Friday, August 9, 2013

What's in a Name

So somehow I ended up moving to the fertility capital of the universe. No one told me this was the case when I was looking around. This was not a point included in my realtor's tour of my new town. But shortly after arriving, I looked around and realized that everyone -- my husband thinks this is an exaggeration but it is not, it is literally everyone -- has at least two kids with one on the way. Having four children here is not unusual. And no, I did not move to Utah. As you likely surmised from my last post, I have moved to the suburb of a -- perhaps the -- major metropolitan area of the country.

If this quest for number two is ultimately a failure and I remain a parent to one, I will rock it, don't worry. I'll take the money I would have spent on diapers, buy a Birkin bag and send around a birth announcement about my new baby that doesn't cry, poop or keep me up at night. But for now, now that I'm still trying to take down secondary infertility with everything I've got, it makes me feel like a bit of an outlier. I'm new to town, and I've got this baggage, this thing that may ultimately make me different from most everyone else here. It makes me feel, for the moment, just a little bit more alone.

The other day I met some very nice moms on the playground. As we were chatting, a nanny came over with her charge and as soon as she said her name, this mom chimed in and started asking her about it. The mom said that her sister has been telling her to use it if she ever has another girl. It's a relatively unusual name that you don't hear often, and it happens to be my girl's name. So much so that my husband and I use it in casual conversation to refer to a future child that may live in our house. As in, that would be __________'s room. In this conversation about the name, the woman went so far as to use the actual nickname we were planning to use, saying her sister wanted her to use that too. It was sort of like watching a horror movie that you somehow can't put on pause. I wanted to jump in and say that's my girl's name too! But for obvious reasons I did not. Because it would have made me look weird, because I may never have another child, girl or otherwise, because it was too painful to even hope that someday I may actually have the problem of having a girl, selecting this name, bumping into this woman and looking like a shameless copycat. So I stayed silent.

My husband doesn't get why this bothers me so much. He thinks it's ridiculous that I would even worry about using the name, even if I end up running in the same circle as this mom, which is unlikely since our existing children are different ages and what is the likelihood that I will have another child that happens to be the same age as the children this woman will obviously be having, most likely without difficulty or complication?

I'll tell you why it bothers me. Because I have a funny feeling that in a couple of years, when I'm running around town with my Etoupe Birkin bag anchored on my arm, I'll hear this woman calling after her newest charge, calling out the name I so wanted to use too, and it will sear my chest like an arrow. I'm bracing myself right now.


Turia said...

Ok, Blogger just ate my comment. Trying again. I don't think it is odd to be protective of 'your' name and to not want someone else to use it. We have a girl's name, and we do use it when we talk (to ourselves) about our hoped-for future daughter, and when we finally agreed on it, I went off and did the research to see just how popular it was (never ranked in the top 1000 names in the U.S.) because it's important to me that my children have uncommon names.

All that to say that I'd be the same as you- I don't think I could use my name if someone else I knew used it first, even if it was someone I barely knew.

And part of my protectiveness over the name stems, I'm certain, from my fear that I'll never get to use it, that our daughter will remain a ghost child.

I really hope you get to use your name. And I'm sorry you've ended up in such a fertile land (four kids? seriously?!). Can you look for the multiples or the large age gaps to point to some fellow infertiles? Even if they do have two kids, they might at least better understand how you feel about things.


Cassie said...

Wow, get out of my head, I relate 100%. I was in a library and heard someone call out to their little girl named London, which used to be my top girls name. It has since become more common and I have even seen is spelled Londyn, which is how I would have spelled it. I now have a different name, one; because I like it better, and two; because London is becoming too mainstream for my tastes now.

I have never told anyone (besides my hubby of course, as it was actually his name idea) our current girls name, and even if we never have a child, or a girl I am taking it to the grave. I feel like uttering it outloud to anyone is a curse, but hubby and I do refer to unborn, unfertilized maybe baby by it's name. I have to say I'll be pretty choked if we don't get out girl. Good luck with your next baby, and your girl name. Although I am extremely curious of your name, I would never ask you to divulge!

Brianna said...

Oh, my goodness. How I relate to this on so many things. Specifically, on the name, my husband and I decided to share the names of our future child. With our first pregnancy (that ended at 17w6d) with the birth/death of our twins, we had already decided we weren't going to share their names until they were born. With our rainbow pregnancy, we held on to that, and didn't reveal his name until he was born. With our hopeful second rainbow, we've had names chosen for quite some time. We've been sharing them with everyone. If the only time we have with Lucy/Ike is the pregnancy, then we want them to be known for as long as possible. I've overheard another family at the library use Lucy, and it really bothered me. I'm not getting pregnant with my Lucy, but they have their not fair! I don't think it's unreasonable to not want to hear the name of your child being used for another.

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