Anthony McGruder, the father, sat snugly against her. His nervousness was obvious. But yet, so was his excitement.
At 9 pounds and 21 inches, Julian was the first baby of the new year born at Christus Spohn Hospital-Beeville and the first for these new parents.
The two Sandia residents had expected to have their child on Christmas, but despite his size — he wasn’t ready.
“From then on, I was having false labor pains,” Ashley said. “I was starting to think I was never going to have him.”
When the new year rolled around, he was ready.
Because of his size, the decision was made to have a C-section. At 10:46 p.m. on Jan. 1, Julian was born.
As the infant began to cry, Anthony could hardly wait to hold him.
“I was like, ‘This is mine.’ It is different to say, ‘I have a son,’” he said. “But I like it. I was nervous at first.
“Then I heard boys were more easy to take care of.”
Ashley, like Anthony, admits she is nervous to be taking on this responsibility.
“All these things were going through my mind,” she admitted. “What if I don’t know what I am doing?” she poised. “What if I am doing something wrong?”
She has experience with children, having helped take care of her niece. As she took the small bottle from Anthony, she was a natural it seemed.
Cradling the child gently, she held him closely to her. Both she and Anthony looked down at their child — a first in so many respects.
By Thursday, they expected to make the 40-minute drive south back home.
They both counted their blessings that, once they arrive, they have family there eager to help.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.