It feels so incredibly strange to be writing this post... it's like a birth announcement 5 years late! When I first started to write a blog, it was private. And it was simply for me to write and share photos, and for family to read and catch up on what Dylan was up to. In those days I used his name. But when I discovered the blog community and decided to "go public" I quickly made the decision to edit those early posts and remove his name. When I tucked him in at night I would say "sweet dreams beautiful boy" and so I just went with that. A snap decision. And one I based my whole blog on. I didn't know at that point that blogging was going to become quite such a big part of my life. Along the way it's become a big part of all our lives really.
But five years on, it actually feels really good to be sharing his name. My beautiful boy. My Dylan Aiden. And I promised all the details on his name, so get comfy and let me introduce my little man.
Funnily enough the name Dylan popped up really early on in mine and Rich's relationship. I've not ever really talked about how Rich and I got together (that's a post for another day) but he was about to graduate from uni and I had another year to go, so from the get go it was only really going to be a bit of fun, a spring/summer fling until he graduated and we went our separate ways. With the wonderful thing called hindsight I guess that it was the most ridiculous fling of all time, it always had future written all over it.
But in Rich's student bedroom, I can remember us having a chat one lazy day about the fact that when I had babies I wanted to have four children and I'd have one little boy called Dylan and one little girl called Lily, and I'd let their daddy choose the other two's names. Rich said he really liked those names too, but that if I wanted babies with him I'd be stopping at two. That was the end of the conversation. I laughed it off, so did he.
And the rest is history, so they say. That fling became us, the bit of fun became a relationship and that boyfriend became a husband. But from time to time we still talked about the name Dylan. I fell in and out of love with Lily as a series of different friends used the name for their babies but Dylan kind of stuck.
The only thing is, that once I was pregnant with an actual baby, who would be an actual person with whatever actual name we gave them, I started second guessing every single baby name that I had ever liked ever. And we only finally settled on definite baby names for a boy and girl for our Dollop bump the night before my waters broke and I went into labour.
For a girl we were between Addison and Harper as a first name, and then Elyse for the middle name with either. Earlier on in the pregnancy we had favoured Ashton for a girl (it was my grandmothers maiden name and while mostly considered a boys name, is actually a girls names too) but I had a bad experience in town with a particularly badly behaved child with that name and a particularly shouty mother and it put me off the name entirely.
Having always liked Lily in the early days, we did throw it around as a middle name, but it didn't seem to sit right somehow. Elyse felt right; we both loved it and it was a nod to the name Elizabeth which is both my mum and grandmother's middle names. And as for Addison and Harper, they were just both names we loved. For us name selection tends to go along the same lines every time; I throw loads of names I like out there, and he shoots most of them down, but it means when they stick they feel special. Harper and Addison were two such names; ones I loved and that Rich could find something about which he liked. Rich's favourite book is To Kill A Mockingbird which was why Harper ended up on the shortlist. And with Addison he really liked the idea of calling her Addy for short. We couldn't really decide between Addison and Harper, and had just kind of decided we'd see what one suited her better.
But as we know, Dollop turned out to be a boy... so the girls name arguments didn't end up mattering.
As I've already said Dylan had always been on our minds really. It was a name we both liked, it felt modern but also traditional. We liked the Welsh heritage as Rich was born in Wales, as was my dad. The only thing putting us off was middle names. There was a tradition of passing down Wyn as a middle name on Rich's side, and I just felt like Dylan Wyn was too Welsh for a little boy growing up in Essex.
We also really loved the name Aiden. And I felt like Aiden possibly sat better with Wyn. But Aiden is also slightly more popular around where we live (we knew a couple of friends, or friends of friends with Aidens - but no one else with a Dylan).
We also then had the dilemma that the middle name Charles has traditionally been passed down to boys on my mum's side of the family. It felt bad to honour one family's tradition and not the other, but we didn't really want to have to give a son two middle names; it was too much of a mouthful.
So after basically spending months going round and round in circles, it struck us like a bolt from the blue one night. It was traditions for middle names that were holding us back on names we really loved; so we decided to pick the name Dylan; which we love and has so much history for us, and Aiden - a name that we love equally - as a middle name.
There was some surprise when we announced his name that we hadn't passed on a family middle name, especially Wyn like his daddy. Not that anyone minded in the slightest, I think they'd just assumed that we would. But actually it meant we had a whole name we fully loved, and we hadn't tied ourselves into feeling like we would have to give any future children a family name too.
Dylan Aiden suits our little man; of course it does, it's his name. Dylan means "son of the sea" which seems apt for a kid who is obsessed with water and being at the seaside. And Aiden means "little and fiery" and while I probably would't describe him as fiery, he is certainly quite little and can get a bit of fire in his belly at times. He gets called Dyl, Dylly A, Dylly Chops, Chops and Chopper too... because it seems we're a family that likes a good variety of nicknames.
The only problem we didn't consider but which my mum pointed out to us when Dylan was hours old... having used both the boy names that we really loved; what would we do if he ever had a brother? But that's a story about a different bump, and I'll share that one when I talk about his biggest sister.
And I was absolutely thrilled and honoured to hear that I am a finalist for Best Baby Blog in the MAD Blog Awards, and I would absolutely love your vote. You can vote by clicking the button below and selecting Dear Beautiful in the baby category. And thank-you, because it really does mean so much to me that people love this little online space of mine.