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Unused Names and Other Questions

My parents almost named me something else. They had picked out a different name–something somewhat similar–and were leaning towards it when they realized how kids could make fun of the name. They picked Melissa instead because nothing rhymed with it, it wasn’t the subject of an embarrassing song (unless you count the Allman Brother’s “Sweet Melissa”), and it couldn’t be shortened or lengthened into something disgusting.

They wanted kids to work for their torment-able material.

I mentioned this to the secretary of my grad school program and she immediately responded with “Melissa; she’ll kiss ya. That rhymes.”

And indeed, it does.



I’m really glad that they named me Melissa, but I have to wonder how differently my life would have turned out if they had gone with the first choice. Do you believe we somehow fulfill the destiny of our names? Is a Gertrude destined to lead a Gertrude-sort-of-a-life and a Moxie Crimefighter destined to lead a Moxie-sort-of-a-life? Do our names set us on paths with boring names leading to more mundane, traditional lives and edgier names lending themselves to a world of tattoo-sleeves and bungee jumping?

How did your name guide your path?

I think Melissa sounds sweet and feminine and I traditionally use my full name when my hair is down and styled and I’m wearing a hint of lipstick and I’ve actually remembered to wax my eyebrows. I think Mel sounds unpretentious and simple. It’s my day-to-day name. And I am low-fuss. I prefer Chincoteague to Paris, prefer generic canned white potatoes to Belgian fries. I like solid colours, no adornment, little jewelry.

See, I became my name.

Or…wait…did the name become me?

And does that make any sense?


Which brings me to my last question–what to do with unused names when there are lives that will never come into being to use them? Perhaps not the cheeriest place to end this post, but so many of us have them. I am not talking about the children who were conceived and named and died. I am talking about the cycles that simply ended–the decision to stop.

We have a third name picked out for a child. I absolutely love it. Like the others, it came to me one day with absolute certainty that it was the name of our third child and when I said it to Josh, he agreed that it was a perfect name. It honours someone I loved, it compliments the twins’ names, it fits all the same criteria with which we used to pick their names.

And we may never use it.

It isn’t a common name–not even in Israel–so I don’t have many times that I encounter this name on a daily basis except in my head. There is a curve of road that I drive two or three times a week and it always makes me think of this name. Other than that, I can pretty much avoid hearing it or seeing it. It makes the third child seem like it’s composed out of vapours–there is literally no substance there as there would be if we had chosen a future name like Henry or Samantha or something common that surrounds us.

When a child dies, even a pregnancy that ends at six weeks, you can bestow a name. But where do you place the names that are never used because no one is conceived to accept the mantle? This question not only applies to those who live child-free after infertility or stop family building prematurely, but those who discard a name because it felt too connected to a different family building path. What have you done with your unused names? Do you ever encounter them during the day? Do they make you feel like you’ve gotten a warm buzz of recognition or a cold wind of emptiness? What about the ones that you came close to using but discarded for something else? What happens to you when you hear those names?

It’s a strange question to ask because my name is on pause. It is neither used nor unused. By which I mean that we’re at a pause and until we proceed–either forward or sideways–the name is not unused but simply resting.


1 laura { 10.12.09 at 6:17 pm }

Hi Mel. After my miscarriage I named my baby Isabella. No reason behind it other than I liked the name. I ended up renaming her Hope. She gave me Hope and I Hope that my story gives others Hope. We are moving onto IVF soon. Please pray for us.

2 LJ { 10.12.09 at 6:21 pm }

When I was in 4th grade, my dad told me I was named for the bionic woman, Lindsay Wagner. I insisted that she spelled her name with an E as opposed to A. He bet me double or nothing on a Pound Puppy from the toy store. That was him laying it down, and I wasn’t gonna risk a Pound Puppy for that. I had always wondered why I ran and there was this “dun dun dun dun dun” sound as I moved my joints…

My brother was almost Johnathan, but my mom didn’t want him named after a toilet. Proving their creative skills, they went with naming him after my mom’s OB’s kid.

As for me, I have a girl’s name all picked out. No boy name for a second potential child. No idea what we’ll do with the name if we don’t either adopt another child or if we do and have another boy. And what of that possible second boy? My difficulty in naming our son after my husband (and his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather) is how that affects the second child (or even the expectations that the first one has to live up to?). This is why we Jews keep it simple and don’t do that stuff…sigh.

3 Caitlin { 10.12.09 at 6:44 pm }

My mom (being the hippie that she was) had my name picked out from the start. I was to be Skye. For some reason that she says she’ll never figure out, one week before my arrival she changed her mind. Needless to say I’m thankful. 🙂

I’ve always had a name picked out, if the stars ever align for us. It’s beautiful and fitting for a little red-haired girl. Sometimes when I come across a woman with the same name I get upset. Like it is supposed to be reserved only for us, or something. Rediculous, I know.

Boy’s names are a little harder for me…every time I think I like one, I meet a man with that name and he’s a total ass. Then for some reason, it doesn’t sound so great anymore.

4 Caitlin { 10.12.09 at 6:51 pm }

I’m curious to know Mel…what *were* you going to be named?

5 jaymee { 10.12.09 at 6:57 pm }

my name has always been a source of contention in my family. i was named after my grandfather, who had a huge falling out with my mother a few years after my birth. so there has always been an undertone of hate when she says it, which is only amplified by the fact that the original argument started over telling me about my adoption. when i started going to school with boys, in 5th grade, i no longer wanted a boys’ name. i lobbied for shannon, i have no idea why, and settled for changing the spelling from jamie to jaymee. i have made peace with my name, but it is just that a peace i do not embrace it and i will never like it.

since we are only having one child, either our boy’s name or girl’s name will go unused. i am fine with letting that name float out in the universe, at least at this moment i am. my more pressing problem is that the name we have had for our daughter, for the past 17 years, was taken by a friend who has also suffered infertility. this was made worse by the fact that we had not told anyone in all these years, until i was having a discussion about having names stolen while waiting. this friend has their first daughter’s name stolen and somehow felt it okay to steal from us. i will not give up the name, that name has belonged to our daughter before we were even dating. we gave her that name while laying under the christmas tree, far from our families, while making a promise as friends that we would marry each other if we never found love.

6 S { 10.12.09 at 6:58 pm }

My husband and I have not yet named any children (the one m/c we had was way too early for that, IMO), but do have some names in mind. I was thinking of something related the other day: an ex-boyfriend and I used to talk about what we would name our son. Since that relationship ended, I’ve never again considered using that name for a child, as it is unique and reminds me far too much of my ex, who wouldn’t be the father.

I don’t think that we become like our names, but I do think that some parents had more of a gift for choosing a name that “fit” their child than others.

7 Minta { 10.12.09 at 6:59 pm }

I have had names picked out literally since the day we decided to start a family. Because we opted never to find out the sex of our miscarried babies, we have given them “nickname” names as opposed to “real” names (Blueberry Bean, Spring Baby, etc). There’s two reasons. First, I would feel odd chosing a genderized name for a child of unknown gender and second, those names are reserved for my living children.

(Weird right, I’m constantly complaining about people not valuing my children enough, but even I am reserving something for children who make it. I swear if I ever give birth to a live baby it’ll be like Harry Potter. There will be stories all around of “the one who lived” through the uterus of death.)

Anyway… now that the adoption/surrogate can of worms has been opened, I’m rethinking my girl name. The name is closely tied to family and I’m not sure that I would feel right giving the name to an adopted child. Which is probably more a sign that I’m not ready to go down that path. But, in my head I see my little girl. I see what she looks like and her name fits her and I just don’t feel like it would fit another child as well.

When we were pregnant with Blueberry Bean, I told people the names. Now I’m wishing I hadn’t. I’m wishing that we’d kept them to ourselves so we could unveil them with the baby(s) who will wear them. They are beautiful names.

Right now the names feel on hold, but I know if we choose to adopt or to live childlessly, they will be mourned as the children they respresent.

8 HereWeGoAJen { 10.12.09 at 7:42 pm }

I have the most common name of my birth year and my sister has I think the second most common of her year. My parents weren’t quite feeling the creativity. Of course, people always know how to spell Jennifer.

We moved on to different names after the miscarriage. The first baby took the first names we had, even if we never actually said so.

9 Quiet Dreams { 10.12.09 at 8:11 pm }

My name is one of those that typically gets put into a nickname (but not one starting with the first letter of my name). Apparently I was 3 or 4 and I let some adult know, that the nickname was NOT my name, the NAME was my name. Ahem.

Thus, I have always been known by the full version of my name. When people refer to me by the nickname, I usually don’t even know they are talking to me.

Am working on a response to the other questions. It’s a bit unexpectedly emotional.

10 Anita { 10.12.09 at 8:25 pm }

My husband & I were just having this discussion yesterday 🙂

We were talking in regards to the boy name that we had given the baby from the failed adoption in June (I have since been referring to the baby as a different name). It is a name that has a VERY strong connection to our familiess (my dad & his mom) so the debate continues as to whether we would use it again in the future.

My viewpoint is that although it might trigger memories of the first baby-it is the name of MY child, one I raise, & I think that “if” we ever are blessed with another little boy I think it would still be very special to use it for him. And if we are only ever blessed with girls from here on out, then at least the people we were trying to honor know that we would have used that name & they were still able to enjoy the honor for a few days anyway!
My husband isn’t opposed to using the name again, but maybe just changing it up/around a little bit.
We discuss & discuss names endlessly & it seems so “right” when we finally settle upon a name that I obviously have a hard time letting go of a name once we’ve figured one out. 🙂

11 somewhat ordinary { 10.12.09 at 8:29 pm }

We had a boy name long before we even started TTC. The girl name we (ok, I) picked out isn’t one you hear often and I can not picture any other name as my daughter’s name. I really hope I get to use it one day!! If I don’t I’ll always have this image of this beautiful little girl with a beautiful name.

The other day there was a girl walking in front of my house with a baby that had MY someday daughter’s name. I didn’t get the warm fuzzies-i was just bummed someone that lived so close had that name! I feel very territorial!!

12 Shelli { 10.12.09 at 8:30 pm }

You brought up something with the second point in your post that made me gasp a little bit. I’ve always had names floating around in my head for every pregnancy that never produced a real live baby. I think I kind of resigned myself to the fact that I may never get to use them. Sad in itself, I know, but recently a friend gave birth and used my favorite name. I had never whispered it to anyone (and it was an odd name) so I was taken by surprise that she chose it. Later, I cried a river about it in bed one night.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that I lost so many pregnancies, I also lost and had to mourn a name. This name will haunt me forever, because this person and their baby will always be in my life. Just a reminder of what I don’t have.

13 nycphoenix { 10.12.09 at 8:43 pm }

my parents were vacilating between melodia and arcoiris (melody and rainbow)

somehow when the day came i was named after my mother and an italian film actress. I go by the actress’ name; always have

I use my full name at all times. I hate all dimunitives of my name

14 Erica { 10.12.09 at 9:15 pm }

I think names are so important. I agree with your description of Mel and Melissa. Family and friends call me Eri. That is a term of endearment for me. Very few people in my life call me that. When I went to college my roommate called me Ric. It was like another identity when i moved to this far away college and everyone called me Ric, a name I never thought I would be called. Our son’s name was always a favorite. But we believe that children name themselves. If the name you have picked out works for their looks and personality that’s great. But they may look like a different name. When we saw our son’s picture, the name we love actually suited him. Now as we ponder adopting a girl, I think about names all the time. I really do feel that a name does influence a person’s life. But I guess it is hard to determine how much that person influences their identity through their name. There are Bobs and Robs and then there are Roberts. All 3 of these names give me different ideas of the nameholder.

15 Io { 10.12.09 at 10:08 pm }

My parents almost named me Nora. As a kid I never liked my name and would daydream that I would find out my name really was Nora. It seemed like such a smart confident name, a name that would belong to a girl who loved to read and dressed in boots and had a red coat. My name I could never figure out what it conjured up for me. I don’t know if that makes any sense.

Al and I had a name picked out for a girl for a couple of years and now I feel like the time for that girl has passed and he is so confused and somehow hurt because he doesn’t understand why I would no longer want to use that name. I can’t really understand it either, just that that was the name for a girl conceived easily.

16 Meg { 10.12.09 at 10:47 pm }

My husband and I have lots of names picked out for our future/potential children, but I am scared to death that we will never be able to use any of them…..

17 Battynurse { 10.13.09 at 12:10 am }

Interesting what you said about how the third name passes through your mind. The potential names I have picked pass through my mind on a daily basis. I think that names grow to suit us or that we grow to suit our names. It’s what we are used to. I had a birth name that was totally different from what my name is now and am glad it was changed and glad that my dad picked my name as my mom wanted to name me Bobby Dawn. My sister on the other hand has went back to her birth name that was given by her birth mother and I have a very difficult time using that name just because she has always been the name we gave her when we adopted her.

18 May { 10.13.09 at 2:52 am }

My older brother used my Girl Name for their first child. I can’t say ‘stole’, as he had no idea it was MY name. All that happened at about the time I was deciding I really wanted kids. By the time we started trying for kids and were being made very aware that this was going to be a hell of a struggle, I’d almost decided to use the name ANYWAY. But, as Io said, it was a name for a child conceived easily (as my niece was). Luckily, my husband wasn’t hugely invested in it.

When we had the miscarriage, we had a list of possible names. Really, I wrote down a list. We’ve put the list away now, and if I ever get pregnant again I will make a brand new list. Some of the same names may well be on it, but they will be on it for brand new reasons. We both call the lost baby by the really geeky nickname I came up with at about 7 minutes pregnant.

Each ‘possible’ cycle, I think of a new middle name I’d like to use, based on the circumstances surrounding the conception (whether I’d actually use them on a real live child I don’t know). But I am superstitious about each possible child being as unique as possible.

19 Hevel { 10.13.09 at 4:20 am }

During my life I had three different official first names. Coming to the ppoint where I chose to use the only name that was me all my life – my Hebrew name Hevel Shir – was my choice and I think it is quite a fitting name.

When we became pregnant with the twins we picked a single boy name: Joshua. When we found out we were having twins the name somehow became unused. It’s a lucky thing, as neither boys are a Joshua. My cousin was contemplating using it in the form of יהושע‎ but as the baby was born in the early hours of December 25 and the father’s Hebrew name is Yosef, they decided against it. The name was also cosidered for the two boys born after my cousin’s: my baby brother and my nephew, but both of them proved during the first week of their lives that they were no Joshuas.
We are starting the process of international adoption. We would like to adopt 2 or 3 children. The collective code name for the kids at this point is יהושע‎. We shall see if any of them will actually choose to change their name and if they do whether they will choose this name.

20 nh { 10.13.09 at 4:22 am }

We had a name for a boy – from the moment we started trying we knew what we would call a boy. It was the name of my grandfather and M’s grandfather. There was never a debate. And now – that name will not get used, although we might add it as a middle name to an adopted child (if we adopt a boy).

We never decided on a girl’s name. I’m glad for that now, but after each transfer we would throw names around, just to prove that we were being hopeful.

Names grow into us and we into them. My name is unusual, and means something specific – and that meaning is me.

21 clare { 10.13.09 at 5:28 am }

I am comfy with my real name… It is simple, no way to shorten it, and just is.

I love names. I can waste hours on that baby wizard naming voyager site. I have a list in a draft of an email in my gmail account of possible names. Saving it to a file seems too real, a draft to myself in the distant future seems to work. Names I’d use. Names I only partially like, but can use to try to hone in on the name. Names I’ve promised. It is just a me thing… my hsuband doesn’t much get anticipating, let alone naming, that which is too far in the future.

The curve in the road for me is when I clear the table and its just our two place or when I look in my rear view mirror and there isn’t a carseat back there. There is this gap that is so tangible. Most days there is no sadness — just an awareness like when you notice your lecture’s shirt is missing a button, and find yourself staring. That is when the names start to float by.

I hope you get to meet the person that goes with your name.

22 Half of a Duo, Raising a Duo { 10.13.09 at 7:13 am }

I’ve always wanted a girl and lost fraternal twin girls, Dominique and Isabella. Then little J (adoptive son) at birth.

I really want to name a girl. Evangeline, after a courageous and wonderful adopted member of our family in Greece, the matriarch.

Surrogacy is brutally expensive. So I highly doubt that name will ever be used. I am blessed with my sons, and grateful every day.

But sometimes, I wish I could have a third and use that name.

I will be 48 in July. While I have energy to spare… the thought of being on the south side of 50, and a new mother again… parenting an infant… is mind-blowing.

Yes, that is how long it took from me losing my daughters at 19 to becoming a mom. From 19 to 46. And so… maybe it isn’t meant to be.

But then again, life hands you the most interesting situations. So maybe it is meant to be.

We shall see if I’m 50 and rockin’ the cradle.

23 Guera! { 10.13.09 at 7:22 am }

I was “meant” to have twin daughters and have had names picked out for them for the longest time. One was going to be named after a little girl in my first grade class that I taught in Mexico. It sometimes pains me now to think of those names. They worked really well in English and Spanish both and went well with our last names. They could be shortened to cute variations ending in the “y” sound. I miss them.

24 Devon { 10.13.09 at 9:02 am }

I think about this alot, I have names picked out that I love and that I’m very protective of now after almost 3 years of trying. I will not tell anyone the names I have chosen, I feel like these are my unborn babies names and when I hear that someone close to me is pregnant I get scared that they will ” take ” my name away. It makes me very very sad to think that I may never get to use them.

25 Geochick { 10.13.09 at 9:40 am }

I was almost named “Rebecca” but at some point my mom decided she hated the nickname Becca. Funny, because I kind of like it! Ultimately I was named “Tara”, pronounced “Tah-ra” because it was a pretty Irish name and I’m half Irish. Besides the fact everyone seems to want to pronounce my name “Te-ra” and in 5th grade I discovered much to my chagrin that it is A-Rat spelled backwards during backwards day I’ve been pretty happy with it. Since it was a somewhat unusual name at the time I’ve always wanted to name my child something unusual but not too crazy. So far, we’re screwed on boys names but there’s lots of girls names we like! We’re in for a long wait for a match so I suppose we have plenty of time…

26 JustAnotherJenny { 10.13.09 at 11:50 am }

I hated my name growing up. I hated it because it seemed that everyone else had my name too. I could never get the little license plates for my bike, or the pencils with my name on them. The slots were ALWAYS EMPTY. My godmother wanted my mom to name me Rhiannon — and my parents had tossed around calling me Shannon. I’m not sure how I feel about either of those, but at least they are more unusual than Jennifer. I also don’t know how I came tobe Jennifer over either of the other two names. I’ll have to ask my mom. Good question!

15 years after I was born, my parents decided to have a second child. They named her Shaylin. 🙂 I was so happy that they didn’t pick a name that was popular in 1992! She’s much more of a free spirit than I ever was. She’s never met another person with the same name and she loves it. She plays guitar, goes to an artsy highschool, and I think her name is very fitting. Like Cher or Madonna — she can go by a single name and everyone knows who she is. (Although, I did HATE her name when she was born. I liked that it was unique but I didn’t like THAT name. I think perhaps I was just a crabby teenager.)

My ex and I had tossed around names and we had decided that we liked the name Madison. (Before Madison became the new Jennifer). He’s re-married now and I found it a little creepy that he and his wife named their daughter Madelynne. They call her Maddie as we had intended to do when we thought up the other name. It doesn’t bother me because I love their little girl, but I would’ve never dreamed of using a name or any incarnation of a name that I had thought of from a previous relationship. That just seems weird to me. Unless it was a family name, that would be different.

27 Cece { 10.13.09 at 1:21 pm }

My full name is Cecelia. I love it. When I was choosing the names for my children -I use my name as a guideline – as in – fun nickname (Cece) but good grown up side. I rarely use Cecelia (you know, cause I’m not grown up yet – I’m only 34!)… but I think it’s a good name!

As for naming babies that ended up in miscarraige – I didn’t do that. We had 2 mc’s – and naming lists hadn’t even entering my mind. I really had no idea what I wanted to name my son until I was in about my 6th month. And the twins I’m currently pregnant with, I’m 31 weeks and I’m not 100% sure. I guess I’m afraid to name anything that isn’t ‘real’ to me yet. But it’s feels weird that as a woman, I don’t have names in my head since childhood as to what I wanted to name my babies….

28 a { 10.13.09 at 2:09 pm }

I believe that either people come by the names that they are supposed to have or they live up to the names they get. It’s like News of the Weird – they frequently list the people charged, convicted, or sentenced for murder who have the middle name Wayne. I have found that people with the same names seem to have similar personalities. In that respect, I’m very glad that you go by Mel (and that there is an exception to every rule), because the Melissas that I know are not very pleasant people.

My husband chose our daughter’s name. It’s pretty uncommon, and will be mistaken for at least 2 other names, through her whole life. She probably won’t be able to work a nickname out of it either. I have a boy’s name chosen, but I surmise that it will probably go unused.

29 tash { 10.13.09 at 2:22 pm }

Interesting discussion. I’m not sure I really “represent” my name — I always think it should belong to someone with a bit more, er, class than I have.

For both girls, we didn’t know whether we were having a boy or girl, so we had name discussions to at least whittle things down to about two names per, and what I find interesting given the above is that our conversations were very different. We didn’t use any of the names from the first go-round that we didn’t use the second time. It was almost as if they weren’t good enough then, they wouldn’t be now — and that includes the boys names that we didn’t use either time.

I still love Bella’s “other name” — she just brought it up yesterday out of nowhere. I doubt anything will happen to it unless we get another pet some day.

30 Alexicographer { 10.13.09 at 3:13 pm }

Interesting question. We have 2 unused names. One is the name of our daughter, who is yet to be (and realistically likely never will be) conceived. The other is the name my husband wanted to give his first daughter (my stepdaughter) that his then-wife didn’t like. He never entirely abandoned it (though I believe he also likes the name she was given), and she knows the other name she might have had. We can’t exactly use it, but it hasn’t been fully shed, either. Actually my husband doesn’t know we already have a name picked out for our yet-to-be-conceived daughter, so who knows? Maybe he’ll hate the one “we” have chosen.

Actually I do know someone who as an adult took both her mother’s maiden name and the first name her mother had wanted her to have. Her mother had yielded to her father’s preference in names, but he left (and her mother retook her maiden name) shortly after the baby was born. It made perfect sense for her to take the names her only present parent “had” for her. It took a bit of time for me to remember that both her names were not what they had been.

31 karlinda { 10.13.09 at 3:49 pm }

My Mum wanted to name me Susannah, after her Grandma, and my Dad wanted to call me Fern, for some obscure reason. I don’t think either would suit me, but then again I think I would have grown into them somehow (or rebelled and changed my name!). Instead I was named after my Mum’s twin, Linda. I’ve always loved the name, especially how unusual it was (in my generation at least). But it’s never allow to be shortened to Lyn.

I’ve been thinking of what to name my own kids since I was about 12, & have an evolving list in my head (& now stored online & frequently added to). Although it’s a longish list, there have been two favourite girl’s names for several years now, and I’ve been imagining those two little girls (twins, of course) for quite a while. I wouldn’t have been able to bear using either name for a miscarried baby; It would have felt like losing the name too.

(btw, we’ve just nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award over on our blog.)

32 loribeth { 10.13.09 at 5:45 pm }

I was going to name a subsequent daughter after my great-grandmother. (Originally, this was to be Katie’s third name, but we decided to “save” it for a future child.) I had to chuckle, because our oldest nephew’s new girlfriend has the same name. They haven’t been going out very long & who knows how long it will last, but it seemed karma-like to me!

33 Sunny { 10.13.09 at 11:12 pm }

My name is rather common… my parents said they just liked it, and my Dad had a cousin with my name and he wanted to honor her. I would say I am true to my name, I don’t tend to stand out much in a crowd. Not so trendy, more classic and reliable. Wow, I sound really boring, huh? Yep, that’s about right!

What an interesting question about unused names. DH and I have such a hard time coming up with names anyway, I can’t really say that I find myself in that situation. We didn’t 100% settle on my son’s name until he was born. And now these babies… well, I think there’s a good chance they will just end up as Twin A and Twin B. I do feel a lot of pressure to give them names that will serve them well in their lives… to avoid obvious (and not-so-obvious) opportunities for teasing, something that sounds good if they become judges, but something comfortable that lends itself to normal nicknames. I do believe that our names have an impact on us, and it’s a lot of pressure!

34 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 10.14.09 at 1:21 am }

My real name is lovely but a tremendous hassle to spell and pronounce. At least it gives people something to talk about aside from my hair, the other big conversation piece.

We have used all of the names we have, which is part of why we were so happy to have boy/girl twins — we didn’t have to come up with more names.

35 deathstar { 10.14.09 at 6:12 pm }

Yeah, I had a name for a girl. I kinda retired it cause my adopted child will be a boy. Seems fitting somehow cause I don’t think I could have used it if there was a girl. My husband wanted to but it didn’t seem right.

36 B { 10.14.09 at 6:15 pm }

Maybe, if at some point, it is clear that the name won’t ever be used, you could have something in your garden with that name written on it.

37 Astrid { 10.14.09 at 6:28 pm }

I’ve definitely become my name, through and through. The funny thing is that my parents did name me something else when I was born. I was “Samantha” for a few days. They put it on the bracelet, bassinet, birth certificate and everything. Then, a couple days later, they just up and changed their minds and went through the WHOLE process of changing it. I think after a few days of knowing me they had a feeling I was an Astrid and not a Samantha.

Anyway. My unused name went to my dog. And I still love it and have never met a dog more deserving.

38 claire { 10.14.09 at 11:18 pm }

Hi Mel!
I hope you don’t think this is hokey, but I figure that awards are for everyone – so I gave you an award. I have found out that recieving an award and posting it is very time consuming – so having read that you get about 50 requests for book reviews every day, I don’t want to add to your burden. It’s an appreciation award. It could be a rhetorical appreciation award – so it would not necessarily have to be answered or reciprocated. thanks for being you:)

39 claire { 10.14.09 at 11:19 pm }

Ps it’s on my most recent blog post:)

40 Liddy { 10.15.09 at 10:48 am }

My parents wanted to name me Anastasia as they were convinced I was a girl before I was born. Then when my mum went into labor on my grandfather’s and great grandfathers birthday, I was told they thought I was a boy, so they decided on Felix James Thomas. When I came out as a girl, my mum said this is no Anastasia, so I went nameless for the first day. I ended up being named after my dad’s older sister’s middle names and then for my second middle name I was named after the Simon and Garfunkel song “Cecilia”.

E and I picked the name of Kristianna after the hotel clerk in Oslo. With E’s very Scandinavian last name any non-Scandinavian name is going to sound funny.

41 Flying Monkeys { 10.16.09 at 12:46 am }

Hm…I was supposed to be Sarah or Heather but when I came out a redhead (something my 2 dark haired parents did not expect but was repeated in with my brother 14 years later so unless the mail man drove across country, it was in the genes) they said neither fit. I was nameless until my dad’s best friend suggested my name a couple of days later. It’s funny to me that I dislike him…a lot.
When we started talking about kids we made a list. When we found out that our odds were low for kids, I would stare at the list. When we found out I was pg I picked as many names as I could to honor a few of the important people in our lives without getting into The Guiness Book, then decided we would make sure it ‘fit’. It did and I can’t see him as any other name. (He has 2 middle names, so not that bad.)
When he was 3 he told us he had a dream he had a brother named John. Over the next 3 years he would ask us if we had forgotten his brother and while I didn’t like the name very much, we decided if we had another boy we would name him John. The imaginary son we were trying to have became John. Then when the baby was actually a real live boy (which we didn’t find out the sex before hand) he didn’t look like a John so the hunt began for a name. His middle name comes from a passage in the Bible I had just read the week before (I had just started reading the Bible). I passage where a woman basically begs God for a child and tell him she promises to raise him to be God’s servant. (Something like that, it just struck a chord with me.) His first name took 2 days to decide on and he is the definition of it. To the bone. I wonder if John was one of my m/c’s and that’s why the name didn’t fit.
I know we’ll never do another IVF, unless I get a 3rd miracle I will never use my girl’s name. Maybe she was my other m/c.
There are no other names I feel compelled to use, though I hear a ton I love (Cecelia is one of them, it makes me sing Simon and Garfunkle even though their Cecilia is a dirty girl. ;)). Maybe that’s another sign deciding to hang up my stirrups was the right thing to do, even though I wonder some times.
As for whether or not I fit my name or my life would have been different, I can’t imagine being called anything else. Neither can anyone I’ve told what my ‘other’ names were supposed to be.

42 Flying Monkeys { 10.16.09 at 12:48 am }

Holy cow that’s huge and where’s the option to delete my babble. I would have shortened it. That’s like my own blog post right there.

43 Katie { 11.01.09 at 8:45 am }

None of my pregnancies have gone beyond 10 weeks and although we had discussed names for the first one, we were only really using nicknames for that one, and for the other one that went beyond 6 weeks (the other two, or possibly 3, didn’t even make it that far).

I don’t feel I’ve “used” the name we discussed in my first pregnancy. We are likely to be adopting, and it is likely to be a child young enough that we choose their name. I don’t see a problem with using the name we discussed in my first pregnancy, I don’t feel that it is “reserved” or “used up”, really.

44 Kir { 11.03.09 at 12:21 pm }

I’m late to the party, but I was thinking of writing of this exact thing last week. I looked at Giovanni and Jacob and thought, what about those two girl names that we picked? When I hear girls that are named Rachel or Grace it almost takes my breath away because I want to have someone to call that..I want to yell Rach..up the stairs or say “this is our little Gracie”.
I often think about why Gio’s name is his and Jacob’s his.
On vacation we answered that question more than I care to tell you about. People always want to know how Giovanni and Jacob came to be. One soooo Italian and one So “Jewish” (Their words) from such an obviously Christian family. I tell them “The story is long” …and then when given permission ..tell it.

My mom and dad had decided on Kimberly after discussing Renee for me. A week or so before I was born, my mom tells me they were in the library, she found a book of old European names..and there is was..Kirsten …and she too says she said it aloud to my dad and I was Kirsten (if I would be a girl). I think that I have become a Kirsten in every way that matters.

great post , Melissa. Who lives up to her name; sweet, to the point and uncomplicated.

45 Tree { 11.04.09 at 1:09 am }

When I was pregnant with our first child my husband and I quickly agreed on a girl name but a boy name took awhile. Several years later during the third pregnancy we still had our boy name and spent six months picking a second girl name. Our second child was a girl as well so that boy name picked so many years ago in unused. Even with two healthy wonderful children that name feels like someone is missing from our home. I sometimes wonder if the second pregnancy was a boy and that was his name.

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