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5 months of agonizing over my baby's name

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We didn't have his name chosen before the birth, we struggled with it the whole pregnancy. He came, and it was a happy healthy birth, and he is beautiful. I feel so blessed, and that is why I am also so angry at myself for how I am feeling. My family, husband, and now therapist too say its irrational. I have post partum anxiety and there have been lots of tears. I still have night sweats. But that's no excuse. I am still unsure about his name to the point where if someone says it, I cringe, get scared, and want to cry. I have a hard time saying it.

I have over analyzed both names to the point where I can't even see clearly any more. I am stressed and sleep deprived, but really want to solve this and move on. We didn't even choose names that are out of the ordinary, but I still have a hard time. I had no idea i would have to go to court to legally change his name, so when we turned the form in to the nurse so we could leave, I thought it wouldn't be such an ordeal. We named him L1am. My fathers name is the middle name. My husband called him Charl1e and my three year old son called him that when he came to visit at the hospital. Our last name starts with a Ch so I thought charlie would be too ch-ch sounding. Now I don't even care. Charl1e sounds like the right choice for some reason but I am too scared to change it. I'm also scared to keep going as it is. I don't know how to get unstuck. I substituted 1 for i because I don't want this to come up in searches. I'm embarrassed and sad about it.

If you ever dealt with this, how did you get unstuck? If you changed it, or didnt change it, did you regret it?
post #2 of 9

I haven't gone through what you're experiencing, but I just wanted to pipe in and say that I think you should listen to your gut about his name. We waited to name our son until his birth (we had three picked out). I just couldn't imagine naming him before seeing his face. Our favorite of the three was simply NOT him, so we went with another and it just felt right. If after spending time with him, you feel better about a different name -- go with it! The process doesn't matter in the long run; it's more important that you feel right about his name. Start using Charl1e today and don't worry if it's his legal name yet. Everything will turn out okay! Don't let this stress take away from the pleasure of having a new baby in your life. Enjoy him and relax! Congrats!

post #3 of 9

When DD1 was born, we didn't know the gender and we just had a list of names, nothing finalized. I really liked one version of a name, DH couldn't stand it but could tolerate a different version of a name. SO we went with that. It just always felt off to me, it wasn't as extreme as you, but it wasn't quite right either. When she was 4 she suddenly starting insisting that her real name was the version I had wanted. She never knew the story either. We went with it a while thinking ti was a phase, but it wasn't. We later had her name legally changed and 5 years later, few people even remember that her name used to be different. Under one year of age, changing the given name in most states is fairly simple, after that some states require a process where you go before a judge and fill out massive amounts of paperwork which is what we had to do. Her birth certificate is amended and now shows her current name. There is nothing wrong with saying that you have decided the other name suits him better. I ended up having to amend 3 of my children's birth certificates, 1 was a error in the name and date and then the other two were legal name changes, the 1 of course being the first name of DD1, and then with DD2 we changed her last name to add in mine and it is much much easier to do the simple under 1 year birth certificate change then to wade with all the other paperwork they require. 

post #4 of 9
I have a friend whose legal name is completely different from the name she goes by. Her mother decided she was X instead of Y when she was like 3. It doesn't matter to her. I have to say, the name we call her just suits her Perfectly. Its all okay.
post #5 of 9

I felt I needed to add my 2 cents here. The name we chose for our son is unique but not "strange" to other people our age. My parents, however, tsk'ed and rolled their eyes and even laughed when we told them the name. For their generation, it is bizarre and almost mean to name your child something other than "classic" names.

 

I actually had a dream that told me what to name him, but I still was unsure. I didn't want to cause him harm before he even said his first words! What if people made fun of him? What if he couldn't say it correctly? What if the kids in his class made up some horrible rhyme that made him miserable and sad and led him to be a loner and ended up depriving him of a happy childhood!?!? What a terrible mother I'd be!

 

I'm not sure if that is along the same lines that you are thinking, but if it is there is only 1 thing that helped me. I had to realize his name didn't matter as much as I was making it out to matter. Your name does not define you. Maybe he'd choose to go by a nickname and his birth name would be obsolete anyway. Maybe the kids would make fun of him no matter what his name is (kids can rhyme anything if they really want to be mean). As it is I usually end up calling him Sweetie or Baby or Smooshy anyway. I love his name now. But if he doesn't, he can go by whatever he decides later on.

 

I hope you can begin to let go of this anxiety and not be so hard on yourself.

post #6 of 9
My husband goes by a name that isn't even close to his legal name. His mom just didn't like his name so she started calling him a different name when he was about 3. Everyone calls him his other name. It's a quick "My name is x but I go by y" and it's not a big deal. Call him what you want and change it legally later if you need to.
post #7 of 9

Yes!  Call him by the name you know is his, and once you're clear of the postpartum period, tackle the legalities if you need to.  I come from a family of people who, by tradition, are not called by their given name.  You need a flow chart.  My poor husband keeps thinking he's discovered a new relative, but really it's just someone who had their mailing labels made with their given name and he only knows them by the diminutive.  These aren't typical nicknames, these names we use are descriptive, but are usually taken as another given name... for example, "Bonnie", because she was pretty.  So even if you never change it, it's no big deal.  flowersforyou.gif

post #8 of 9

two things, many states let you change name easy any time during the first year, so you may want to look into that and then just let everything sink in a bit more and relook at the issue later in the year.

 

the other thing is it sounds like you may be really getting worked up, are you doing ok with other things? you sound like you could use some support in general. how is the day to day for you right now? are you fretting over lots of things or is this just it?

post #9 of 9

It's too late for the OP now, but maybe it will help someone in the future. you DO NOT have to name your baby before you leave the hospital. Absolutely DO NOT. The nurse and everyone will try to bully you into it, but it isn't any kind of reason to keep someone hospitalized. I know in SC and in many other states, you have a whole year to officially name your baby and file the birth certificate.

 

For both our babies, we filled out the birth certificate paperwork completeley, just without the name of the baby, and said we would file the paperwork ourselves once we came to a decision. I am pretty sure the hospital made copies, but we had no problems once they understood we weren't naming the babies right away. It was even in our birth plan.

 

Now though, to the OP - call your baby by the name that suits him. change it legally now, its far easier than later (FWIW, I changed my last name as an adult, to match my husband's - we are common law married - and it wasn't too hard; no judge, just a bit of paperwork and a background check, no big deal)

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