Our second child, Aaron Yusuf MacVay, was born in the early morning hours of March 7th, after a lot of pushing and an emergency C-section. Mother and baby are both doing fine now. As for Alisdair, well he really loves being a big brother.
We had a few names in mind but Aaron Yusuf came out tops. Aaron, the name of a prophet, is acceptable in both cultures (it has a local form, Harun, but there are also Malay guys named Aaron); Yusuf is also a prophet’s name (the English form is Joseph) and was an early choice for one of Alisdair’s names. Actually, it was Alisdair who ultimately decided on his brother’s name: Early on, Leen and I were still mulling over various name combinations, but Al suddenly began referring to his little brother as Aaron Yusuf; we didn’t have the heart to change it on him.
We’ve obviously stuck with a couple of trends: beginning the name with A, and also going with the pattern ‘Western name + Malay name’. One thing we’ve done differently, though: We’ve given our kid a name that pretty much anyone can pronounce. So far the only person who ever pronounced Alisdair’s name correctly without hearing it first was an Irish lady who was handing out toys in the children’s ward at HUKM when Al was warded there a few years ago. She was quite surprised to see the name Alisdair on a bed where a Malay woman was breastfeeding her baby. I still love Alisdair’s name and wouldn’t give him any other. But Aaron will definitely have an easier time when it comes to people pronouncing his name.
Another big difference between this experience and when we had Al is that I stay in touch with most of the folks back home via Facebook now; I’ve uploaded a few photos there, so I don’t really feel compelled to put a lot here, not like I did when we had Al anyway. But it’s all good.