Friday, June 4, 2010


Aidan. Oh, how I love your name. Not just because it belongs to you, but because I really LOVE it. I love the way it sounds, soft, but not feminine. I love the way it looks written out so nicely with your middle name William and your last name (which starts with a B). I love the way it has five letters just like your daddy's name and my name. We are the 5 letter family. I love that it is Gaelic and means little fire. And it MUST be spelled Aidan with the AN ending...anything else is just the Westernized version (Aiden, Ayden, Aidden etc.) I never even cared that it became so popular. I loved it before Aidan/Aiden/Ayden shot up the charts, and other people were just catching up with my good taste. (Oh and by the way, when you hit spell check on blogger, only Aidan doesn't get highlighted as the incorrect spelling!)

And, for me to say that I love Aidan as a boy's name best of all is saying something. See, I'm kind of a name connoisseur. A name snob actually. I personally own upwards of 6 or 7 different baby name books, and I regularly check others out of the library and stand around reading them in book stores. I pour over them. I make lists from them. I say the names out loud to get a feel for them. I have loved names and their meanings since I was a kid. At the age of 12 I imagined myself with 12 kids, mostly so I could pick out 12 awesome first and middle names. Some of those names I still like.

But since about the age of about 20, Aidan has been my favourite boy's name. And I was SO happy when Brian agreed that he liked it too. We had settled on Aidan for our first boy's name YEARS before we even wanted kids of our own.

And now he's dead.

When we found out our little baby would likely not survive, I had wanted to give it another name than the ones we had originally picked out for a boy and a girl. When I told this to Brian he got upset. He felt that this baby was special and to deny it the name we had chosen would be tantamount to saying it wasn't. My reason for wanting to change the name however, wasn't because I felt that the baby wasn't special. Of COURSE the baby was special and loved and wanted, but I had plans for a baby named Aidan, and they didn't include him dying. I had imagined reading to my little boy Aidan, taking my Aidan to school, writing his name on family Christmas cards, yelling "Aidan!!! Get down here now!!" when he was a teenager. The Aidan in my head was a LIVING child. To have that name attached to a dead child would be like rubbing salt in a wound, not only would it hurt that my baby was dead, but saying his name would be like mocking all that I had dreamed of.

We hadn't even really come to a conclusion about this (at least I didn't feel that we had), when I went into labour. A few moments after I pushed him out, one of the nurses asked "What's his name?" Brian, only pausing for a second responded "His name is Aidan"...and so it was. And it felt right. He was our first boy. He was special and deserving of the name. The name we planned on giving him. He even looked the way I imagined him. Just like a little Brian.

But, it still hurts that the name I loved for so long belongs to the child I'll never see again. I not only want my baby back, I want back the dreams I had for my child named Aidan. I can almost understand now why, historically, it was common to give a second or even third child the same name as one who has died. For example, in my family tree there are single families with multiple children named James. The first James died and then the parents had another baby boy...who they named James. Perhaps it was a way to keep the name alive in the family tree to be given to future generations, perhaps it was a way to honour a lost child...or maybe James' mother just couldn't stand not being able to say his name out loud on a daily basis.

The name we had for a girl (which we've also had picked out for years) is special and beautiful too. It's much less common than Aidan. It's unique. I've never met another person with this name and I like that about it. However, just after I found out I was pregnant close friends of ours were listing out the names they had pulled from a baby book, and our girls name was on their list. These friends are currently pregnant...with a girl...and due any day. I'm worried they have selected our girls name for their child. And not to sound like a crazy grieving mother (which I am...), but if those friends use that name, I'm not sure I could ever speak to them again. If Aidan had lived, it wouldn't have mattered so much...they could have it...but would just feel like they'd stolen it.

Since my baby boy took all my Aidan dreams with him, I just can't lose all the dreams I had for a baby girl too. I've lost so much...I can't lose anymore.

And now, since I have a little following of 6 (!!!) people, I'm going to post a question, a là Glow in the Woods style.

If you've lost a child did you give them the name you had originally planned? Did you regret giving the baby this name? If you plan to have more children, how will you decide what to name them?


  1. I was pregnant once, but I didn't know it until I miscarried (at about 8 weeks). It broke my heart. I'm scared for a few years from now when my fiance -soon to be husband- and I start trying.

    I have thought about this name thing so much. When I find out I'm pregnant, do I immediately want to pick out a boy and girl name for the baby? Do I want to wait until after the possibility of miscarriage?
    There are so many other things that could happen, and I know if I found out I was pregnant with a girl I would want her to be Ella Anne. But if she died it would break my heart, and I would never have my Ella.

    But could I take that name away from my baby? Could I stand calling another daughter her dead sister's name?
    I don't think so.
    I think I would have to live with my Ella Anne as an angel, and find other names for future children.

    I found your blog yesterday and I can't even imagine the suffering you are trying to heal from. I am glad you got to meet your baby.
    I often wonder what my baby would've grown into. Boy? Girl? Chubby baby like me? Tall like my fiance?
    I'll never know. The future is the only place I will find out what our children will be like. And as excited as I am...I am so scared.

  2. Great post. I am also sad that I will never get to watch a little Stevie grow up. We were naming her after my dad (Steve). Everyone would always say, why not just name her Stephanie and call her Stevie for short? Nope, we liked Stevie. My mom said it hit my dad the other night that he wasn't going to have a granddaughter named Stevie now. It made him really sad. It's weird, he DOES have a granddaughter named Stevie, but she's not here. It sucks.

    Our other favorite girl name has always been Lucy. Interestingly, Lucy means "light." My favorite song, "Let it Be" has the lyrics, "and when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me..." I think if we ever have another little girl will name her Lucy because she will surely bring the light back into our lives. :)

  3. We had names all picked out. Jack for a boy, Charlotte for a girl.

    But when we found out the baby had died, D said he didn't want to know if it was a boy or a girl. That that would spoil the name for (hopefully) our next baby.

    He didn't want to name the baby. But it makes me sad that I will never know. And someone suggested using a nickname. We never had a nickname, either. But because I did my grieving through a long, cold, hard winter, a winter in which there was snow constantly for over a month, I came to associate my baby with the snow. And then, one day, I came to think of my baby as my snowflake.

    my husband still doesn't know. Doesn't want to know. But i need to think of what I lost as real. I need to remember. And my baby deserves a name.

    I wish, so hard, that I could have known whether it was a boy or a girl.

    Aidan is a lovely name. If it wasn't the name of an ex-boyfriend of mine, it would have been right at the top of my list.

  4. I put so much time and effort and emotion into finding the right name for my Caleb, that it hurts to not have it. I never had that much attachment to boy names; finding one felt very difficult. But I NEEDED a name with meaning when I found out about his heart. And so, not being biblical person, I ended up with a biblical name with great meaning, and with meaning relative to my husband's name.

    And it's hard to not have that name be around.

    I got myself one of those baby name charm necklace things, with his name on the front, and his birthdate on the back. This was before he died. I am glad for it. I can still keep that "piece of him." and it carries with it his life, not his death. It's the only jewelry I ever wear.

    Maybe something like that would help you? That you could always keep the name you loved so much? And someday, when future children are in the picture, and you can add their charms, it will still be acknowledging him as real, as yours, as part of your family.

  5. Like your choice of Aidan (quick whizz back up to make sure I've got the correct spelling!), Georgina was a name that was chosen many, many years ago.

    When the girls were born and we were told that our first born had a very slim chance of survival, seeming in much worse health than her twin, we stuck with it. We wanted to give her 'the' name, we thought it might help her somehow. Her middle name was after my much loved grandmother. But the names were not the lucky charm we hoped for sadly.

    I still love Georgina's name but it means 'of the earth' and I wish it meant something else. There almost seems to be a little premonition in that meaning.

    In some ways I almost regret my living twin's name more, Jessica. I like her name but it was chosen mainly because it 'went' with Georgina. How sad, to be named to match a twin sister you know longer have. I also didn't know how incredibly popular it is in the UK at the moment so my precious girl has a very common name.

    I would like to have more children (although sadly what I would like doesn't seem to have any bearing on it at all). I've thought about the name George. Or using my grandmother's name again. I can't decide if it would be nice to be reminded or only painful.

    I do hope that your friend does not choose 'your' girl's name. I can understand that you would feel robbed if they do. x

  6. My husband and I hadn't decided for sure on a name for our son yet but our two favorites were Tommy and Dash. Tommy would have most likely won out at it would be after my father and my brother but as soon as we found out our baby had died, Dash just "felt" right. And it turned out to be the perfect name for him.

  7. we were trying to choose from a short list we had narrowed down, and kenneth was only on the list as a possible middle name. we were not going to name our son w/ my husband's full name because his middle name is "junior" (redneck, much?!) and he has a roman numeral after his name. he's always hated both those parts of his name and didn't want to pass it on to a child who would also hate it.

    but like you, we didn't like the idea of giving one of our favorite names to a child we wouldn't be able to raise. ultimately, we named him after my husband (whom i also call kenny) because we figure he wouldn't care about those parts of his name, and it seems right that if he can't grow up with us, then at least he can take his daddy's name with him.

  8. We didn't have a name really picked out yet, we had been going back and forth on some names, but we didn't even know the sex until she arrived. My husband was stuck offshore, so when I was on the phone with him with our newborn Angel in my arms, I told him that I wanted to call her Kristen Eva. Now Eva I was pretty sure about.. that was my Grandmothers name. But the Kristen part, that was a name that I had tossed around in the back of my mind and had pretty much discarded. I don't think that if she had been full term she would have been Kristen, but then who knows? But at that moment in time, it felt so right, and it rolled off of my tongue. So forever, our darling baby is Kristen Eva.