When I was younger, I was always snooping in my parent's bookshelves -- pulling books and photo albums off the shelves, flipping through the photos and pretending I was a librarian or a school teacher. My mom had a book titled Big Book of Baby Names (circa 1983) and it was always one of my favorite books to browse. Even though I could hardly read a word in it, I loved the silly photos of babies wearing costumes and sitting on strange props. Why? Who doesn't think a baby riding a seahorse is hilarious?
When I was all grown up and D and I were moving into our first apartment as newlyweds, I asked my mom if she still had this book. We weren't planning to have kids right away (we were still just seniors in college at the time), but I always hoped this book would be passed down to me. Thankfully my mother is just as nostalgic as I am, so the book I'd loved for so many years finally took its place on my own bookshelf.
Since the day she gave it to me, the book remained on my bookshelf...its cover faded, tattered, and torn in some places. Somehow it's managed to survive all 6 moves we've put it through. With every new apartment or house we made a home, I'd unpack this book and flip through it, always knowing that when we did finally decide to expand our family, his or her name would come straight from this book.
Cut to January 2016 (almost 9 years later) -- me, 2.5 months pregnant with an iPhone notepad full of baby names I loved -- D, a proud daddy-to-be with a strong opinion about every name on that list (go figure). D and I spent countless nights those first few months hemming and hawing over this name and that name. We settled quite quickly on a boy's name, but a girl's...that was proving to be a thorn in our sides (more of a tell-tale sign she was sure to be a "she"). We had a shortlist of somewhat trendy, somewhat popular names, but none felt like "us". We'd always come up with some outlandish reason why the name was sure to cause our child years of intensive therapy...and back to square one we'd go. Since unpacking my box of books a few weeks after we moved into our new house here in Florida, I hadn't touched the Big Book of Baby Names (nor had I thought of it). All of a sudden, the book popped into my mind. I flew out of bed to my office to grab it, and thus began the late night combing through its monikers.
I'm typically a realist. Logic and concrete facts fare me better than making decisions based off pure emotions. That being said, if something punctures my tough exterior and makes me emotional, it often means I really care about it. The moment I spotted "Heidi" in the book and said the name out loud, tears burst from my eyes and I just knew. That was to be her name. If she turned out to be a she, a little girl named Heidi would become a part of our family forever. We quickly tried to decipher all the ways silly school boys would try to make fun of it, or if it would sound strong to a job interviewer, or what it would sound like screaming it across a grocery store...and then D smiled and said "that's it, Heidi Cote."
We fell in love with the name Heidi for more reasons than one. Not only is it a name you don't often hear, but it gave a little nod to one of the most wonderful times in our lives as a couple--living abroad in Germany. With German origins and a meaning "of noble birth" we continued to fall more and more in love with it as each day passed.
As for her middle name, well, that came soon after. "Lorelei" (meaning "alluring") had been a name on my iPhone short-list, but I didn't love it as a first name (mostly because I knew people would have trouble spelling it). When we finally settled on Heidi, it seemed almost serendipitous that Lorelei be her middle name. Lorelei Rock is a rock we'd passed by many times on our countless days spent sipping wine and exploring little German villages along the Rhine River. While the story of why the rock is named Lorelei isn't quite so pleasant, we though it flowed well with Heidi and still meant something special to us. Hopefully our little love will be beautiful, but leave all the tempting to her siren namesake. ;)
So, there you have it...the story of how Heidi Lorelei came to be! It was such a sweet feeling to finally be able to call her by her name the day we found out she was a she. More tears...and more confirmation that "Heidi" was perfect for our little lady. Since that day, I feel so much more connected to her. Funny how a name can really solidify things. We can't wait to meet our sweet Heidi in just 14 short weeks!