Named

I did not have a problem naming my first daughter, Taylor. It was a name I had decided on the second I found out I was pregnant, for a boy or a girl, after the guitarist of my favorite band. My husband had agreed, and the name choice never budged. She was Taylor from the get-go.

My second daughter, on the other hand, had at least a hundred names before she was born. One of my first choices was Ainsley, and I really liked the name Hayden. Then I started to look at Croatian names on baby name websites, and I started leaning toward other names like Natalija and Lilijana. Danika for my grandfather Danko (Daniel) whom I never met but always wanted to. The problem with those names was that no one else seemed to appreciate them as much as I did, and even though I loved every name I came across, nothing really seemed right for the growing baby in my belly.

I was about seven months pregnant when I was searching through some random baby name website, when I saw the name. It stuck out to me, made my heart dance and sing.

Berlin.

I said it out loud over and over again. Berlin, Berlin, Berlin.

I had promised myself I would never hop on the “I named my child after a city” bandwagon. Not because the names aren’t awesome, but because it just wasn’t for me. But “Berlin?” I was pretty sure it would be worth jumping on the wagon and maybe buying a few streamers to decorate, maybe a pillow or two to make the wagon ride comfortable.

The funny thing is that I didn’t tell anyone about the name, not even my husband. I started telling people I wasn’t sure, that maybe we would stick with Natalija, or maybe she would be named Nicola or Danika. It wasn’t until I was in labor with my daughter that I told my husband about this name, the one that had spoken to my heart.

He blinked at me and said, “Berlin? How come I haven’t heard of this until now?”

Our second daughter was born, and she went without a name for the first two hours of her life. I kept second guessing my name choice until I stared down at her. I held her close. I kissed her chubby cheeks.

“Berlin,” I said to my husband, and he agreed that he liked it best of all.

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