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 now...it 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?