Five years ago, when I thought I didn’t even want to have kids I had a baby name reserved in my head.
It was Hannah.
Then one of my best friends got pregnant and she liked the name as well. It got awkward. We tussled over the name on the phone.
“That’s my baby name,” I said to my newly pregnant friend.
I was years away from having a baby and we both ended up having boys. This unusual hostility was over nothing that eventuated, but I’m not alone in my fight over a baby name.
This Glorious Mess talk unique baby names. Post continues after podcast.
Writer Megan Woolsey says her best friend, Jessica*, stole her baby name and then stopped talking to her.
The pair had been friends for 30 years and it suddenly went all wrong.
“We were at the hospital for the birth of each other’s first babies, lovingly gushing over the newest addition to our new three-generation deep friendship,” Woolsey said in an article for Redbook.
But when Jessica was pregnant with her second child and wanted to name her daughter Elsie, there was a big problem. Her best friend had a daughter with the same name.
“My daughter’s name was very special to me,” said Woolsey.
“I had chosen the name for my daughter a long time before I had even conceived her because I had seen it in a special book, and I loved it instantly.”
The mother of three said her “heart sank” at the thought of her close friend choosing her “special name”.
“I thought about it for a month,” she said.
“I went back and forth about whether I should say something or not. I talked it over with my mum and sister, and we decided it would be totally acceptable to send an email to Jessica sharing some of my feelings.”
Although the email was sent in “kind and loving” way, Jessica responded “hatefully”.
“Her anger toward me was palpable. She heard not a word I said. She understood not a single sentiment of my feelings or opinion on the matter,” said the writer.
The friendship has broken down and the pair haven’t spoken for three years. Woolsey says maybe she should have let the name go, but she wanted to communicate her feelings.
“I have lost a friendship and greatly strained a longstanding family connection,” she said.
Thankfully for me my friend was more forgiving. I was insensitive to “bags” a baby name while she was newly pregnant. She was trying to tell me her new baby was the size of a lime and her world was shifting.
All I could think of is that the name Hannah can be written in Kanji. I’m glad we were lucky enough to have two healthy boys and make it through that storm.
* Jessica’s name has been changed.