It’s true, we named our son Sullivan Dale Heiden. We even have the birth certificate to prove it! However, at the last minute, we had a change of heart.
Luckily, the staff at Franciscan Health in Lafayette is incredibly patient and understanding. They even redid our baby’s footprint to make it official.
I wanted to explain why we changed it because, frankly, I think it’s a cool story and I hope it will make my son laugh someday. After all, I did announce him to the whole world as Sullivan Dale Heiden. I gave my son an identity crisis at 2 days old! Great going, Mom.
We decided to name our son Allan Eugene Heiden III.
Since 1877, every Heiden male named his first born male after him. Allan Eugene Heiden Jr., my fiancé, would have been the first to break that tradition had we named our son Sullivan.
I’ll admit, I was the main reason we were originally planning to stray away from this tradition. I didn’t like the name Eugene. I thought kids in his class would tease him. Allan had that “Boy Named Sue” mentality about it. He thought it made him tougher growing up. He admitted he was teased when his classmates found out his middle name but didn’t mind it because it belonged to his father. By the way, if you’ve never heard Johnny Cash’s “Boy Named Sue” song, it’s worth the listen.
Anyway, I wanted to change the middle name but keep Allan. My fiancé said it was kind of a waste if we didn’t include his middle name too. He believed it would still break tradition.
So, Allan was actually the one who came up with Sullivan Dale Heiden. I was on board because I have always loved when women used their last name as the first name of their child. I’m pretty proud of my Irish heritage and family is everything to me. Dale was after Allan’s grandfather who passed away shortly before Allan and I met. But when our son was born and looked exactly like Allan did as a baby, I knew Sullivan Dale wasn’t for him.
Allan’s father, Allan Eugene Heiden Sr. died when my fiancé was only 10 weeks old. He worked at IPL and was electrocuted on the job. Allan never got to know his father but his family has been telling him stories about how much he loved him and was so proud of him being Allan Eugene Jr.. I hope we are making Allan Sr. very happy in Heaven with this change.
We finally left the hospital after saying our goodbyes to the amazing staff who put up with our indecisiveness and my tendency to ask too many questions.
We got home to our apartment decorated with a “Welcome Home, Sullivan” sign, a nursery with a giant “S” hanging above the changing table and several generously monogrammed baby items made by relatives who listened when we wrote Sullivan Dale on the baby registry. We apologize for that and still plan to use all of those items with a smile on our faces.
Little Al will hopefully enjoy this story some day. The documented evidence is everywhere, there’s no hiding it! When I told my parents and siblings about the name change, they were super supportive. They said it was up to me and agreed that traditions are important. They immediately went out to find a big “A” letter to replace that giant “S” I mentioned.
The name story is a little embarrassing but ultimately, the opinions of others shouldn’t matter when you are naming your child. We have two birth certificates and I think I’ll put both in the baby book for good fun.
As for adjusting to life as a first time mother, I’m getting and expecting no sleep, but he’s so worth it. I’ve never loved someone so much! I truly believe being a mom will only enhance my role as a journalist in this community. I’ll come back in six weeks with a whole new perspective on life!
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