How I Chose My Baby’s Name… A Gracious Name

how I chose my baby's name

Choosing a baby’s name is probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Seconded by many things like academics and staying optimistic, but you get the point. As much as I was excited that I had a little life growing inside of me, it always scared me when the thought of naming my baby crossed my mind.

When I was at the end of my sixth month, my mum made it clear that it was time for me to get brainstorming. At that point, my stress levels were even higher because I did not want to come up with something dumb. At the same time, I had made a choice of not knowing the gender until I had given birth. That did not work by the way.

So, when I was choosing the baby’s name, I decided to come up with names for both genders just in case. However, before I go about it sharing my baby’s name, let me share with you how I actually came about with the name.

What influenced the baby’s name?

how I chose my baby's name

Many people have things that influence the names they choose for their babies. While many are reasons that can move the spirits of everyone on earth, mine seem like reasons that were kind of not too important, But hey, they were important to me. So, here are the reasons that majorly influenced me when naming my baby:

  1. First letter: I knew for sure that if I ended up with a baby boy, I wanted him to have a similar first letter to mine. Thus, his name was to start with an ‘E’. If it was a girl, I wanted the complete opposite for some unknown reason.
  2. Name lenth: the length of the name was also important. For a boy, I did not want a long name, something short and simple. While for a girl, I wanted the same length as my first name (Esther).
  3. Origin: For a girl’s name, I so much wanted a Swahiri name because they are always sweet with beautiful meanings. For a boy’s name, I was unclear of the origin, just knew that I wanted something that could show my gratitude.
  4. Simplicity: I wanted easy names for both genders, ones that people would not botch because God knows I would turn into a monster if anyone butchered my baby’s name to something unknown.
  5. Baby’s reaction: When I was sure of both the first and middle names for both genders, I did this trick were I would call the baby by the name and if it kicked then I was assured that they liked it. Not saying they actually kicked because of the name, but I would like to think they liked them enough.

These were the most intelligible reasons when it came to me choosing my baby’s name. As I said, they are not reasons enough to move people’s souls, but they were solid enough for me to think that I was making the right decision with the naming.

Revealing the names I chose and why

This is so exciting to me, almost as excited as when I shared the names I had chosen with my mum and my partner. Let’s make this quick, the names were as follows:

For a baby girl, her name would have been Ms. Ayanna Manuella Msiska-Mhango. Ayanna is a Swahili name that means beautiful flower. I loved it from the first time I saw it and knew if I was carrying a girl, she would bear the name. It also made perfect sense because my baby would react so much to P!nk’s ‘Cover Me In Sunshine’.

I knew that I wanted the name to reflect that having them was a light to my world, one I never thought would happen to me.

For a boy, the baby’s name would be Evan Manuel Msiska-Mhango. As I said above, I wanted a boy’s name that started with the same first letter as my own. However, the meaning of the name Evan struck me. The name means God is gracious, and I wanted to thank the Almighty in any way possible.

If you notice, the middle name is more of the same. Manuel was my grandfather’s name (my mum’s dad) and we thought to honor him. Coincidentally, my partner’s brother is also named after the same, so hey. Funny story, both my mum and dad’s mothers are named Esther and that’s how I got my name too.

While Manuella is the female version of Manuel, I chose it to honor my mum’s older sister who was so much like a mum to me. That was her name and I wanted my baby to share that.

evan: how I chose my baby's name
Baby Evan

I fell in love with both names and was given a chance to have a baby girl, I am sure I would name her Ayanna. But for now, that is how Evan got his name.

Mommas, how did you get to choose your baby’s name? Share with me in the comment section below.

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  1. Well, I have a different naming doctrine, I believe The lady will choose the non-African name, the condition it should be unique. I will pick the clan name which is cultural and again it has to be independent from past family members. My kids should not be compared to those that held the name before and for the family name they will decide when they are like 26.

    I like Evans because it has a modern ring, I didn’t know that for a mother picking a name is that demanding

  2. Beautiful names.
    A friend recently struggled to find a name for her child I didn’t understand the struggle. This mirrors it.
    I guess it hits different when it’s your own. I gave options to my sister and she chose one of them I looked for the names to .mirror the gift my niece would be after coming through a midst of confusion and struggle. She is indeed a joy and a gift. Her name is Haven.

  3. I wanted to name our son Amari which means “Eternal” but somehow my partner has an obsession with names starting with “Wa” so he named him “Wandumi wa Kyala” meaning “Angel of God” but I somehow love the chichewa meaning “Mnthumwi ya Yehova”. I didn’t even bother giving him a middle name cause his name is long enough

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