I was far more concerned to have a second baby than to have my first. Not troubled with my own well being, but that of my first baby, now a toddler. She hated when her Father hugged me, sat next to me, etc. At any point if he was near me, she’d wedge herself into any gap she could find. Her territorial behavior concerned me.
I thought, How am I going to introduce a newborn into the mix? My first born was never aggressive, but I speculated it was possible toward her sister. The new baby was going to be attached to me, nursing. If my first born was worried about her Father hugging me, how is she going to react to her sister?
For months I prepared. I bought gifts for the “newborn” to give to her sister. I arranged a backpack full of toys to provide my first born with entertainment while the new baby was nursing. I planned and packed at-home crafts and activities in Zip-Lock Bags. Ready for any need my first could have. I did all I deemed possible to aid in a smooth transition from a family with one child to that of two. The wonderful lesson I learned, my worries and fears, were pointless.
My baby was born in the early morning. Her sister, still tucked in her bed sleeping. After the birth I was able to shower, then lay with my newborn for a few hours before her sister would wake. I watched the clock waiting for 8:30am wondering and hoping that all would go well when my eldest awoke. The time came and passed and my eldest still lay fast asleep in her bed. We let her sleep an hour or so more than normal, then finally my husband decided to wake her up.
She walked into my room and climbed up on my bed. Before I uttered a word, she implanted herself next to her sister, stroking her arm and touching her nose. I said, “Look at your new baby sister.” She wasn’t surprised at all, she acted as if the baby always existed. We all sat squished up next to one another. There were no incidents when the baby nursed. From day one it was if my eldest was instinctually tuned in to her new life. She seemed to know the baby needed me just as she did. That very day, she no longer was upset with her Father touching me. Just like that!
The three of us spent a lot of time in bed in the early days of life as a family of four. We played educational games, watched Planet Earth, read books, and even ate many meals in bed. When we watched the documentary, my eldest would “teach” her sister the names of the animals in the film, never wishing to do anything more than sit with her, and enjoying our new world.
As a mother, a lesson I have to learn repeatedly is to put more faith in my children in times of big transition. It’s in times of change that I have found children to shine the brightest. I am often most concerned when I shouldn’t have been. I need to start being more concerned with mundane everyday tasks and activities instead. Babies are people too, and just as we understand evolution, inherently they do too.
First day of life together!
She still never leaves her side!
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