Valor Zurishaddai was born on Monday, July 14th, 2008 at 3:58 AM at home in a birthing tub in my bedroom attended by my midwife, Shannon, Ben, my mother, and three close friends of mine, Jessica, Lisa, and Shelby. (The birth story will be a separate post.) Ben caught him as he was coming out. He was 8 pounds 11 ounces and 20.5 inches long … the biggest baby on either side of the family in recent memory. Here he is just a few minutes old. He has huge hands and feet. His feet are almost as long as his shins.
Valor, accent on the first syllable, is the English word meaning bravery, courage, boldness, especially in battle. (It has NOTHING to do with the fabric velour. People are calling him that already! It never occurred to me that might happen.) The Hebrew would be khah-yil but that sounds like you’re trying to hack up snot so we decided not to use it. Zurishaddai (ZUR-i-SHAD-dai) is Hebrew for “the Almighty is my rock.”
Rinah fell in love with him immediately. She slept through the labour and woke up an hour afterwards. Sister and brother meet and kiss for the first time.
The first couple days, he was so sleepy he didn’t nurse very much. See how the preemie size onesie is still a bit big on him the third day. Then his appetite kicked in and oh boy was he hungry ALL the time. He outgrew that onesie by Day 9. Look at how fat his cheeks are getting. *sniffle* He’s growing too fast … WAY too fast. Rinah wore preemie size for at least 2 months and didn’t grow out of 0-3 month size till she was 9 months old.
This kid has so much hair. It’s been over 2 weeks since he was born and I still can’t get over it. He has crazy cool hair with patches that grow in all different directions. It’s also pretty funny looking after it’s washed. LOL.
Rinah loves him to death. I must be careful he survives all the sisterly attacks of affection. So far she hasn’t been upset or jealous of him even once. For that I am so grateful. I’ve heard lots of stories of sibling rivalry especially when the second child comes along and the first one isn’t used to having to split parental attention. She asks to hold him a lot, but tires pretty quickly of it.
One thing she does not tire of is Mama’s cell phone. That’s probably why it’s been acting funny lately. She’s been loving the cell phone to death, too. What I don’t tire of is her eyes. I could look into them forever.
My mother is visiting from Tokyo to take care of me and the babies for a while. I had been craving her cooking the entire pregnancy and now I have it every day!
Ben took a week off work to stay at home and help out with things. It was great having him around taking care of stuff while I tried to deal with all the after pains and engorgement and various, ah, discomforts. He’s getting pretty good at juggling two babies.
I can’t believe that 3 years ago I was in Tokyo thinking I would be single and childless for the rest of my life and now I have a husband and TWO kids and I’m living in America. There’s no way I would have believed it if you had told me.
I wonder where we’ll all be 3 years from now. (This last professional looking picture was taken by my friend Shilowe.)