Content Warning: Child loss
In some families, there’s a lovely tradition of names being handed down to keep the core memories of the family strong and alive.
But what happens when someone is given the family name and then passes away, questioned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Patient-Ad8524’s daughter received his late grandmother’s name but then was born stillborn.
When his sister later announced she was having a baby girl, the Original Poster (OP) was shocked at what she had decided to name his future niece.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for ruining my sister’s gender reveal?”
The OP and his sister agreed to honor their grandmother through their children’s names.
“I (30 Male) have a sister named ‘Layla’ (28 Female). Both Layla and I are married, I to ‘Pam’ (29 Female) and Layla to ‘Greg’ (30 Male).”
“My sister and I had a grandma who sadly passed away when we were in high school. Since we are both married and both plan on having kids, the topic of names came up, and we both said we wanted to name a child after our grandma, ‘Victoria.'”
“We didn’t really fight about this per se and just agreed whoever had a daughter first could use the name.”
The OP honored the agreement when Pam got pregnant.
“About a year ago Pam got pregnant, which was very exciting. We found out it was a girl and did a gender reveal where we announced we were going to use the name Victoria.”
“My sister was not upset about this and jokingly said something along the lines of, ‘You beat me to the punch.'”
“A few weeks after this, my sister announced that she was pregnant.”
“Sadly, late into the pregnancy, Pam lost the baby and had to deliver her stillborn. My wife had to give birth to her, and it was just too early for the baby to live sadly.”
“Our daughter is buried in a grave that says, ‘Victoria.’ This was incredibly difficult on us and Pam suffered especially bad, both physically and mentally.”
“My family has been there to support us but we have asked Layla to give us some space as seeing her pregnant is a lot for us at this time. While she was upset about this, she understood.”
Layla then made a surprising announcement.
“Recently, my parents threw my sister a gender reveal party similar to the one we had for Pam.”
“My Mom convinced me and Pam to go and we felt we were in a good spot to go.”
“We got to the party and all is great until we get to the gender/name reveal.”
“The way it was going to work was Greg’s family was inside the garage holding a banner that would be pink or blue and say the baby’s name.”
“When the garage opened, my wife and I were shocked to see a banner that said, ‘Welcome baby Victoria [Greg’s last name!]”
The OP immediately confronted his sister.
“I asked my sister what the f**k they were thinking.”
“She said since we weren’t using the name, it was only fair she should get to.”
“My wife started sobbing and I took her to my car, but not before telling my sister she is an evil human being who doesn’t deserve to be a mother.”
“Now my Mom is mad at me because Layla also has a high-risk pregnancy and this was very stressful for her. Most of my family is saying I should apologize for what I said.”
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 thought the OP was inconsiderate and trying to own a name.
“Your wife gave birth to your child, a stillborn, who you named Victoria, and then buried. You lost your child. I am so sorry.”
“Your sister saying ‘I’ll take your dead baby’s name cause you’re not using it’ is vile.”
“F**k her.” – AshlynM2
“Normally, I roll my eyes at the ‘baby name controversy’ posts, but this one is heart-wrenching.”
“There is a little, very fresh tombstone with that name. Your sister is horribly thoughtless and inconsiderate of you, your wife, and your little lost daughter.”
“I hope your parents will have a talk with her and she will change the name.”
“My deepest condolences to you and your wife, OP. Absolutely NTA.” – marvel_nut
“NTA. I am utterly dumbfounded and appalled by your sister’s lack of care. You and your wife had a baby daughter named Victoria. The name ‘Victoria’ is on her grave.”
“Good Lord, you two have suffered enough, I can’t believe your sister would be so cruel as to use the same name, without consulting you, so close in time to your loss.”
“And to have it be revealed like this? I can’t even.”
“Anyone who tells you to get over it? Ask them how they’d feel if for the rest do their life at family gatherings they’d have to hear their deceased daughter’s name be called out. Hear about ‘Victoria’s’ milestones on a close timeline to when your daughter’s would have been.”
“I wouldn’t blame you if you never spoke to your sister again. It’s that bad and heartless.” – majesticgoatsparkles
“NTA, though ‘you don’t deserve to be a mother’ was a bit harsh. Your daughter is named ‘Victoria,’ and sis should realize that she isn’t ‘using an unused name’ but naming her daughter the name of her dead niece.”
“While, technically, she has every right to do that, it’s morbid and sad and it will mean that their daughter will never have a good relationship with you and Pam and any future cousins she may have.” – Constellation-88
“I think the issue lies in how the sister went about telling them they were using the name. They could have given a heads-up like, ‘Hey, if this is a girl, we will still be using grandma’s name. We also want to honor your baby as well. It’s an important name for me.'”
“She didn’t do that and they were caught off-guard. Then she told him he didn’t get to use it… when he actually did. She essentially did not even acknowledge that his baby was a born and living person. His sister sounds like she isn’t very self-aware.”
“I agree his reaction needs to be peddled back. He needs to apologize for that big time. Always control yourself and be the bigger person! What he said was wrong, how he feels about how this news was delivered to him is not wrong.”
“Overall, ESH for even agreeing to something so stupid. Don’t do this, people. Stop discussing your children’s names with people other than your partner before they’re even born.”
“This is NTA, YTA, and ESH all in one.” – Amethyst939
But others thought the sister should have thought of her family’s feelings.
“YTA. You told a woman with a high-risk pregnancy that she doesn’t deserve to be a mother. You just lost a child yourself so you KNOW just how absolutely unacceptable it was to say what you did. I understand your hurt feelings but you owe your sister an apology.”
“The baby isn’t born yet so there is lots of time to discuss this as a family. The fact that none of you chose communication as an option here is troubling but maybe you can get through this.” – RWAdvice
“YTA, because you know your sister is not an evil person. I understand your pain but to do that to your sister over a name.”
“I might change my mind though-did your sister attend the funeral?” – Organic_Pangolin_691
“Soft YTA, because you don’t own the name. Yes, it may be a reminder to you because you used that name for your child, but that in no way allows you the right to stop your sister or anyone else from using the name.”
“You should have told your wife that you and your sister both wanted to use the name and yes, there have been children related who have the same first name. You and your wife’s grief doesn’t mean you get to rule the rest of the world and decide what other people can or can’t do.” – Accomplished-Studio3
“I’m so sorry for your loss, but soft YTA. I agree that what your sister did was insensitive and inconsiderate, and it would have been kind of her to suss out your feelings before naming her baby.”
“I suspect your sister just didn’t think it through. She probably assumed the plan was still in effect and just never really reflected on how things have changed and never really considered your feelings.”
“But the way you yelled at her that she’s “evil” and doesn’t deserve to be a mom is far worse. That’s actively abusive. I know it’s because you’re grieving, but that’s not an excuse to abuse others. You should apologize.” – Volunteer_astronaut
“YTA, you had an agreement with your sister that whoever had a girl first could use the name. He threw a fit at her gender reveal! You stand to see her pregnant or happy, so you ruined it?”
“Perhaps had you been a bigger person, you could have seen your sister and conversed with her, and she would have given you the heads up.” – 77beachbum
“YTA, it seems like you are not sticking to the agreement you had with your sister. Whoever has the first-born girl gets to honor your grandma by naming the child after her. Somehow you turned it into a competitive event (the speedy way you just had such a horrific insult to throw at a high-risk pregnant woman).”
“It seems you and your girlfriend/wife need professional help to help you grieve and overcome your jealousy/weird attitude towards your pregnant sister. In the meantime you owe her an apology: 1) for not being there for her, 2) for overreacting, and 3) for forgetting that the whole point of naming your kids is to honor your grandma.”
“She’s not stealing your late kid’s name, she’s still sticking with your original sentiment. The only thing she maybe did wrong here was not giving you a heads-up.”
“That said, I am sorry for your loss a miscarriage/stillbirth is a really hard thing to go through.” – CapitanShero
While everyone could agree that losing a child would be incredibly painful, the subReddit was more divided about how the OP and his wife had responded to his sister’s gender reveal and baby name news.
Even though it was a family tradition, some found it incredibly insensitive for the sister to still use the family name that had already been given to her late niece. But others felt with the right conversation, the siblings should have been able to work out a compromise to still celebrate their grandmother’s memory while honoring the OP’s baby’s.