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'AITA for telling my SIL I won't change my 4 month old daughter's name for her?'

'AITA for telling my SIL I won't change my 4 month old daughter's name for her?'


"AITA for telling my SIL I won't change my 4 month old daughter's name for her?"


I gave birth to my daughter, Ember, 4 months ago. My husband and I both loved her name and that's how it was chosen. We announced the day she was born and nobody said anything negative or gave a reason for us not to use it then.

I say this because three days ago my SIL, who is married to my brother, sat me down and asked me to change the name because it's the name of the baby daughter she lost with her ex-husband 7 years ago.

She told me she tried to keep it quiet but she couldn't let me keep calling my daughter Ember because it's such a painful reminder for her. She told me she really feels like we should change her name.

I gently told SIL that my daughter was 4 months old and her name is on the birth certificate and it would cost us to change it, so we will not. She told me she tried so hard not to say anything and the fact she did eventually break and bring this up should show how hard this is for her and make me more willing to change the name for her sake.

I told my husband about it afterward and he felt the same way I did. He told me it seemed like a weak excuse to wait four, almost five months, to tell us, when she had the chance long before this.

My brother found out about the conversation with his wife and he reached out and told me she mentioned it to him two months ago and that she was battling with asking us to change the name since, but he understands why I said no and supports the decision.

Yesterday, she reached out to me again and asked me if we had decided on a new name yet and I told her my answer is still no and she asked why and I told her she waited four months to tell us.

She became very angry very quickly and told me if she had lost my niece, my response would be different and I should see this as her losing my niece because she would have been if she were alive.

She also told me my daughter is going to grow up always hearing about the cousin I gave her the same name as and that I should reconsider before burdening my daughter with that. She told me that is what a good person with good morals would do.

I should also mention; I knew she had suffered a pregnancy loss but it was implied she had a miscarriage far earlier and not a stillborn child. I never knew the name or sex. And I never ever heard her use a name for her daughter. AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response the OP's post:


Everyone grieves differently, and at their own rate. However. 7 years definitely warrants therapy, counseling, and the coping mechanisms. I find it extremely difficult to believe that in 7 years your SIL has never met anyone, or even a pet, named Ember. Or has she, and she insists that person change the name also? NTA.

The OP responded here:


I have no idea if she has or hasn't. I guess the difference could be my daughter being in her life and hearing us all use the name.


The fact that she's threatening to burden your child with the knowledge of her loss for the rest of their life warrants low contact at minimum. She should never be unsupervised with your daughter. You need to nip this in the bud. Otherwise she will guilt your daughter for her name her whole life.


Okay. Look. You are NTA for keeping your child's name. Sil needs therapy. One who is an expert in child loss. You're mad at her for not telling you sooner but would that have even changed anything? I bet the answer is no.

You're husband is wrong saying it's a weak excuse to have waited to say anything when infact it shows she was trying to come to terms with it. Have empathy for her. She lost a child. You may one day be in her shoes.

I hope you never are but well it happens. So look stop blaming her. She shouldn't keep pestering you. But she did seemingly try to be to get over it. And until you lose a child you'll never know or understand her pain. How about compromise can she call the child a nickname?

You are NTA for not changing her name. She isn't one for having some rough feelings regarding this either. Though the pestering of you changing it leans her toward AH territory. Again you aren't an AH. You picked them name that you love. You didn't do it to be malicious as you didn't know.

The OP again responded:


If I had known right away I would have been willing to pick a different name. Before it was on the birth certificate. But I am not willing to change it after four months.


NTA. It's funny how she says that your daughter will grow up hearing about her cousin Ember, bla bla bla, when IN THE YEARS YOU HAVE KNOWN HER, you never even heard her child's name. Although not clear but it sounds like your brother, her husband, didn't even know about the name.

As someone who has had several miscarriages and has a friend who had a stillborn: i dont speak to any children (mine, nieces, nephews etc) about their cousin/sibling who passed away before the baby was able to be born. Did I have to tell them that the baby didn't make it? Yes, cause they knew i was pregnant.

I dont bring up my lost children. My baby nephew will be born next month. Do you think I'll be telling him about how i had lost babies who were his cousins? Nope. My friend only speaks of her stillborn son to the babys twin sister who survived and close friends and her parents.

She is going to make sure to make you, your husband, and your child uncomfortable by always bringing up her lost baby and the name. You told her you were not changing the name, yet she calls you and asks about names? She sounds delusional. Your brother needs to put his foot down and demand she get some professional help.

I've seen how this plays out. The woman who lost the child becomes triggered and then starts seeing someone else's baby as the one they lost, or they start displaying anger at the mom and the baby. I would not be anywhere near her until she seeks help. DONT LET ANYONE MAKE YOU FEEL GUILTY.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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