On June 29, 2020 Terrence and I held our baby girl for the first time. I will forever remember the tools clanking, the bright lights, the yanking and tugging as the on-call doctor pried my abdominal open, the warmth of Terrence’s hand embracing mine, the humming and singing Terrence covered me with in peace, the cry of Zion’ah, the growth and expansion my heart felt, the one tear that rolled from my left eye, the love and awareness of Terrence’s stance as he watched Zion’ah get cleaned and me as I was sown up. I will forever remember Terrence bringing our daughter to me and the overwhelming thanks I had for being blessed with a family, our family. I will forever remember our first family photo.
Sis mentioned that when a child is born parents are born too. Our first year of life as a family truthfully was a discovery. I distinctively remember the lack of sleep within the first months. Terrence and I would literally get into arguments because we both wanted the other to catch up on their sleep. Sleep deprivation is real.
I recall rubbing coconut oil on Zion’ah’s wrists and ankles because the tags the hospital put on her cut her dry skin (they said her skin was dry because of how long she was “cooking” in my womb).
I remember peaking into Zion’ah’s crib and freaking out because I didn’t see her. . . she was rolled over on her belly.
I laugh at the memory of Terrence calling for help while I was in the bathroom and upon my arrival he was wiping his shorts with a baby wipe. Zion’ah had exploded her poop all over the changing pad and shot onto Daddy’s pants.
I recall Zion’ah screaming and squirming when I tried to wrap her snug, our child does not like being confined.
The hand of support from Daddy as Zion’ah learned how to sit up.
The discovery of baby oatmeal to put in Zion’ah’s milk to help her sleep through the night (and the extensive research and family conversations debating if this was a good idea).
Introducing Zion’ah to The Prince of Egypt and watching her eyes glow as Yocheved sung to Moshe while she sought to save his life (this is still her favorite part).
The back and forth rock Zion’ah did indicating she is yearning to start crawling and moving on her own.
I remember the video calls Terrence made to me during my lunch break at school, so I could feel the warmth of my family by saying hey to our Sweet Pea.
My heart still feels the calmness of a breeze whenever I see Zion’ah resting safely on her father’s chest.
I remember when the time came to introduce Zion’ah to solid food. The countless research on CPR videos and baby-led weaning. The debate that lead to compromise of Zion’ah eating puree or solid food, as long as she was eating.
The road trips to Alabama and being thankful that Zion’ah has long been a traveler since she was in my belly. At 3 months she sleep majority of the time, at 11 months she was up the whole way (she didn’t want to miss a beat).
Her wonder for books, especially Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
The horrible feeling whenever she fell and cried. The guilt of feeling responsible. The thanks of Yahuah’s protection.
The realization that Zion’ah does not like being told “no” and it is okay to let her cry it out, so she can understand her tears are okay — no still means no.
The excitement of watching her grow and enjoy the world.
Zion’ah’s sweet blush when Daddy looks at her with love and admiration.
Zion’ah’s squeal of excitement when Daddy chases her in the house.
Zion’ah’s giddiness as her and Daddy play hide and seek behind doors and kitchen counters.
Her watchful eye over new people, nature, and sounds.
Her desire to walk as she grabs our finger to lead and follow her steps.
Her subtle eye as she approaches items she wants to discover (what some call destroy).
Her wide smile as she loves on those who love her.
Her moments of “playing possum”. Thinking she is asleep only for her to pop up and play as soon as she is laid down.
The warmth in her eyes when her and I communicate without words. HalleluYah. I thank her for choosing me as her mother.
The way she turns around and looks at us as tunes spew from her DJ set, seeing if we are bobbing our head and dancing.
I remember our trips to the park and her short lived joy on a swing.
I remember her swimming like a baby fish her first time in the pool.
I remember the calmness on her face day by day as we pray and give thanks to Yah before eating.
My heart warms as she listens when we read her Hebrew Israelite children books. Her desire to hold books and turn pages excite me.
My heart sings when Zion’ah and Daddy listen and dance to his marvelous productions.
My heart gives thanks when I lay on our bed, look over and see my husband and our daughter sleeping soundly. HalleluYah.
I give thanks for Terrence teaching Zion’ah how to get out of the bed on her own.
I give thanks as she drowns us in water while she splashes during bath time.
I give thanks as she sits on my hip watching me cook in the kitchen.
I honor The Most High day by day as Zion’ah’s words and expression becomes more clear.
Yes, we made it to a year. I am thankful for the tears, love, and growth. I am blessed with the honor of motherhood and womanhood. I am favored for this journey, for our family.
A year ago I started this blog to document our journey as a family. It started as a space for me to vent about the delivery we didn’t plan for, grew into a haven to capture Zion’ah’s experiences and my realizations, and now it will mold and shape again.
I am being called to reshape and revamp the purpose of Our First Family Photo. As an awakening Hebrew, I yearn for the day Scripture is revealed and The Most High returns for his people.
It is time I use the gift Yah has given me to blow the horn, unapologetically. We are living in the time of trouble and only Elohiym can get us through.
Zion’ah was gifted to us as a blessing in this time and we must prepare her and ourselves for Yah’s return. And as a steward of words, I must help prepare our family scattered to the four corners of the earth to do the same.
Researching, living, reflecting, and sharing Torah teachings, lost or stolen books, what it means to be a virtuous woman, and our Hebrew family will be my contribution, my action towards my prayer for us all meeting Yah, coming together, and being blessed with Our First Family Photo.
I pray to be used as a vessel. I pray to be helpful. I pray to be the Daughter of Zion as I honor being the mother of Zion’ah and the wife of a righteous man.
Thank Yah for our first year. Thank Yah for another day. Thank Yah for time.