Journal

FaceTime & My Niece: How my iPhone included me in the birth of my niece

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I’m sure by now you know that I love the Internet and my iPhone.

While we were on our round the world trip, we used Skype to connect with our families in a way that a simple email just couldn’t compare. We use the cameras on our phones to capture immediate events and share with anyone who wants to listen. It seems like every couple weeks another App comes out that improves and enhances our world unlike anything before it.

With the development of FaceTime, I’m again able to connect to my family in a more personal way than ever before.

On Friday, my brother FaceTimed me from his house in Gainesville, Florida. Him and his wife are about to have a baby and he recently bought a new Mac and is obsessed with FaceTime. Excited as always to hear from my brother, I logged on for him to tell me that Nicole (my brother’s wife) was going into labor- five and a half weeks early! As she laid on the couch, I read off a list of items from The Ultimate Hospital Packing Guide for new parents to my brother, who then calmly hurried back and forth throughout the house to get all the items on the list. Even though I was 3,000 miles away I was involved in a special moment for new parents. As the contractions got closer together and Stefan had gathered all the packing list items, charged the camera and got the car set ready, we said goodbye before they called me again from the hospital room.

About two hours later my parents arrived at the hospital and sent pictures and videos of everyone preparing for the baby. The hospital had Wi-Fi (can you believe it?) so we were able to FaceTime a few more times before the baby was born. At 2:55am, I received a text message and photo of the baby, Ellie Broadus, and I was officially an aunt.

Obviously a nature explorer, our little Ellie didn’t want to wait any longer to start her adventures.

She was early and perfect, 4 pounds and 13 ounces of feisty cuteness, just like her mom. And a head of dark hair and calm disposition, just like her dad.

Throughout the morning we FaceTimed several more times, sending videos and photos back and forth. Obviously thinking that the baby was going to be born in January, I was unable to quickly fly from LA to Florida. But technology allowed me to share this experience with my family, and I’m so incredibly grateful.

There are several moments in my life where I felt an immediate shift in energy. Most notably, our Round the World trip and studying abroad in London have been two of the biggest. This weekend though, and my new niece, must be added to the list.

Watching my younger brother hold his little baby, snuggle with her and protect her, was one of the most special moments in my life. Hearing her cry and seeing her move is so much more personal than just having my family tell me stories about her.

My family is growing and I’ve never felt more proud and more connected to them. I don’t want to say FaceTime was solely responsible for it, but it definitely included me in an event that otherwise would have been impossible.

Do you love Skype and FaceTime? How do you deal with being away from family for important life event?

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