suddenly I had this profound assurance that not only was his name Alasdair Lewis Peregrine, but that everything was going to be fine. His name means Defender of Mankind, Man of War. And Peregrine means pilgrim, because there needed to be some moderating influence involved! But I knew that with this name, that I knew we had to give him, there must be a plan for his life that meant he would be ok. After all, he couldn’t defend anyone as a 26 week old! I felt such immense peace. And I still feel it, even though in his five years he’s had SO many close scrapes. God has a plan for this one, and there is someone who doesn’t want him to fulfill that plan – but God is bigger!
Sorry for essay in your comment section! ☺️
Haha – not repaired shoes! Repeated shots!
Love this name! As far as a nickname , I would personally go with “Hildy” like Hildegard “Hildy” Johnson played by Rosalind Russell in “His Girl Friday.”
Oh what a sweet name! One of my favorite book characters is Hildemara Rose from Francine Rivers ‘Her Mother’s Hope.” Such a strong woman of God!
I also think Hildie is an adorable nickname! Praying for sustained energy throughout the rest of your pregnancy and a healthy birth <3
I LOVE that book, too, Abigail! 🙂
LOVE IT! I have a Rosemary Beatrice (nickname Rosie, Rosie Bea). I love Hilde Rose or Rosie as nicknames, and Hildegard is a super awesome name with an incredible patron. ?
Hilda is also the name of a delicious Swedish ice cream treat:)
I feel like Heidi or Heidi Rose could totally work as nicknames too. 🙂 This little lady has such a powerful naming story! Lovvvvve it so much!
I just love that name so much! (I felt our Linus had his name just chosen too!) And I just love the meaning of Hildegard Rose, too!! Our babies are going to need so much strength to spread Christ’s love in the world! Way to go, Haley!
Love it! Our 9 month old is Hildegard Katherine. We call her Hildie… Or Hilde-bug, Hilde-bee… Anything we can track “Hilde”( pronounced Hil-deh) onto usually works. When she poops, it’s a Hilde-poop 🙂
She is our third and our second girl. I too am a name nerd and always thought if we had another girl hey babe would be Regina Katherine… But like you once we find out we we having a girl I just knew Regina wasn’t her name… So here we are with Miss Hildegard.
Best wishes for a safe and swift labor!
I was cracking up reading this. I am holding my 1 week old little girl that was very nearly Evangeline Rose…she was born a couple days after Easter and the name seemed perfect. But not hers. She ended up Helen Rose. Ellie.
Margaret Sky says
Beautiful name with powerful meaning! I love that she “told” you what her name is. With my last pregnancy, I tried asking my daughter what her name should be, and the only thing that came to me is that it should start with an “E.” We ended up naming her one E name and then changing her name 2 days later when we realized no one knew how to pronounce it. Baby naming can be so hard, so it helps if they will just tell you what they want to be named!
Margaret Sky says
I also considered the name Evangeline, but my husband vetoed!
Lindsay H. says
When I read Battle Garden of Roses it brought tears to my eyes! So Marian and so powerful!! I love it. And St. Hildegard is one of the coolest saints… I’ve recently been drawn to get because of her knowledge of herbs. Perfect for your nature minded, garden growing fam I think ? congrats!!
Beautiful. Beautiful name . ???
Ohhh! That really is gorgeous! I love Rose, too. I was praying the “Hail, holy queen” prayer, when “clement” jumped out at me. So we named our 2nd daughter Clementine, with Rose de Lima as a middle name. Love name stories! And I have the next two names sorted, so we’d better get a move on, Haha!
What a beautiful story and name! I think you could call her Hillie too – but Hildy is super cute. Congratulations!
What about Heidi for a nickname?
Ann-Marie Ulczynski says
I love it! Please, please, please tell me you’ve read Bless This Mouse by Lois Lowry with the kids. The brave, strong main character shares your daughter’s name. We love that book!
I thought of that book too! Hildegarde the mouse is such a complicated character. I had to reread it to figure out her development. All the usual Lowry complexity in adorable church mice! (And to Haley, it’s a great name! We named one of our children while still in-utero and it was so much extra fun for me to bond when she already had a name.)
Mom of Six says
Hildee is another spelling option.
What a fantastic name! I like Hildy as a nickname, as I’m pretty sure people would be able to spell/pronounce that. I also love Evangeline and if we have another daughter in the future I’m pretty sure that will be her name (we already have Caroline and Katherine so we would have to have another -ine ending!).
So funny! Many blessings for your family and your upcoming delivery. We always find out the gender of our babies and we have always picked a name before they were born. Baby number 4 was a challenge. We just could not pick a name for her. We spent the entire pregnancy going through names and by the time labor came we STILL didn’t have a name. We had narrowed it down to 2 names though so we thought when we saw her we would choose one of them. My husband was holding her when she was a few hours old and chose a completely different name that wasn’t even on our list. It just fit her. Sometimes names choose you. 🙂
Wow! What a bold choice! Another patron could be St. Mathilde, because her name ends in Hilde 🙂
I was so sure this baby girl would be a Claire, to complement her sisters’ names: Lucy=light, Gwen=white and Claire=bright…
But now I think the theme is “strong Catholic women”: St. Lucy (brave martyr), Mother Mary and a Doctor of the Church!
I love this!!!! What I beautiful naming story and a beautiful name!!!
I am struggling so much with our boy’s name this time. I had a girl’s name picked out (and several backups) when we found out this baby is boy #2. I love our first son’s name (and our daughter’s for that matter) so much that I feel like we can’t possibly come up with anything as good. My indecisiveness doesn’t help, and I don’t want to spend the first weeks of his life agonizing over his name. I’m praying that the name will come to us between now and July!
Jen A says
Beautiful! We have some dear friends whose second daughter was named Rosemary. They called her Roses. I always loved that. Blessings for a safe, healthy delivery!
Daniel and you have the most beautiful daughters! Love HIlde already!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!! Also, I’m drowning in saints and cathedrals and duomos over here in Italy and all I think about is, « Haley would love this…what is this for? Hmm…Haley would probably know! »
Not being Catholic (and also not being a reader of Latin), I don’t know what half of this is, but it’s beautiful and interesting nonetheless.
“And I’m sticking to that unless I change my mind.” Hahahahaha!!!