I was gone to Starbucks when the news you were coming arrived. My phone, which had scarcely left my side for the last several weeks as I impatiently waited on news of you, was sitting on my desk; the text message announcing that you were on the way sat unseen and unread on my phone, an eagerly awaited message that would have to wait just a little longer.
When I returned to the office, iced coffee and bacon gouda breakfast sandwich in hand, I absently checked my phone and saw the message I’d been waiting to see for weeks. “Your new niece is on her way!”
The thirty or so minutes after that are largely a blur to me. There was a lot of squealing, a lot of dancing around, a lot of running from office to office to share the exciting news. I called my Mama (your BB) first, as she’s the one that sent the text, and then I called Jennifer, your Mama, to see how everything was.
You were definitely on the way, she said, and before she drove herself to the hospital, she was going to stop at a fast food restaurant to grab some fries, because naturally, she was hungry. Labor’s hard work. This is your Mama. She’s the strongest woman I know. When she went into labor with Garrett, your big brother, she insisted on doing a load of laundry before she left the house. She’s like Super Woman on steroids, and if you’re anything like her at all, you’ll be amazing.
After much celebration at work, your Uncle Jeremy arrived to whisk me away to meet you. We went home, fed the cats (your cousins), grabbed the camera, and away we went. For a good twenty minutes of the hour-long car ride, I squealed intermittently. You can ask Uncle Jeremy. I was pretty excited and pretty annoying. It was about 5:00 by the time we were on the road, and Atlanta traffic can be a nightmare. But not that day. That day everything was perfect.
We made it to the hospital in plenty of time. You were in no real hurry. Your Mama was patient and calm, and for awhile, we just hung out with her and your Daddy in the hospital room. They would only let in two of us at a time, so we took turns. Me, BB, and your Papa. I would say the three of us were equally excited to meet you; we’ll always be your biggest fans.
The waiting room was crowded at first. Families came and went. Babies were happily announced, hugs were shared, even a few tears were shed, and still, we waited.
By 10:00pm, the waiting room was just me, BB, Papa, and Uncle Jeremy. We were ready for you to arrive, and an electric current of anticipation was buzzing in the room, but there was also a strange sense of calm. When your big brother arrived, I don’t think any of us were calm, but with you, things were different. After meeting you, I realized calm was just part of who you were.
We finally did get to meet you at about 1:00am. You were, and still are, beautiful. Your Mama was beautiful, too. When we came in the hospital room to see you and her, she looked amazing. We kept asking how everything went, and she would just shrug. Easy peasy. I know very few women who shrug after labor. I told you your Mama’s pretty amazing.
I’ve held you and kissed you and cuddled you close. Soon, you’ll be a week old, but I loved you before you were even born.
Tessa Rose, I wish you a life of giggles and bare feet, of ponytails and sunshine. I can’t wait to know you even better, to play with you and kiss your boo-boos and be the best aunt in the world. You’re already the best niece.