Naming new dc after dc that died....

(67 Posts)
Adviceinscotland Mon 07-Jan-13 14:35:48

Sorry for the depressing topic but looking for a bit of advice.

Lost a baby last year early in pregnancy, dh and I and a couple of others know the sex but I did not want anyone else to know at that time. Only dh and I know what the baby was called.

Am now 7 months pg and think I am having the same sex again, i would love to give this dc their older siblings name as a middle name but not sure if it's weird or not?

The name won't be used everyday (are any middle names) but as all my dc's middle names are after people in the family i know people will ask why we chose this name.

I'm totally comfortable with telling people now why the name means so much to us but I'm worried people will find it weird/morbid and that I may somehow cause a negative impact on my new dc, perhaps thinking older dc was wanted more than them or something (obviously not)

Am i totally overthinking this? Or would you think it was weird? It does mean a lot to me but not if i might be causing problems for new dc.

barmysarmy Mon 07-Jan-13 14:41:28

I dont think so I personally think it lovely, a nice way to remember the child you lost x

Sorry for your earlier loss, and congratulations on your new pregnancy!

I think it depends how you play it - "this is a name we really liked when I was pg with the baby we sadly lost" is a bit different from "I am naming my take-home baby after his dead sibling" even though it comes to the same thing.

Fwiw I am still interested in the same girl names for hypothetical dc3 as I was for DS1, mmc and DS2. It only proves your taste in names hasn't really changed.

knittedslippersx3 Mon 07-Jan-13 14:41:39

I don't think it's weird at all. I think it's a lovely thing to do in your dc memory. I think it's only a problem if your new dc is made to feel that he is living in his older siblings shadow. You are keeping with your tradition of choosing middle names after family members. I would do what you want and if others find it strange it's their problem. Congratulations, by the way!

nannyof3 Mon 07-Jan-13 14:42:46

Tbh, i wouldnt... If the child was me, and i found out my middle name was my sibling that had passed away , i would find it abit weird...

Its completely up to u.. Everyones view will be different

DystopianReality Mon 07-Jan-13 14:46:40

I had two miscarriages in early pregnancy. Didn't know the sexes. It had absolutely no bearing on what we called our full-term children. We had planned which names we liked and we used them. Just because we lost two early on didn't mean we felt we had to relinquish the names we liked. It's different if the children had been born and we'd named them and had spoken to them using those names, but we did not attribute the names to the 'bump' so felt we could use them for our children that survived. I had no qualms.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 07-Jan-13 14:47:35

I think that's party the issue though - as long as the child doesn't 'find out' but knows since, well, forever then it's not a problem.

If all of your children have middle names, that are family names and mean something, then I think this is lovely. I'd probably say 'not a great idea' if your other children just had random middle names - that might feel a bit like burdening this one.

My DS who is 11 has his brothers name as a middle name, he never 'found out' as such, he just always knew about his name, his brother, and why thats his middle name and he loves it, he says it makes him feel closer to the brother he never met. Its not weird at all.

sallyanny Mon 07-Jan-13 14:49:26

We've done this - we had a stillborn baby boy called John, and when we had another son a year later, we gave him John as his middle name. He's 9 now, and he's very proud of the fact that he was named for his brother. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Startail Mon 07-Jan-13 14:50:19

OP said she lost her baby early in PG no one except DH and her knew the babies name. No reason at all the child should ever know it was going to be the first child's name.

I don't even know if OP would tell the baby it should have had a sibling.

Adviceinscotland Mon 07-Jan-13 15:01:49

Well my older dc know that I lost the baby so there would always be the possibility that they would tell new dc even if we never, likewise I know my mum lost two babies before having me (though she never knew the sex)

I could never have used the name for a first name as I associate it with lost dc but it feels "right" to me to use it as a middle name, I was worried my hormones may be confusing me though.

I think it's fine to use as a middle name but not a first name. My parents did that with my sister and she hates it. Messed her up for a whle.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 07-Jan-13 15:08:49

Advice - it feels right to you and many of us have said it's a lovely idea. I think you just need to make it one of those 'known facts' so that the child grows up knowing, not 'finding out' so that it's something 'good' and something the child can be proud of.

Theas18 Mon 07-Jan-13 15:12:34

Very normal to do this in previous generations. Why not do it? The baby you lost is a part of your family and always will be. I don't see it as any different from naming them after grandad Fred or what ever.

(what was just a little odd though in my family at the turn of the century recycling names in the same generation that had a " person" attached IYSWIM eg naming a post WW1 baby after a teenage brother who died in the trenches. My dad was named for the baby brother my gran had, who died at age 3 or 4, it didn't bother Dad at all and he always knew about it).

5madthings Mon 07-Jan-13 15:14:32

I think its a lovely thing to do especially if the name has special meaning to you.

JustFabulous Mon 07-Jan-13 15:15:51

No one elses opinion matters. You want to do it, your reasons are understandable and brought about with love, so do it.

SomebodySaveMe Mon 07-Jan-13 15:19:33

DPs middle name is the name of his older brother who died at birth. I think it's a lovely idea.

You do what you are comfortable doing.

I have lost several pregnancies, but have never been in your position as we had never decided on a name yet by the time I had a miscarriage (mine were all before 12 weeks).

Personally, I don't think it would be 'weird', but like HoratiaWinwood said right at the start of the thread, it depends on how you present it. 'I've named you after the baby we lost' would just be too awful for words; to give a name that means a lot to you is lovely.

amck5700 Mon 07-Jan-13 16:17:06

Is there a slightly different spelling of the same name that you could use so that it is both in memory but also the new baby's "own" name if that makes sense?

My OH and I both lost adult brothers with the same name (My husband's many years before we met, when my OH was a young teen himself) When my son was born - we wanted to honour them both but there was an alternative spelling of the name and that's the one we used. Both brothers coincidentally had the same spelling.

aprilrain Mon 07-Jan-13 16:36:47

My DH has the same first name as his older brother who died at 2 days old. Nobody in their family thinks its odd. You should use the name - it's actually a lovely way to celebrate the memory of your other baby.

I hope I won't offend you or anybody else with what I am about to say.
Here goes:

If you gave a new baby the same name as a deceased sibling, I mean a child who lived, but subsequently died, I would find that rather morbid.
However, using an important family name that was intended for a much hoped for child that never was, for a new baby I find rather touching. Does that make any sense?

Honouring the memory of any other late family member by using their name again I also like, provided it is a name you like too. We talked about using DH late father's name for our PFB, but didn't, as DH did not like it. FiL was a lovely man, not blessed with a nice name.

Oh no, awful x-post with aprilrain, I am sorry! Really sorry sad.

ethelb Mon 07-Jan-13 16:47:09

I also hope I don't offend but I think it is a bit odd for siblings born after another sibling has died. They have never met this person but will be born into a family that will always be mourning that child. It is entirely possible to manage that sensibly.

However, giving the same name will mean a lot more to everyone else than your child themselves and might make them feel a bit awkward.

I lost a cousin, and the child they had afterwards was given a middle name meaning 'life'. Coudl you do something like that instead.

Pacific I assure you that there is nothing morbid about my sons middle name being his brothers name.

My son loves the fact he was named in his brothers memory and loves the fact that they share that bond although they have never met.

Its a celebration of my sons life and acknowledgement that, yes, he was here (albeit for a short time) and that he isn't anything to be ashamed of or hidden away and forgotton about.

My DS says that he is glad he has his brothers name because he doesn't have his brother here.

AWhistlingWoman Mon 07-Jan-13 16:52:30

I'm so sorry that you lost your baby OP. Such a personal decision and I think that only you can decide what feels right for you and your family. Try not to worry about how you think other people might react and follow your instincts maybe? Especially if the name that you had chosen is not common knowledge it would be up to you who you shared the information with?

My DD1 passed away at three days old. DS1 has the male variant of her name as his middle name. I did hesitate over this at the time but, now, I'm glad I did it. I hope that like sallyanny's son, he will be proud of having this connection with his big sister.

Personally, I would not ever use DD1's name as a first name for another child. To my mind, it is HER name and I would no more use it again then I would give two living children the same first name iykwim? Perhaps would consider using her middle name again if I am ever lucky enough to be blessed with a DD3?

Tommy Mon 07-Jan-13 16:55:47

my DS3's middle name is the name we had chosen for the baby I miscarried. If anyone asked, I just told them that's who we named him after - not an issue I don't think.
Good luck!

TheKindnessOfStrangers Mon 07-Jan-13 16:57:09

I think as a middle name it's fine. You might find this article interesting: www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/18/replacement-child-sister-accident

Missy, that sounds lovely, as does your DS.
It is such a personal choice, naming your child, isn't it? Personally, I feel there is a huge difference between a first and a middle name, too tbh.

Greensleeves Mon 07-Jan-13 17:01:48

I think this is the kind of decision which is so deeply personal that it is impossible for anyone to advise usefully.

As to how the child will feel about it later- well, that I think depends on the wider relationship and how secure that child is. In some families the child would feel like second best and in some families feel like they were the most precious and honoured person in the world to have been given that name. And if a child feels second best to a sibling, deceased or otherwise, that is because of other more important factors, NOT the name they were given.

ErikNorseman Mon 07-Jan-13 17:06:26

My friend did that, I think it's lovely.

elliejjtiny Mon 07-Jan-13 17:17:07

So sorry about your baby OP. I am currently pregnant with DC4. I miscarried last year and if this baby is a girl she will have the first and middle name we would have used for DS3 or the miscarried baby. If this baby is a boy he will have the middle name we originally chose for our miscarried baby but we have chosen a new first name.

extracrunchy Mon 07-Jan-13 17:17:12

I think it's a lovely idea in theory, but I think in practice I'd worry that new DC would be "not passed away DC" every time the name was used, if you know what I mean? It's a nice way of remembering the DC you lost, but I reckon your new DC deserves his own name. Maybe you could have it as a middle name?

extracrunchy Mon 07-Jan-13 17:18:19

Argh I just read your post properly! DUH sorry... Definitely a lovely idea! Sorry for being an idiot grin

babaloulou Mon 07-Jan-13 19:21:18

I think it is lovely idea and we will be doing exactly the same. We lost our ds 35 weeks into my pregnancy and will be using his first name as our new dc middle name. We didn't even consider it not being the right thing to do. Actually I have many angel mummy friends who have/ will do the same so not an unusual thing to do ime.

wigglesrock Mon 07-Jan-13 19:40:51

I have quite a few friends sad who have done this. They have used the older siblings first name as the babys middle name. All the children know that they are called after their big sister/brother who died. I wouldn't even think twice about it about it, if its what you want.

PIL named SIL after their DD1 who died aged 1. (first name, not middle name). It's a beautiful name and it never caused any 'problems'.

BlackSwan Mon 07-Jan-13 20:35:44

I'm guessing that for most children, learning that they were named after a sibling who passed away is likely to give rise to some confused feelings and be upsetting - after all, it is their identity. So unless you are firm in your commitment to never let anyone else know, I wouldn't do it.

Yika Mon 07-Jan-13 20:38:03

Similar situation here. My dd has as a middle name the short form/nn of her brother (XP's son) who died as a young adult the week before she was born.

Various people close to me have commented that it may be a 'burden' on her but I don't find it so. She is only 2 so time will tell. She also has another middle name, so the effect is quite diluted.

I like it that she has a link with her brother.

DifferentNow Mon 07-Jan-13 20:40:47

As a middle name, I think it's a lovely idea. I wish you well in you pregnancy.

babaloulou Mon 07-Jan-13 20:47:23

I do not understand how it can be a burden on a child as a middle name. As someone else said earlier if the child feels this way there must be other factors involved. Our son will always be our son and part our family so no secrets or surprises as he will always be included when talking about our family dianamics.
Wishing you all the best OP, you go with what is right for your family.

EugenesAxe Mon 07-Jan-13 20:59:35

I don't think it weird at all; I think it's lovely and if it were me I'd be touched/proud to have it in my name (when I was old enough to understand!). I don't know why really.

pinkandyellowbutterfly Mon 07-Jan-13 22:40:54

You've obviously been through a very tough time, so sorry to hear that and congratulations on your new little miracle :-) I think the people around you will be just so thrilled for you when the baby is born, that whatever name is right for you will seem like the perfect choice to everybody else too. There is no right or wrong with how you choose to cope with what's happened or how you choose to honour your lost little one. Its totally up to you, be proud and confident with what you decide and no doubt your child will love it too x

Leafmould Mon 07-Jan-13 23:01:21

A friend has his older siblings names who died in an accident as his middle names. This hasn't worked for him, because his mum hadn't got over the tragedy, and had real difficulty in bringing him up in a balanced way.

I think this is what it comes down to: if you have grieved, and can do it in a celebratory spirit it can work.

Haberdashery Mon 07-Jan-13 23:09:25

Oh please don't. I have a dead older half-sibling's name as a middle name. There are several complicating factors but I resent it BITTERLY and feel really angry about it all.

louisianablue2000 Mon 07-Jan-13 23:18:59

My grandparents did this, they lost a son in infancy, and then used his name as one of my Mum's middle names. Mum didn't know about her brother until she was 17 (people didn't talk about babies that died back then, he doesn't even have a grave!) but the name was a family (sur)name anyway so it wasn't surprising to her that she had a 'boys' name, and I think she still views it as having the family name rather than being named after her dead brother.

Autumnalis Mon 07-Jan-13 23:19:16

We did this with middle name. Seems a nice way to carry on the memory without being too intrusive. Few people make the connection as few people know DD's middle name or, sadly, remember our stillborn son's name.

Sallyann - I think we might have been on a different forum together many years ago.

confuddledDOTcom Mon 07-Jan-13 23:21:20

We did it. I had a middle name (well two) chosen but I didn't feel it was right to give this name to the baby we had lost - birth and death so the name is officially registered. We chose one of the names as a first name because it is a variation of Mum's name. When our second daughter was born the following year she got the middle names we had chosen already.

I don't think there's anything wrong with it and I think people would understand. What might be weirder is what happened to someone we know, his older brother died of SIDS and he was given the complete same name as his brother!

thegreylady Tue 08-Jan-13 18:36:06

If it feels right it is right.I think it is a lovely idea.

Ellypoo Tue 08-Jan-13 19:46:26

To me, middle names are to remember people - family members etc.

Therefore, I think it's really nice to give this DC your other DC's name as a middle name.

My DD1 died, and if we have another girl this time, she will have DD1's name as a middle name. I don't think it's weird at all, nice to have that connection I think, and another friend of mine who lost their DS1 at birth has given DS2 DS1's name as a middle name.

Hulababy Tue 08-Jan-13 19:50:17

I think it would be ok, a nice thing to do - and a name with a real meaning for you and the new baby.

It was very common in history. Been doing my family tree and it was very much the norm to use a lost baby/child's name for another sibling - as both a middle name or a first name even.

Sorry for your previous loss.

EldonAve Tue 08-Jan-13 20:05:01

I think it's fine for a middle name but odd for a first name

Ham69 Tue 08-Jan-13 20:08:24

A lovely tribute to the baby you lost, not weird in the slightest. Go for it!

babyblabber Tue 08-Jan-13 21:04:21

Haven't read all the replies but I can't believe some people think it's morbid or something a child would "find out" or that it has any negative connotations.

You lost a child but will never forget and giving another child their name as a middle name is a wonderful way to acknowledge his brother (or her sister or whatever). It's not like you'll be making your child sad by reminding them of their sibling, you're honoring the child you lost and even creating a connection of sorts between your children.

I think it's a lovely idea.

tunnocksteacake Tue 08-Jan-13 21:59:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TCOB Tue 08-Jan-13 22:02:23

op so sorry for your loss. I think that the symbolism of names and the powerful connections they give us are great reasons to go with your heart and commemorate your lost little one. I appreciate it's different but when we came up with our boy name for DS, it turned out this was the name of DH's older brother who died age one. DS knows this is a key reason he has his name and feels 'rooted' and extra-special. We stand on the shoulders of all who went before, however tiny.

confuddledDOTcom Wed 09-Jan-13 02:09:38

babybladder, I don't think the find out comment was about the child finding out that they were named after a sibling but about them not knowing and finding out. I agree with that. It was important to us that we were honest about our first baby from the start and we never had a moment where we not only had to explain they'd had a sister but that we'd kept it from them. They've filled in enough detail as they've needed to as they've grown up. My niece has only recently (age about 9/10) found out she's a twin!

delilah88 Wed 09-Jan-13 09:11:35

I think it is a lovely idea -- I'm sure people used to do this much more in the olden days when they had lots of children/pregnancies. xx

AWhistlingWoman Wed 09-Jan-13 12:24:28

confuddled oh your niece! That must have been a shock, has she been ok with finding out?

My DD1, mentioned earlier, was a twin. Which is why her twin sister, DD2, didn't get any of her names, first or middle, as we named them at the same time.

We decided to tell DD2 she's a twin but as she's only four, I worry I've just ended up confusing her sad

yellowsubmarine53 Wed 09-Jan-13 12:30:39

I think it's a lovely idea as a middle name.

Our first daughter was stillborn and we gave her my middle name as her first name (would have been dh's if she had been a boy).

When dd2 was born, she has family names, one of which has a strong connection with her dead sister.

Maybe think yourself ahead 5 years and imagine explaining your child the genesis of his/her middle name and if that feels good, then go for it.

Haberdashery Thu 10-Jan-13 23:28:26

I notice most of the people who are saying it's a great idea have not actually experienced this themselves. I mean as the person who was given the dead sibling's name.

One of my middle names is the name of my deceased sister and it hasn't affected me one tiny little bit. I didn't mention it on here because I felt my experience of naming my son was more relevent here.

Autumnalis Fri 11-Jan-13 00:01:28

Haberdashery - I don't think this is the thread for it. I don't have personal experience but my DD is 7 and she hasn't been negatively affected. She finds it rather special.

Ham69 Fri 11-Jan-13 00:11:43

My twin brother was named after a brother my mum lost at full term a couple of years before we were born. It's never, ever been an issue.

yellowsubmarine53 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:34:08

It all depends how it is done. For haberdashery, it sounds like the several complicating factors that have caused her difficulties, not the name per se.

JustFabulous Fri 11-Jan-13 10:45:33

One of my children was a twin and we haven't told them yet. TBH I think we made a mistake telling our other children and should have told the twin first.

WRT names I can't bring myself to name an animal after my lost baby though coincidently a now dead pet had that name.

Lafaminute Fri 11-Jan-13 11:38:56

Years ago this would have been standard practice - if your child died at any age, the next child (of same sex) would be given that name. THAT would be a bit weird but not what you are doing. I think it would be a lovely tribute to your lost baby. The saddest aspect of a mc is that the babies can be forgotten by all but the mother and this way signifies how important your baby was.

Charleymouse Fri 11-Jan-13 12:22:14

Sorry for your loss. I think it is a lovely idea and would have no problems doing it or even explaining to other people why you have chosen the name. Congratulations on your pregnancy.

I hate the way we have hidden from death and bereavement these days as for sure it is the one certainty we have. Death is normal and a part of life and the more we are open about it the less of a shock it is. I may be odd with this though as my DD1 has been to 4 funerals, and DS has been to 1.

My situation is as follows:
DD1s first name is derived from her paternal Great-grandmother (deceased)
her middle name after her paternal grandmother. (deceased)

DT1 (deceased) first name, name DH and I liked
middle name my (deceased) Dads first name as he was the first son.

DT2 first name, name DH and I liked
middle name my (deceased) Dads middle name as he was the second son.

DD2 first name, name I liked
middle name my sister and mothers middle name.

If (ha ha ha not a chance) I had another son I have would really consider calling him my Dads first name. ie DT1s middle name.

DT2 knows he is a twin and his brother died. He know he is named after his grandpa and he likes the link with both his twin and him sharing my Fathers name.

Awhistlingwoman my DT2 is 5 and does get a bit confused sometimes. It is getting clearer as he gets older but he sometimes thinks that although he is a twin he forgets that his older sister has also lost her brother. We have pictures of his brother up in the living room and he has one of his own and he sometimes looks at them and cries and sometimes he just talks to his brother.
Some people asked if we would tell him he was a twin and I can't see any reason why we would not, I have read that many twins feel something missing even when they do not know they are a twin until later in life. It has just been part of his life, I can't even remember him being told specifically it is just part of who he is.

Just because my son is dead does not mean I am no longer his mother; just because his twin is dead does not mean my son is not a twin. I feel so strongly about this I had twin put on DT1s headstone.

I think twins are very special and this should be celebrated, it has taken me a while (Shabba you would be proud of me) to come to terms with the fact I am still the mum of multiples.

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