There are bloggers just dedicated to baby names. Ever since my first pregnancy, I’ve followed a few because I find the subject of naming a child fascinating. And quite a few have written about how naming a second child (or third, or fourth…) is much harder than naming your first. Maybe because your favourite name is already taken, or because you don’t want two names that sound too similar or that rhyme. But I can guarantee, as hard as it is to name a second child, it is much harder to name a rainbow baby.
Because in addition to all the challenges that come with naming a second baby, naming a rainbow baby comes with an additional psychological weight. How closely do you want your rainbow to be paired with his/her siblings?
If you have a family name, do you pass it on to your next child, so that they have the same given name? Some people have done that, and if having a Junior is something important to your family, there’s no legal reason why you can’t. In many cultures, it is even expected. But if you do, don’t be surprised if you receive some pushback from family or friends who are not in love with the idea.
One option might be to give secret identities that honour your lost child. For example, you could give your children all the same initials. Another even more secret option is to give names with the same meaning. For example, Ayelet, Rasha, Dorcas, Tabitha and Lea are all names that mean gazelle. You would have to be a pretty big name fan to know that your daughter Ayelet was secretly named after her big sister Tabitha.
When I named my children, my favourite name wasn’t even on the table. All my life I loved the name Paige and planned to name my daughter that. Then I married a man with the last name White and threw that name out! Because I planned to raise my children in both our languages, having a name that was pronounceable in both English and French was critical, and Biblical names fit the bill because the Bible has been translated into pretty much every language. So my rainbow Rebecca joined her brothers Nathaniel and Samuel. We later added Alexander, and while not fitting with the Biblical theme, his name is easily translatable.
Are you struggling with ideas for your rainbow’s name? Post your ideas in the comments and your fellow loss moms will help you out!
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