Introducing our baby girl, Amara Blattman Annan!

Big news. A beautiful, healthy, perfect baby girl strode into our lives Sunday afternoon with what we hope is uncharacteristic drama. At right are Mom, Dad and Amara on plenty of adrenaline after an unexpected (but otherwise uneventful) C-section, a whopping two weeks after the due date.

“Amara” is adapted from an Acholi name meaning “one who is loved”, a Luo tongue from northern Uganda where Jeannie and I first worked and fell in love together.

From friends we’ve learned that Amara is also an old Greek and Arabic name meaning “eternal”, is sanskrit for “immortal”, Igbo for “graceful”, and Swahili for “urgent news”.

Considering she made it to Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi, Uganda, Vietnam, Thailand, France, England and Canada while in the womb, we figure a name of many meanings (and easy pronunciation) fits perfectly.

Perhaps best of all, we also discovered Amara is also a sun beetle! Our mothers gave a grimace at that news. But if you have to be named for a bug, you could do worse than her shiny golden namesake.

For the curious, there’s no hyphen in the name. We said that if she came early, she’d clearly be a Blattman, but if she came late, undoubtedly an Annan.

I think Jeannie also said something about “casting off thousands of years of patriarchy”.

So Blattman becomes the world’s most peculiar middle name (present partly so I don’t get arrested picking her up from school) and Amara Annan it is!

Mom and Dad and Amara could not be feeling better. I can’t say what the next few weeks will bring (from dozens of friends I know that it won’t include much sleep) but I’ll likely get back to blogging in the next week or two. It’s much more fun than work.

No doubt the most pressing question on your mind: will this suddenly become some self-indulgent Manhattanite mommy blog, full of product placements and narcissistic chatter?

To which I can only say: yes! Clearly my baby is the most special to have lived and deserves every facet of her infancy online.

Actually, unless she starts publishing research papers, this may be the last you see of our little beetle. But I wanted to share the good news this once.

And, lest you think those research papers may take a while, rest assured I’ve already gotten her started:

Stata lessons begin next week.

36 thoughts on “Introducing our baby girl, Amara Blattman Annan!

  1. Wow, congratulations to you and Jeannie! She’s beautiful, and the ones that arrive late are always the best! I hope you aren’t too sleep deprived to enjoy your first few weeks with her.

  2. Beautiful baby and many blessings — and an extra one since a Luo/Acholi word christened your first child! The root word is “mar” — “love”.

  3. What a beautiful, heartfelt birth announcement! Congratulations to you and your beautiful family, Chris and Jeannie.

  4. Congratulations ! I was born in Amara (San Sebastián, Spain) which I consider a beautiful name.

  5. Congratulations! Such a lovely baby girl — and she’s probably immune to jet lags already :)

    … and I agree with @Duncan, I found Deb Roy’s idea creepy from the first time he announced his plans! And with @BP — stats departments seem heavily into R these days.

  6. Congratulations. The sanskrit word for eternal is Amar–close enough. The important question does she randomize :-). I am so happy for both of you.

  7. Congrats to you and the whole family! What a cute little girl!

    And I love the name, just perfect.

  8. Nicolas said “hey that girl is cute – can you ask her dad if she is free for a date on April 3, 2027?”. I said I would ask.

    Congrats on her arrival.

  9. In Turkish, the normal thing to say is “Anneli babalı büyüsün!”, “May she grow up with a mother and father!” Congratulations!

  10. So, so beautiful! Many congratulations Chris and Jeannie!

  11. Beautiful! Congratulations! And may you both be blessed with sleep. Eventually. :-)