Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What's in a Name? Everything

How do you pick the name for your baby? The name they will have their entire life. The name that will represent who they are in this life. The name that will command presence. That is unique but not quarky. The name that hopefully they will not want to change when they are going through puberty. The name that means something to both you and your partner. The name that both you and your partner can agree on.

If you were like me and DH, when we began talking about kids the first thing we began debating was baby names. I had favorites. He had favorites. I had childhood memories to live up to. He was named after his father. We both had tons of names in our family tree that we wanted to bring back to life. I think this was a long running "discussion" in our house for five years. A looong time before we even started trying. In the end, this was the convoluted plan we came up with:

If our first child was a girl, I would get to name her, both first and middle. She would be named after my grandmother. If our first child was a boy, DH would get to name him, both first and middle. It was a combo of a name from his family and one of his favorite names. Then, for the second child, whoever didn't get to name the first child would get the second child. Do you see the rationale? The overall goal was to give me a good chance to name a daughter after my grandmother.

Now, do you see the expectation we were living with?

And along came our baby boy. And everything went out the window. Here was our son that was going to have a very unique family tree. How do we name him after DH and he become a third? Most importantly, our birthmother had already named him in the hospital and asked us to consider keeping one of the names.

A little background. One year ago in our group classes we listened to parents who picked out their daughter's name with the birthmom. DH and I were not into it. We couldn't imagine opening up ourselves on a tradition that we had placed such value on. We wanted to be able to completely name our child.

Well, here is how it went down.

I learned his name first. And when I heard his middle name, I really, really liked it. Instantly. I told DH later that night what his name was and that his birthmom would like us to keep one of them. I did not tell him which one I liked. When he heard the name, he immediately said what a great name the middle name was. Somewhere two planets must have collided, for DH and I rarely agree on anything that easily and with such conviction. And then we just knew, we have our son's middle name.

His first name took a little longer. Old expectations of the dream child resurfaced, and DH wanted to pick a name since our first child was a boy. I had come up with an idea from my side of the family, but he kept wanting to kick around ideas. We eventually got to the bottom of it. I was hurt because I felt I was not represented in our son. DH was hurt because he had always imagined us having hour long conversations about names for our baby and going through the right of passage of picking out a name. But soon he realized that he was holding on to the "old way of doing things" when it came to our family.

The day of our first meeting with the birth mother, we went to our usual restaurant for family planning. The same restaurant we would go to during our IUI treatments as we were waiting for sperm to thaw. As I drank my wine and DH drank his beer and the enormity of what just happened was sinking in, DH turned to me and said, "You're right, let's do it. He should have the first name you picked. That way, his name will have a part of you, a part of his birthmother, and a part of me."

So, in a way we never thought our child's name would come together, his first name comes from my father's German side of the family. This is because me, DH, and his birthmother all have German heritage, so we will have some heritage to share with our son even if it's not genetic. His middle name was given to him by his birthmother. And his last name is from his forever daddy. This is also significant because I did not change my last name when we got married. For our online presence, we will call him Squishy, to protect his privacy and because he is squishy!

And that is how our son got his name.


  1. I love this post! And Squishy's name fits him so well...even his Squishy name.


  2. I love all of this, every little bit!!