Leo Masaharu Kuraoka: The First Week.

Text and photos 2002, John or Ondine Kuraoka, Frances Kuraoka, or Barbara Brooks

Did you read my birth story? I hear that it's unusual to be born on the hospital hallway floor, but I have nothing to compare it to so there you go.

Here are more pictures of me, taken almost immediately after I was born on July 20, 2002. For instance, in that shot at the top of the page, I'm just 20 minutes old - and reflecting, as you can see, on the past 20 minutes. Daddy shot his N90s with a 50/1.4D and Ilford HP5 Plus pushed to 800 so he didn't need a flash. His new scanner, though, is something this side of awful. Both the photos and I look much better in person.

They kept me pretty bundled up, and I had to stay under the buffet warmer because I had a hard time maintaining my temperature. Well, who wouldn't, after being born in a drafty ol' hallway?

Here I am that afternoon, asleep at last. What a day, what a day.

Here I am the next day with Mommy. She holds me and has food for me, so she's okay in my book. Like my haircut? I was born with it.

This "Daddy" person seems like an okay sort too. I must say that his voice sounds very familiar.

Now these are two fun people to be around, my Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Bill!

My Birthplace. This spot will be famous some day, so remember it!

Wouldn't you know it. As soon as you get settled in someplace, someone comes along and scoops you up to take you someplace else. I'm headed to a place called "home."

"Home" seems to include this new "bed." I'm not convinced I like it. I can hold my head up and look around a bit in a wobbly sort of way

Here I am with the 'rents. Mommy, Daddy, and Me, their crowning achievement.

Here I am with Grandma Barbara and some other kid. Another kid? Hmm. You'd think I'd be enough for anyone. I think we'll have a long, loud discussion about this other kid person, say, at 2 am.

Here I am on my second day out in the world, with Daddy and Mommy.

Oooooo. Arrrrgggh! Hmmmmm.

On the one hand is a photo of that other kid at the same age. He is apparently Mommy and Daddy's first draft. On the other hand is the new and improved version, me.

My other Grandma, Frances, came to visit. I'm about four days old in this photo.

Wendy LaFrenz was Mommy and Daddy's doula. She helped bring me into the world.

Here's the Kuraoka Family: Mommy, Daddy, Me, and that other kid. They call him Roy, and he's my older brother which means he lives with us and everything. He's sort of fun to watch, though. I was named after my late grandfather Masaharu, and this photo was taken on what would have been his 77th birthday. I am eight days old.

Back to Leo's main page
Ahead to Leo's first month
Further ahead to Leo's weekly picture picks
Back to the Photo Gallery page
Back to work at kuraoka.com