I’m not really big into sharing birth stories* and there are some keywords I just don’t care for Google to find on my blog, so I thought instead I’d write about how we chose the name for our baby girl.


Yvia Ruthe, born in Dakar on Tuesday and livin’ it up since!


– We wanted a name that was unique, but not weird. So top-ten names were out, as was anything that had a ‘silent X’ in it.

– We wanted a name that worked in French and (Southern) English. There are many beautiful French girl names that just sound horrid when you say them in Georgian. Those double vowel combinations (ae, for example) wind up twice as long as they should be.

One would have thought with only those two criteria, coming up with a name would have been easy. One would be wrong.

Lists were made and cut, reworked and revised… Still no good leads up until a couple weeks ago when I thought up Yvia. Now I’m not saying I invented the name, but I hadn’t seen it anywhere before and a quick Google search didn’t find it on any baby name websites. Google did find a couple women named Yvia in Brazil and Russia, but this was definitely not a top-tenner and it worked in both English and français


When we’re still making the final decision, my friend Jenn (appropriately also the one behind the ‘Dear ______‘ movement) suggested we try the names we were considering with phrases that would fit throughout her life, so things like “This is my daughter…” or “This is my girlfriend…” and of course, “The president of the United States,…” Yvia sounded good with all of them!


The middle name was actually much easier and we decided early on to name our daughter after Cheikh’s grandmother Ruthe. I don’t know why her name was spelled with an E on the end, but I loved it. And it’s not the same as a silent X.

In retrospect, one tip I’d share with parents choosing baby names is to consider the autocorrect world we live in. It’s a little embarrassing to realize you’ve sent out an email about your kids ‘Alex and Yves’. Oops.

Loads more photos coming soon!


What does her name mean?
As Cheikh put it, her middle name means ‘compassionate friend’ and her first name we made up. So you could say that it means ‘imaginary compassionate friend’. 😉

How do you pronounce it?
Think ‘eve-yah’.

Will she have a Senegalese name?
Absolutely. But that’s another post…


* Although I’m not into blogging about birth stories, I’m happy to share my experiences one-on-one if it’s helpful. So if you’re considering a C-section in Dakar at Clinique de la Madeleine, feel free to contact me.