I wrote you about 16 months ago for help naming my baby daughter. I can't believe it, but I need your help again! I thought I had the perfect name, and now that I am close to my due date I am so unsure and anxious about the whole thing.
We have a c-section scheduled for April 3rd. This is our third baby, and our first son. We have two daughters, Violet Claire and Jane Mirabelle.
We do plan on having more children. I am Katherine who goes by Kate/Katie to many, and my husband is Andrew. Our last name starts with a "K" ends with an "is" and sounds a lot like Alpaca.
Immediately when we found out we were pregnant, we started calling this baby Thomas (before we even had a confirmed gender). Thomas was not a name I had ever considered in either of my other pregnancies, and wasn't on any of our lists. Neither of us knows where it came from, but it just 'felt' like our baby - so we have been calling him that (to ourselves - we don't disclose names). When it came time to settle on a name, we both realized that we are having a hard time getting away from the name.
I had a very broken childhood home and was raised primarily by my maternal grandparents and my father. My father and grandfather (who is now deceased) were two incredibly good, and important men in my life. My grandfather is no longer living. My grandfather is Walter L (no name, no period - it is just "L" - the rest of his siblings have other parts of the alphabet, seriously) and James Leslie. My husband has a similar childhood situation and is very close to his father, James Andrew.
Family names we would like to use: Walter, Leslie, James
My biggest issue is that we love the name Walter and Thomas equally and they both seem to go so well with our families' names. See!
Andrew, Katherine, Violet, Jane, and Thomas
Andrew, Katherine, Violet, Jane, and Walter
I feel like I will be a bit sad no matter which one I choose!
Names for the baby that we have are trying to choose from (in their current ranking order):
Walter Thomas - If we named him Walter Thomas we would call him only Thomas. My husband and I are both a bit hung up on calling him primarily by his middle name. We have asked friends who grew up going by there middle names, and they all said it didn't bother them. We like the 'sound' of this name the most. Thomas Walter just doesn't work for us.
Walter James -WE BOTH LOVE THIS NAME SO MUCH! It works so well with our family names : Andrew, Katherine, Violet, Jane, and Walter. It also honors all of the important men in our lives. For me, Walter is such a great, rarely used name. But, is Walter too much of an old-man name? Are we the only ones who love it? The other issue with this is that it obviously means we would not use Thomas - which just feels odd to us since it is what we have been using the whole time. I don't know if this is because Thomas is the perfect name for us, or if it is because that is what I have been using and maybe if I had been calling him 'doodlebug' or some other name that I wouldn't be having the same issue right now with calling him something else?
Thomas Leslie - my husband does not like Leslie.
Thomas James I am not crazy about this due to the triple 'S' ending - Thomas James K_____ is. My husband would use it, but isn't crazy about it either. If we can't get past not using Thomas and he is born on my dad's birthday (as currently scheduled) then we might use this one.
Complicating issues for us is that the baby is scheduled to be born via c-section on my father's birthday. This could change, of course. If I use Walter Thomas and he is born on my father's birthday then I am certain I would feel sad not honoring my father, who I adore, in some way. That leaves me with Walter James (no Thomas).
The other minor issue is that Violet is named after my husband's grandmother, and this baby will be named after a family member. However, my younger daughter Jane is named after a character in a book and I worry that this will cause resentment? hurt feelings? feeling left out? I am not sure if this is something I should worry about, or not.
My husband, at this point, is most agreeable because he just wants me to STOP IT and pick ONE. The only one he is not okay with is Thomas Leslie. I am afraid that the day the baby gets here I still won't be any closer to decided on a name, or will wish I had chosen the other name.
Thank you, again, for your help!
It is highly unfortunate that the name James is so close to Jane: otherwise I would say that if the baby is born on your father's birthday as scheduled, he should be named James, end of problem. As it is, we are left with using it as a middle name. Or with using your father's middle name, which is already a significantly smaller honor/namesake---but also his middle name is unfortunately Leslie, which is no longer a boy's name in the U.S., AND is a name your husband doesn't want to use. This is a significant pickle we are in.
Meanwhile, you love both Thomas and Walter. Because you plan to have more children, you could choose one and save the other for a possible future boy. But in this case, my guess is that saving the name Thomas wouldn't work, since it's specific to this pregnancy. To me this is a strong mark in favor of using Thomas and saving Walter. It will be sad to leave the name Walter behind, but there will be sadness either way, and if you save Walter there is the chance of going back for it later.
Let's start by assuming the baby will be born on your dad's birthday. The only name you can use that will honor your father is James. Then let's assume that if either Walter or Thomas must be saved for another child, that only the name Walter is saveable---meaning Thomas must be used now. This gives us Thomas James. I don't mind the repeating S at all, I think because the middle S is actually a Z sound.
This name is not at the top of your list. It seems to me, however, that you don't want to make either of the trades required to change it to something else: you don't want to sacrifice honoring your father, and you don't want to give up the name Thomas (assuming I'm right that it would be weird to try to use Thomas for a boy other than this one). Mathematically-speaking, Thomas James is the name. Violet, Jane, and Thomas.
I don't think you'll be sorry about using Thomas: it's been "his name" from the beginning, and that's a great story. I don't think you'll be sorry about using James: it's your beloved dad's name, and the baby is born on your dad's birthday, and those are both great stories too. I think you might indeed be sorry about giving up either of those names for a name that has no great stories but is just one you prefer or MIGHT prefer.
HOWEVER: if you decide that, for example, "Thomas K___is" is too rhymey for you to want to use it AT ALL (for this baby OR for any future baby), in that case I think you should use Walter James: a name you love, followed by your dad's name.
"Walter Thomas but call him Thomas" doesn't make sense: it fails to honor your father, AND it adds a totally unnecessary "going by the middle name" complication. Going by a middle name makes sense if the first name causes namesake confusion (two people in the same household with the same name) or if it's a disliked name used for reasons such as tradition---but in this case it would be merely to change the sound (not even the rhythm) of the name, and it would have the net result of totally sacrificing a name you LOVE: this child wouldn't be known as Walter AND you wouldn't use Walter for a subsequent son.
You could also use Walter James Thomas K___is: it uses all three of the names you don't want to give up.
I don't think you need to worry about Jane feeling left out or hurt. Or perhaps I should say it this way: I don't think you should sacrifice your desire to honor important family members only for the sake of the off-chance that doing so will cause a potential negative emotion in an already-named child. Jane has a good naming story too, and perhaps a future child will "even things out" by also receiving a non-family name.