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Amelie Zuri Shee

The last week has been the most intense week of my life, with every emotion experienced under the sun, from ecstasy, to unbearable pain, to frustration, fear, disappointment, joy, relief, love, faith, exhaustion, confusion, and thankfulness beyond belief ...
This time last week we had been invited to visit our whacky Hawaiian friend Joe in the evening, and were walking in the dark through puddles and rubbish, and probably sewage to his house because the matatus had stopped running at 8... Not long after returning home at 11, I went into labour! We were picked up and went to the house of our lovely South African midwife friend, Karin at 3am for the early stage of labour. At about 8am, we decided it was time for the hospital. I won't bore you with too much information about the labour but there were questionable levels of competence at the hospital from the word go, which made us feel very uneasy throughout the whole labour, especially knowing the baby had the cord around the neck. We can't begin to express our gratitude for Karin and Dianne, who helped to bring our daughter into the world, and I can't bear to think how things might have turned out had they not been there. It's a strange and humbling feeling being so indebted to people, and knowing that we can never thank them enough or repay their kindness.
midwife Karin

midwife Karin


Dianne

Dianne

We have learnt so much through this weird time, seeing how God provides in amazing ways, and seeing His faithfulness regardless of human errors. So the long and the short of it is that our beautiful baby girl arrived last Thursday at 1.14pm in Kisumu, Kenya weighing 3kg exactly or 6lb 6oz. baby1.jpgbaby2.jpg

We were surprised that our daughter was very punctual and arrived on her due date- (obviously not taking after her Dad...).

Her name is Amelie Zuri Shee, the name Amelie derives from 'Emma', and can mean 'hard working' or 'work', 'Zuri' is Kiswahili for 'good' and 'beautiful' and 'Shee' is the Gaelic for 'Peace' as in Glen Shhe (although the real Gaelic spelling is Sith, a spelling we really didn't want...!), so we have dedicated her name as meaning the 'beautiful work of God'. Her birthday was Rememberance day and it seems a good time to remember all the good things we have experienced over the last year.

Having a baby here in Kisumu has been a whole new can of worms in terms of cultural differences which has added another layer of confusion to an already exhausting and overwhelming time. Some of the memorable things from the last week have been:

  • No rules about visitors on hospital- even during labour, so we had various faces popping in to watch during labour- (even at the moment of Amelie entering the world) which was a bit awkward...
  • The man came to take my order for lunch and dinner, again, during labour- and seemed completely unfazed that I was semi naked and could barely speak when he was asking whether I wanted goat stew with ugali or rice...
  • The babies were wrapped in hospital clothes which were fleece babygrows and then 3 blankets (despite being 30C)

We have also discovered that we have made many cultural faux pas in Luo culture since leaving the hospital, firstly, I should be imprisoned in the house for 2 weeks, not leaving it once, and should be bombarded with visitors who will sit for hours- this sounds to me like a recipe for a breakdown and when we are out and about people say with an incredulous face 'you are walking??!'
Secondly, David has now become even more of spectacle than now that whenever he carries the baby he is stared at and questioned, laughed at etc, because men here would not carry the baby. It is beginning to annoy him, and sure it will continue to annoy him... ( beware of future ranting blogs...)
People here have very strong ideas which are a mix of old wives tales, truth and strong opinions, but mainly old wives tales, so every day I am bombarded with people telling me what and what not to do, to eat, to do with my baby, how I shouldn't be wearing a bra at this time, how I should wear a tight belt around my belly, how I should drink milk to make more milk for the baby, how I should feed the baby continuously, and of course, her name should be 'Achieng' because she was born at midday.
Life here seems to be one saga after another at the moment, from trying to get initial injections for the baby which was a disorganised nightmare, to David trying to get the birth certificate for Amelie which could be a whole blog entry in itself.
Anyway, forgive us this once as today we are those annoying people who upload loads of newborn baby pics... we are really enjoying our daughter and are so thankful for her safe arrival :-)Special visit by the big mamas convention of Kisumu

Special visit by the big mamas convention of Kisumu


sunflower1

sunflower1

Amelie dreams of having big curly locks like her dad

Amelie dreams of having big curly locks like her dad

In the garden with dad

In the garden with dad

baby7.jpgbaby6.jpgbaby4.jpgbaby3.jpg

Posted by africraigs 10:59

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