Everybody has their own thoughts about parenting even as early as the moment they find out you are pregnant. Are you eating the right foods, are you reading the right books, are you exercising enough but not too much, have you cut out all of your vices, is your house safe enough? There were so many questions and opinions from every direction that when I was pregnant (both times) I decided I needed something I could actually control. A little back story on our journey to parenthood. When my husband and I finally decided to have kids (well, really when I finally decided to as he was ready for a family as soon as we married), we tried and tried to no avail. Turns out that my endometriosis was like a big mean door guy. It was seriously blocking some anxious little dancers admission to the party. I made no secret about my situation to my family and friends. We ended up having to get a little medical assistance to push past the barrier that the endometriosis forms. When I became pregnant, it was not much of a surprise to anyone and more of a relief that something finally worked.
Once I was pregnant, I decided it was imperative that I read absolutely every book ever written about having a safe and healthy pregnancy/birth and how to deal with any situation. In order for me to prepare myself properly, I also needed to know what I was preparing for. That meant that I had to know what I was having. That took away the surprise of waiting until the day the baby was born to know if it was a boy or a girl. I wanted to be extra prepared so we found out the sex as soon as possible. We decided to tell people so they, too, would know what to expect and what to gift (cause you know you want the good stuff). We realized that the only thing we had left that we could keep to ourselves was the name of our little man. Granted, the first was easy to guess since I love and miss my dad, but still, they couldn’t guess his full name, right? With my second, there was absolutely no way they could’ve guessed. And that felt great. It was ours, all ours. Mua-ha-ha!
When it was almost time for my little man to enter the world, he decided he wasn’t ready and flipped on me. That meant he was going to be a breech baby and I wasn’t about to have anyone try to turn him (it sounds awful and crazy painful, so no thanks). A C-section became my birth plan for my first as well as my second just to be safe. As it turns out my pelvis is extremely narrow so a natural birth would probably have not happened anyway even with my second. The surprise when the baby would be born was out the window, too. Now we knew we right when we conceived, we knew what we were having and at exactly what time, so I am very glad we at least were able to keep the name secret.
There are other benefits for keeping the name to yourself. The main one being your sanity. I’m serious.
Here are some reasons why keeping your babies name a secret may save you from some unneeded stress:
- It will keep people from telling you about that Bartholomew they met once who had bad hair and smelled of garlic. No idea where that came from, but you get the drift. Everybody has a story of someone they met with the name you choose (unless, of course you have chosen a very unique name). It’s much easier to avoid those conversations so early in the game by not telling anyone. More than likely, once they meet your little love, they will forget about that association with smelly Bert.
- It will help avoid awkward conversations with family members who’s feelings are hurt because you are not naming the baby after them or someone they feel deserves it more like your great-uncle Theodore who once rescued a kitty from a tree in a thunderstorm while putting out a fire.
- It will give everyone something to look forward to. If your situation is anything like mine, the name was all that my family could speculate on. They could have their own bets and games. You could make it a fun and let whoever guessed or came closest win something meaningful like a tiny footprint in a frame or the first picture with the little one.
- It gives you and your partner something only the two of you share. It’s a great bonding experience when just the two of you know something so special. It’s like you are the only ones in the world that know where the treasure is hidden and you don’t share a dime of it. Selfish? Maybe, but it IS your baby.
I know everyone’s reason for sharing or not sharing the name of their little angel is different. I’m sharing my reasons so that other soon-to-be parents know that whatever they choose is their prerogative and perfect for them. No one else needs to be involved in the decisions you make about names, reveals, decorations or anything of the sort unless you ask them to. Keep your babies safe and healthy, love them always even before you officially meet and everything else will fall into place. I wish you luck on this wonderful journey whatever stage you are on from my little family to yours!