Amara Rose


Born ~2:30 pm on May 23rd, 2009

Weight: 8 lbs, 13 oz (4000 grams)
Height: 22.4″ (57 cm)
Head: 14.4″ (36.5 cm)
Name explanation: We became convinced it was a girl early on so we only really considered girls names. I had prayed that God wouldn’t let me get pregnant until at least after August, so when we discovered that I must have conceived around September 1st, it was kind of funny but humbling to realize God’s exact answer to prayer. I wanted a name that meant something like “God’s time is perfect” and looked that up on a baby name search website (, my favorite). It came up with “OGECHUKWUKAMA” which means “God’s time is the best” in Igbo. Well, that was exactly what I was looking for, but ….welll….there was no way we were using that, we can’t even pronounce it! However, I thought it interesting that there was a name with that meaning so I looked up “Igbo”. It’s a people group from southeastern Nigeria. The majority are Christian today, but there is some evidence of a Jewish diaspora affecting Igbo history. I looked up all the Igbo names on the baby website and most use God in their meanings. One name that caught my eye in particular was Amara, which means “grace” in Igbo. I liked the sound of it and mentioned it to Nathan. That’s about all that happened on the name front for the next four months. By the end of the pregnancy, we hadn’t found anything else we liked and came back to Amara, which over time had really grown on us. So we went with that as our tentative first name and started thinking of middle names. One night Nathan came up with Rose and we liked the sound of that, although we bounced several other possibilities around with it. By the time she arrived, Amara Rose was our first choice and that’s what we ended up going with. We like it, and we hope she does too! 😀
One note: other baby names websites link the meaning of “Amara” with eternal or everlasting, attributing it either to Latin or Sanskrit. We think that’s nice too but it’s not why we chose it.

Amara’s birth
Amara’s birth was perfect…and humbling. “Praise God” is the general theme, I think. With our previous births, whether due to complications or other factors, there had been a lot of “interventions” – induction, IV antibiotics, and epidurals. I had always wanted to “make it” to the end without drugs but ended up having them each time. So with birth number four coming up, I chose to stay at the local hospital instead, where epidurals and C-sections aren’t even options. I read up on natural childbirth (again) but didn’t really think about it much, because by this time (number four) I was mostly looking forward to meeting the little one who had been kicking my insides for so long.
Each birth I’ve had has started with my waters breaking, and this time was no different. The only surprising thing was that they broke on the morning of my ultrasound due date, a first for us with our overdue baby history! (LMP due date was three days earlier so she could theoretically have been past due date). We slept as much as possible and called a few people in the morning to warn them (and ask for prayer). Because we’d gone to the hospital too early with previous labors, I wanted to stay home as long as possible this time – I apparently have deep aversions to hospitals and invariably stall my labor just thinking about going to them. So we let the kids know the baby was coming today, then went about our usual routines. Nathan and his dad went and picked up a swingset a friend had offered to give us, so the big news for the day for the kids was the swingset. I went outside and weeded to try to get labor going, since it hadn’t really started yet. By lunchtime I was double-checking “active labor” signs and was pretty sure things had started for real. Nathan dropped off the kids at his parents ~1:30pm and then came home to be with me and time contractions. We left for the hospital ~2:30 when the contractions were getting pretty intense and were about 3.5 min apart. I was actually secretly hoping things would slow down in the car by this point! I’d been “vocalizing” through the contractions and by the time we got to the hospital (20 min) I was getting pretty loud, although the contractions were further apart. By the time Nathan came with the wheelchair to take me in I was yelling! We got into the labor room and the nurse judged me to be about 6-7 cm dilated. She started reminding me to breathe through the contractions instead of yelling. I was asking about drugs and telling Nathan I didn’t think I could do it at this point, and when the nurses said I wasn’t in the “transition” phase I got really discouraged. Turns out I was, because a few minutes later I was getting the urge to push! They went to get the doctor to check me, but by the time he made it to the room there wasn’t even enough time between contractions for him to check me, and then Nathan pointed out that they could see the head. They quickly wheeled me into the next room (delivery) and started rushing to prep for the imminent arrival. It took a few more minutes because Amara decided to stick her hand up by her head, but after the doc rearranged her she popped out. All in all, it was 23 min. from arrival to birth.

I guess that’s why I can call the birth “perfect”. She was safe, it was quick and no interventions were done. But it was also very humbling because I can say that if there had been a needle in range I would’ve jabbed it in myself by the end. Before the birth I’d decided to try ‘natural’ because the only drugs available at the hospital all have side effects for the baby, and I didn’t want that…but by the end I didn’t really care anymore. I’m very grateful for Nathan’s support, he kept telling me I could do it and he told the nurses that I had explicitly said no drugs beforehand. Also, by the time we got there, drugs weren’t even an option because they would’ve compromised the baby’s breathing after birth…but I still wanted something. Very humbling, and I’m very grateful that God only gave me as much as I could endure and so it was a VERY quick transition and delivery. Nathan noticed right off that Amara was more alert and responsive than any of our other children have been after birth, and I think some of that is due to not having any drugs in her system. God is good! =D

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