As Juliet said to Romeo, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Alas, Tim and Sadie M. of Salem were daunted with the task of naming their little girl — the first baby born at Salem Health in 2017 — only an hour after arriving at the hospital. They felt a little sheepish earning “first baby” honors, since the 1:33 a.m. birth scooted them past other moms-to-be who had been laboring for hours.
The lack of a name wasn’t because Tim and Sadie are lazy parents. On the contrary, they might be among the most diligent creators of just the right name combination, although they prefer the term “discovery.”
“When she was born, the names we had in mind just didn’t work for her,” Sadie said. "It's an important decision, and being the first baby also means something special. She was also in a big hurry to get here!"
The fact was the 7-pound, 3-ounce, 20-inch-long girl just wasn’t a Sylvia. So what name would be right? Mom and Dad were still undecided when a staff member rolled in with the birth certificate.
Crunch time, they said.
Just another hour, please.
Tim, a software engineer, had created a spreadsheet with hundreds of first/middle name combinations, after researching ALL the names bestowed over the past 200 years. They narrowed it down to 66 combinations by New Year’s Day. He programmed a variety of “jumble” and random number combinations into the program.
Now this is how you optimize baby naming!
“We consider it a process of discovery now,” Tim said on Monday.
Later that day, the right name finally clicked (probably literally). The little girl joins her big brother, 2-year-old William Badger, who couldn’t wait to hold her, and probably give her a nickname.
Welcome to the world, Joyce Minna Lark!