I wanted to emerge from “newborn survival mode” (seriously, the first two weeks are all about survival!) to share the story behind Annalynn’s name. Since I’ve had so many questions about her name (and how to pronounce it), I figure a little backstory would be fun.
Ann-a-lynn: favor, grace, beautiful
I’ve always been a fan of unique, original names. “Megan” was in the top 10 list of baby girl names the year I was born and, even though I had a somewhat unique spelling with an “h” and the additional “n” on the end, there was always a number of Megans in all of my classes. I don’t hate my name, but I always wished I had something a little outside the norm.
As with most anyone, I’d been thinking about baby names since well before Derek and I ever had a serious talk about having kids. Heck, half the fun of having baby dolls or playing Sims as a kid was naming everyone. My dad still jokes about how I always gave my dolls unusual and interesting names that only I could remember or pronounce. What can I say? I was a creative kid.
I wish I had this brilliant story on how I came up with Annalynn’s name, but I don’t. I was at our old townhouse a couple of years ago and it just popped in my head and I immediately loved it. I remember googling it to see if it was a “real name” (aka not something I just made up). Sure enough, there were tons of baby boards discussing Annalynn. By the way, if you find a name you love – don’t ever ask for other people’s opinions on baby boards, they can be brutal.
There was just so many things I loved about Annalynn. I loved that it was unique (the name has never been on the top 1000 list for baby girls), I loved how many “n”s it had (the double “n” on the end pays homage to my name), and I loved how it has “Ann” in it (my mom’s middle name is Anne, as is mine, so Annalynn is carrying the name on from her grandmother and her mother). I also love how feminine the name is and how effortlessly it rolls off of your tongue.
Almost as soon as we found out we were pregnant, I had a gut feeling we were having a girl. I even had a dream that Derek and I had this gorgeous little girl toddler and her name was Annalynn. To me, Annalynn was Annalynn right from the beginning.
Still, I kept the name to myself until we had our gender ultrasound. As soon as we had the ultrasound, Derek and I headed to the waiting room to wait to see the actual doctor for our appointment. In the waiting room I was like, “So… what do you think of the name Annalynn?” I think he was surprised how quickly I had a named picked out, but he loved it from the start.
Of course, we weren’t ready to 100% make a commitment so soon. We spent the next few months researching every baby girl name out there, but none of them felt right. If anything looking at other names just made us love Annalynn more and more. It was her name, there was no use fighting it.
Since the name Annalynn seemed so strongly linked to my side of the family, we wanted her middle name to represent Derek’s side. We considered both of his grandmothers’ name, but neither fit with Annalynn. Eventually I suggested “Olivia,” which is Derek’s mother’s middle name. It was perfect. Annalynn Olivia. We both loved it.
So Annalynn has a piece of both of her grandmothers with her name. The “Ann” for my mom and “Olivia” for Derek’s mom. She is one lucky girl to have two strong, beautiful grandmothers and I know she will wear the honor of being named for both of them proudly.
We never shared the name with anyone the entire pregnancy. Anyone who knows me, knows I can’t keep a secret to save my life, so holding it in for so long was tough. We both wanted to wait until Annalynn arrived to make sure the name was right. It was. Like I said above, she’s always been Annalynn, she just wanted to make her grand entrance first to prove it.