Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Bernardeena just posted about being annoyed with her brother for choosing a name as an option for his baby, that she and her husband had named the baby they lost. I was reminded the other day that Mr. Spouse and I had discussed names for our first baby - we have not dared to do it since - but he says he has no recollection of the conversation.

I don't feel strongly enough that the names we discussed (and yes, we DID)
belong to that child to not use them for another child (if, of course, we have a child that we can name - though I think we'll be giving middle names to any child not too old to object). My brother's first name is an unusual, and I think, nice name and he is the 13th in line* and has two daughters. Our uncle has two young sons but neither of them have that name, and there are no other boys with our surname; one of the cousins has Cystic Fibrosis and so there is a faint possibility the other boy will have a son and use the family name, or a slightly more imminent possibility that I will have a son and use that name plus the family name as a middle name. I can't see Mr. Spouse having any say on that, frankly.

The other boy's name (probably the one we would have used day to day) is a nice, old-fashioned name that happens to be a common name for kings of England and we have a friend who is obsessed with one of those kings. Mr Spouse says I've been listening to her too much. But it also happens to be a family name for both our families.

I was relieved that my brother did not decide to name his second girl entirely after our mother - she has our mother's middle name as her first name - I wanted our mother's first name for a girl.

I can't believe I have this all planned out, but honestly, I was not the child who planned her wedding down to the shoes - I have always known roughly what I wanted to call my children.

I know some of you have later pregnancy losses but I'm just wondering if I am the only person who is willing to recycle names? I'm assuming I'm not alone in resisting discussing names following a previous loss, though.

*Yes, you read that right.


DD said...

We had names picked out when we had our first miscarriage. You get to 15 weeks, and most do. When I found out it was a girl we had lost, I gave her the name we had discussed. While I'm sure we could have re-used it, it just didn't feel right to me, no matter how badly I wanted to be able to call out that name to a live baby.

On the subsequent 3 pregnancies, we never discussed names. Hardly time to. And with ZGirl, I had something in mind if it was a girl, but never mentioned it until we hit 3rd trimester.

I still wish I had a baby girl named Vivienne. The name means "full of life". A bittersweet irony.

Thalia said...

I, like you, have had names picked out for decades, but of course H doesn't go for many of them. I didn't get far enough in either of my first two pregnancies to give them a name, so haven't had to deal with this particular challenge. I do understand where you are coming from on this.

Bernardeena said...

I think for me I need to have a name to refer to a baby to whether lost or not. This time it was really important to me to have a name picked out before we went for our first scan, just in case things weren't ok.

I couldn't reuse the names, but I just personally need to name what I have lost as it helps me talk about that baby and I think for me personally it helped with the grieving.

I can understand why a lot of people feel the opposite though and don't want to choose a name until you know everything is ok. I tihnk if we hadn't definitely decided on that one name but it was one of several it would be ok. Irrationally I think if it was a friend it wouldn't be too bad either, but my brother can bog off and find a different name!