Bust out the cigars … the niece has arrived

Andrea Joseph

The wait is over. Regular readers, you know what I’m talking about. Although she made a fashionably late entrance, my niece arrived July 2. A tiny bundle of screaming fury, Brooklynn Elise made it immediately clear that she was not happy to exit the cozy confines of her home of the past nine months.
The wait is over. Regular readers, you know what I’m talking about. Although she made a fashionably late entrance, my niece arrived July 2. A tiny bundle of screaming fury, Brooklynn Elise made it immediately clear that she was not happy to exit the cozy confines of her home of the past nine months.

Little did she know that even in her complete misery, she brought absolute jubilation to the group of people waiting outside the operating room where she entered the world. I was fortunate enough to have been in that “invitation-only” group, which also included both sets of her grandparents – all of whom proudly hold that title for the very first time.

As we waited anxiously, some paced, some had cameras ready and some prayed silently for the safety of mom and her delivery of a healthy child. When my brother, who just turned 40, pushed through the doors with tears flowing and a ridiculous grin, it was clear that his wish had finally been fulfilled. (Also clear was that his new baby girl had “christened” him: we later found out she’d pooped down the front of his surgical gown the moment the doctor placed her in his arms.)

The nurses wheeled out Brooklynn right behind him and we finally got a glimpse of the wailing baby who had already found a comfortable little spot in each of our hearts many months before. I’ve been present soon after the births of some of my friends’ children, but nothing really prepared me for the sense of pride I felt knowing that a little bit of my blood runs through her veins.

We all made our way back to the new parents’ original room, where we awaited the return of my sister-in-law, who nurses said was doing just fine. In the meantime, a much more calm Brooklynn was weighed and measured, bathed by her pops and snugly wrapped like a 6-pound, 7-ounce burrito.

Mother and daughter were reunited an hour or so later, and the new family of three officially began their journey. Photos were snapped, video was shot and a sleepy Brooklynn was passed around for all of us to hold and cover with kisses. The crowd slowly dissipated and I left the exhausted parents that evening and drove three hours back to my home in San Martin.

Since then, I’ve been updated through emails, calls and texts. My sister-in-law has sent photos of Brooklynn in the pink bathtub I bought; my brother has shared close-up photos of his baby girl and texts, including “She is awesome!”; and both have commented on how they’re adjusting to their new, currently sleepless life.

There is an open invitation for me to visit, but I don’t want to bombard the new family too soon. I imagine they need a little time to get settled, and to share their daughter with friends and colleagues who I’m sure are stopping by at regular intervals.

But I’ve been told by several of my friends that, soon enough, the new parents will gladly encourage visits, simply to give them a little break. My friends claim bringing a new baby home can be stressful and overwhelming. Who’d have thought?

So, as there is an open invitation to me, my brother and sister-in-law know that the invitation is open to them as well. As Brooklynn grows out of her newborn onesies, into those 6-month jumpers and beyond, I’m more than happy to make the drive should they want a breather, a date night or even just a weekend nap. Although I don’t have children, most of my friends do and I’ve spent time with a medley of babies who became toddlers, and some who are now teens.

But let’s not rush Brooklynn. Right now, she’s perfect just the way she is.

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