Meet Travis Bawa, MidState's First Baby of The Year

January 02, 2013 By Dan Brechlin

Meet Travis Bawa, MidState's First Baby of The YearFew things about the relationship between Anuj "Andy" Bawa and Jyotsna Rani Vundavalli have been traditional or customary, despite their coming from traditional Indian families. Travis Bawa, their newborn son, however, came just as expected on Vundavalli's New Year's Day due date.

Travis was the first baby to be born in Meriden yesterday, ringing in the New Year at 6:23 a.m. at MidState Medical Center. He is the firstborn child of Andy Bawa and his wife, Vundavalli.

"It's amazing; I just can't believe it," Vundavalli said, holding her son as he yawned. "It can be pretty hard for a new mom, but the doctors and nurses have been great and so helpful."

There was a point when the Southington couple thought Travis might be born just before New Year's, as they made their way into the hospital late Monday afternoon. But it wasn't time yet, so the hospital staff sent Vundavalli and her husband back home to rest for a few hours. They made their way back to MidState around 10 p.m.

"That's when they said, 'OK, you're staying,' " Bawa, a manager at Polumbo Jewelers in Southington, said.

Just over eight hours later, Travis was born, weighing in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. The couple had agreed to keep the sex of the baby a surprise, though Bawa admitted he had a suspicion that it might be a girl.

"I was expecting more of a Chloe," Bawa said. "I bought a pink stroller I guess I now have to return."

Bawa and Vundavalli married in February 2011 after having met in 2004. Though from the same country, the couple met over the Internet while Bawa was in the United States and Vundavalli was in India. They maintained the online romance for four years before meeting in person in 2008 in Dubai.

"It was a little nerve-racking," Bawa said, admitting he was more nervous about meeting his future wife's parents.

Their relationship was not seen as a traditional one, as Bawa is from New Delhi, in the northern part of India, while Vundavalli is from the south. It took some coercing, but both sets of parents finally agreed to allow the couple to get married. For good measure, there were three engagement ceremonies so that various family members could see the ritual.

Vundavalli came to the United States shortly after their first meeting and the couple got engaged. They had a marriage ceremony in 2011 with some of their family, but Bawa said that if they can ever get a larger group together, they plan on a much larger "There is nothing traditional about ourselves," Vundavalli, who worked for the Hospital of Central Connecticut, said.

Knowing numerous people in Southington, Vundavalli said she has been waiting to spread the news of her child's birth, joking that people have been asking her for weeks. Bawa added that the community has been extremely generous to the family already and he hopes to turn Travis into a jeweler like himself.

"It's such a life-changing thing," Bawa said, smiling at his son. "It's nine months, then all of a sudden he's out."

Another baby was born three hours after Travis at MidState, according to a nurse at the hospital. The two, however, were not nearly the first in the state to be born, according to reports. Just one hour and six minutes after the stroke of midnight, a baby girl was born at the William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, according to the Norwich Bulletin.

Photo: (Kimberly Primicerio / Record-Journal) Anuj "Andy" Bawa and Jyotsna Rani Vundavalli with their son, Travis, born at MidState Medical Center on New Year's Day. "It's amazing," said new mom Vundavalli. "I just can't believe it."

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