The day my sister told me she was pregnant, I had a feeling. She hadn’t given me any indication that she was, but she also asked if she could drop by in the middle of the day, which she never does.
“She’s pregnant,” I told SVV. “I just know it.”
“Nah,” he said. “No way.”
“Mark my words,” I said. “Sister’s intuition.”
I was right (words I’ll never tire of saying), and my fur niece Charlee came galloping into the room wearing a “Big Sister” tee. I cried.
Those coming weeks when we couldn’t tell my parents or any friends—and she was nearly bed-ridden with morning sickness—were pure torture. That day finally came at the end of July when my brother-in-law Josh blessed the food at our family dinner and also threw in “and take care of the little baby that’s growing inside of Kari.” I love seeing my mom surprised as it’s so rare, and that moment did not disappoint. It took my dad a bit longer to catch on, but his reaction was priceless, too.
I’d been waiting for them to start having babies since they first got married three years ago, but I didn’t think I was also lucky enough to get another niece (I have two nieces, Kiva and Lucy, through SVV’s siblings out in California). Say what you will about boys, but I love me a baby girl: I can play Disney princesses and dress-up all day long.
So when we found out at the end of September, it was a girl, I was more than overjoyed. And a bit in disbelief. We always just knew Kari would have a gaggle of boys, so the thought that she could have a mini-me running around never had, in fact, crossed my mind.
Charlotte Rose was born at 3:07pm on March 5, 8 pounds and 7 ounces of cheeks with a full head of hair; Charlotte because that’s the one girl name they loved (and because they met in Charlotte, North Carolina while working at EY!) and Rose for Josh’s sweet grandmother.
She’s already like her aunt in that she was already having all the FOMO and decided to come out a week early (while I was in California—how rude!). And she’s already like her mom in that she’s perfectly content sleeping all day long. Seriously, that kid knows how to snooze. I’ve never been a great sleeper, so I’m hoping she’ll teach me a thing or two!
I met Charlotte when she was 48 hours new to this world, and we were insta-BFFs.
The next day, however, we got an alarming call—Charlotte was back in the hospital with a viral infection that could potentially be spinal meningitis. Not the words any new parents (or any parents in general) want to hear ever.
So, Kari and Josh took her to Tri-Centennial in Nashville for the next three days where they monitored her vitals and pumped antibiotics into her little body. If you ever want your heart to shatter into a million shards, go into the pediatric unit of a hospital when they’re sticking a newborn’s foot with a needle. Poor Charlotte was a pincushion that weekend (though she slept through a lot of it, to be honest).
Photo taken just 12 hours after she got home from the hospital. You’d never know she had such a traumatic week!
But she came home, and her other aunts Christin and Rosa flew out from Charleston along with her other grandmother, Sweetie—who has been to see her three times already in her first month—so baby girl’s first weekend in the comfort of her own house was, well, not quiet.
I feel for this kid. She’s definitely not loved and definitely won’t be spoiled.
And what a lucky baby, living a mile from these two doting grandparents. For those of you who have asked, Dad is still making improvements 26 months after his stroke, but I don’t think his speech will ever be fully back. It’s adorable, however, to see how much he adores Charlotte, and ditto to her own father, Josh.
Her big sister Charlee is slowly coming to terms with no longer being the favorite. She doesn’t like it one bit and more or less ignores the
elephant baby in the room.
We’ve already had so many firsts in the past month: Charlotte’s first St. Patrick’s Day, Charlotte’s first epic blowout (luckily I was not present for that one), Charlotte’s first Easter, Charlotte’s first month birthday, Charlotte’s first meeting of her cousins (on both sides).
One thing’s certain: Her life will be well-documented.
(And for those of you who have asked, no, this has not made me change my own stance on having kids. Having a niece nearby that I can swoop in on and love at any point is all I need.)
I can’t wait for so many adventures with you, little one. We’re going to travel the world together, just you wait.