Pregnant woman asks what to do after accidentally giving daughter same name as friend’s stillborn baby

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A pregnant woman has asked whether she is wrong not to change the name of her unborn child’s name after finding out that it was the same name her friend had planned to name her stillborn daughter.

The woman, 26, who goes by the username u/BabyNameThrowaway931, posed the question on the Reddit subreddit AITA [Am I the A**hole], where she revealed that she and her husband had already decided on the names they were going to choose for their unborn child when they learned they were expecting.

“My husband and I had already decided on what to name our baby depending on the gender, and upon finding out that she was going to be a girl, we announced that we would name her Adelaide. I first heard of this name when I was a kid and thought it was beautiful, and decided that if I ever had a daughter, I would name her Adelaide,” the woman explained.

However, according to the Reddit user, when she and her husband announced the name of their unborn daughter, her close friend, who had suffered a stillbirth two years earlier, started to become distant.

In the post, she explained that she tried to be “sensitive” to her friend, as she knew it was likely difficult for her friend to know she was pregnant with a daughter.

“I can’t even begin to imagine how heartbreaking this must have been for her and I made sure I supported her through this devastating loss,” she wrote.

According to the woman, she learned the real issue when her friend recently approached her and her husband to suggest they pick a different name for their daughter.

“​​She kept on trying to convince us, suggesting different names, or saying that Adelaide was too old-fashioned or that it wouldn’t suit our child,” she wrote, adding: “We kept on denying to change her name until, eventually, my friend started crying and revealed that Adelaide was the name she’d chosen for her stillborn baby.”

In the post, the woman then explained that she’d never known the name was the one also chosen by her friend, as her friend had always kept the name she’d picked a secret.

“When she was pregnant, she refused to tell anyone her baby’s name, as she wanted it to be a surprise for when she was born,” she explained. The woman said her friend also decided to keep the name to herself after the stillbirth, “because it was personal to her and we understood”.

“Until recently, no one knew what her baby was going to be called,” she continued.

According to the woman, her friend has since accused her and her husband of “disrespecting the memory of her baby” by using the same name despite her requests that they change the name.

In the post, the pregnant woman said she completely understands her friend’s grief, but at the same time does not want to change the name she and her husband picked out for their daughter.

“I completely understand her grief, but I believe I should have the right to name my child without being burdened by someone else’s trauma. AITA?” she wrote.

The post, which has since been upvoted more than 1,600 times, has sparked a debate in the comments, with some agreeing that the woman shouldn’t have to change the name she and her partner have chosen, while others have suggested it would be the considerate thing to do.

“Is this like a really close friend? If it’s a close friend I would try to find a solution but if it’s just someone you know and don’t talk to daily with, I would just go with the name you chose. She doesn’t own it and you and your husband have loved it for a while now,” one person commented.

Another said: “I would keep her name. I think it would be different had your friend told you their baby’s name and then you decided to use it. They did not reveal her name until you had shared your name. So you are not taking it, or copying, you just have the same taste in names. It is their right and choice to keep the name private, but they cannot expect nobody else to name their child the same thing as theirs.

“I guess the issue is how close are the friends? If they will be around your daughter and your fam often and hear the name they might be triggered, but again it is on them to set boundaries and expectations so that is not something you have to worry about. This is all just my opinion of course. Take it with a grain of salt.”

Someone else agreed, and suggested that the friend shouldn’t have shared that she also planned to use the name, because it put the OP in an “very uncomfortable situation”.

Another user revealed that they’d also suffered a stillbirth, and that speaking from experience, they think that OP should pick a different name if they want to spare their friend’s feelings.

“Stillbirth mom here and yes, nobody ‘owns’ a name. But if you are considering her feelings and are somewhat close, I’d pick a different name to spare your friend watching someone she sees as a friend raise her alive Adelaide every day while she has to live every day without hers. The loss of a name is a small sacrifice comparatively,” they wrote.

Others suggested alternatives that are still similar to the chosen name. “What about Adeline? It’s similar, and still sweet,” one person wrote.