Naming a Miscarried Baby?

As you’ve probably heard by now, Michelle Duggar — subject of a previous naming post — has had a miscarriage. Our condolences go to the family.

In interviews, Duggar has said the family plans to give the baby a name. They don’t know if it was a girl or a boy, so I guess that will make naming a little harder. (The baby was at 19 weeks when she miscarried.)

This brings up the question — would you name a child who didn’t come to term? For some parents, it’s too heartbreaking altogether. For others, it’s a way to make peace with what’s happened.

What do you think? Would you give a miscarried baby a name? What’s your reasoning? Have you actually experienced the situation?

Update: The Duggars found out the child was a girl, and named her Jubilee Shalom.

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  1. by Ayisha

    On December 12, 2011 at 10:07 am

    My husband and I had baby names picked out when we got married. We had difficulty conceiving, and we were overjoyed when I finally got pregnant! Unfortunately, I miscarried right after the three month mark, and we found out through chromosomal testing that it was going to be a boy. Our boy name was immediately associated with that baby. When we adopted our son, we chose a whole new name because we didn’t want to burden him with the baby that was.

  2. by Nadia

    On December 13, 2011 at 12:10 am

    We went through a miscarriage at 9 weeks. Even though I had felt strongly during the pregnancy that our baby was a girl, we selected a unisex name for him or her.

    It felt like we had allowed our child an identity & ourselves a more intimate way to grieve rather than moving on from a “failed pregnancy” so to speak.

    In some ways it is harder, viewing the loss as “an unborn baby that has died.” To acknowledge & feel the full spectrum of emotion associated with that grief for me though, wasnt a choice. I connected with my baby, desperately wanted her & for me, even though it was a first trimester loss, I definitely felt that my second child, had died.

    I know other friends have chosen to view their miscarriage as “a baby that didnt happen” and move on without naming their child. If that works for them, than they have made the right choice. It is a deeply personal and difficult experience that Im sure everyone copes with in their own way.

    Certainly, one should not judge or aim to affect another couples choices in how they deal with such a loss. To name or not to name, is quite a big decision.

  3. by Niki

    On December 13, 2011 at 6:24 am

    We called our baby “bluebaby” for most of my pregnancy, because I told my nephew he/she was the size of a blueberry and that is what he said in response. So we still refer to him/her as Bluebaby. My best friend got me an angel necklace that is stamped with a heart on the front and the date we lost Bluebaby on the back. We also got a Christmas ornament that is a blue angel and says “baby’s 1st Christmas.” our baby may not be celebrating here on earth, but we’re firm believers that he/she is still celebrating in heaven.

  4. by Susan

    On December 13, 2011 at 8:44 am

    i lost twin girls a few yrs back and i gave them each a full name, i even have christmas ornaments with their names along with my son and my newborn daughter, same with stockings and each of the 4 children have their own lil keep sakes in a lil personal box (the twins share a box as everything is “shared”) we even held a small funeral for them and bought a bunny and a blanket for them to buried in as they were to small to have clothes and bought a second bunny and blanket and is put away as keepsakes and will not use with my daughter i have now they were still my children and a lil part of them still lives, considering i named the baby after what i originally wanted to name one of my daughters.

  5. by Kelli

    On December 13, 2011 at 8:57 am

    I, personally, think it’s a good way to come to terms. When I had my miscarriage, it didn’t feel right to NOT name the baby. I didn’t want to have an angel with no name, so I gave them a name. It helped my grieving proccess. My heart goes out to them, I couldn’t even imagine losing a child that far into pregnancy. =(

  6. by jeannette

    On December 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    To each their own, but I NAMED MY BABY. HER NAME IS BROOKELYYNNE!!! SHE IS MY BEAUTIFUL ANGEL!!!!!

  7. by jeannette

    On December 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    My reasoning foe naming my “angel ” was quite simply ACKNOWLEDGMENT. She may never graced us with her physical presence, but she was my baby girl nontheless. BROOKELYYNNE IS HER NAME, AND FOREVER IN MY HEART, MIND AND SOUL!!!!!

  8. by Jen

    On December 13, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I lost a baby girl @ 14 weeks ten years ago. I named her Emma Katherine, and she has been my Emmagirl ever since.

  9. by Kayla

    On December 14, 2011 at 8:34 am

    When I was 16, I was in an abusive relationship and I ended up pregnant. My boyfriend told me that I had to abort the baby but I refused, which was one of the few times I actually stood up for myself. Well, when I was 6 months pregnant I already knew I was having a baby girl and I already planned on naming her Rhyleigh Alta-Mae…I hadn’t spoken to my boyfriend for almost 3 months before this and when he had found out that I was STILL going threw with the pregnancy, he asked to see me. I caved and when I did he came over and on the way down my stairs he pushed me. I lost my baby and pretty much my sanity along with it.

    I still think of her all the time now that I have my little girl, Harmony Mae.

    I think it’s great to name a baby that you have miscarried. To me, it gives you closer.

  10. by Judy

    On December 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I’ve lost 2 babies and named them both. It helped me feel that they were real during such unreal and difficult times. Elizabeth Ann would be 9 and William Preston would be 7.

  11. by Ismo

    On December 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I think that we all as parents do what we need to do in order to deal with a loss, and that is okay.

  12. by Em

    On December 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I did not name my miscarriage. It was tissue being expelled to me…not a baby. It also happened in the first trimester…Not as far along as the Duggar baby.

  13. by Danielle

    On December 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I miscarried at 7 weeks. My husband & I didn’t name the baby. It was a real baby to us since we saw the fading heart beat on the ultrasound in the ER. I think part of deciding whether to name the lost baby or not is how far along you are & how you already think of the baby. If you know what you’re having & already refer to the baby with a name you’ve chosen, then you can’t use that name for the next baby.

    I got pregnant again right away (told 2/1 my levels were 0 & I could try again & found out preg again 3/14), so we look at it as my daughter just took a little longer to get to us.

    You do what you need to cope.

  14. by Mandy Burnett

    On December 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    We already had named my baby when I lost him at 32 weeks. Adam Kyle would have been 5 this year and I still miss him.

  15. by Dawn

    On December 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I lost twin girls just after 5 months. They had a rare heart condition called Acardiac. My doctor knew nothing about it and had no way to help me. I had to give birth to my girls, and I had to fight the nurses and doctors to see them too. But I have pictures of my holding my baby girls, Raven was 7 oz at birth and Willow was only a few grams. They knew only love for their short lives and that’s something I’m proud of. They both lived in me and died in me. I knew each kick and shift and I loved them both dearly.

    Acardiac is a very rare condition for identical twins. It means one twin doesn’t have a heart and so the other twin is pumping blood for both of them through a combined umbilical cord. There’s a 50% chance for the twin with a heart to survive if it’s caught early with ultrasounds. My doctor didn’t even believe me when I told her I had twins and they were both gone by the first ultrasound at 5 months.

  16. by Yolanda

    On December 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Yes, I would and I have. I experienced a miscarriage within the first 3 months of my very first pregnancy. I knew I was pregnant but it was still to early to know whether the baby was a boy or a girl. Miscarriage is a horribly sad and painful thing to experience, both physically and emotionally. After the miscarriage, I was looking at baby names and stumbled upon a Hawaiian name that I thought would be perfect for our little angel baby, and so it was. My husband had a dream that the baby was a girl, so we’ve always considered her a female. Naming her has helped us over the years to maintain a real connection with our child. She would be 8 this year and we continue to do things in memory of her. I named a star after her for my husband’s birthday one year and each year since the miscarriage, we buy a gift for a little girl the same age as our angel from the Giving Tree at Walmart. We also buy an angel ornament every Christmas to decorate our tree with and celebrate her on her due date and on the day that we lost her. She was real, she was wanted and she is not forgotten.

  17. by Sarah

    On December 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    To each their own. I lost a baby a couple of years ago, too early in the pregnancy to determine the sex but I had a strong mother’s intuition that she was a girl. I called her Joy, after the joy she would have brought to our lives, my favourite author Joy Adamson and a song called Never Forget You that was on the radio a lot when I was pregnant:

    “I’ll never forget you
    They said we’d never make it
    My sweet joy
    Always remember me”

    To me it helped me give a name to my loss, enabling me to grieve.

  18. by Leah

    On December 22, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I’ve had 5 miscarriages, all around 12 weeks, and I didn’t choose to give a “real” name to any of them. I had different nicknames for each of them while I was pregnant, and I always associate the nickname with the baby – Bean, Sweet Pea, Peanut, etc. – and I didn’t use that nickname with other pregnancies.

    I’d had great ultrasounds with them up to the moment of the loss, so they were real to me and each was a very difficult loss. To me they’re my Angel Babies and I’ll never forget them.

  19. by La'El

    On December 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I have had seven miscarriages ranging from a few weeks to 20 weeks. Some of them I named and some of them I wasn’t even far enough along to be used to the idea of being pregnant, let alone thinking of names. One of them was due tomorrow, and I had not named because I had a positive pregnancy test before I was even due to start my period and miscarried a few days later. I am going out tomorrow to release balloons. I am writing “Fly, fly, little wing” (from a Celine Dion song) on them.

  20. by Lauren

    On January 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    We found out we were pregnant on a Tuesday. It would have been my third, his first. He was beyond excited, told his whole family, his coworkers, etc. I was a little more hesitant, something just didn’t feel right. One thing I didn’t like was calling the baby ‘it’, so we came up with Even, because his last name was Stevens (Even Stevens, get it?) On saturday, I started bleeding a little bit, something that hadn’t happened before in my pregnancies. On sunday, I was in the ER being told that my hcg level was 60. He didn’t know what that meant and thought it was good, until I had to tell him that meant the baby was gone. He cried for weeks after, I cried privately for a long time. I have a thing about names, everything has to have a ‘people’ name, like, I had adopted a cat named Sweet Pea, and I changed her name to Sophie. So we decided to name him Evan (we had decided it was a boy). Giving him an name, even though we lost him at about 7 weeks, made it easier to grieve. But, I don’t know how anyone would feel in the same situation, we’re all different. To each his own, do what you need to do to keep going on. Don’t judge.

    My due date for Evan would have been Dec 4th. We also kinda marked that day, took time to grieve.

  21. by MotherofanAngel

    On January 6, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Yes! i lost my first born son at a estimated 15wks. If the baby has its parts why not name them? Maybe you haven’t experienced a loss but he is my child so he deserved a name even though he wasn’t considered a stillborn but a miscarriage which throughs people off… tho it was just a miscarriage but having a stillborn is alot like how i misscarried my son he passed away inside me without and causes. Now i have two beautiful girls that i cherish every moment with them! losing my son has taught me alot about life and how you should cherish it because it can be taken you at any moment in time.

  22. by MotherofanAngel

    On January 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    oh and my sons name is Jason Robert he was born on May 30, 2007 at 4:10 pm and weighed 33grams and was 5.25 inches. i am proud to be an angel mother! :)

  23. by trisha kilpatrick

    On November 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    During my 16-week check-up, which fell on my husband’s birthday, an ultrasound found no heartbeat. I delivered him the next day (November 16, 2012) at 1:30 p.m. He was 4.75 inches and weighed only 1 oz. We had chosen names for the baby for a girl or a boy so when we saw that he was a boy, he was Wyatt Thomas. I think that naming him has helped our whole family heal.