Using his name

We had a boy name picked out during our first pregnancy. When we didn’t need it we kept it filed away, just in case, and when we found out our second child would be a boy, we immediately knew we’d use that name.

Of course everyone has been asking if we have a name picked out and we haven’t felt the need to keep it secret. So now every knows. And the thing is, everyone is already using it to refer to our unborn son.

And I have to admit, that makes me nervous.

I mostly call this baby-to-be Little Man or Baby Brother. Ben calls him Regalito. But everyone else refers to him by his name and so I’ve started thinking of him with that name as well. Sometimes I even call him that.

The thing is, using the name we intend to give him scares me… because what if something happens to him and then we can never use that name again? I guess in my mind we had that name ready for him, and hadn’t really given it to him yet, and if something happened to him, we could give him some other name and keep this boy’s name for another son… a living son.

Maybe that is horrible and insensitive. I don’t know. Maybe it was just one of the ways I coped.

Except now that coping mechanism has been stripped away. So many people use my son’s name that I could never give him any other, even if he were taken away from us. And that scares me for some reason I can’t quite articulate.

I try to tell myself that nothing will happen, or that if it does, I’ll ultimately be thankful we gave our son this name we so love. I even remind myself that if something happens to our son, we will most likely not have another child, so “saving” his name would be like wasting it; giving it to a dead son is better than giving it to no son at all.

I’m sorry, I know this is morbid, and possibly comes across as unfeeling. More than anything it’s inspired by fear, a very real fear that I consciously fight back every single day. More than anything I just want October to come, so my baby boy can join us safely. I still harbor so much terror that he will just silently pass away inside me, and I won’t know until it’s too late.

I know I have zero reason to believe this will happen to me, to him, to us. I suppose I’ve been profoundly scarred by each and every loss of a sibling; their stories haunt my family building experience in ways I don’t really understand. My mother was marked by loss and I, through association, was marked as well.

Truly, I’m doing a good job keeping the fear at bay. It may not seem that way when I write a post like this one, but I am not wallowing in anxiety or panic. Every once in a while I just need to voice these unspoken fears, to help get them out, to take away their power. So that I can more fully enjoy every moment of this incredibly miracle.

So that I can call my son by his name, the one we intend to give him, no matter what place he hold’s in our lives and hearts.

I love you Monito*.

9 responses

  1. I get this. I thought about the same things when we had a,questionable 20 week scan. After much thought, we decided to get him named before we knew the outcome just in case it was bad, he’d be a very specific person to us. For that reason, I’m glad you’re using his name. Because he is a real, whole, LIVING person right now… And he will be in October as well.

    But I get it. I so get it.

    Not morbid – just real.

    Beautiful name!

  2. I get it completely, and I’ve heard from both sides of the issue. Mothers lamenting their baby’s name had never been uttered by those that love them while they were alive, and those that wanted to save the name they had chosen in hope of their dream coming true. There’s no right answer as with most things of this nature. Sending love.

  3. I briefly considered “saving” Katie’s name & giving her another… but long before I ever conceived, we knew that if we had a girl, she would be Katie. She was Katie right from the start and she was just… Katie. So I have no regrets about using that name, even though we never did get the opportunity to name another child. I did have a second middle name in mind for her that I “saved” as a first name for another child (so Katie had just a first & second name and not the third name we had also planned).

    I had one online friend who named her second son the same as her first lost son. I think the middle name may have been different. It was a family name that they really wanted one of their children to have. It seemed a little strange, but what the heck. Whatever feels right for YOU.

  4. I love the name!
    And I think this kind of thing is complicated for lots of folks, but it makes sense that it would be extra-complicated for you, given your family history. Welcome, little Mateo!

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