When we first found out we were expecting for a third time, once I had my head around the idea (which did take a while) we settled on names really fast. For a boy we liked Hayden Bennett. Hayden had been one of the names we'd liked ever since we were expecting Dylan, and Bennett is my maiden name and now my middle name and I just liked the idea that we include that. For a girl we decided on Harper Elyse. This was a shortlisted name from when we were expecting Dylan. We had toyed with it for Everly, but the Beckham connection was putting me off, and as I explained in Everly's name post, her name was basically a done deal that I never really wavered on.
We patted ourselves on the back for being so brilliantly decisive the third time around. Hayden or Harper both sounds nice with the other two children's names, and we loved both... SORTED!
Until we had the twenty week scan and knew for definite that we were having a girl, and then suddenly all bets were off. I think it was the realisation that I was actually, really going to be giving an actual, real baby the actual, real name Harper, and that we would spend our lives feeling that people would think we'd copied David and Victoria, and defending the fact that we had liked the name long before Harper Beckham had been born. I just couldn't let it go.
Plus I felt like we had set the bar so high with Everly's name, a name that I simply adore, and I just wanted to find one that I loved as much. However Rich was hell bent on Harper and decided to stick his heels in, so I had to set to work finding something else that could tempt him away from it. I don't think we've ever spent as much time debating names as we did in my third pregnancy, it became a bit of an obsession. Barely a day went by without me sending Rich a text simply with a girls name in it, followed by a question mark... it actually got pretty ridiculous.
We both really like Rosalie, but had always sworn we would avoid R names as Rich hates having RR initials. And we liked Avery but felt it was too similar to Everly. We both really, really loved Arya... but Game of Thrones has well and truly put that name (and the more conventional spelling of Aria) on that map popularity wise.
And then I stumbled across Ashlyn in a list and liked the sound of it. I liked that it felt similar to Everly, in that it sounds like a more well known name but with it's own twist. In fact both girls names kind of have interchangable endings... Everly and Ashlyn; Evelyn and Ashley. A geeky bit of me also liked that it had an L and a Y in it, which are also both in Dylan and Everly - and obviously Lucy. It felt like a nice little link to me somehow. It just felt like 'the right name', like it was meant to be.
So for a few weeks I fought the corner for Ashlyn, and Rich carried on fighting for Harper. I honestly thought we were at a stalemate that we may never resolve. I kept pointing out to Rich that I would ultimately win anyway, because after I'd been through labour I figured he'd be keen to give me whatever I wanted anyway. And either he knew I was right, or he just started warming up to the idea of Ashlyn, but I gradually won him over... around about the time I started wondering if it was in fact the right name after all. (I'm blaming a mixture of crazy-making-pregnancy-hormones and the fact I am horribly indecisive!)
The search continued, I kept trying to find something that I really loved. I wanted that instant love moment I'd had with Everly's name. And I couldn't find any I liked as much. I couldn't find any I liked as much as Ashlyn either... but I kept on trying. At this point we'd given up even really talking about middle names because it seemed pointless when this poor baby didn't even have a first name.
Somewhere quite near the end I accepted that Ashlyn more than likely was our baby girl's name and that I needed to let go of the search. I did love the name after all, my main issue with it was that I didn't really feel like it was a "baby name". I could picture it on a toddler, a preschooler, a child, a teenager and an adult... but I just didn't feel like it was a baby name. In the scheme of things though, we don't spend that long being a baby, do we? And Rich kept pointing out that once we had actually named our baby Ashlyn it would be a baby name, because it would be her name.
For a long time she was going to be Ashlyn Brooke. I really liked the idea of a water link in her name, simply because I love the water so much. Rich absolutely loved this combo, but yet again I couldn't get behind it 100%. I kept coming back to Quinn, which I'd really fought for as a first name at one point, but Rich had categorically vetoed it for that. I felt like it sounded really nice with Ashlyn, and I definitely much preferred it to Brooke.
We just kind of accepted that maybe this baby wasn't going to have a definite name until we met her. And we made sure that all our friends and family knew that too. We warned everyone not to expect the name with the birth announcement like we had with the other two, because we simply weren't sure.
And then my waters went... while we were watching Homeland one evening. And anyone who watches Homeland will know there is a character in it called Quinn. Quinn happens to be my favourite character. Quinn also happens to be the character's surname, and a boy... but that doesn't matter, it felt like a sign to me. And I said as much to Rich, and I thankfully he seemed to agree.
We did still wait to meet our girl before definitely deciding on Ashlyn Quinn. And unlike the older two, she gets both names used together a lot. In fact I rarely call her just Ashlyn. I call her Ashlyn Quinn, but mostly I actually call her Quinn or Quinny. Rich has fondly nicknamed her Quinston (it's a play on words from her great big chubby Winston-Churchill-esque cheeks). We often joke that maybe she should have just been Quinn in the first place, and I regularly talk about whether we should change her name before she turns a year while it's simply a case of reissuing a birth certificate. But a lot of people in Rich's family actually go by their middle names in day to day life, so he doesn't feel like it really matters what way round her names are, because she can be called whatever she likes. regardless.
That's not to say that I don't love the name Ashlyn, because I do I absolutely adore the name. Because it's hers, and for all the reasons I liked it in the first place. Plus it means 'dream' and I honestly couldn't think of a more fitting name meaning for our littlest lady. She is a dream baby. She loves her sleep. And she feels like a dream come true.