One of my favourite ladies in the mummy blogdom commented on a recent post that her beautiful little boy would have been called Lottie had he been a girl. It got me thinking about my own 'babies that never were'.
It is an option for pregnant mums these days to find out the sex of the baby they are carrying. I suppose it enables one to plan in a gender specific way, make a strong emotional attachment to the foetus as a real person and means you can focus on choosing just one name.
Despite some potential advantages, I NEVER wanted to know if I was carrying a boy or a girl. It wasn't, as some have suggested, that knowing would spoil the surprise, like opening your presents before Xmas day. It was more that in the scheme of things it was fairly irrelevant - so irrelevant in fact that with my last child it was some time after the slippery little mite was delivered onto my tummy that we even bothered to look at the business end of things.
I certainly speculated often enough about whether I was going to be a proud mummy to a son or a daughter - I even came up with a theory for predicting gender - but it was always an idle speculation. The outcome did not matter. It is a complete cliche but as long as the baby was healthy I really couldn't find it in myself to mind either way.
With my first child I just knew I was having a daughter. Of course anyone can say that and have a 50% chance of being right. I was right. It was just as well because I only ever had a girl's name for my first born. In a pethidine induced haze I had a brief moment of knowing that she really ought to be called Jane as she burst into the world, then quickly reverted back to my original selection before the name stuck. As it happens, I think Jane would have suited her - and I do wonder if it would have made a significant difference to her life had she be known by this alternative moniker.
My next two daughters would have gone by the names Daniel and Dexter had they been endowed with maleness. I honestly can't remember the alternative name I chose for daughter number four (must be my age!) but my little Addy would have been Dylan.
Looking back over my accumulation of unused boy names, I clearly have a fondness for the initial D! When I did finally give birth to a son, it felt a bit of a cheat to steal the name of one of my 'D babies that never were' because it was impossible not to have invested emotionally in the alternative realities. However, in the absence of any better ideas, that is what I did. Incidentally, had little Dylan stayed true to my tendency to produce female offspring, he would have been called Delilah!