Choosing a name for the baby we lost to miscarriage

When my husband and I found out last month that we had lost our sweet baby, it felt very natural for me to speak openly about our loss, our pain, our grief. This was my child, deeply loved and very much a part of our family, and I couldn’t help but share what was happening with people around me. I wanted our baby to be known, loved, and important. I needed our community to know that we are the parents to two children, one here on earth and one in heaven.

The more I began to talk about our baby, the more I began to feel that our baby needed a name. I was very early in my pregnancy when I started to miscarry so we hadn’t had an opportunity to learn our baby’s gender yet (and we like to keep the gender a surprise until the birth, so even if I was further along, we likely still wouldn’t have known).

When I was pregnant with our daughter, we had a list of two boys names and three girls names that we loved going into her birth. One of the girls names in particular was at the top of our list, and was a name I’ve loved for years, even since before my husband and I got married. As soon as we met her and saw that she was a girl, we both felt right away that none of our girls names fit her, especially not the one that we thought was our very favorite. We ended up taking her home from the birth center without a name and not choosing one until the next day. We needed a little bit of time to get to know her so that we could be sure the name we picked was just right. And oh my goodness, her name is just perfect for her.

Naming this baby has been very different, because there is so much that we don’t know. We don’t know if they are a boy or a girl. We don’t know if they have blue eyes like me or brown like my husband and our daughter. We don’t know if their round little head is bald or covered in hair. We don’t know if they have a gentle, calm nature or a bit of sass and spunk. All we know is that they are our precious child.

We spent a few days testing out a handful of gender neutral names that we both liked. We talked about family names. Names with meanings that we loved. We played around with first and middle name combinations. We prayed and prayed and prayed. In the end, we narrowed it down to two and then let our daughter choose. I love that she helped to name her sibling.

Naming this baby has been such a beautiful, important part of our grieving process. It brings me peace and comfort to be able to call our child by name. It makes it easier to talk about them, and it stirs my heart every time I hear someone saying their name. I just ordered a necklace with their first initial and birthstone and I can’t wait to wear it in honor of my precious little one.

Sweet mama, if you have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage and have thought about giving your child a name, I’d really encourage you to do it. If you don’t feel called to name your miscarried baby, that is okay, too. Everyone walks this road in their own way and in their own time, and that is good. You are the only one who knows the best way for you to grieve and process this loss. The one thing I’m absolutely sure of is that God knows all of our babies and has all of them cradled in his loving arms, named or not.

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