We’ve gotten a lot of questions about our baby’s name lately. We don’t have one picked out yet. It’s partially because my husband and I take a long time to decide on things. It also has to do with the fact that we’re in the process of moving and haven’t had much time to discuss baby names. The truth is, though, it’s much deeper than that.

Necklace with Hannah's children's initials - Hannah's Bump Day Blog, Week 25: Baby Names

Author’s Personal Collection/Hannah Kirk

My husband got attached very quickly to our first two babies during pregnancy.

There was no adjustment needed after our daughter was born, just an instant bond. Our second baby was unplanned, and though I loved the baby from the start, I wasn’t immediately excited about going through pregnancy again. My husband was thrilled from day one, albeit a little caught off guard, as was I. He made a commitment to me and the baby to be more present and supportive than he felt he was the first time around. When that baby died, it crushed him along with the hopes and dreams he held for himself and for our son.

I’ve noticed that he has had a hard time bonding with the baby during my current pregnancy. When I told him I was pregnant, his reaction was very different from the first two times. I could sense the fear, the apprehension, the uncertainty because I was feeling it all too. I wasn’t hurt by his response, I understood. It’s hard to excitedly talk baby names when you’re scared to look too far ahead. The last time we discussed baby names was at the hospital when our first son was born. I remember the nurse asking me if we had any names picked out, and I burst into tears as I told her our top choices for both a boy and a girl (we didn’t know the sex at the time). When we found out later, we gave him a name I had picked out years before – a name I’d dreamed of using for years. It felt just right for our sweet Heaven baby.

I’ll admit, I have made a list of names to consider.

We revisit it every once in a while. I’ll add a couple or take a few off. My husband told me that he doesn’t feel as connected to this baby yet so it’s hard for him to pick a name. I don’t think I’m struggling with connection at this point (though I definitely was at first), but I’m also having a hard time deciding. While in the hospital with our last baby, we changed our choice for a girl name because I thought of one that had so much more meaning than the one we’d picked out before. I think realizing how quickly our minds could change based on the circumstances has made it hard for me to commit to a name this time. I don’t know how long it’ll take. We might even have to wait until he’s in our arms before we can make a definite choice.

Grieving a baby and expecting a baby at the same time is all kinds of complicated.

Nothing comes easy. Every happy moment is touched by sadness. Every excited conversion is tainted with fear. I celebrate the milestones we hit with this pregnancy while grieving the ones I never had with my first son. I can only imagine that giving birth to a living baby after losing a baby is beautiful and complicated in its own way also. It can be hard to think about baby names, decorating a nursery, giving birth, and bringing him home. Sometimes it’s too much to think about it all and it’s easier to stay in the moment. This pregnancy has required me at times to stay present in order to just survive the day. I honestly feel that it’s made be cherish this time more than I did during my first two pregnancies. There’s no race to the finish line. No overzealous planning. It’s just taking it one day at a time. It’s sitting on the couch and watching my belly jump from my baby’s kicks. It’s sweet morning hugs from my daughter as she tells her baby brother good morning. It’s a gentle touch of my belly from my husband as he pushes through his grief to bond with our son. It’s fighting everyday for life, for love, for faith because we’ve decided not to let loss steal any of those things from our family. It’s a battle not fought easily, but one we don’t face alone. It’s a battle I believe we’ll win in the end – no matter what happens.

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