In the midst of all the sadness over Melanie’s death, we had her daughter Aalia Sabine to raise our spirits. Melanie and Khurram had given a lot of thought to their daughter’s name. Aalia is a derivation of the name Alia. It means “To ascend; to go up” in Hebrew and “Noble; Sublime” in Arabic.
Sabine is from the trilogy of novels by Nick Bantock. They are both bibliophiles. So, it was no surprise that they chose a middle name from a book character. In honor of his wife, Khurram decided to add Melanie to their daughter’s name. For a child so small, she’s got a quite a few names. According to Khurram, he’ll let her choose which names she prefers when she gets older. With all those beautiful names choose from, she’s likely to want to be called “cutie” or “shorty”.
Aalia Sabine was born 4 weeks early, but is doing remarkably well. Thankfully, she did not have to spend any time in the neonatal intensive care unit and was discharged after only spending 2 days in the hospital. She is only a whooping 6 lbs. 8 oz., but has plenty of personality to make up for it. At only 1 week, she already knows that when she’s hungry she wants her milk IMMEDIATELY and that she’s happiest when her arms aren’t bundled.
She has also met a multitude of people. From her dad’s immediate family, her Auntie Seema (Dad’s sister), Uncle Faisel (Dad’s brother), and Cousin Serena came all the way from Canada. From her mom’s immediate family, her Lola Lilly (her grandma), her Uncle Geevee (Mom’s brother), her Auntie Rachel, Cousin Kammi, and her Auntie Marnie (Mom’s sister) came from the Philippines, Singapore, and Canada. Of course, she also met her Uncle Nate (my brother) and many, many of her parents’ friends. Some of these friends have known her dad since they were children. Others knew her parents from medical school. Still others knew her parents from their residency program. Some were people that lived in her home of Florence. No matter how they knew Aalia’s parents, they were there to meet her and offer their support.
edited 05.02.09: Tita Mackie, Lolo Bert’s (Aalia’s late grandfather) cousin from LA, who also stayed a few days with us
Aalia with Lola Lilly
If the photo onslaught isn’t enough, here are some short video clips.