When you’re pregnant one of the things you get to do is pick a name for your child! This has always occurred as an exciting, creative process for me: throwing out options, narrowing it down with your partner. I think of it as fun, fun, fun! I was almost disappointed in both of our pregnancies when we had decided on names for both genders because now the naming task was over! Darn. Now, I know it may not occur that way for everyone. If you and your partner are not on the same page about names you like, it can be challenging. It may just occur as too much pressure for some. How can you name this person when you only have the tiniest glimpse of who they’re going to be? Will the name you give him or her affect how people relate to them? Think about what pops to mind as you hear different names…Gretchen, Bob, Marco, Buffy, Sue, Laurent. It’s natural to already be “attaching” thoughts and feelings and perceptions to these names.
Now, I enjoyed finding out the gender of our children at 20 weeks and then letting everyone know what would be her and his name, respectively. It felt fun to be relating to babies in the belly as “McKenzie” and “Jake”. We could begin to talk about what McKenzie was doing and how Jake was so laid back. We all knew that my office was getting converted into Jake’s room. It was fun for us to hear others talking about them as little people – as they were already little people! They were just hidden from “regular” viewing in the belly.
Finding out the gender and deciding and sharing a name at 20 weeks is not the most common approach out there. Some just love, love, love the moment at birth when they find out the gender of their baby. They couldn’t dream of ruining that special moment of discovery. Some don’t want to share names because they don’t want the opinions and comments of others. (We would preface our announcement with: “Okay, now this name is decided. So we don’t want to hear anything negative about it…”). Some don’t share names because it’s something they get to keep secret – their first “family” secret. They can privately grow more accustomed to and in love with the name they’ve picked. Some need the full 40 weeks to choose a name! And I’m sure there are many other reasons out there for the choices people make around the naming of a baby.
I want us all to respect the choices that other people make around finding out gender and sharing names. And, this is easier said than done. I know for myself, when I know someone has picked a name and they’re not sharing it….uuugh! I just want to know! I think, “Why not?” when it would be very lovely to think, “Good for you. That’s great. Enjoy this.”
Please join the conversation: Did you find out gender? Did you share your name(s)? Why did these choices work for you?