We are currently expecting our fourth child. We have two girls and a boy, Kamryn Alexis, Logan Michael and Kensington Bree. This fourth baby is coming as a huge surprise but after the initial shock it is definitely a welcomed surprise. I have a bit of an odd name question and was told it might be a good idea to come here because you have dealt with all kinds of questions. So here we go…..
My naming journey for this baby starts with Kensington (Kensie). When I was pregnant with her, just a year ago, (her and the baby will only be about 16 months apart) I had a really hard time naming her. As most pregnant woman, my hormones had me all kinds of crazy. Since after Kamryn was born we had said if we had another girl we would name her Eliot. It has always been a favorite girl name of ours. Then we had Logan and 2 years after he was born we found out we were expecting a girl. As you could expect we immediately decided she would be Eliot. Finally!! Our Eliot! But then I started to get second thoughts. One day she would be Eliot and the next Kensington and a week later I said we’d call her Finley. It went on and on right up until the day she was born. While I was in labor we just kind of said “Let’s call her Eliot!” So we did. The whole time I was in the hospital with her I just kept looking at her and thinking…this isn’t right. But again, my hormones were all over the place so I just chalked it up to that. We brought her home as Eliot and just 2 days later called my mom crying. I just KNEW we had given her the “wrong name”. Yeah, looking back now I realize how out of my mind I was. But everyone around me, my husband, our parents, our siblings and our friends were incredibly supportive. We almost immediately started calling her Kensington and the name just became her. Our other kids were never confused by it, it just felt right. Then when Eliot was just 2 weeks old we legally changed her name to Kensington. They say hindsight is 20/20 but looking back now I really truly wish we had never changed her name. It sits with me as if we had our chance to use a name we love and we blew it. I blew it. I let my emotions get the best of me and we did the unthinkable….we changed our baby’s name.
Now we are expecting another baby and as we talk names I can’t help but want to use Eliot. I just don’t know if that is allowed. This really is uncharted territory. People don’t usually change their baby’s name so I don’t know what the rule is. I do know I would never EVER change this baby’s name. It was a long process and living with the regret I have today shows me I could never do it again. We really like Eliot Mackenna a lot and love how it sounds with our other kids names. We’ve also thought about using the spelling “Elliette” as well. But again, is that okay to use? Will people think it’s not right or just straight up weird that we used it (again)? Or does this mean we get another chance to use the name we love and didn’t end up using before?
We would love to hear some insight on this. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. We so greatly appreciate it!
Here’s what I think. If you use the name Eliot for this baby, I think some people are going to have a flicker of reaction to that. Some will think it’s weird, some will think it’s amusing, some will think it’s interesting/thought-provoking. But I don’t think anyone will deep-down care very much, so you should certainly go with what you most want to do. As you say, this is not familiar territory for most people; this means most people won’t have any particular opinions about how it “should” be done. My own reaction falls into the camp of finding it interesting and thought-provoking, and to me it seems like getting another chance to use the name you love and didn’t end up using before.
In fact, I think using Eliot for this baby strengthens your decision to change Kensington’s name. It reinforces the idea that there was nothing wrong with the NAME Eliot, except that it didn’t fit THAT baby. That is, THAT baby WASN’T Eliot; THIS baby is Eliot. It makes for a good naming story: We accidentally used your name too early! We thought Kensington was you! But she wasn’t! We realized it right away, and fixed it—whew!
When discussing it with others, that’s the spin I suggest using. I wouldn’t make it into a story about how much you regretted changing Kensington’s name; instead, I’d emphasize the idea that THAT baby wasn’t an Eliot, she was a KENSINGTON, and THIS baby turned out to be Eliot. As much as possible, I’d suggest you laugh it off as something charming rather than something emotionally unstable: Names are HARD for us, ha ha! But it makes a great story, doesn’t it, ha ha! And NOW we have our Eliot, hooray!
I also feel the impulse to reassure you about that earlier decision. The way you describe it, it doesn’t sound at all crazy to me: you weren’t certain about the name before the baby was born, and then you felt the chosen name was the wrong one, so you changed it, and the new name immediately felt right. The part that confuses me is that even though it sounds like it was the right decision, you’re describing it afterward as an unthinkable, crazy, and much-regretted decision. Changing a baby’s name doesn’t seem unthinkable to me at all; it’s unusual, yes, but not awful or shocking. I would go so far as to say that if you decide on Eliot for this baby, and in the hospital it doesn’t seem right, you should allow yourself the option to change your mind again. Or, perhaps the experience with Kensington’s name will help you feel more certain of your choice this time.