Wedding Woes

Are you really attached to the name?

Dear Prudence,

My sister has struggled with miscarriages for years. I thought she and her husband were taking a break from trying to conceive. I am currently pregnant with a baby girl. We decided on “Ava” as a name, and I confided this in my mother. She later told my sister, who sent me an email telling me I can’t use that name. It was the name she gave the daughter she miscarried earlier this year. I didn’t know she’d had another miscarriage. My husband suggested we just change the name to “Eva” as a compromise to spare my sister’s feelings and keep the only name we can agree on. But my sister is still upset. She called the name a “sick joke” and told me I was making her relive her loss. I don’t know what to do here. Apologizing seems pointless, and we are not going to change the name again. I don’t want to hurt my sister, but I can’t seem not to.

—Renaming Baby?
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Re: Are you really attached to the name?

  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    LW and her H need to decide on a new name, end of story. 
    banana468charlotte989875sparklepants41
  • I get that you didn't know about the miscarriage when you chose the name Ava, but do you really want to spend the rest of your life with your sister mad at you over this? Of the many, many girls' names in this world, I really find it hard to believe you and your husband can't find another one you both like.
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    charlotte989875short+sassyILoveBeachMusic
  • mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,

    My sister has struggled with miscarriages for years. I thought she and her husband were taking a break from trying to conceive. I am currently pregnant with a baby girl. We decided on “Ava” as a name, and I confided this in my mother. She later told my sister, who sent me an email telling me I can’t use that name. It was the name she gave the daughter she miscarried earlier this year. I didn’t know she’d had another miscarriage. My husband suggested we just change the name to “Eva” as a compromise to spare my sister’s feelings and keep the only name we can agree on. But my sister is still upset. She called the name a “sick joke” and told me I was making her relive her loss. I don’t know what to do here. Apologizing seems pointless, and we are not going to change the name again. I don’t want to hurt my sister, but I can’t seem not to.

    —Renaming Baby?
    The answer here is pretty damn simple.   Pick a new name. 

    Look - your sister didn't tell you that she had a miscarriage and that is information you could not have known unless she told you.

    But now you know.   That was a  person who passed and the person had a name.  You now know the name and you know that it's the same name that you picked.

    So if you want to continue to use this name you know it's going to continue to upset your sister and over what?   

    Apologize that you picked a name that she gave her daughter that passed and pick a new one.   Know that if you don't it's insensitive and will forever rub salt in the wound.   Is that REALLY the battle you want to pick here?  


    downtondivacupcait927charlotte989875short+sassy
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I get that you didn't know about the miscarriage when you chose the name Ava, but do you really want to spend the rest of your life with your sister mad at you over this? Of the many, many girls' names in this world, I really find it hard to believe you and your husband can't find another one you both like.
    This. You're making this more difficult because you feel like you're entitled to the name. And no one will stop you from naming your child what you want to name them.

    But if, as you say, you want to avoid hurting your sister - just find another name. If you pursue this one because of your sense of entitlement, you will continue to hurt her, and you will have done it consciously and actively.
    charlotte989875
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    VarunaTT said:
    So, yeah, I think LW should just pick a new name, but she did.  Eva and Ava are different names.  

    I also think sister needs to get into some therapy to deal with this.  I don't think her initial reaction is out of line, but the sick joke and everything following is not okay to foist upon LW. I feel like this is just a precursor of what LW is going to go through with her pregnancy and her sister's feelings and that's not LW's fault or burden.
    I agree with all of this. 


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  • Pick a new name. Your sister suffered a trauma, even if it is one that affects many many women it’s still devastating. Your sister is grieving. 
  • VarunaTT said:
    So, yeah, I think LW should just pick a new name, but she did.  Eva and Ava are different names.  

    I also think sister needs to get into some therapy to deal with this.  I don't think her initial reaction is out of line, but the sick joke and everything following is not okay to foist upon LW. I feel like this is just a precursor of what LW is going to go through with her pregnancy and her sister's feelings and that's not LW's fault or burden.
    I think a key aspect is whether Eva and Ava are pronounced the same. Most of the time, this kid is going to be addressed aloud in the presence of sister, not have her name written out before her. So if they're pronounced the same, it's effectively the same as hearing her niece called her daughter's name by all their family. So it's a change without a real effect, and I think LW knows that (if true - maybe they are pronounced differently). I feel like they probably made an empty gesture because they still want to call their child the same thing with a long A sound, and is now all "I don't understand why she's still upset." Yeah, you do understand, and are feigning ignorance.

    I agree that the sister should get therapy for how to deal with any jealousy over the mere existence of the child, but I also really don't understand why LW would choose this one to stand their ground.
    Pretty much all of this.   The sister may need to seek a therapist to deal with the loss of her child and the infertility that results.   The stress of that is often compared to that of someone going through cancer.   

    But LW also needs to consider it herself.   There's a big difference here between being entitled to do something and being so daft as to not understand EXACTLY what she's doing here.   
  • I agree that the sister should get therapy for how to deal with any jealousy over the mere existence of the child, but I also really don't understand why LW would choose this one to stand their ground.
    I want to have sympathy, but I just feel like the next letter is from LW not being able to have a baby shower or enjoy her pregnancy in any manner in the presence of her sister b/c that's "making her relive her loss."  We've seen those letters a lot over the years of Prudie discussions.  We've also seen plenty of "we can't agree on a name' letters (and posters) that looked through books. I don't think either story is unlikely at all.

    Sister didn't tell anyone (can't really tell if/when she told her mother).  That's fine and I can see and empathize with why she didn't.  I still think it's unfair of her to ask people to bow to her will after the fact when she kept all of this to herself and they could've never known.  How many names are off the table right now?  How many more demands get to be made on these parents in the name of her sister's grief?  I don't trust this demand and giving in to one, just sets up the next one.
    So I get it, but I’m this case I just come down on the side of the person who is grieving. It’s the same name. Sister is going to be reminded of it everytime she hears her niece’s name. I feel like that’s a pretty reasonable thing to request. 

    I’m generally not a fan of the slippery slope argument; there’s a line and sure if sister was saying no shower, no enjoyment, bow down to every demand then that’s clearly crossing a line that LW doesn’t have to tolerate; but there’s nothing in the letter to suggest that. 

    IMO LW knows it’s wrong, but wants Prudie to validate her refusal. I wouldn’t 
    short+sassy
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I tend to be team LW. Maybe I would have more sympathy for the sister if she'd handled it differently, but the demands and entitlement are a lot. Grieving does not mean you get to set terms on what other people are allowed to do with their own lives. 

    But come on, this is not Katie/Katy. They may be similar, but they are not the same. If she has a miscarriage named Christine, is Catherine off the table? 
    mrsconn23CasadenaVarunaTTlevioosa
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited October 2019
    And THIS is why you NEVER tell ANYONE the name of the baby until it's officially on the Birth Certificate!  REALLY!  Because then everyone's got an opinion instead of after the fact when it's "That was the name I'd given my lost child - it is a beautiful name!"...  But also, the Mom shouldn't have told the Sister the name, so that's where the anger needs to be.  But at the end of the day, it's still the parent's decision whether to have cousins the same name (even though one is deceased)..  I also agree with the PP that the next thing will be LW will be writing to say this individual also objects to her having a baby shower, baby things, baby parties, etc. because of her grief.  (Happened not only on Prudie but on TN and other Mommy Boards as well!)

    Evelyn with the 100% plan to call her Ava/Eva is the way to compromise at this point...  
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  • VarunaTT said:
    I agree that the sister should get therapy for how to deal with any jealousy over the mere existence of the child, but I also really don't understand why LW would choose this one to stand their ground.
    I want to have sympathy, but I just feel like the next letter is from LW not being able to have a baby shower or enjoy her pregnancy in any manner in the presence of her sister b/c that's "making her relive her loss."  We've seen those letters a lot over the years of Prudie discussions.  We've also seen plenty of "we can't agree on a name' letters (and posters) that looked through books. I don't think either story is unlikely at all.

    Sister didn't tell anyone (can't really tell if/when she told her mother).  That's fine and I can see and empathize with why she didn't.  I still think it's unfair of her to ask people to bow to her will after the fact when she kept all of this to herself and they could've never known.  How many names are off the table right now?  How many more demands get to be made on these parents in the name of her sister's grief?  I don't trust this demand and giving in to one, just sets up the next one.
    I agree with this 100%.  I think the sister is being unfair, especially since she didn't even tell LW about the name.  H and I struggled with infertility and I totally understand the trauma of the miscarriages she went through, but I think Varuna is right that this will likely be just the tip of the iceberg. 

    If LW wants to avoid drama, then sure, pick another name (it's what I would do in this situation personally).  But I still think the sister is asking too much. 
    MesmrEweSTARMOON44MobKaz
  • MesmrEwe said:
    And THIS is why you NEVER tell ANYONE the name of the baby until it's officially on the Birth Certificate!  REALLY!  Because then everyone's got an opinion instead of after the fact when it's "That was the name I'd given my lost child - it is a beautiful name!"...  But also, the Mom shouldn't have told the Sister the name, so that's where the anger needs to be.  But at the end of the day, it's still the parent's decision whether to have cousins the same name (even though one is deceased)..  I also agree with the PP that the next thing will be LW will be writing to say this individual also objects to her having a baby shower, baby things, baby parties, etc. because of her grief.  (Happened not only on Prudie but on TN and other Mommy Boards as well!)

    Evelyn with the 100% plan to call her Ava/Eva is the way to compromise at this point...  
    I 100% agree with this too. 
    STARMOON44
  • I tend to be team LW. Maybe I would have more sympathy for the sister if she'd handled it differently, but the demands and entitlement are a lot. Grieving does not mean you get to set terms on what other people are allowed to do with their own lives. 

    But come on, this is not Katie/Katy. They may be similar, but they are not the same. If she has a miscarriage named Christine, is Catherine off the table? 
    I read this as a name that would require anyone writing it down to say, "Do you spell that with an E or an A?" which isn't even CLOSE to Christine or Catherine.   It's more like my childhood friend who spelled her name Alana but it sounded like Elena.

    And IMO if the LW dies on this hill then that is exactly when the sister can "play" the card that all other future baby-related events are too traumatic for her and she can continue to use the LW's insensitivity to the issue as the cause.

    Or the LW can use this distinct opportunity to effect change, have open communication and then be as diplomatic as possible with the sister that ALL the babies get to be celebrated. 
  • short+sassyshort+sassy member
    10000 Comments Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited October 2019
    I usually tend to be on Team "no one gets dibs on/dictates a name".

    But, in this case, I think the LW and her H should pick another name.  Caveat, I've never had a child so maybe I don't understand all the intricacies of picking the "right" name.  But I do always find it confusing when a couple has trouble finding a few names they both like.  There are literally hundreds of girl's (or boy's) names and that's just referring to the more commonly used ones in the Western world.

    To me, Ava and Eva are still really similar names.  I understand the sister's POV, though she's shown hurtful and poor behavior in how she's expressed it.
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  • mrsconn23 said:
    I feel for this LW's sister, but she's currently weaponizing her grief against LW and I can see how LW wants to dig in.  LW didn't even know until her sister e-mailed her, not picked up the phone and called or asked to meet her for lunch, to tell her that she'd miscarried recently and named the child Ava.  Then when LW conceded to not name said child Ava, but wanted something similar, she put blame on LW for her exacerbating her grief.  So at this point, I can see how LW is just done with trying to appease her sister.

    Now as someone with a sister who has struggled with fertility, and I found out recently she had some miscarriages I was not aware of (which I was slightly hurt by just because I wanted to be there for her, but I realize it's her story to tell and not my business unless she wants it to be), I feel like I'd be a lot more sensitive to her. I'd also try to pick up the phone and call or see her in person.  My sister has her bitter moments when other people are pregnant and we (my mom, older sis, and me) give her the safe space to vent.  But we also help reel her in.  
    Totally agree here too.   They're both going through something.    They can help each other if they're open to communicating.
    charlotte989875
  • I'm torn on the sides because I feel for LW's sister, because I can't even imagine but at the same time sister shouldn't have said that. But I get it, emotions come out in different ways.
    LW should change the name, but it's hard to find a name you like and then get your heart set on it ....


    Soo ..... sorry time. My nana (my dad's mum) had lost a little girl a few days after she was born {toxemia - now it's a non-issue, but this is the late 1950's} and never talked about her name. Spoke of her - obv - but never the name.
    My mum got pregnant, and my nana knew if I was a girl I would be technically named after my mum's grandmother - her name was Catherine - and it wasn't until a few months after I was born did my nana tell my mum what her first daughter's name.
    My name is Katie Lynn {middle name after my mum}
    My nana's oldest who passed was Kathy Linda

    That being said, I do feel LW's sister should have mentioned the names - that way LW knows ahead of time. Especially since the timing seems to be so close to the loss ....
  • I think if you can minimize someone’s grief I think you do that, especially if it doesn’t really cost you anything. 

    Should the sister have said the thing about it being a “sick joke”? No. But telling LW this is making her relive the trauma, I think that is fair. Trauma doesn’t give you license to act like an asshole, but it does have real, emotional and physical effects that aren’t always manifested in ways other people like. That’s trauma. 

    I think LW is wrong for flat out refusing to even consider what this would feel like for her sister. 
    banana468cupcait927
  • My oldest is named Eva and I'm SHOCKED at how often she's called Ava.  So not really sold on Eva as a compromise.  Ava has been like a top 3 or top 5 most popular girls name for years, so I'm not surprised they both like it.  

    I'm usually very firmly on team no one owns a name but in this particular case I'd tell LW to back off and not name her daughter Ava.  I'd also advise LW to not share her baby name ideas going forward, now knowing how her sister reacts.  
    MissKittyDangercharlotte989875banana468
  • ei34 said:
    My oldest is named Eva and I'm SHOCKED at how often she's called Ava.  So not really sold on Eva as a compromise.  Ava has been like a top 3 or top 5 most popular girls name for years, so I'm not surprised they both like it.  

    I'm usually very firmly on team no one owns a name but in this particular case I'd tell LW to back off and not name her daughter Ava.  I'd also advise LW to not share her baby name ideas going forward, now knowing how her sister reacts.  
    I had absolutely no idea Ava was such a popular name!  I've never known an Eva/Ava in my life, lol.

    But that's one of the things that is so funny living in a world where I'm not exposed to large groups of children.  I'm not aware of the popular names for "year(s) groups" until those people are old enough to start trickling into my arenas.

    I've always wondered the phenomena of "where" the wave for a popular name comes from.  My own name, Jennifer, was the most popular name for girls from (I think) 1970-1990.  I'm on the early side of that range (1973).  But my mom SWEARS she thought Jennifer was an uncommon...albeit not unheard of...name, when she named me.  Yeeetttt, there ya go.  Something was brewing around.  Something, probably multiple somethings, peeked the name Jennifer in her and my dad's mind and I was bestowed the most popular name for girls that year and from the previous few years.
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  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    ei34 said:
    My oldest is named Eva and I'm SHOCKED at how often she's called Ava.  So not really sold on Eva as a compromise.  Ava has been like a top 3 or top 5 most popular girls name for years, so I'm not surprised they both like it.  

    I'm usually very firmly on team no one owns a name but in this particular case I'd tell LW to back off and not name her daughter Ava.  I'd also advise LW to not share her baby name ideas going forward, now knowing how her sister reacts.  
    I had absolutely no idea Ava was such a popular name!  I've never known an Eva/Ava in my life, lol.

    But that's one of the things that is so funny living in a world where I'm not exposed to large groups of children.  I'm not aware of the popular names for "year(s) groups" until those people are old enough to start trickling into my arenas.

    I've always wondered the phenomena of "where" the wave for a popular name comes from.  My own name, Jennifer, was the most popular name for girls from (I think) 1970-1990.  I'm on the early side of that range (1973).  But my mom SWEARS she thought Jennifer was an uncommon...albeit not unheard of...name, when she named me.  Yeeetttt, there ya go.  Something was brewing around.  Something, probably multiple somethings, peeked the name Jennifer in her and my dad's mind and I was bestowed the most popular name for girls that year and from the previous few years.
    My parents were living abroad (military) when I was born in 1961. They knew no one named Karen. When I graduated from high school, there were at least 5 Karens in a class of 265! The same thing happened when we named DD!
  • Serious/off topic question to those with kids, planning kids, etc - do/did you look at popular names when thinking of names?
  • Serious/off topic question to those with kids, planning kids, etc - do/did you look at popular names when thinking of names?



    We did take some of it into account.   We are a bit old-school when it comes to names we like so we glanced at some of the popular names to attempt to avoid them but wanted names that were traditional.   Now in classes Chiquita may be the only one with her name but there are often variations that sound SO similar.   Soccer games this year were fun.   

    Also, one thought we had was "how will this sound when this kid is older?"  
    MissKittyDangerMesmrEwecharlotte989875
  • banana468 said:
    Serious/off topic question to those with kids, planning kids, etc - do/did you look at popular names when thinking of names?
    We did take some of it into account.   We are a bit old-school when it comes to names we like so we glanced at some of the popular names to attempt to avoid them but wanted names that were traditional.   Now in classes Chiquita may be the only one with her name but there are often variations that sound SO similar.   Soccer games this year were fun.   

    Also, one thought we had was "how will this sound when this kid is older?"  
    The aged part is definitely important. My parents went through nicknames {rude and cute ones}
    BabyKitten's name is pretty old school also - a few on the list ended up being pretty high on the popular name list, so those got crossed out.
    Tbh my current worry is that people will think she's French because it's a popular French name {spelled differently} and it's not that French is bad, just people assume and since we're a bilingual city, it's just complicated
    MesmrEwe
  • banana468 said:
    Serious/off topic question to those with kids, planning kids, etc - do/did you look at popular names when thinking of names?



    We did take some of it into account.   We are a bit old-school when it comes to names we like so we glanced at some of the popular names to attempt to avoid them but wanted names that were traditional.   Now in classes Chiquita may be the only one with her name but there are often variations that sound SO similar.   Soccer games this year were fun.   

    Also, one thought we had was "how will this sound when this kid is older?"  
    We're definitely aware of the more popular names both from the actual social security name lists and anecdotally just people we know.  If we really like a name I don't think popularity would stop us from using it, but if it came down to a few that were equal, I think we'd lean toward the less common ones.  

    Ava, for example, has been in the top 5 girl names in the US for at least a few years, so we know it's super popular - but we actually don't know anyone named Ava at all. I'd be more apt to use a super popular name if we don't already know a million people with the name. 
    MissKittyDangerei34
  • The other thing we opted to do was not go with something that was popular because it trended due to something we weren't fans of.   Twilight came out and now Chiquita's grade has plenty of Cullens, Isabellas and Jacobs.   Sorry - not into it.

    We also giggled when friends named their daughter Abbie and not Abigail because they were going to call her Abbie.   We laughed and thought, "But you know you can give her a name and call her something else, right? That's how you two are called!"  


    MissKittyDangerCasadenaei34
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