I am currently at 31 weeks and 3 days into my pregnancy with our 4th child. After 13 weeks of bed rest, we are hoping Baby Girl "_alone" will stay put 6 more weeks, making her grand appearance in late March (due April 16th). We are having an extremely difficult time deciding on a name for this sweet girl due to an unexpected journey to becoming a family.
We lost our first daughter, Finley Grace, in April of 2007 when I was 20 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Then, we lost our second daughter, Caroline Grace, in February of 2008 when I was 24 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Words cannot describe how blessed we felt to successfully welcome our precious boy, Crosby Fox, into this world in December of 2008. What a miracle he is!
I love everything about Crosby, including his name. Crosby is my grandmother's maiden name and Fox is my mother's-in-law maiden name. I thought of it as a boy's name when we were pregnant with Finley. It was the only name I ever really considered using during my 18+ weeks of bed rest with him. Now that we have had the privilege of loving him for 3 years, we love his name more than ever and think it fits him perfectly.
Caroline (my mother is Carolyn) was always my first choice for a daughter, yet, we did not use it with our firstborn. Caught off guard and with little time to process what happened, we used Finley paired with Grace for her name. Finley was a name I liked but didn't care for it with Caroline. We used Grace, not only because of it's meaning, but also because it fit with most names we had considered. While we knew we would name our second daughter Caroline as soon as we learned her gender, we did not decide on Grace as her middle name until she was born and passed away. It seemed fitting to give Caroline the same middle name as her big sister.
Herein lies the dilemma. Maybe I have set the bar to high in naming this baby girl but I want to love her name as much as I do her brother's. I would also like to honor her big sisters in some way if we can find a name we both love. Grace, Gracen, Graycen, and Gracie are beautiful names. I am having a hard time deciding if it is her name. Should I worry it could be hard for her to carry her sisters' name as she grows to understand the circumstances surrounding their short lives? Would she feel hurt if her name did not include them in some way? Just a few of the questions with no sure answers that I have running through my mind to further complicate the situation!
Here are some of the names we have considered:
Jane Claire (Claire is the middle name of my MIL, SIL, and husband's grandmother; would probably be a double name but love it on it's own)
Gracie Jane (probably a double name)
Gracie Blue (not because of Beyonce, but because my son refers to her as "Blueberry")
Lucy Grace (my MIL is Lucy, might be hard having 2 Lucys…)
Layla (family name)
Although it is by no means a must, I like double names and could easily pair Grace with most of the options listed above. I also love Jane and think it could work for a middle name as well. I find myself stuck in a rut with this handful of names and would feel the need to explore more options.
These are names we like but can't use because of close family and friends:
In thinking of a sibling set, I am not totally sure about using another name with an "ie" or "y" sound. I really love the flow of Crosby and Jane Claire but feel bad that it does not "honor" the girls in any way.
We are so torn over Baby Girl "_alone's" name. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated!
This is a difficult issue, and one in which I think it might be a helpful exercise for us to think of the situation from two angles: one in which there are four children in the sibling group, and one in which there are two.
Thinking of the sibling group as having four members, I don't think she would feel hurt that her name didn't include her sisters' names. I think the stickier issue is whether, symbolically-speaking, she might have trouble with the opposite. Your son's name doesn't honor his sisters; if now your daughter's name does, it may convey the feeling that she is a replacement for them, or that her life must compensate for their loss. If they had lived, she would not be named after them, and this seems to me an important point: using them as namesakes emphasizes their deaths. Using The Baby Name Wizard's "Would I want this name myself?" test, I answer no: I would not want to explain that I was named for sisters who died before I was born. I would want to choose a different way to honor them.
However: your first two daughters both have the middle name Grace, and if you were writing asking about that, I would certainly recommend continuing that with a third: I think it's a sweet idea to have sisters or mothers/daughters sharing a middle name. This may give you the honoring/namesake effect you'd like, while including your third daughter in the sibling group with her sisters just as it would have if her two sisters were still alive---and without needing to use her name to memorialize them. And if I imagine being the third daughter, I think I would like sharing that name with them, and perhaps continuing the tradition later on for a daughter of my own.
Thinking now of the group of two siblings, I see that Crosby Fox has two honor names. If you were writing to me and you mentioned only him, I would suggest going a similar route for for his sister---though I would also assure you that many people use honor names for a firstborn and not for later siblings, and so it would be fine not to.
I think Lucy would fit the situation beautifully, if you did want to use an honor name. One of my children has the same name as his grandfather, and it has never caused more than a flicker of momentary confusion: very few people need to refer to both by their first names, and it's rare that the name is used in a context where it could mean either one. Crosby Fox and Lucy Grace: both honor names, and they work well in both the sibling group of two and the sibling group of four.
Claire is another family option on your list. Because Claire Grace is a little choppy (though I don't think it's a deal-breaker), and because you like Cora but can't use it, I suggest Clara. Crosby Fox and Clara Grace. Or there's Clarissa: Crosby Fox and Clarissa Grace. But changing the name does diminish the family-name tie, so these are more "If you like Claire/Cora, maybe you'd like..." suggestions rather than "Use a family name" suggestions.
Or Layla works beautifully just as it is: Crosby Fox and Layla Grace.
Or you could use Jane Claire (which sounds like it's your current favorite, and I love it too) as the first name, and perhaps having Grace as the middle name would alleviate the feeling that it should be an honor name. It seems a little choppy to have three 1-syllable names in a row, but I think other considerations easily trump that one. And now that I think of it, the first name would be two syllables, not one: it would be more as if it were Janeclaire Grace _alone.
Looking at your list, the name Violet comes to mind. Crosby Fox and Violet Grace.
Another is Genevieve, with the nicknames Gigi (from the first/middle initials) or Evie. Crosby Fox and Genevieve Grace.
Lucy and Celia make me think of Cecily. Crosby Fox and Cecily Grace.
Your description of how blessed/privileged you feel to have Crosby made me think of the name Felicity, which means happiness and luck. Crosby Fox and Felicity Grace.
Name update! Danielle writes:
There were so many factors I was trying to weigh before I could confidently decide on a name for our third daughter. It was not until I was admitted and in labor that we finally made our decision!
I am thrilled to announce Jane Claire _alone was born on April 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm. She weighed 7 pounds 2 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. She is absolutely perfect and completely healthy. Crosby Fox is maddly in LOVE with his baby sister! I was amazed that I was able to carry her for 38 whole weeks!! What a blessing! And to make the story even sweeter, we brought her home on her oldest sister's (Finley Grace) birthday!! We literally came full circle. It gives me chill bumps to think of it even today...
I appreciated each and every comment our story received. It was extremely helpful to hear from those who had lost siblings. It gave us new insight as to how our daughter may/may not feel regarding carrying on her sisters' name, "Grace". The comments also helped release any guilt I may have had for deciding not to carry on the name "Grace". I feel confident had we chosen to use the name "Grace", our daughter would know she was in no way seen as a replacement for her sisters. Finley and Caroline are a part of our family that we never want to forget. We talk of them often. Their foot prints are framed on our mantle and their shadow boxes hang on the wall. Our conversations aren't morbid or sad. We just want Crosby and Jane Claire to know about their sisters and how their brief lives impacted so many. Ultimately, we chose to use "Jane Claire" because no other names seemed like "her" name. Every other name we considered just didn't feel right!