Saturday, December 26, 2009

Aurora Beatrice Smith

"By the tender mercy of our God,
            the dawn from on high will break upon us,
      to give light to those who sit in darkness
                  and in the shadow of death,
            to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

-Luke 1.78-79

Merry Christmas! God's new day has dawned in Christ and in this season we celebrate the new life we now share.

We are also celebrating another new life that has dawned upon us this season. On Christmas Eve we received an early gift when Jessica gave birth to a lovely and healthy little girl. We have named her Aurora Beatrice Smith. Aurora is Latin for "dawn" and Beatrice comes from the Latin for "traveller", bringing together the ideas in these two verses, which have been very significant for us over the last couple of years.*

The labour began around midnight when it was -10ÂșC outside and with the deepest cover of snow Edinburgh has seen for years. We caught a taxi to the nearby hospital around 7 am, and Jess was in a birthing pool by soon after 10 am. The labour proceeded very smoothly (if at times quite intensely!) and Aurora was born naturally at 1.25 pm with Jessica still in the pool. Mother and baby are both perfectly healthy (no stitches - praise God!). We were even able to come home by 8pm on the same day. Stats: 53 cm (a little under 21 inches); 3.93 kg (a little under 8 pounds, 11 ounces).

We are very grateful that Jessica's sister, Antonia was with us for the birth and has been a great help before, during and since!

I am sure more photos will appear here in the coming days and weeks. You can each control your own intake to avoid either withdrawal symptoms or overdosing!

We shared a lovely, quiet (and white!) Christmas Day yesterday and are delighted to have our "babymoon" in this special season of nativity and joy. With hope and delight we embrace the promise of Immanuel ("God with us") as we remember the birth of his son and welcome a beautiful little stranger as our daughter.
*For some further reflections on this passage and the dawn from on high, see here, where Byron wrote a sermon on this passage shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.

For further information about the two names, see Aurora and Beatrice. Along with the sounds and meanings, we like the facts that both names are Shakespearean and also ancient. Beatrice is shared by a number of early and medieval Christian saints, was Dante's muse and guide, and appears in the Domesday book of 1068, making it a very old English name as well.


Anonymous said...

First to comment! Woo hoo!

We praise God for the arrival of Aurora, even if you tried to send her off again immediately through hypothermia.

We also cannot help but praise the Smith genes, which are clearly evident in her very Smithy physiognomy.

She's beautiful, guys All our love and congratulations.

Mike & Fe Paget

Rosie said...

Jess and Byron what a beautiful little girl you have. The best Christmas present ever.Congratulations to you both.Can't wait to meet her. All my love to the 3 of you and here's to a fabulous 2010.
Rosie Mackay xxx

Anonymous said...

Wow! The best Christmas present ever. So pleased for all of you - what a gorgeous little girl. And Jess - you are amazing! You look fantastic and you're up and about having a photo shoot! Great work. Have fun getting to know your little girl. We will look forward to meeting her one day ...
Lots of love from all of us
Jo and Luke. xox

Christian said...

Fantastic! She looks beautiful - and photogenic, in fact they're the best mum and newborn photos I've seen!
Really glad for you and Byron. Praise God.

In random news, I'm off to Bangladesh for a month on a short term mission..I leave the day after tomorrow


Anonymous said...

wonderful news! what a wonderful Christmas present! we are so happy for you guys! we can't wait to meet her one day. Dawn Traveller is perefct.

much love and blessings,

Rachel, Alex and Oscar in Timor Leste (though currently living the high life in Indonesia).

Garth De Visser said...

Fantastic, guys!

We're so happy for you.

So glad to hear, as well, that her arrival was a "textbook" case with no complications.

Best wishes & God's blessings for the future.

Garth & Irene

: )

irith said...

What a wonderful blessing! And what a fantastic experience for you both, I love the look of pride and joy on your faces. Isn't she such a bonnie wee poppet! She'll start having a Scottish accent too! Enjoy this time with your well-behaved baby, it is a real gift. All our love
Irith, Stephen and Dommie

andrewE said...

Hooray! Praise God. We're very happy for you both, and just generally. Thanks for the photos.

Love Andrew and Lauren.

Annedore said...

Beautiful pictures!!! Best wishes to all of you, young family! God bless!

Anonymous said...

Yeah! And well done! She is bigger than both our girls were. We praise God with you and pray that she will love and serve Jesus just like her mummy and daddy.

Anne, Alan, Waveney and Zoe Wood

Annedore said...

Beautiful pictures!!! Best wishes to you, young family!

Crystal said...

That is absolutely gorgeous! All of you are shining!!! Congrats!! She is gorgeous and I love the name Aurora!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica
Just picked up your email about the birth of Aurora! What a gorgeous name for a beautiful little baby. Well done you and Bryon. Enjoy these first few weeks of getting to know your little bundle - it's such a lovely time.

Rebecca (Saunders)

p.s. no sign of our wee one yet but my due date's today so will keep you posted!

Dave Barrie said...

Fantastic news! Jo and I couldn't be happier for the two of you and think you will make wonderful parents.

I love the name too, Aurora Beatrice Smith sounds like the sort of name a famous author would have so I think you have set her up well to make her mark o the world stage!

I was a nice surprise to learn that you chose the name from the very passage I have been meditating on (and preaching on) this week. The rising dawn sun dispelling the shadow of death is a powerful image for me too.


Joshua Kuswadi said...

Congratulations guys! She looks very alert too for a newborn. Hope you don't leave her out in the cold :-)

Josh, Jo, Tom and Sophie.

Annette said...

wow! she is just gorgeous and you two look radiant! and the snow - what a setting. Huge congratulations! much love to you both. I adore the name too - big fan of girls' names starting with A ;)

Katherine said...


Matthew Moffitt said...


Anonymous said...

Thank-you for posting the pictures, all three of you look very well and beautiful. Congratulations! Love, Enid, Guy and Marielle.

byron smith said...

PS Did anyone notice the fox tracks in this photo?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Aurora Beatrice is beautiful. Hope to meet her soon.
Love and best wises,
Angela, Graham & family.

Anonymous said...

Love the pics - she looks very peaceful! (Is that deceptive?) Loved hanging out with Byron on Waiheke - wish you & Aurora could have been with us.

PS Is the C.S. Lewis reference intentional?

Carli & Nick Luxton

byron smith said...

PS For those who were worried about the snow shots, this was an unmissable five second stop on the twenty paces from the taxi that brought us home to the front door.

Carli - of course. ;-)