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It came as an unexpected phone call on a warm Wednesday afternoon that my sister, Beth, was going to be having her baby.
The butterflies in my stomach began churning away, as I knew that I was going to be holding my niece or nephew that night, as both Beth and Claus didn’t want to know the sex of the baby before he/she was born.
I drove from the Grant County News office all the way up to Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati anticipating the moment I would see the baby’s face.
Hours went by in the waiting room. My family and I had watched the end of the Reds game and other TV shows before at 7:18 p.m., when Anna Elise Tandrup was born.
There was more waiting as they were cleaning her up and getting her ready to meet her family for the first time.
I have never experienced such a miracle than at that moment. I was only 2-years-old when my brother was born and most hospital visits I have gone to have been for dying, not a new life.
When Jess and I got to go into the room and visit, we saw our tiny niece in Beth’s arms, all 7 pounds and 11 ounces of her.
I was given the first opportunity to hold Anna. I was so nervous because she was just about two hours old when I held her in my arms. She is definitely a miracle seeing her coo and stretch her baby arms and legs.
Jess and I went back to visit Beth, Anna and Claus a couple of days after she was born at the hospital, along with my aunt Leslie and uncle Steve, their first moment to see their great-niece.
Steve reminded me to take Anna to Gameworks and movies when she comes to stay over with Jess and I when she gets older.
With getting back to work, I found that a few weeks had gone by and Jess and I hadn’t visited Anna. I don’t want to become a stranger to my niece.
This past Saturday, Jess and I drove over to Claus and Beth’s house to visit our niece who is going to be a month old on July 29.
Anna was asleep on Claus’ chest and he whispered to her that her aunt and uncle were there to see her.
Jess got to hold her for a little bit before letting me hold her. Anna wasn’t too happy. She was hungry.
As Beth was changing her and getting her ready to eat, I found out how much she doesn’t like to be changed, as she was flailing her arms and legs, while Beth was putting her new outfit on. You could tell she loves her mom, because every moment Beth put her on her chest she was calm, but once she was back on the couch it was back to wailing and flailing.
Beth was burping her once I got the opportunity to hold her again and with a full tummy it was naptime again for Anna. She slept for nearly an hour on my chest and those butterflies I had in my stomach the day she was born were back, but it was maybe more of a warm feeling holding her and kissing her on her forehead.
While she was sleeping a quick storm cell swept through, allowing a bright flash of lightning and a crack of thunder startling everyone, but little Anna slept straight through it, comfortable on my chest.
I hope to be able to visit Anna more and seeing her grow, but in baby steps. I want to see my niece as much as possible, so I don’t become a stranger to her.
(Matt Birkhholtz is the sports writer for the Grant County News. He can be reached at 859-824-3343 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)