Naming your child is the first important responsibility you’ll have as a parent. While it’s fun to brainstorm names for your baby, it can also be quite a challenge. Both mom and dad typically have different ideas of favorite names and it can be hard to find one you both love.

My husband and I certainly had that challenge. My husband is more traditional and likes common names but I prefer names that are unique. My biggest requirement for a name was that I didn’t want it to be common. I want my child to feel that he/she has a very special and unique name. To make the naming process even more of a challenge, we chose to keep the gender a surprise, so we had to come up with two names we loved—one for a girl and one for a boy!

After months of discussing names, we finally came down to two names we liked for each gender. We decided if we had a girl, we liked Malia or Maelie. We both thought Malia was a very beautiful name, and I found the name Maelie (may-lee) while reading a newspaper article and I instantly fell in love with it. I loved that I had never heard of it before, and after researching the name a bit, we found it comes from a Hawaiian flower. One of our favorite vacations was in Hawaii, so it really seemed like a perfect fit for our daughter’s name. With either name, the middle name would be Ann since that is my middle name and we liked how both names sounded with Ann.

For boy names, we knew that the middle name would be Michael after my husband’s first name and we decided that we liked Peyton and Madden for a first name. We had always liked the name Peyton—it always seemed like a friendly, but strong name. Madden we especially loved because it was a strong, masculine name that was also unique. We also liked how Madden Michael sounded together.

We decided to wait to meet our baby before deciding on a name. I think it’s important to meet your child before making a final choice on the name. When our daughter was born, we knew instantly the name should be Maelie. We were thrilled to meet our daughter and the name Maelie Ann was such a perfect fit for her.

We couldn’t wait to spread the news of our daughter—I am one of those crazy moms that wanted to do baby announcements right away! We used cardstore.com (http://www.cardstore.com/) to create our announcements because they have such a wonderful selection to choose from and they were so easy to make.  It took me forever to choose a design because they had so many great design options to choose from. You can create your own greetings and favorite photos, so that each card created is just as unique as you (and your baby) are. Write anything you want from a sentimental message to a funny joke, or have a custom photo inside say it all. Whatever you write and whatever you send, it will be completely you!

Here is our daughter’s baby announcement.  We LOVE the design of this card and can’t wait to share the news with our friends and family!

It wasn’t easy, but that is how I decided on my baby’s name. How did you decide on your baby’s name? Or do you have a great story on how your parents decided on your name? Tell me for a chance to win a year’s supply of cards from Cardstore.com!

In celebration of the 8 women who are pregnant, Cardstore.com has expanded their offering of birth announcements!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cardstore. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.