I remember being so frightened that my one year old daughter would be devastated when her little baby brother came along. I’d sometimes even cry to my husband that she will hate me over it. Boy, was I silly, and also pregnant (yes, I’m trying to blame hormones). I tried my hardest to savor what could be the last just her and I moments. How will she react to the baby needing attention? Will she be able to sleep through the crying? Will she be mad at me for not paying attention to her? So many questions and worries swirling through my head at night keeping me up (not to mention the baby kicking, back pains, and all the other fun).
Once number two came, I realized what a waste of time all that worrying was. Cece now has a beautiful brother to share all her moments with and a playmate for life. I’m not going to lie, at first it was rough, but I luckily had a lot of help from my family. After a couple months, everything became easier, and a routine started occurring. My firstborn was now a big sister and a great helper. As with all siblings, sharing is not a top priority, and jealousy does occur, but the way they laugh at each other, smile and stare at each other, babble and talk to each other, is quite amazing and melts a mom’s heart. If you don’t have kids, you probably shouldn’t bother reading this, you won’t know what I’m talking about and I’ve been on that side too. But once you have kids it’s a whole new world and perspective.
So here’s my letter one year later…
Dear Little Bear,
It has been a year since it was just you and me (and daddy of course). I remember the night I figured out my water had broke and how I hoped I just peed my pants (I knew better). I was in denial but knew in the morning I would have to make the phone call to the specialist to let them know. So I sat you on the table and drew pictures with you and you laughed with your daddy’s sunglasses on your head. I packed a small bag for myself and for you, just in case. In the back of my mind I knew my waters had prematurely ruptured the evening before, but I didn’t want to admit it. I was only 30 weeks and was hoping for a normal delivery and to have much less excitement as with your emergent c section breech birth 4 weeks early.
I thought I still had 10 weeks to laugh, cuddle, hug, play, run after, give one hundred percent to, and enjoy with you and daddy. I remember getting out of the car I drove down to the hospital, and having my parents take the car with you in it. I kissed you goodbye and hoped I would see you soon.
The news that my water had broke was devastating since I was told I’d most likely go into labor in 48 hours and my baby would not have developed the lung capacity to breath on his own. I was also devastated because I knew I’d have to stay in the hospital away from you and daddy.
However, I beat the many odds against me and ended up being induced at 34 weeks with a mostly healthy baby boy, your little brother.
Over those four weeks, I looked forward to your visits everyday. When I knew you were coming I’d peak my head out the door waiting to hear the pitter-patter of your feet and laughter coming down the hall! We would cuddle in my bed, eat snacks (and boy did I get snacks and food from everyone!), color, watch a teletubbie DVD grandma found at a yard sale, and eventually take wheelchair rides to see guy, man with boo boo, and the train. You loved going on the rides and I loved being able to go with you. We even had a Father’s Day picnic in a conference room! You have fantastic grandparents on both sides who helped every step of the way and love you so much! Mommy’s friends and family also were great support and help over the long hard 4 week stay. Daddy really missed everyone together at home and missed his little Cece too. Daddy was working hard and also dealing with big home renovations to get your brothers room ready!
When we all were finally at home together, the feeling was wonderful. We struggled with little sleep but didn’t mind since we were all together as a family again. Once your brother was home, you automatically became attached to him. You are a great big sister and helped right away. Of course, there were jealous moments, as with any toddler, but now that he is one and you are almost 3, I can see how much you love him and our family. I worried for so long for no reason at all, in fact, I think you two will be best buddies (most of the time). I know you still sometimes yearn for the one on one full attention I could give you constantly, but the look on both your faces when you see each other is priceless. I do my best to give each of you some full attention time each day if possible.
You already are looking out for him telling mommy not to forget him and asking where he is. And don’t worry he is getting his own letter in his time capsule. I’m so glad you have a sibling to go through life with and share and enjoy. Mommy and daddy are so proud and love you so much!
So if you are a mom struggling with the worries of how your firstborn will react to a new baby, don’t waste your time, enjoy your one on one time and look forward to the enjoyment of two loving children.