Ever since opening my mind to the possibility of having children, which was roughly around the time my daughter turned three, I could already hear the names that I’d be shouting for the next eighteen years. When it came to my daughter Ava, there was never any room for negotiation. Ava comes from my love for Angels And Airwaves, a band fronted by my man crush  Tom DeLonge, and under no circumstances was I willing to budge. A few years down the line and I’m not so sure my wife would have been so accommodating towards my obsession admiration for everything Tom.
“Honey, who’s this Jennifer DeLonge, and why do you follow her on Instagram?” My wife queried one afternoon.

“Oh, that’s Tom’s wife,” I jumped in “Sometimes she posts pictures of Tom with the dogs,” I answered proudly.

“Honey, that’s called stalking,”

“No, it isn’t,” I protested “And neither is taking screenshots of Tom sitting in his favourite chair,”

“You didn’t?” She pleaded, a look of equal fear and confusion as I quietly sipped my coffee.

It was a fortunate break, and one that I was naive enough to think would come my way again. Baby number two had been the subject of many a debate, with my wife and I bouncing ideas off of one another in the effort that something would eventually stick. Together, we had discussed the good, the bad, and the downright peculiar.

“How about Nevaeh, for a girl?” I offered after a long period of silence.

“What, where did you even get that idea?”

“Oh, she was my ex-girlfriend,” I spoke coolly. The exasperated look on my wife’s face prompted me to elaborate “On the Kim Kardashian Hollywood game,” I finished, rolling my eyes.

“I.. I can’t. I don’t even know you right now,” She responded, a now vacant expression etched across her face. Things seemed to be going nowhere. The plan was coming together perfectly. Out of the blue I would offer two names that I’d been holding onto for quite some time, and after the fruitless efforts of days gone by, they seemed even more appealing. We had a result.

Somewhere between the move and the gender reveal, something seemed to have changed. Not only was I dealing with the disappointment that again, a son named LeBron was eluding me, I was about to fall victim to an elaborate coup.

“I’ve found a name that I really like,” My wife started during a video chat.

“No,” I muttered to myself “This is Turkey all over again,”

It was during this conversation that the decision was finalised. It seemed that on this occasion it was my wife who would remain unfazed by any attempt at renegotiation, and credit to my fair and understanding disposition, I put up little fight. It is in these words that I find myself bestowed with the privilege of sharing our daughter’s name for the very first time. With each new announcement, the feeling of expectant fatherhood becomes all the more real. Our daughter’s name is the first gift that her mother and I can proudly present to her, and we can happily share it with all of you here. It is with a full heart that I can reveal to you our daughter; Hadley Elizabeth Randall. May her days be long and full of laughter.

We cannot wait to put a face to the name and have been studying her ultrasounds vividly from the most recent scan. If her 3D scan is anything to go by, she is just like her big sister; stubborn and beautiful. Comparing our daughters ultrasound pictures more closely has also revealed a striking resemblance.

“I can Hadley tell the difference,” Yes. Yes I did.

Hadley Elizabeth Randall. ETA: December 5th 2016