pronounced : el-er-ree. think hillary (hill-er-ree).
I have known for years that if I was blessed with a baby girl I wanted an "e" name for her to match mine. For a long time, Eleanor was the front runner for us (we both liked that it was the name of the President's daughter on West Wing and P liked that it was the Sam from Lord of the Rings daughter's name).
But then I started hearing it more and more often and though I think popularity is not an issue to even consider if you LOVE a name, I was open to other options.
In October 2011, while Paul was on deployment the first time, a friend of mine told me about her family friend who had named their daughter Ellerie. "How do you spell that?!?" I almost shouted. I loved it. I had never heard it before and it was perfect. I emailed Paul the next day that I had heard a brand new "e" name and it was my new baby girl front-runner. (We were no where near pregnant, but this odd behavior is common for me.) Paul responded that he really liked it and was curious about pronunciation. For the next year it stayed the front runner and then in late October 2012, we found out I was pregnant.
So Ellerie was her name before she was conceived, before she was confirmed to be a girl and before she entered the world.
Yes, we considered other names. I read on baby name forums that "Ellerie" was a lame name that sounded made up, that sounded masculine, etc. etc. etc. I fretted about spelling (the "Ellery" version is more common and many people think "Ellorie" when they hear it). But then I realized two things - one, I LOVED it. Paul loved it. It was unique without being bizarre. And two - spelling errors happen when people are lazy, not when names are different. I read somewhere that Anne Hathaway's name was spelled wrong on her Golden Globe. I mean COME ON. The name is Anne and she's super famous. If that can be spelled wrong, any name can.
We struggled with a middle name. Eve was finalized about a week or so out from birth. I worried that the double E was lame. But then realized it sounded wonderful and honored a very special women from my childhood. She was not a grandma, but she may as well have been. I know she would love Ellerie so much and is for sure smiling down on us from heaven.
And now my Ellerie girl is here. In the flesh. The name fits her like a dream and everytime I say it or hear it, I know we picked right. It will grow with her well, I think.