It started at 6:30 yesterday morning when my sister called me to tell me our sister's water broke, and she was going into labor. Her actual due date was today, so the baby was coming on time, more or less. I'd been waiting for this day ever since the day I found out my sister was pregnant, but as much as I was looking towards it, I knew my pregnant sister was looking forward to it for a whole other set of reasons. I went to work, waiting for any updates since I knew it was going to be a super long day.
By lunch time, there weren't any significant updates with my sister's condition. Since I had to drive from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, I had to leave work early enough to hopefully dodge as much rush hour traffic in between as possible. Fortunately, I met up with my dad by early evening and we got to the hospital with plenty of time to spare (much to the chagrin of my sister in labor).
By 7:00, my sister had just started moving forward with dilating. However, she was faced with choosing between giving birth naturally or having a C-section. She ultimately went with the C-section, and the procedure was expected to take about an hour to complete.
Finally sometime after 9:00, my brother-in-law came out with a big smile on his face and showed us pictures of my niece. Gianna Violet Ignozzi was 7 lbs, 9.5 oz and was 19 inches long. I chose to wait to meet her face to face before leaving for the night. I had to wait over two hours before we got notice that we could come back to see my niece.
All I can say is, it was completely worth the wait.
I saw my sister laying in bed, with my niece laying in her newborn bed with a heater above her to keep her warm. I always knew I'd enjoy becoming an uncle, but once the moment hit me, there were no words that could possibly describe how completely in love with my niece I was. I was extremely nervous about holding her, but the nurse in the room wrapped her in several blankets and offered her up to me.
As amazing as it was seeing my niece for the first time, holding her in my arms was another experience all together.
There was a moment as I was holding my niece where she opened her eyes and looked right at me. It was a moment that I will never forget as long as I live. She was immediately the apple of my eye.
I said all along that I would enjoy spoiling my niece rotten, even to the point of annoying my sister in the process. I still plan on doing that, but when my niece looked at me in the eye, I knew my role as uncle was far greater than that. It's my brother-in-law's responsibility to protect and support her throughout her life, but I now know I play a role in that, too. I may already be completely wrapped around her finger, but I also will do my best to take care of her and protect her as well.