I am now 16 weeks pregnant, due in mId March. My husband and I tried for about 2 years undergoing fertility testing and 3 IUI's. We ultimately had our happy ending when we got pregnant naturally between our 3rd IUI and beginning our first round of IVF.
During the time that we were trying we watched our friends and family conceive naturally and easily and have their babies. Our very close friends got pregnant with twins the year before we finally conceived. They were boys named Ayden and Noah. They have an older child named Chloe that my husband and I watched while they were in the hospital having the twins. We are now the Godparents of Ayden.
Here's the tricky part - my husband and I picked out the names Adin Kennedy (Conant) and Madelin Hope (Conant) YEARS ago...and by that I mean close to 2 years before we started trying. The significance of the boy name is that the village we live in was founded by a man named Adin and my husband loves the Kennedy's. We are not shy about the names we have picked, but don't open up conversations with it. It was heartbreaking for us that one of the twins was named Ayden. However, we are going to plug forward and still use the name.
My question ultimately is: How do we politely deal with using the same name (even though it's different spelling) as our Godson and is it really that big of a deal? They will be a year apart. I find out in a few weeks if it is a boy or a girl, but feel very strongly that it is a boy.
This is a very interesting question: we often discuss here whether a name can be reused in a particular situation, but it's a different matter to discuss how exactly to pull it off in a polite way that eases the situation for everyone---especially when we know there are people who feel that names are one-time-use items, and that any second use of a name constitutes stealing.
In your particular case, it helps considerably that the name is a common one. If both children were to be named, say, Deegan, I suspect there'd be more room for hard feelings. Aiden/Aidan/Ayden/Aaden/Aden/Ayden is, when spellings are combined, significantly more common than the #1 most common name in the United States, and it would be hard to imagine someone feeling as if it were their own unreusable idea.
It further helps that you're choosing a different spelling, and that both the name and the spelling have special significance for you. And it further helps that you've had this name picked out for a long time.
Do you see how I am gathering up reassurances, and yet still nervously skirting the actual practical application of them? It's one thing for me to be certain that it is fine for you to use the name Adin; it is another thing to think of how to encourage your friends to share that certainty.
Because you are close friends, I suspect that the topic of your pregnancy will be a common one. They'll ask how you're feeling, whether you've felt the baby kick, etc. At some point, the discussion will almost certainly turn to baby names. This is when, if I were in your shoes, I would be prepared to let them know. The exact wording will depend on your own speaking style and on the way you usually talk to your friends, but the essence, I think, would be:
Them: "So, have you guys thought about names?"
You guys: "Oh, we chose names back before we even started trying: Madelin Hope for a girl, and Adin Kennedy for a boy."
This is where you look carefully for reactions. Their faces will do one expression when you say Madelin, and there may be a sudden change or flicker when you say Adin. They may be feeling the same heartbreak you felt when they used the name, so what is needed here is SPIN. I suggest filling this moment with propaganda: what a happy surprise it was for you when your dear godson had the name you loved so much; how your love for your godson has only improved your love for the chosen name; how fun you think it will be to have "the Aidans" growing up together. This would also be a good time to discuss how you chose the name Adin, and how you'll be spelling it. The tone throughout should be happy and excited: finally you get to tell them the secret name and the wonderful coincidence, and isn't this FUN!
After that, how things go will depend on their reaction. Some people keep their feelings to themselves and soldier through it with pretend delight. Some people feel the actual delight. Some people speak frankly of a negative reaction. Some people have to process the information before they can react, and may bring it up again later. All this is why I started with the reassurances: I believe you are doing the right thing by using the name you chose. There could nevertheless be consequences to the decision that may be difficult to deal with. We will hope for the best ones: that your friends will be pleased, and/or that they will realize that it is just fine for you to be using the same name. Or that you will have a girl!
Name update! Erin writes:
Here is a picture of Adin Kennedy. Our little man arrived just over 6 weeks early and, added to our journey of infertility, we got to experience NICU. We were on the very lucky end and had a relatively short stay. He is going to be 6 weeks tomorrow and his due date is Wednesday! He is growing like a weed and performing at or above all of the developmental milestones.