Content Warning: Child loss
Especially recently, parents seem to have this unique protectiveness of baby names, demanding that the people around them not use the same name or anything similar to it after they’ve used it for their child.
While this might seem overbearing, there arguably are some situations when it might be best to choose a different name, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor ThrowRAsadandalone1 and her husband had recently lost their baby right after she was born, and only three months later, they were still grieving.
Shortly thereafter, her sister-in-law not only announced she was pregnant, but she demanded that the Original Poster (OP) “get over” her grief and stole her late baby’s name for her own.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to go to my SIL’s baby shower after she refused to support me when I had a stillbirth and stole my daughter’s name?”
The OP and her husband recently went through a terrible tragedy.
“Three months ago, I (28 Female) gave birth to my angel baby, whom I was going to name Siobhan.”
“My husband, Dylan (30 Male), and I are still grieving her loss. We lost her due to preterm premature rupture of membranes, and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her.”
“My mother is Irish and I was going to name my baby after my great auntie. We were so happy, and now we are devastated.”
“My family rallied around us and so did Dylan’s parents, but his sister was a different story. She has been helping Dylan, but has told me I need to ‘get over it,’ ‘it’ being the loss of our daughter.”
The OP’s sister-in-law (SIL) continued to be inconsiderate of her feelings.
“My Husband’s sister, Claire (34 Female), just announced her pregnancy at 20 weeks and had her gender reveal on Instagram.”
“I’m happy for her, but sad at the same time because I never got to meet my daughter.”
“She announced she was going to have a baby shower and sent out invitations last week. When we received the invitation, it said, ‘Help us welcome our baby, Siobhan!'”
“I can admit I cried looking at the invitation. Claire and my husband’s family have no connection to Ireland or the name Siobhan.”
“When my husband asked her why she chose the name, Claire said it sounded pretty and because we weren’t able to use it she was going to take it first, and to clarify, no, she is not naming her baby after my daughter.”
The OP felt unable to show support for her SIL, who took offense to the news.
“As much as I want to feel happy for Claire, I just can’t. It feels like she’s rubbing the fact that my baby is dead in my face.”
“I RSVPd no to the invite. She called me on my private number and chewed me out for ‘being a sour b***h’ and ‘not being happy for her’ and being ‘jealous over nothing.'”
“I feel like I should be happy for her but I just can’t. I just want my baby girl, my Siobhan.”
“I have her footprints framed in my room and her ashes in a tiny urn. It didn’t hit me hard until we went shopping for urns and caskets. They’re so small.”
“Dylan chose Siobhan’s name from a list of family names I offered. He’s a wreck. Her name means ‘gracious gift,’ and she was going to be our first child after infertility and several miscarriages. She was going to be my rainbow baby and now she’s my angel.”
“My MIL (Mother-in-Law) called me after the invites went out. They’re still going to go but she said she will try to convince Claire to change her baby’s name. She’s very upset and my FIL (Father-in-Law) said he is disappointed in Claire.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were appalled by the sister-in-law’s behavior.
“A dear family friend’s daughter gave birth to a beautiful daughter who was at rest. She was 100% perfect looking, she was one week from her scheduled c-section, and she was kicking and active the day before. It makes no sense from the outside.”
“My heart broke for her and her husband (there’s been an autopsy but I haven’t asked about the result, of course). I can’t even imagine one of her sisters or a SIL naming their baby the same name!”
“Nowadays, you can get a birth certificate and death certificate for a baby born at rest so it’s not even a hypothetical name. It’s her legit name. OP’s SIL is an absolutely horrible excuse for a human being, never mind a relative! I’d never wish child loss on someone but if SIL had any inkling of how it feels, I’d like to believe she’d behave differently. I’m so sorry for OP’s profound loss.” – geckotatgirl
“I am so so sorry for your loss. Something that you wrote stands out to me: ‘She picked it first because you didn’t get to use it.’ But you did use it. You have. You are the mother to a baby and that baby girl is called Siobhan.”
“Tragically, Siobhan died. That is heartbreaking and again I am so sorry for your loss. But you are a mother. Mother to Siobhan. Siobhan IS your daughter. You ‘were’ not going to name her, you did.”
“Your SIL is incredibly cruel. I have no words. But please don’t feel like your Siobhan hasn’t got a name. She has. And you are her mother. I am so so sorry you can’t hold her or hug her, but I do hope in the future you can write, ‘I have a daughter who tragically died. Her name IS Siobhan.'” – Pergamon_
“NTA. I am horrified. Your sister-in-law is cruel for telling you to get over it and downright nasty for proceeding to name her child after the one you lost. Are your husband’s parents condoning this and her treatment of you? I am not usually one to recommend going ‘no contact’ with your in-laws but I think this situation more than merits it.”
“I am so, so sorry for your loss. Your baby is and always will be Siobhan. It’s a beautiful name for an angel.” – s**tshowrodeo
“You have used the name, you have a daughter named Siobhan who you could not hold very long in your physical arms, but she will forever be your daughter. Your daughter is named Siobhan. You used the name first, you are still using her name and she will forever be Siobhan.”
“I am so sorry you did not get to have her with you much, but for the time you carried her lovingly. Your SIL is insane and she can say whatever she wants but she will be naming her own daughter with her cousin’s name, who did not survive just a few months before… there is no way around it.”
“Your husband and you have a daughter named Siobhan, she is just not here anymore. I hope your husband can find in his heart to not despise his sister forever and just passive-aggressive tell her every time that he is glad your daughter’s name is spoken up forever in remembrance when the little cousin is called on.”
“I hope you can tell your SIL that she is honoring Siobhan’s life for doing this. I bet your SIL will be mad as h**l. I hope your in-laws are backing you up. May you keep peace in your heart for your daughter forever. (I hate your SIL.)” – thefrenchphanie
“This is so disgusting and vile. I wouldn’t even do this to my worst enemy let alone my brother’s wife!! Even if she dislikes you, does she connect the dots that it was her BROTHER’S baby too?”
“I’m enraged for you. Honestly, I feel like you should post the invitation side by side with a memorial photo of your angel baby or hospital bill and tell the truth about what SIL did. That the name is Irish, you named your baby after your family and your baby passed away, and then SIL decided to use the same name (with no prior connection to the name or Ireland) and told you to get over it and called you a ‘sour b***h’ less than three months after your baby died.”
“Yes, you don’t own the name but the pain of seeing/hearing a baby called that within your own family is devastating. And then let karma do its thing. I’m sure your family and friends will have your back and rightfully put SIL in her place and hopefully the backlash will make her choose another name.”
“NTA if I were your husband I would immediately cut my sister out of my life. No questions, no conversation about it.” – Specialist_Point1980
Others agreed and suggested “killing” the sister-in-law with kindness.
“NTA. Here’s how I’d address this:”
“Send out an email to the ENTIRE family about how touched you are that your SIL chose to honor you by naming her daughter after her late cousin. Make it sound positive as f**k. Talk about how much joy you feel knowing your child meant SO MUCH to your SIL that she would name her baby after your daughter.”
“Talk about how knowing your niece will carry your daughter’s name with her, for her entire life, makes you and your husband feel so touched by the obvious love SIL and her husband have for you and your daughter.”
“And then just stick with this narrative, no matter what. You meet a friend of SIL? Tell them how much you love that SIL named her child after your daughter. Mention it to every person who stands still long enough to hear it.”
“Yes, it may be painful to do… but own your daughter’s name. And make sure everyone knows it was your daughter’s name in a way that SIL cannot complain about without looking like a total b***h. And it will absolutely p**s SIL the f**k off.” – HappyTrifler
“In addition send every single person at the Baby shower a candle and give sis-in-law one which is personalized with the name Siobhan on it.”
“Ask everyone to hold a minute’s silence and solemnly light the candle and say how you think it will be lovely to be able to honor your daughter through Siobhan Number Two.”
“Bring out a second set of baby shower cupcakes with shamrocks.”
“Say that every time that Siobhan number two reaches a milestone, you can light the candles and honor your daughter through her, too.”
“The thought of her own daughter having to have a minute of silence at every birthday might push her over the edge.”
“(And the objective here is NOT to literally do this forever and punish your SIL’s kid, but to irk your SIL out so bad now, that she changes the name she’ll use.)” – practicallyperfectuk
“Get ahead of her. She either has to go with it so she doesn’t look terrible or she’ll quickly change the name and she’ll probably try to do it quietly since she won’t want to look bad for no longer ‘honoring’ her niece.” – Silaquix
“Ummm… Someone else posted about being ‘so honored’ that the baby was being named in remembrance of your baby, and I am in love with this idea, and honestly, you might only have to gush over this a couple of times because it could very well ruin the idea of her using the name.”
“Babies that passed away are special and have a huge impact on us. The only way anyone should use her name is if it’s to honor her and with your permission.”
“Sounds like your little angel has found a way to point out a dangerous cruel person in your life so you can keep her politely at arm’s length. Girl, she will NEVER be your friend. Remember this. And thank baby angel Siobhan for showing you the light.”
“Hang in there. Happiness is coming your way.” – EyeRollingNow
The subReddit was disgusted by the sister-in-law’s behavior and selfishness, not only at using a name that she had no familial ties to but for being so disrespectful and hateful toward her own brother’s and sister-in-law’s grief.
Hopefully, ‘killing’ Claire with kindness would be enough to change her mind, but if not, it seemed the last Redditor was right: all of this simply exposed Claire for who she really was, in part a person that the OP didn’t need in her life.