Name that bump

Just kidding, I’m not stooping low enough to consider harnessing the power of social media to name my unborn child.

(Unless, you know, somebody comes up with an amaaaaaazing suggestion. Wink.)

We’re due (no, I’m due. I’m the one getting enormous) in early August with baby quattro, and I can’t remember that we’ve ever had more trouble not just coming up with a name, but even offering each other suggestions that make it onto the “I’ll take that intoย consideration” list.


Well, not entirely true. We’ve got like 3 girl names and one boy name that we tolerate, but in what combination? Who can say. I’ll whisper them in your virtual ear because I’m not a big name sharer, or at least I didn’t think I was, but then I went and ran out of beloved names before running out of beloved children. So.

Here are the official entries on the “I don’t completely hate that” list; (it’s a short one, be forewarned):

For a lady baby:

  • Francesca (for Frances of Rome, Francis of Assisi, and dear Papa Francesco)
  • Rose (for Rose of Lima, my Confirmation saint. And because her godfather is a native Peruvian from Lima, so how can we not?)
  • Zelie (Dave will never let me get away with this one but I’ve loved it for years and now she’s gone and is getting herself canonized the same year our baby is due. COME ON. And yes, I’m aware there is going to be a Catholic ghetto baby boom of little Z’s running around as a result. But I still love.)
  • Elizabeth (my sister’s name, and my best friend’s. I’m not in love with any particular St. Elizabeth, but I could cultivate a devotion to the Son of God’s Aunt, I suppose.)
  • Grace (A little popular, but it’s just such a sweet name. And it looks pretty next to Genevieve.)

And for a little gent:

  • Luke (meh. I’m fading on this one. But I’ve loved the name since I first saw Star Wars at age 12, and what child doesn’t want that kind of honor associated with his moniker? Plus, the Gospel of St. Luke is my fav.)
  • Benedict (we love our retired Papa)
  • Reid (family name on my side, Dave hates it, probably not a real contender)
  • Anthony (we love St. Anthony of Padua, our boys have an inexplicable devotion to him all their own, but I just don’t love the name. Daddy is a bigger fan than me. I’d consider Antonio because Italy, but then I’d punch myself for giving some poor kid the name Antonio Uebbing for life.)

And that’s it.ย See? It’s not much. I think the girl’s names are a much more realistic list of actual contenders at this point, which means we’re probably definitely having a boy.

Any thoughts?

Oh, and here are the exterior children’s names, for reference. (I’m kind of big on sibling names sounding nice together.)

  • Joseph Kolbe
  • John Paul Francis (born a whole yearย before the election of the current pope, I might add. Points for us.)
  • Genevieve Therese


  • Rochelle

    I’ll just jump in with my favourite names, do what you will with them. Girl:Fiona Boy:Lawrence
    Good luck!

  • Kati

    Did you see Grace’s post this week about naming baby 5? Referred to a new-to-me blog about Catholic naming! Sancta Nomina I think. The writer will come up with a personalized list for you!! Email her!

    Ps I think all these options and I think this is a good list! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lisa

    St. Elizabeth of Hungary is a fav of mine, too. And We felt the same way w/ this last pregnancy- we kept putting off talking about names in depth and felt “just okay” about the ones we liked. We finally decided on a name the week she was born and kept looking back and forth at each other when the nurses asked her name, like “are we really going with this?”.
    Grace is so sweet, and I love Reid- maybe Dave will let you play the “it’s a family name” card. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Kate @ Sancta Nomina

    Ooh yes please! I’d love to come up with some suggestions! I could post them to my blog? Like I did for Grace? (https://sanctanomina.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/baby-name-consultant-camp-pattons-newest-camper/)

    Even if you say no thank you, I’ll be thinking about this and will probably email you with my thoughts anyway because I canNOT keep the name voice in my head quiet!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congratulations, by the way!! How wonderful!! (And I love your other kids’ names!)

    (Ohmygosh Kati thank you for suggesting my blog!)

  • Beth

    Names that I love: Lucy (our #4) and Rose for a girl. For a boy, a name we never went with for whatever reason but that would sound great with your other kids’ names, I LOVE George.

  • Rosie

    Is Gianna a possibility for a girl? Because I think Gianna Rose would go really well with Genevieve Therese, and then you could call her Gigi and you’d have Gigi and Evie. Too cute? Maybe… I have no boy names, so clearly you’re having a girl!

  • Mandi

    I like all the names you mentioned though maybe not Benedict just because I know a million baby Benedicts right now.

    Though we only have one, we have a “theme” for girls names (hopefully we’ll have more so we can actually use it) – they all end in “ia”. I like Azelia nicknamed Zelie after St Therese’s mom. Maybe having a more formal name with Zelie as a nickname might soften your husband toward it?

  • Sarah

    Zelie is top top top on my list and when I told ryan it was on yours but Dave wasn’t too sure he said he always liked that Dave. ๐Ÿ™‚ buuuut, maybe you should use a different one since its the one I want and two of both our three ex utero kids share S me combination of name…it would diversify!

  • Clair

    Kateri. My bf is called Kateri (family connection) and my middle girl is named for her. But yeah, Lily of the Mohawks. Also- Lily?

    Boys, phew. I never had any of those thankfully because we never ever agreed on any names. Not one. Though my husband is Christopher Paul.

  • Theresa

    I think these lists are perfectly respectable in length! Too long and it all gets a little more muddled and confused in the postpartum fog (or am I the only one that experiences that…?)

    Our last was a boy, but if it had been a girl, we liked Elizabeth (would have called her Eliza ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and Avila. I seriously want a daughter named Hildegard (called Hilde) b/c she’s a crazy awesome Doctor of the Church, but my husband has put his foot down. Bah.

    Boys? Sort of no great ideas. I like Jerome. It’s the middle name of one of our sons.

    Good luck choosing!

  • Camille

    Ok, so you and I are like naming style twinsies. My kids are Charles Alexander, Genevieve Annette, and Leo Anthony. The first two we were so sure on names and then came Leo who didn’t get a name until 1 hr before we were discharged. He was nearly an Edward or a Benedict instead of a Leo. Boy #3 and offspring quattro is due in June and while his first name is determined by a Fransiscan in a dream of my husbands (he’ll be Anthony – which is already used I said! Hubs apparently gave the Fransiscan the same excuse and was told in no uncertain terms that Anthony it is). So I’m here to suggest my current favorites to you instead: Xavier, Isaac, Benedict, and Augustine. Girls: Claire, Miriam, Teresa (of Calcutta specifically). Good luck!

  • Annie

    I have four boys and never got to use my girl name: Frances (Francie for short.) I love Philip Neri; our second son is named for him.

  • Kaitlin @ More Like Mary

    We went with Luke for Boy #2 for the same reason, loved the Gospel and didn’t hate the name. And even though it’s pretty common, we still get a ton of compliments on it. My girl vote is Rose, the Godfather connection is just too cool!

  • Beth

    Our little girl’s name is Kateri Lucia after the two saints, and her name means “Pure Light.” I absolutely love it. Another one of our girls is Felicity. We have a Peter and a Becket (as in St. Thomas a Becket) Joseph. Love, love, love saint names! If we have another boy, I imagine Francis will come into play. I was just thinking of John Paul Francis or Francis John Paul the other day! So funny! We’d probably call him Fritz after my grandpa.

  • Sonja Lowry

    I think Francesca is beautiful and actually “goes” better with Genevieve than Grace. Also, Benedict is really really realllly cool. Naming babies was never where my husband and I shined. We had four kiddos and just used the first name we found that we didn’t hate. Good luck!

  • Janie

    I am entering my mid-thirties and we obviously have fertility issues over here, so not sure if we will ever get to name a baby at all…but for girls we picked out Paloma (not a saint, but means “dove” in Spanish, and doves call to mind the Holy Spirit, right?), Magdalena (after my home-girl Mary Magdalene), Beatrice, and Dominica. We have been stuck on boys’ names, too, but Dominic if we do not name a girl Dominica, Elias, Saul (I like St Paul’s Jewish name better than his Roman one), or Jude. I love your pick of Francesca!

  • Mary Paulus

    Our boys’ names are Timothy Daniel, Dominic Vincent, John Patrick (Jack), and Benedict Jeffrey (Ben). Our girl is named Clare Margaret Rose (Margaret was my mom’s name, and she was born on St. Rise of Lima’s feast day).
    We’re 14 weeks with Baby #6, and are at a total loss…

    • Evelyn

      We also did feast day names. Our son was due on feast of St. Theodore, so we went with it. Although he was born 7mins before the day, we stuck with it. Anselm just didn’t feel right…;)

  • Evelyn

    We tried for Zelie as well, or Azelia,…but we had a boy! Also love Madeleine and Veronica for girl’s names. Rose is so pretty, I love it for a middle name. (Veronica Rose?)

  • Sarah

    Currently preggo with #8, and due “any time now”, we have yet to pick a name for this little guy either! I got on here to suggest Sancta Nomina to you, but see someone else beat me to it! Today my favorite is Louis Raymond, yesterday it was Augustine Samuel. Who knows what it will be tomorrow. I do know, however, if he was a she, it would be Bernadette Maureen. Use any of those as you wish.

  • Ashley

    Ohh!! I love baby names! And I second the recommendation to have Kate at Sancta Nomina work on it. I’m addicted to her blog since Grace’s post.

    I vote Francesca Rose or Zelie Grace. I know a little Zelie (middle name) and a friend just had a baby Francesca – both so beautiful.

    Good luck! Baby names are so fun but can be tough too. Our first two got really strong family names that were great saints too (Josephine and William) and then for our third we were totally stumped. Turns out once the obvious family names were used, my husband and I had totally different tastes in names. We ended up letting our 5 year old name her baby sister. Luckily, her favorite name (Matilda) was also a great saint name, which I have totally grown to love.

  • Carolyn

    Boy: Luke!
    Girl: I love Francesca, but only in full. I’d worry that others would try to shorten her name. Also LOVE Zelie! I’ve never heard it before and think it’s amazing!!!

  • Sally

    Just to say, you only need one name, so you’re covered! But anyway, if you are really fading on your choices, you could do worse than look down the list of names of lovely people who have commented on your post! All best wishes!

  • Colleen

    Ohhh I am digging Francesca so much! I think it goes wonderfully with your other children, particularly Genevieve. Like I would consider yourselves set for girl names.

    As for the boys, I do love Anthony. I have a soft spot for it. I agree with a previous poster who knows a million baby Benedicts, and Reid and Luke don’t really coordinate with babies uno, dos, and tres to me. I love a previous suggestion of George, and I also think Francis, Alexander, Samuel, or Edward might work for you as well. Good luck!

  • Maura

    I thing a G or J would be cute. Like the idea of Giana or Grace. I know lots of little Francie’s right now. For a boy.. Luke is one of my faves too.

  • Audra

    I love my sister’s name choices so I’ll share them. They are sweet kids so the names must be good! Fulton Christopher, Emeric Paul, Faustina Grace, John Vianney, Isaac & Blaise (bad aunt, forgot middle names on the last two)

  • Caroline

    Saint names definitely!

    We named ours
    Veronica, “Vera icon, or in English, true image”
    Thomas, after St. Thomas More, who died in defense of the Faith.
    Anna, after Our Lady’s mother,
    Mary, after our Lady (coincidentally, Anna is like a second mommy to her little sister Mary

    I like your choice of Francesca

  • Kate

    Of your names, I would suggest Luke Anthony for a boy and Elizabeth Rose or Elizabeth Grace for a girl. It would be a stretch but you could get away with Zelie as a nickname for Elizabeth. Or you could go with Mary Zelie or Marie-Zelie, and still call her Zelie. Just a thought.

    If you’re interested, we’re not pregnant yet, but we’ve talked about names: William (Will or Liam), Leo, Julianne (Julie), Mary Margaret (Maggie), or Theresa (Tessa). Good luck and Congratulations!

  • Lisa

    I have a 6 month old Genevieve! But my runner up name was Josephine . For boys I was going to the Angels….Gabriel or Raphael.

  • Becky

    I have a Luke, so I’m a bit partial. We have a long and difficult last name, so I wanted something succinct and easy to spell. We also didn’t want a nickname, though of course a certain person in my life toward whom I need to learn to be more charitable (coughcough *MIL*) refers to him as “Lukey.”

  • Holly

    Rob votes for Grace, Elizabeth, and Luke.

    My vote is probably be Zelie and Anthony. I also love Benedict. HOWEVER- Will Rose be called Rosie? Or Elizabeth- Liz, Lizzy, Beth, Betsy? Francesca- Frankie? Anthony- Tony? (the only dealbreaker in that list is Tony)

    And other name faves of mine- Vincent, Asher, Leo, Abe and Caleb. Girls: Helen, Mary (!!!), and Gemma.

  • Bg

    I will offer my names if you like
    Karlos, Sebastian, Anneliese, Ignacio/Ignatius, Anton (instead of Anthony), Ander or Anders (for Andrew),

    The first 3 I’ve used on my 3 kiddos and Anneliese is now 6 months old. Every time I introduce her everyone says “oh!! What a beautiful name!”

  • hope

    Our youngest of eight kids (6 boys) is Declan Joseph, named after St. Declan, 5th century Irish saint who knew St. Patrick. We love the name and it is rare in our parts.

  • Jenny

    Well, I have a Genevieve and a Grace so “Grace” definitely gets my vote. I am due with #8 at the end of August and just found out we are having a boy. Luke is at the top of the list. For girls, how about Grace Zelie Uebbing?


  • Jenny

    Since we appear to have similar taste in names, I’ll share my other childrens’ first and middle names: James, Blaise, Maximilian, Patrick
    Margaret, Anna, Cecilia, Marie, Catherine, Mary.

    Good luck!

  • Liz

    I don’t mean any disrespect to others who have chosen this name, but pleeeeasse don’t name your son Benedict! The vast majority of adult Benedicts walking around are clerics who chose to assume that name when they entered religious life. Many of these “million baby Benedicts” whom others are talking about haven’t even reached school-age yet, so it remains to be seen how they will fare going through life with than name.
    Sure, there are a few notable Benedicts. While many devout Catholics will immediately associate the moniker with Pope Benedict or Saint Benedict of Nursia, the wider public will hear that name and automatically think of one of history’s most famous traitors (Benedict Arnold, anyone??)…or possibly the actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Consider, though, that Mr. Cumberbatch is an actor whose fame might prove to be fleeting. Maybe no one will remember him in 10 or 20 years….but I really don’t see Benedict Arnold getting stricken from the history books any time soon.
    Let me tell you from personal experience– because, No, Liz is NOT my legal name– it is a heavy cross to bear, to grow up saddled with a “weird” name or one that carries notoriety, all because your admittedly well-meaning parents wanted to express their religious fervor through the name they gave their babies. One of my sisters and I were teased relentlessly for our names. Even in young adulthood, I had to put up with occasional wisecracks about my moniker from certain professors at my CATHOLIC college! It was really tiresome to be the “inspiration” for everyone else’s witticisms– especially because they got all the amusement, and I got all the embarrassment and unwanted attention.
    Think of your child and what his feelings might be 10, 12 years down the line…..please don’t give him the first name Benedict. I understand you love Pope Benedict, but that’s what middle names are for. That said– you did a lovely job naming your three older children.

  • Mira

    I’d like you to know that reading words “Antonio Uebbing” made me literally laugh at loud! I mean. That would be one feisty kid.
    I’m due in June with our first child and we don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl and I have no clue what to name him or her so I can commiserate with you.
    For a girl, I really like Lucy, Martha, Carla, Eve (but you already have your Evie), Julia and Anne, and if it’s a boy, I like Dominic (my brother’s name), Stephen (my husband’s name, and a big saint here in Croatia), Thomas, Jude, Phillip, Jacob or Lawrence – although I should add that all those names are spelt differently in Croatian.
    I’m sure you’ll come up with something great but in the meantime – little Antonio Uebbing made my day! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Colleen Martin

    How about Xavier, Blaise, or Maximillian for a boy and Hope, Felicity, or Margaret (lots of nicknames there!) for a girl? I also have always wanted a Mary Kate, but the Olsen twins kind of ruined that for me. Good luck! The name game is hard, but you’ve chosen winners so far ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Colleen

    I heart your writing and can’t tell you how many times you have written straight for my heart. And it’s plain weird to have your kids look at you like you’re crazy because you’re crying at a screen because “someone you don’t know wrote a really nice story.” Yeah. Anyways, keep it up. NAMES! I love St Therese’s mama, so trendy or not, I don’t think you can go wrong with naming a girl Zelie. I mean, so open-to-life, such a warrior for her kids, such an example of faithfulness, and then her love for both marriage and religious life just makes her so real and relatable to modern life… I really would love to be able to give a daughter the name Azelie Colette, and have her go by Zelie. Still working on the husband’s approval on that one. And Colette NOT because my name is Colleen. It’s a nickname of Nicolette, and there’s a St. Colette with an amazing story. Very French name though, so the Italian leanings in you might have some trouble ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a Hanna Marie, Angele (there’s an accent mark on the 1st ‘e’ that I never learned to type. You say it like “On-jel”) Therese, Nadia Renee, and Leo Sebastian currently. Feel free to steal! Other names we liked: Annelise, Margaret Alice, Jeanluc (I wouldn’t have cared if it was pronounced the French way OR like “John-Luke” I just wanted it not to be plain “John”). I also love the names Kolbe Martin and Michael Anthony but my husband doesn’t like family names (??), and both of those use our fathers’ middle names. And you already used Kolbe. But I liked Martin as a nod to Louis Martin (yep, I love Therese’s whole family….Celine and Leonie are not outside my scope), without having a son who constantly had to correct people with, “No, it’s not ‘Lewis.’ It’s ‘Loo–ee.’) Anyways, best of luck with the naming! And if you like Benedict, I know people who nickname with both “Ben” and “Bene” (like the Latin for ‘good’) and it doesn’t seem like a cumbersome, overly Catholic name. Happy choosing!

  • Angie

    Love your name choices! My daughter is Elizabeth Clare, but we nicknamed her Ellie. Our other kids are Maria Jeanne (french pronunciation), Anna Katherine, Lucy Therese, and Blaise Anthony. We get lots of comments about Blaise’s name outside of Catholic circles. People either LOVE it or hate it (not that I care, b/c I LOVE it obviously.). If we had another boy, I love Leo Francis and a girl Camille Frances.

  • Laura Rose

    Well just to add some possibilities to names you already seem to be alright with/have significance….

    1. Francesca-beautiful! (are you ok with the nicknames though? that might be a gamechanger for some people)
    2. I am biased because Rose is my middle name, so I LOVE it. It’s lovely as a first, and goes with almost everything as a middle! We just named our 4th daughter Sophie Rose. ๐Ÿ™‚ Other variations of it that I also like are Rosalie, Rosalyn, and Rosa
    3. Zelie- it’s just so cute.
    4. Elizabeth- it also has some fun, less usual forms like Lisbeth, Elise, or Eliza….
    5. Grace is classic. It’s also another name that goes well with so many others, so is a great choice for a middle name as well.
    6. And for a few of own favs for girls:
    We have a Kayla Cecilia (I have considered using other forms of Cecilia for a first name if we continue having girls down the road…i.e. Cecily, Celia…),
    Elise Marianna,
    Ava Chantal (the Chantal is for St. Jane Frances de Chantal),
    and Sophie Rose.
    Kateri, Catherine, Katharine
    For the BOYS
    1. Luke (maybe meh, or maybe it ends up growing on you more)
    2. Benedict- great solid name. Possible variation of Bennett.
    3. Reid (I’m not getting in the middle of a marital debate. )
    4. Anthony- possible variation of Anton?
    Other names I like:
    Cyril (Cy)
    Can’t wait to hear your baby news in August! What a blessed family you are and what a blessing to others!

  • Rachael

    I love your baby names for #4, especially Zelie! I have just added it to my list:) I’ll share our kids names because I think their pretty great too!

    Cecilia Kenley – Cece
    Abraham Kenton – Abe
    Elias Kenney – Eli
    Ezekiel Kenneth – Zeke

    Middle names are after my father, Kenneth, who passed away when I was 13. I like to think of those as a saint name as well;)

    Obviously, I also like nicknames.

    Other names I love for girls: louisa (lulu), Francis (Frankie), Rose (or really any variation of Rose with Mary or Anne)

    And boys: Benedict (Ben), Isaac (Ike), Silas (Si), Malcolm, Ellis, Jonah

  • Genevieve

    Wow — I was enjoying the post, and waiting to post my name as a suggestion in the comments, and not only was it already on your list, but there are a couple other baby Genevieve’s mentioned by your readers! I love my name (wasn’t born Catholic but became one as soon as possible) and love the saint. The name is always singular, and yet people always recognise it (and know at least one from long ago…) Blessings on your family!

  • Marjorie

    I think Zelie is the sweetest name! One name I have been trying to convince my husband of for years is Gemma. Her story is absolutely amazing and I love the name (he is not such a big fan, but as he learns more about the saint, I think he is warming up to it, at least for a middle name)! And Padre Pio seemed to have a devotion to her as well, which I love.

  • Cami

    Ugh. Names! I’m still not sure we picked the right name for our new daughter! One of our favorite boys names was Maximus. Might be good with Benedict as the middle name. Maximus Benedict? Kick that one around. Our oldest is named Rex Benedict “blessed son” as he was conceived during advent. It was the easiest name to select and is probably still my favorite. You’ve likely tried this but I like to stare at Anselmi’s baby wall to determine which names I’d like to steal. Also, if baby is born in August, you could go with Augustine or Augusta. Grace is a classic. Augusta Grace. Hmmm… Kinda cute!

  • Diana

    it was so easy picking hypothetical baby names when in high school, now that we have real kids to name its a lot harder. Probably because husband and I have to agree and we seem to have very different choices! Our son is Luke, also my favorite gospel. My husband is Matthew and has a brother John…working on all the gospels (except we have no plans to use Mark). Plus, maybe, the Star Wars thing a little. We plan to use family names as middles so those are pretty easy. I think girl names are much harder, especially ones with a saint and that go with Luke! And that haven’t already been used in one of our families. We have no solid picks there!!

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