We thank God for the safe arrival of our second child, Naomi Joy Floreen! She was born here in Malawi on Monday, October 28th. She’s twelve days old, and beautiful.
Naomi surprised us with her small size: only 5 lbs, 15 oz. Her big sister Abigail was born at 9 lbs, 7 oz, so we haven’t had many baby clothes small enough for Naomi to wear. She doesn’t seem to mind: this is the hot season in Malawi!
Naomi is in excellent health. She has a voracious appetite, so she won’t stay small for long! Our biggest challenge is trying to keep her awake during the day so she’ll sleep more at night. God has blessed us with a very easy baby!
Rachel is also recovering well after a normal delivery. She had a milk duct infection last week, then an allergic reaction to the penicillin they gave to treat it. We’re thankful for access to several types of antibiotics, and both the infection and allergic reaction are gone now. Rachel feels ambitious, but knows she should take it slow. For now, she isn’t teaching Bible study or running the nursery, and people from the church have been helping with some meals.
Abigail was born at the magnificent Glendale Adventist Hospital in Southern California in 2010. Naomi was born in the Nkhoma Mission Hospital about an hour outside of Lilongwe. Those two experiences formed a study in contrasts–we may write about the differences in a future blog post. This time, some things reminded Rachel of a Hungarian youth hostel. The short version is: more chickens and mosquitoes, less electricity and hot water… but another awesome doctor and a nursing staff that took great care of us.
(Oh, and this time it cost $90. Total.)
I admit, there were some risks in having a baby in one of the poorest countries in the world. (Malawi has the world’s 24th highest maternal mortality rate, and 10th highest infant mortality rate.) While we did as much as we could to minimize those risks, our hope was ultimately in the Lord. It took much more faith to have a baby in Malawi than in Glendale! Thank you all for your prayers for us!
You might wonder: Why did we choose to deliver in Malawi? Cost was an issue. And practically, we knew that eliminating jet lag, trans-continental flights with a 3-year-old, and the frantic scurry for a birth certificate and passport would make it a more pleasant experience. But our main reason? We didn’t want to be away from our church, International Bible Fellowship, for several months. God has united our heart to these dear friends in Malawi, and we wanted to be with them as we welcome a new child. We hoped, perhaps, that our presence might be an encouragement to our friends who can’t go to another country for medical care.
But we seriously underestimated how much of a blessing our church family here would be to us. We have been wonderfully overwhelmed by the love they have shown to us: meals, babysitting, advice, text messages, visits, errands, prayers, flowers, and so much more. It has also been wonderful to get congratulations from our friends in America and beyond on Facebook and email. So please join us in thanking God for His kindness to us!