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Am I bad mum if I still can’t call my daughter her name?

39 replies

Chubbycheekslg · 25/01/2023 17:00

I’ve struggled with my whole birthing experience, nothing went to plan for me including my daughters name.

She’s 11 months old, and I refer to her as babs or beautiful, everyone else refers to her as her name so there’s no confusion for her. I’ve even had it tattooed to accept it, but yet I still can’t say it. I’m in therapy currently, but I guess I’m just wanting an opinion on whether I’m a bad mum since I can’t call her her name?

OP posts:
Lsquiggles · 25/01/2023 17:01

What do you mean her name didn't go according to plan?

LimitlessSky · 25/01/2023 17:02

What’s wrong with your baby’s name? I don’t understand why you can’t say it?

TangledWebOfDeception · 25/01/2023 17:03

No. You’re not a bad mother. You need time to heal.

GoneToday · 25/01/2023 17:04

This sounds really hard for you and I presume there is a difficult back story as to why your DD was named something you didn’t want.
She is young enough to change her name if you like, maybe using her middle name? You would start by having to call her the two names - eg if switching from Ella to Jess start calling her ‘Ella Jess’ for a while before switching to just ‘Jess’.
Maybe some counselling would help you work through the difficulties around her birth too.

Chubbycheekslg · 25/01/2023 17:04

I never picked her name, me and my partner planned a name but then I ended up incredibly unwell and spent the first month of her life essentially in hospital so she ended up with the name he preferred and I guess I was too busy trying to get home to be a mum I went along with it. There’s more to it but that’s what I meant by didn’t go to plan. Every time I try to say it I feel nauseous and my chest tightens.

OP posts:
PinkityPink · 25/01/2023 17:06

Why did your partner use that terrible circumstance to trump your joint choice with his own?

WashableVelvet · 25/01/2023 17:07

You’re not a bad mum. You also wouldn’t be a bad mum if you decided to change her name to something that doesn’t stir up such difficult memories. And you also wouldn’t be a bad mum if you sought some trauma therapy - I did a type called ‘Rewind’ which has been studied in birth trauma and was used by my hospital.

LimitlessSky · 25/01/2023 17:07

It sounds like you have been through a lot. No, you are not a bad mum.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but as your partner picked the name does it feel like the name almost represents everything you went through during the birth and post-birth?
Woukd your partner be willing to change your baby’s name if you explained how you felt? Has he been supportive?

Chubbycheekslg · 25/01/2023 17:08

@GoneToday Thank you for being understanding! There is a lot behind it, it’d take me a week to go through the ins and outs haha. We’ve been through the possibility of changing it but there’s a lot to that too and so it’s staying as what it is. That’s a good idea though, she did end up with the middle name we both planned so I might start calling her that, it’s just so strange saying a name at all now. I am trying to work through this with a therapist, but I guess it takes time.

OP posts:
WonderingWanda · 25/01/2023 17:20

Nothing to add but just wanted to say sorry that you had such a traumatic time. It will take time for this to heal and you are in no way a bad mother. 💐

Twoinapod · 25/01/2023 17:32

I’m sure you posted about this not so long ago. It’s good that you are in therapy. Have you looked at having a debrief of your birth with a midwife? You can request one and it can be very helpful in coming to terms with everything that happened

IbizaToTheNorfolkBroads · 25/01/2023 17:36

@Chubbycheekslg I get it, I think, a bit.

I had a very traumatic birth with my second child. Lots of blood. Feral heart monitor flatlined.General anasethic. Crash section. She was 4 hours old when I came round and the words in my head when I woke up were "is the baby alive?". I needed further surgery when she was a few days old, and then was constantly unwell for about 6 months. And whilst o adored my 3 yo DS, I struggled to bond with my non-sleeping baby, who also had a name I didn't love. DH and I had agreed it, but I didn't love it.

The attachment came as I healed, physically and mentally, it was a slow burn, but we got there. One of the turning points was a birth-debrief. And as I got used to my daughter, her name became hers. It didnt take long for her name to become "her" by default, even though it was weird and difficult at first. It was a bit like accepting that this person that caused you so much trauma is yours, personally.

TangledWebOfDeception · 25/01/2023 17:39

@Chubbycheekslg Flowers

You could practice it until it feels more natural/the negative feelings subside.

Maybe once a day at lunchtime or another time when you’re doing something else too so it’s not a big deal.

You could also try gently putting it into a positive sentence when you’re feeling very cosy/happy/contented. So if you’re snuggling in bed together on a Saturday morning, for example maybe you could say ‘I love you so much, (name) you’re my precious little babs’. Then shower her in kisses and hugs. This will help to build a more positive feeling around voicing her name. If it’s too hard to say it out loud, start by saying it in your head - your mind still hears it.

Crabbity · 25/01/2023 17:50

OP, I changed my baby’s name, it’s really not as much of an effort as you’d think, especially under a year, even less so if you’re in Scotland. You’ve still got a couple of weeks in hand if you want to go down this route.

stripedsox · 25/01/2023 18:05

My abusive ex chose our dd's name, it's normally a nice name and it went on the birth cert, it had negative connotations though - I got so fed up with it that I gave her a new name at three months and she's been known by that ever since. On official documents she has birth name but school, college, work and her fiance called /call her by nickname as do family.

Napmum · 25/01/2023 18:08

No, you are not a bad mum. HD, however, is a bad partner.

This feels linked to the trauma. You could go on forever calling her babs as her special name from you. However, I would suggest exploring options like this and even depoll with your counsellor

EyesOnThePies · 25/01/2023 19:15

Oh, you are not a bad Mum, not at all.

Use her middle name, and it will be her regular everyday name.

None of DH’s family use their birth certificate names for anything except the most official context. They all have nicknames / ‘known as’ names. It’s an Indian thing. Doesn’t cause any hassle.

trampoline123 · 25/01/2023 19:19

Just change the name.

bonzaitree · 25/01/2023 20:44

Agree with PP that it might be an idea to give her your preferred name as a middle name. Then just call her that and explain to people you think her middle name suits her better?

What does your partner have to say about his choice?

Luredbyapomegranate · 25/01/2023 21:32

Of course you aren’t a bad mum. This needs sorting though, for both your sakes.

I think you at the 11th hour, but I would change it. Your partner didn’t behave well in the first place, but presumably he can see this is serious and something needs to change?

BubziOwl · 25/01/2023 21:36

I think your partner behaved very poorly tbh.

I would change the name if it doesn't feel right. Or use your favourite name as a middle name and have her go by that name - I have quite a lot of family members who've done than for one reason or another.

quietnightmare · 25/01/2023 21:45

What is her name? Can it be NN? Or shortened or lengthened?

I know what you mean. I think you need to continue with therapy because I had this issue with my husband I couldn't accept his name ( because it was the same as someone who did some terrible things to me) and I just kept saying to him who are you that la not your name that doesn't match you and it's not you so I really do get it


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bluesky45 · 25/01/2023 21:59

Neither me or my husband called our first by his name for ages, he was always just "the baby" so much that it became like a nickname for him.
Started off as "can you hold the baby?" And "the baby wants feeding" and ended up as "come on The Baby, time for a nappy change/let's get you dressed/shall we go for a walk?"
So went from talking about him to talking to him, all calling him "the baby". It hasn't done him any harm. He's been his actual name since before he was 1, not sure when it changed exactly but he's definitely his name now!
No pnd or anything like that, I think he just has quite a grown up name that we found a bit jarring when said about a little newborn!

CombatBarbie · 25/01/2023 22:16

Chubbycheekslg · 25/01/2023 17:04

I never picked her name, me and my partner planned a name but then I ended up incredibly unwell and spent the first month of her life essentially in hospital so she ended up with the name he preferred and I guess I was too busy trying to get home to be a mum I went along with it. There’s more to it but that’s what I meant by didn’t go to plan. Every time I try to say it I feel nauseous and my chest tightens.

Wow!!!! You can get it changed yknow, I think its up to 2yrs old??

My sperm donor done exactly the same by the way!! Before I cut contact he would always gloat about always having one up on my mum because my name was permanent. Dick....

CombatBarbie · 25/01/2023 22:19

It's a year old so you still have time.

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