I checked my phone around 5:45 a.m. No missed calls. No iMessages.
That’s not good, I thought.
You see, my sister-in-law went into labor at 3:00 a.m. yesterday morning. By the time I woke up today, it was already 26+ hours of labor. (As someone who labored for 25 hours, I know just how awful that is!)
As soon as I saw my husband I asked, “Did you hear anything yet?”
“I’ll check my phone,” he replied.
He checked. No missed calls. No iMessages.
We went about our morning like we usually do. But something drew me downstairs for a glass of orange juice right before Isabelle woke up. About five minutes before her wake-up, I received an e-mail from my brother-in-law. His wife had the baby at 5:35 a.m. (Just ten minutes before I initially checked my phone this morning!) Attached to the e-mail was the photo of an angelic looking baby girl and a very tired daddy.
And that’s when I realized it. I’m an aunt. An aunt… me! Growing up as an only child, I didn’t know if and when this day would come. I knew it was highly likely once I married my husband, since he has a younger brother, but it’s been a little over six years since our wedding. But today, I am an aunt.
I raced upstairs and told Marc she was born. He checked his phone. No missed calls. No iMessages.
“Your brother sent a picture via e-mail.”
He went into the mail app on his iPhone, clicked on the message, and beamed.
Moments later, I went into Isabelle’s room. I tried to keep our normal morning routine, but I couldn’t resist telling her the good news. (NOTE: I hadn’t told her anything about a new baby cousin. You see, in the past three years we’ve known four couples who’ve lost babies between the fifth – eighth months of pregnancy. It’s completely heartbreaking. G-d forbid something like that happened, I didn’t want to have to explain it to Isabelle. So I kept my mouth shut.) I showed her the picture of my brother-in-law holding his daughter.
“Who is that?” I asked.
She studied the photo closely. He didn’t look like himself since he was wearing blue scrubs. Finally, she said, “Uncle Adam.”
“That’s right! Who is he holding?”
“Yes, that is a baby. That is his new baby. Uncle Adam is now a daddy. That’s his baby.”
Isabelle looked thoroughly confused. It was as if she was wondering, where did this baby come from?
“Aunt Chris and Uncle Adam had a baby. Her name is Casey. Can you say her name?”
“Casey,” Isabelle repeated.
“Wow! That was so clear!”
We chatted for a few more minutes about the baby while she studied the photo. She asked to go to the hospital to meet the baby. (I told her that wasn’t possible since the baby is too little for visitors Isabelle’s age.) She asked to go and see the baby once she’s out of the hospital. (I told her we’d go to New York to see Baby Casey in a few weeks.)
“What will you do when you see Baby Casey?”
“Hug her. Kiss her. Love her.”
OMG! The answers were too cute. With that, I told her we were going to make a video to send to Uncle Adam, Aunt Chris, and Cousin Casey.
And that’s exactly what we did.
While recording the video, Isabelle stated that she wanted to see more photos of Casey. My mother-in-law sent four more. I showed them to Isabelle after lunch. Here’s what she thought:
So Isabelle is a big cousin, my husband is an uncle, and I’m an aunt. How very exciting!