Family naming predicament

I need a little advice and opinions on the best way to handle this situation. My cousin and his wife are expecting their first baby right at a month after my husband and I are expecting ours. She and I are good friends and have known and gotten along for years (so not already starting out on bad terms).

Well, the other day I decided to go ahead and email her (cousin’s wife) and share some of our top favorite names just so we don’t end up with the same ones on our list. And especially since DH and I aren’t finding out the sex and aren’t planning on OFFICIALLY deciding on a name until we meet the baby at the hospital (so we will go with a list of our favorites).

In the email I asked her to keep our names on the DL since we wanted them to be a surprise to our family and friends, but i went ahead and told her what were and have been our favorites. For a girl, ours is [name]Willa[/name] [name]Josephine[/name].

Well, she emails back and tells me that she and my cousin were also planning on using [name]Willa[/name] [name]Rae[/name] for their girl. She kept saying how shocked she was (as was I), but she said that since we are due first and technically told our name first, we could have it. [name]Just[/name] to let her know if we change our mind.

(Almost done, I promise). So, for one, I feel a little guilty if we were to use the name. Should I? Is it rude for me to go ahead and use it?

And second of all, I’m so worried that if we don’t have a girl, we’ll lose the name. [name]Do[/name] you think that if I don’t it frees them up to use it, even though we would certainly still use it on future baby girl?

It is all awkward, and she is being SO sweet about it but I don’t want to handle it wrong and one of us have bitter feelings about it in the long run.

Any advice?

Thanks in advance!

If you do end up having a girl and [name]Willa[/name] really is your first choice, you should go ahead and use it and not feel bad. (After all, if you don’t, she will, and you’d feel like you missed your opportunity.) If, however, you have a boy or you have a girl and use a different name, then the name is definitely theirs to take. But, you shouldn’t be upset about that either. It’s all too uncertain - you may never have a daughter, or by the time you have one, you may no longer like the name [name]Willa[/name] (or you may just love another name more). I understand that you want to avoid the disappointment of having a daughter in a couple of years and being unable to give her your first choice name. But, think about it this way: you are pregnant now; what if you knew right now that you were having a daughter and there was already another [name]Willa[/name] in your family. The fact of that other [name]Willa[/name] would eliminate [name]Willa[/name] as the first choice name and another name would take its place. That’s the way it might be if and when you have a daughter someday (assuming you’re not having one now). That’s also the way your cousin’s wife is thinking about the naming of her own child; if she has a girl and at the time the baby is born, you’ve already had a girl named [name]Willa[/name], then there will already be a [name]Willa[/name] in the family and she’ll choose something else. I believe that babies should be named as they come; I am not a believer in “reserving” names because I think all it does is create unneccessary problems. [name]Imagine[/name] how you’d feel if you have a little boy, tell your cousin not to use the name [name]Willa[/name], she has a little girl and names her something else out of deference to you but you know she’s disappointed, then two years from now you have a daughter and don’t even want to name her [name]Willa[/name] any more, but feel like you have to. The universe of names is vast; as awful as it may seem to have any single name off limits, there is always another one out there. And the right name for any baby is generally not going to be one that comes with any sort of baggage.

Well, firstly I think it’s lovely how generous your cousins wife is and how well the two of you are handling this. So many times these situations can turn nasty.

I think you should use [name]Willa[/name] if it feels like the “one” for you, especially as she has given you her ‘blessing’ so to speak. It wouldn’t be rude because you have both already discussed it and you know that she is fine with it.

However, if you have a boy, I think your cousin will/should use [name]Willa[/name] if she has a girl (and wants to use it). [name]Just[/name] the fact that she asked you to let her know if you changed your mind shows how attached she is to the name as well, and while she seems happy for you to use the name, how would she feel if she couldn’t use [name]Willa[/name] even though it wasn’t being used just on the chance that you may have a daughter in the future? It’s one thing to let someone have a name if they are expecting a baby; it’s another thing entirely to give up a name because someone is saving it for a possible (but not definite) future date.

Well, you did state your name first, and your baby is due first, so if you still love [name]Willa[/name] [name]Josephine[/name] (great name!) when your daughter arrives, I think you should use it. You didn’t know that your family members were considering the same name, so you aren’t to blame here. If she was really hurt about it - and dead-set on using [name]Willa[/name] - I believe she might not have acted so sweet and told you to use it. I know if my sister or sister-in-law had chosen the same name I love (by accident, albeit), we’d probably have to both choose new names or work out some sort of agreement. But, maybe I’m just not that nice… :wink:

Anyway, wait until it gets a little closer, see what is going on with their naming situation, and ultimately decide which name you love for your daughter - independent of this situation. You don’t want any regrets!

If you have a baby girl, I don’t think you should feel guilty about using [name]Willa[/name]. However, if you choose a different name or have a boy, I feel that your cousin also shouldn’t feel guilty using [name]Willa[/name] when their baby is born.

Any way you look at it, you have dibs on the name [name]Willa[/name] for this baby, fair & square. [name]Don[/name]'t feel guilty about that. Technically, whoever has their baby first is free to name her [name]Willa[/name]. Not only are you having your baby first, you also stated your preference first for the name. You are doubly qualified to use it. It was a courtesy to mention it to your cousin’s wife ahead of time, since she now has the rest of her pregancy to consider other girl names. Since one (or both) of you might not even have a daughter, whoever has the FIRST daughter should feel free to use it. Maybe you can clarify that fact to your cousin’s wife. It will be fate that decides.

I agree with this. [name]Both[/name] of you are handeling this very well. Good luck.

[name]Even[/name] if you have a boy and your cousin ends up naming her baby [name]Willa[/name], you will still get to “use” it all the time–whenever you see or talk about your cousin’s daughter!

I agree with the consensus. [name]Both[/name] of you seem to be very understanding people. I think if you have a girl, you should use it, and if you don’t, she should be free to use it.

It seems from the way your post is worded that your cousin’s wife already knows she is having a girl, is that right? And she’s due one month after you? On the off chance that you are overdue and she goes into labor early and has her baby before you, would you let her use the name?

Thanks everyone. I definitely am hearing exactly what I was expecting (and hoping) to hear. I certainly plan on releasing the name for her to use if we do have a boy or decide to use another name; it’s just hard to release a name you love so much (for this or future baby girls).

But, who knows? My hormones could do some crazy things over the next 28 weeks and [name]Willa[/name] might sound terrible (or she could fall in love with another name and neither of us will use it). Neither of us are very far along so there’s lots of time.

Someone asked if they know what they are having, and the answer is that they do not (and I’m not sure if they will). She is only about 8 weeks along (I’m about 12.5).

I really do appreciate her being so flexible and I want to be flexible as well. And I think too the reason this all came as such a shock is that she had always said there was another name that she wanted to use for her first girl that had meaning to them and their marriage, so the fact that they had landed on something else was a complete shock.

Anyways, thanks again. I’ve talked to my mom and others about it, and it’s just nice to hear it from others.

I’m confident it will all work out with no hard feelings.