Here, You Can Steal My Baby Name
by Sujeiry Gonzalez
Over 35 and considered “high risk” in my pregnancy, I opted for the Panorama screening, where they check for Down Syndrome via the baby’s chromosomes. This meant I could also discover my baby’s gender early on in my pregnancy. At 12 weeks, my fiancé, Dave, and I sat in our living room with gender envelope in hand. Secretly, I wanted a girl and had already picked out a first and middle name. The night before the reveal I even doodled her name hoping it would influence the outcome. Dave, on the other hand, made it clear that a note in blue ink stating, “It’s a boy!” would make him get up and dance. Not like he needs incentive to salsa the night away…
So, there we were about to find out who would get their wish. “We’ll do it together,” he said, before unsealing the envelope and handing it back to me. I pulled out the sheet of paper and there it was: “It’s a boy!” And there went Dave, salsa dancing on the living room carpet.
I was disappointed.
“We need a name!” I exclaimed to Dave. I knew that naming him would help me connect with him and embrace the idea that, yes, I have a penis growing inside of me.
I performed a Google search and read lists upon lists of baby boy names. After an hour, I selected my top five and discussed the options with Dave. We settled on two names. At about 4:00 a.m., after tossing and turning for hours, I was certain what his name would be, wrote it down on a Post-it and stuck it on the bathroom mirror for Dave to see in the morning.
What is it? I rather not say. I don’t want any of you pregos stealing my baby name, much like what happened with Charlotte in “Sex and the City.” Sure, she wasn’t pregnant when she chose the name, but how dare Lainey steal it before she had a chance to get knocked up?!
It might seem silly, but choosing a baby name that is original enough and that you adore is important to moms-to-be. We guard the name with our lives, fearing a pregnant woman would love it as much as we do – and then steal it! What’s a mom-to-be to do? Call dibs? Shot gun? Nope and nope. You keep your baby name under lock and key, as if it held the secret to world domination.
Oh, it’s that serious. Recently, I went to lunch with Dave and his co-worker and her spouse, who are also expecting. She is having a baby girl and I asked her, “Do you have a name?” She nodded but didn’t reveal it.
“If you don’t mind me asking, what is it?” I pried. I figured she’d tell me, I’m having a boy.
“I rather not.”
“Superstition?” I kept prying. Some Latinos believe you shouldn’t share an unborn baby’s name for fear of the evil eye. Then I remembered she’s Jewish.
“No…I just rather not.” Shut down.
I let it go because I get it. I might tell a friend her baby girl’s name and said friend might take ownership of her baby name. Then it becomes (gasp!) common. But, aren’t all names recycled? While growing up I was the only Sujeiry in class and pretty much everywhere else. Now, there are about a thousand Dominican Sujeiry’s running around New York City. I’m still original. I’m still me. No one can take that away.
So, I’m going to break the cycle: my baby boy’s name is…Evan.
Do with it what you wish.