Things I Missed: Naming a Baby

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Sometimes I find my mind wandering especially in the shower in the mornings.  Today I started thinking about what would happen if I were one of the blessed ones who got their miracle child after they hit their forties.   I don’t remember what got me to thinking about pregnancy the first thing this morning, but there I was in the shower thinking about pregnancy and baby names.  My mind rewound back to around 1993, the year we got serious about starting a family.  I had gone off birth control in ’92, and sure enough my periods vanished.  I spent a small fortune in pregnancy tests, and in early 1993 I decided to consult my gynecologist.  I remember that day vividly…

Me:  “Dr. Ross, I know that my system doesn’t work like I should.  I’ve been off BC for about 3 to 4 months now, and I’m not pregnant yet.  I’m not even having periods.”

Dr. Ross:   *In his grandfatherly, assuring tone*  “Don’t you worry dear.  We’ll put you on some Clomid, and you should be pregnant in no time.”

If I had only known…if I had only known.

Context:  Dr. Ross was my mother’s OB-GYN, and before I got married I switched to him as my GYN, because if he was good enough for mama he was good enough for me.  Plus, he was a super-likeable guy with a great bedside manner.  The only thing he would get gruff about was weight gain.  He was known to seriously reprimand any woman, pregnant or not, for weight gain.  My very petite mom was reprimanded for too much weight gain when she was pregnant with my brother, and she never forgot about it!  He also warned me about the perils marriage had on a woman’s waistline.  This happened when I went to him for the physical required in North Carolina to in order to obtain a marriage license.  Most women today would find that statement terribly chauvinistic, and it probably was, but he was right.  Marriage did have a terrible effect on my waistline.

But, unfortunately,  he wasn’t right about me being pregnant soon…

So armed with a prescription for Clomid and the promise that I’d “be pregnant in no time” I was full of hope and expectation.  My husband and I met for dinner that night at the very exclusive Brevard Pizza Hut and talked with excitement about our child-filled future.  My husband was so excited he started thinking about baby names.  While I was more reluctant to go down that road, because I didn’t want to jinx the situation (ha!) he couldn’t be deterred.  We talked about boy and girl names.  Surprisingly, hubby was all excited about girl names.

Ah…we were so young and naive!

In thinking about that time and since I’ll most likely never name a baby I want to share some of the name suggestions we threw around on that day and the weeks, months, and years that ensued…times when there was some glimmer of hope that we might have our own little munchkin to name.

I need to do a little prefacing here.  We are from the South, and in the South it’s an unwritten law that a baby should have three names–a first, a middle, and a last.  I mean, its a must, because a Southern child only knows he/she is trouble when mama calls him/her by all three names!

Girls

Ansley:  This is a name I came to love when I was in elementary school.  There was one girl in the whole school with this name.  She was beautiful and I loved her name.  I always told myself if I had a little girl I would name her “Ansley”.  It was like “Ashley” but not as overused and just a little bit different.

Chloe:  A classic, not overly-used name that is Biblical, a little old-fashioned, and yet a little hip and metropolitan.  Eddie and I have a couple of fictional character favs named “Chloe.”

Rebekah:  A common Biblical name, but my favorite cousin is named “Rebecca” and just about every Rebecca I’ve met is a cool person.  The only thing that might make me  not choose this as a first name is that like my cousin  I wouldn’t want her to be nicknamed “Becky”.  I would want her called Rebekah with the classic Biblical spelling, so this was always a middle name for my girl.  This is also a name my husband adores too.

So, in all likelihood our little girl would’ve been named:

Ansley Rebekah Sprouse  or Chloe Rebekah Sprouse

Boys

I’m pretty classical when it comes to boy names.  Hubby is too.  Here are some of the names we threw around for a boy.  My husband wasn’t interested in “Jr.”, so we ruled that out really quick:

Eric:  This was pretty much our go-to name for a boy, and here’s why:   My husband’s best friend was named “Eric”.  He died a tragic drowning death in 1986.  My husband and I were already dating at that point, and in his grief he said if he ever had a son his name would be “Eric.”  So, in our dreaming of baby names “Eric” was always the first on the list.

Avery:  This was my paternal grandfather’s first name.  I never got to meet him, because he died suddenly several months before I was born.  I always wanted to name a boy after him in his honor.

Jackson:  This was my paternal grandfather’s middle name.  It’s also my dad’s and my brother’s middle name.  In the early years I told myself that I would not use this name if my brother were to marry.  I would let him have first dibs at using “Jackson”.  My brother has never married nor had children to this point, so I reserve the right to use this name in case I have that miracle baby someday.

Jordan:  Okay, so I have the Duggar thing going with J-names in boys; shoot me, but I love this name for a boy even though in recent years some hip parents have adopted this traditionally boy name for their little girls.  I love all the cowboy-sounding names like “Travis”, “Shane” and “Dustin”.  I always wanted my boy to have a boy-sounding name, cause I just love rough and tumble dirty-faced boys.   They just melt my heart!

So our boy could’ve been named:

Eric Jordan Sprouse,  Eric Jackson Sprouse, or  Eric Avery Sprouse

You know, this was fun.  It is really therapeutic naming our children that are not to be.  It gives me more closure, a little melancholy for what might have been, yet it helps me to move on.

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6 responses »

  1. I was delighted to find your blog and read your messages. I am deeply touched by your honesty and your courage to talk about your experience. It is comforting to know that I am not alone in being childless. Please continue to post and know that you are making a difference in the lives of others. Thank you for blessing mine today.

  2. We too were full of hope and expectations. I will never forget the day we found out our first treatment (IUI) hadn’t worked. I had 6 eggs ready to pop and had been given all the lectures on multiples and reductions. We were so sure it would work. Anyway, we had names picked out. A boy was going to be Thomas Francis, after my husband’s late uncle and my late father. I didn’t want Francis as the first name because I thought it too old fashioned. Then after our first IVF, when I cameo out of anesthesia after the retrieval. I asked my husband two things: 1) did you fill the cup? and 2) if it’s a boy can we name him Francis?. Our name for a girl was going to be Ann Elizabeth or Elizabeth Ann – depending on whether she looked like an Annie or a Lizzie. Those are my middle and confirmation names. My husband was insistent that a girl would somehow be named after me. I didn’t want a Kate Jr, so going with some combination of my other two names worked. I always felt we were going to have a boy. Both of my losses were too early to tell, but I just know it was a Thomas Francis.

  3. Kate,

    So sorry you’re in this position too. I just thought it would be cathartic to name my never-to-be children, and it has been. I think it’s important in the healing process. You have two precious souls in heaven, and they deserve names! Those are beautiful names. I love the old fashioned names. I was afraid for a long time the old-fashioned names would die out, but more and more people are using them again. I love to see our fore fathers and mothers honored in this way and the heritage of names carried on.

  4. Im almost 41 so my baby dreams are slowly dwindling. I went through a phase between ages 31-34 TTC. I almost cried when my period came and during that time my bil and his wife gave birth to twins.After that the pressure to reproduce increased in me. They had four I had none. (funny though they never thought about other children until we made the error of announcing our intentions). then I realized its not the end of the world if you don.t It is still nice to think about names. I never heard of Ansley but will keep it in mind. I also like Autumn. not sure about boys but hubby always said no jr.

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