Ziah, I've written this a little over a month since you’ve come out into the open air. Yours was a graceful, calm entrance, due mostly I’m sure to your mother’s prepared and practiced calmness. She woke me up sometime after 10 p.m. saying she was having contractions and I thought, alright, this is it, it’s happening. The wait for you had been a little more pronounced during the two weeks before this moment, since we thought there was a probability you’d come as early as both your sisters’ births, which were 5 and 8 days early; you came out one day early.
We had our preparations in place for your birth- camera, video camera, phone list of contacts, etc, and the tub was set up downstairs in the playroom so I promptly began filling it with warm water. Edana our midwife and her assistants Jennifer and Michelle arrived. Close to 2 a.m. your mom expressed that the baby was coming, so our neighbor Amy woke your sisters upstairs and brought them down to witnesss your entry. They were each in a pretty good mood for having just been shaken out of bed at two in the morning- Avi was enthusiastic, and Mila seemed quietly intrigued by all of these people in her playroom, including mommy laying in a tub of water.
When your moment was close, I got on my knees to catch you. Avi was behind me, standing above on the bunk bed, and Mila in Amy’s arms. You slipped out of mommy quickly and into my hands. You were quiet. You still are, much of the time (although you’re currently crying against sleep in our bed, as I write this tonight). I felt and feel grateful that the delivery was healthy and that Avi and Mila could witness the experience. I loved capturing the picture of Avi- shoulder to shoulder with the kneeling midwives- cutting your chord (which was interestingly short).
Fortunate enough to have time off of work to be here with you and our family, I have been enjoying seeing you, holding you, smelling you. You are wide-eyed and capturing the environment around you. You seem to love the sound of your sister Avi, and you have the grace and endurance for Mila’s bear hugs. You are prized by both of your sisters, who get ecstatic to see you whenever they’ve been away from you- each morning after you’ve woken up, after a nap, errands, whenever. Mila absolutely lights up when she’s near you and gets to hold you, and Avi is so warm and responsible around you. You definitely bring a lot of warmth to our home, and during this Christmas season you have been a warm, living reminder of the love of God, of the Holy Child of God- the light of the world- who entered into this world as little as you. I'm grateful that your entry to us was closely associated with the Christmas experience-- the mystery, lights, closeness, smells, and music.
Your name, Ziah, means light- another fitting reminder of the Light that shines during this darkest season of the year. I hope you like the name we gave you; it is filled with metaphor after all. As you will be quite aware already before being able to read this, your Z name does signal an alphabetical closure to a line of sisters with A in the beginning and M in the middle. But it also harmonizes with your sisters’ names in reminding us of renewal and God’s promise of peace with people after the great flood. Ziah means light and splendor, and a splendor of light seems to me to allude to many colors- a rainbow. In fact, Ziah is reminiscent of the the word, Ziazan, which means rainbow in Armenia (where Noah’s ark landed). At any rate, when I metaphorically pieced these aspects together, I finally settled on the name. Reason/rationality often lags behind beauty, so it took me five days after your birth to be sure that this was the right name for you and that it fit. Your mother was patient with me (though we gave ourselves one week for a final decision).
Post note, February 12, 2015. Just finishing off this blog post here. Ziah, I hope you'll be patient with me as you grow up, having to share my attention and energy with your sisters. And I hope you enjoy your sisters and remain close with them throughout your life. I hope for you a life-long love for people, a wonder of the world around you, a gracious heart like your mother's, and a radiance from our good God. I hope for you a blessed and giving life. Thank you for being here with us, my girl.