Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Challenge of Selecting Names After Loss

We've known that we're expecting a girl for seven weeks now.  But we are no closer to choosing a name than we were when we first learned that our doctor was 70% she is is a "she".  On that day, my husband and I goofed around with songs that have girls names in them.  My (fake) favorite from the list of song names:  Clementine ("Oh My Darling"); my husband's (fake) favorite name from the list of song names:  Elvira.  I promise that we are not naming our daughter Clementine or Elvira (no offense if you have a friend or family member or daughter named either of the above--they just aren't for us).

My husband has made it perfectly clear that he's not ready to decide on a name, and he wants to reserve the right to meet her first before making the final call.  Although I love to plan (and it would be really sweet to incorporate her name into the nursery and share it with everyone out there), I'm surprisingly okay with waiting.  He hasn't asked for much in this pregnancy, and I can respect his request to meet her first.  I did, however, tell him that I'd like to have it narrowed down to no more than 3-5 options by then.

I hadn't expected it to be this hard.  Even when we were just dating (but knew that we would eventually get married), we talked about names.  My husband is a huge Cubs fan, so we thought it would be cool to use team-inspired names.  We clearly had at least one name--both first and middle--for either gender.  We were in agreement, and we were satisfied with our choices.

But then we lost our first baby...and then the second...and then the third.  I never fully "named" the babies that we lost.  I will never know if they were boys or girls.  But all I know is that the names that my husband and I so naively picked out when we were just thinking about embarking on this journey were intended for those babies.  I just don't feel right about using those pre-selected names.

And so, we now face the challenge of selecting names after loss.  It's back to square one...or the drawing board...whichever you prefer.  And I'm realize that I'm okay with it.  I recognize that I'm in a totally different place now that I was when we first selected those previous names.  I still think that they are beautiful names...they just aren't right for this baby girl that I'm carrying.  (In a future post, I'll share some of my criteria for name selection.)

Today's blessing was finding a colleague from the other side of campus who is letting me borrow her office's projector so that I can project images of bedding-inspired butterflies onto the walls of the nursery.  This brings me one step closer to creating the nursery of my dreams.


  1. Aw, how special it will be to name her when she's in your arms. I'm sure her name will be beautiful.

  2. Hi Laura, It's so natural to have those fears. I hope God really gives both you and your husband peace from the past. I know there will be much joy when you finally pick the name for your special girl. At first we were hesitant too for the very same reason. And took us a long while to finally decide but everyone is at a different place and I can truly respect you waiting patiently because of your understanding heart towards your hubby. When the time is right you'll just know. You're continually in my thoughts and prayers!

  3. Its definitely tough to pick names but I'm sure it will all work out. When you see the your little girl for the first time the name will fall into place. And the name you pick will be perfect and beautiful, just like her!

  4. I so want to hear what the names were!

  5. I understand this feeling completely. I know a lot of people name their losses, but for me that means getting too attached and that makes it even harder. We've also done the joke naming thing, but I wonder how long it will take to get to the serious names.

  6. My hubby and I definitely went through this same thing. We had picked out names before we even started trying and after the two losses just couldn't use them. So we have narrowed it down to 2 names and will pick which one fits her best when we meet her.


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