Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Meeting My Niece

My niece, Charlotte Elizabeth was born on July 12 to my sister Molly and her husband Quintin. She is my sister's first child, and the first grandbaby on my side of the family. She's kind of a big deal!

She made us wait for her arrival for a few additional weeks, so I didn't get to meet her during my surprise visit to Las Vegas earlier this month. But, I was able to take another week off of work and fly back there 10 days after Charlotte was born.

I don't know if I can describe what it was really like to meet her. We'd talked about her and planned for her throughout my sister's pregnancy and finally meeting her was just so exciting! She was so tiny. Not tiny for a newborn (she was just over 8 lbs) but a tiny person. A sweet baby girl that won't always be a baby. I just wanted to memorize everything about her when I held her. Her fingers were so long and skinny, as were her legs and toes. She didn't have much baby-fat at all. She had a lot more hair than I had imagined and it was darker than I thought it would be. (My sister was a red head when she was born.) She had the cutest mouth - also very tiny. And large eyes. I haven't seen photos of my brother-in-law as a baby, but I'm guessing Charlotte got the Hagen nose.

Seeing my sister be a mother was also a little bit surreal. This baby she was holding, feeding, and caring for would be her daughter forever. She'd be my niece forever! This wasn't playing "house" anymore! Molly was so calm and patient through those long nights on little sleep. She'll be a great mom.

One of my main tasks during my visit was to take photos of Baby Charlotte. We did several mini-sessions throughout the week. Above is a photo of her in my grandmother's baby hat! My mother saved it for us all these years and finally got to dig it out of storage. It was big snug but so beautiful.

When I wasn't taking photos, I was trying to keep things picked up around the house, making meals, shopping, and doing some laundry. I didn't do as much as I would have thought since my own baby is busy growing and keeping me from having too much energy. I babysat once while M & Q had to go to work for a few hours; I got to give Charlotte her very first bottle which she took without complaint!

Being around a newborn was a good eye-opener for me in what I can expect those first few weeks to look like. I just have a few months left myself.  It was also great to spend so much time with my sister (when she wasn't sleeping!), and talk through what her labor experience was like and how she's feeling as a new mom. I'm so glad we get to experience these things together.

It was also a great time to practice my photography skills! Nothing like getting a baby to play with for a whole week! Molly snuck my camera to take this one below. It's one of the few I actually have of me with the baby!


We had a great visit and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm so thankful I got to be there for my sister during her recovery time and be somewhat helpful. It's hard to live so far away sometimes. It's not like we thought it would be when we were kids and we dreamed of living close by and having our kids be best friends or being each others babysitters!

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