Week 24: What's in a name

By Published On: April 28th, 2015

There are a number of things that can irk a […]

24 Weeks (1 of 1)-2There are a number of things that can irk a pregnant woman. Some are admittedly maybe slightly odd, like getting enraged over accidentally stubbing your toe while making the bed (which may or may not have recently happened). Others are more within reason like hearing people say, “You’re about to pop!” when you’ve still got another four months to go. Or when people still try to guess what the gender of the baby is although you’ve already made it very clear to them that it is, in fact, a boy. But I have to say, for me personally, a cringe-inducing question that I’ve gotten a lot recently is: What are you going to name the baby? And here’s why …
A name is so personal. It’s intimate. Some believe that a name can even determine one’s fate! We are bestowing this onto our child, and he will have this name for the rest of his life. It takes a lot of thought and time to come up with something we would both love; plus it has to feel good, too. It’s not like we’re going to put a bunch of names in a hat, pull one out, and declare it the one. (Not that there’s anything wrong with doing that!) It doesn’t bother me when people genuinely ask if we’ve already chosen a name or if we have some in mind. That’s all fine and well. It’s when people blatantly ask what the actual name is and then immediately follow up with all their reasons why that one name is so wrong for my child.
So why don’t we seek the advice of friends or family in choosing a name? Well, because that would be opening up an entire forum for criticisms and opinions that we frankly don’t need. For example, if we told one person that we were going to name our baby Charly (which happened to be my dad’s name and a name I actually really love), that person might respond, “Oh … I knew/know a Charly. He’s _________.” And that would automatically be the connection to the name. Some might be just more blunt and say something to the effect of, “Charly? Really? That seems really old-fashioned.” Or whatever other opinion he or she might have.
On the other hand, withholding that information keeps it mysterious. It keeps it private, and it’s a secret that only we share, which makes it feel so much more special. We have to let the name sit and marinate with us for a bit and then sit and marinate with our child for a bit. Or maybe the second we see our boy, the name will instantly make sense, and we’ll be at peace with it completely. A friend of mine recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I never found out the name of her son until the day he was born. He could have been called anything—any number of names, but they named him Atlas. Atlas! First of all, how awesome is that name? Second, I don’t know a single person named Atlas. And third, I could not imagine a more fitting name for this handsome baby. It was like that name was made for him.
It’s interesting how pregnancy can turn into an open discussion about some pretty heavy decisions. Everyone has to give his or her opinion on anything, whether it’s on the table or not. When it comes to names, this couldn’t be more true. Yet, isn’t it funny that if a name isn’t revealed until the baby is born, people miraculously keep those thoughts to themselves? That said, we are keeping mum on his name until his birth day. And you’ll just have to stay tuned for that!