Tirzah joined our family "on the outside" last Sunday, July 24th at 5:15 p.m. She weighed in at 3.5 kilos (7 lbs. 11 oz.), 51cm (20 in), and is marked with a full head of hair to rival her big sister!
Tirzah (we pronounce it "teer-za" - like a tear from an eye) is a Hebrew name (found in the Bible in Numbers 27:1-11, Song of Solomon 6:4) and means "She is my delight."
Her Thai middle name - Rueng (รุ้ง) - (pronounced Roong) is the shortened version of the word for "rainbow" and, for us, reflects and remembers God's faithfulness, promise and covenant (Gen 9:16).
Waiting, waiting, waiting...
Tirzah was born 12 days past her original due date - officially the "latest" of our kids (and also the biggest). We were beginning to think that our kids no longer believed that the baby would ever come. Sticking close to home, and well aware that our last baby's labor was only a little over two hours, we were starting to get a little stir-crazy - so we decided to bake the baby a birthday cake the day before she came - sure that she MUST come while it would still be delicious (and it was!!!)
A mini birth story...
Tirzah's was an unusual labor. Contractions began at 1:15 a.m. and were 6-8 minutes apart until 5 a.m., when we decided to head to the hospital. On the way contractions subsided and I was dismayed to find that, despite being 12 days overdue and this being baby #5 I was only 1.5 cm dilated. The nurses cautioned us to not travel too far from the hospital and to make sure and come back later in the day regardless of how I felt. We continued on with our day, both getting in a short nap before (and during) church, and I had highly irregular contractions throughout the day (1-2 an hour). At 2:00 p.m. we were back at the hospital, with all four kids in tow and nothing interesting to report to the doctor. Then at about 2:15 p.m. I had a super strong 3 minute contraction and was wholeheartedly bewildered when, in the exam room 15 minutes later, my doctor jubilantly announced "No one is leaving the hospital! Congratulations - you are 7 cm - no one is leaving the hospital!"
Soon we were being hurried by a nurse to the birth room, with our four kids in tow, the two eldest rapid-firing questions at us about what is happening and what will happen next, and Iven on the phone to our on-call friends asking them to jump motorcycle taxis to the hospital to collect our kids.
The kids were collected just a few minutes before things got "uncomfortable" and Tirzah was born about an hour later, in a birth pool - making hers (we believe) the first "official" VBAC (vaginal birth following a cesarean birth) water birth in Thailand.
The rest of us
All four kids are delighting in our newest little delight (especially Izayla, who has had quite a long prayer list regarding this sister of hers - including that she will like everything she likes, have lots of hair, and be just like her).
There are the expected transition adjustments for everyone, but Iven is taking some appropriate time off of work both to care for each of the little "love tanks" in our family, as well as practically helping Mama rest while our newest little one has yet to adjust to days and nights in our Bangkok time zone.
Speaking of work, and transition, we have been very grateful for all of the gracious support and encouragement our family has received from our team in returning to Bangkok. Between starting the boys in school less than 48 hours after arrival, continuing to homeschool Izayla, and reconnecting with neighbors, Rak Teh Church and team, we have been so blessed by the practical care we have received! Likewise we have been simply delighted at all that God is doing here in our little corner of Bangkok - from being greeted by one neighbor who had literally been counting the days until our return (7months and 4days apparently!) - to seeing how the ministry of Rak Teh had continued to thrive in our absence. More recently we've been blessed to participate in a season of increased focus on prayer and worship, and have a deep sense of the Lord's presence among us.
All in all this has been a very gracious transition, Kashmira is feeling very grateful to be mostly recovered from the work of labor, and we are in the midst of learning new rhythms in life as a family of 7!
We are so blessed by the time you have spent reading this email and joining us in celebrating the birth of our daughter! We also continue to be immeasurably grateful for the care and partnership each of you have shown to our family!
May the Lord bless you in each of your comings and your goings!
All grace and peace,
Iven, Kashmira, Izayla, Elian, Kyin, Rinnan & Tirzah!
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