As mentioned yesterday, Heather and I had a whole plan for how we hoped things would go on James’ birth day. The thing we spent the most time planning was how Annie would meet her baby brother. There were a couple reasons for this. First, we knew this landmark moment could very well end up being Annie’s first memory, and second, children often feel anxious about the birth of a sibling, so we wanted to make sure she felt as safe and reassured as possible. Though all of the unexpected delays meant we had to spread our plan over two days instead of one, I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out.
When it was time for Annie’s big moment, I left Heather and James and headed down the hall into the waiting room.
“Do you want to meet your baby brother?” I asked.
Annie’s eyes lit up, so I took her hand and lead her toward Recovery. Annie was beyond excited, and never stopped talking the entire way there.
Upon entering the room Annie shuffled toward Heather’s bed and said, “Mama… Is that my baby brother?”
Heather nodded and Annie’s mouth dropped open. This made Heather laugh as I lifted Annie into the bed next to her. To our relief, Annie didn’t seem anxious or jealous, just very, very excited to meet James.
Since Annie loves birthdays so much, Heather came up with the idea of having a little birth day celebration for James right then and there. Thanks to Tia Leah, who had picked up a box of cupcakes that morning, we were able to eat birthday cupcakes and “sing the song” to James.
“Happy birthday dear James. Happy birthday to you!”
James may not have been able to partake in the cupcakes, but that didn’t stop Annie.
We had some other cool things planned, too, but since it was late and we were still in Recovery, they had to wait.
The next day, after we’d finally moved into postpartum, Heather’s parents brought Annie into our room where two presents were waiting for her.
“Who’re those for?” she asked.
“You!” we said. “The little one’s from Mommy and Daddy, and the big one’s from James.”
Annie sputtered a moment, surprised, then said, “James got me a present?”
We nodded and Annie tore opened James’ present to find a Sofia the First dress that she’d been asking for since the beginning of Heather’s pregnancy.
Our present to Annie was a little heart necklace. We wanted to give her something special that she could still have when she was older to remember this special occasion by.
After finishing opening her presents, Annie was desperate to do one thing and one thing only: hold her baby brother.
It was an awesome moment. We then did something I was desperate to do – take our first family photo.
Heather and I were lucky that a number of our friends had babies during Heather’s pregnancy, because it let Annie see the process firsthand and stoked her excitement. The fact that she was able to watch her friends Georgie and Jenna become big siblings went a long way toward preparing her to meet her baby brother.
We’ll see how things go from here. I realize there likely will be some growing pains with Annie as we settle into our new life with James, but until these two have me yelling “I will turn this car around!” I’m going to savor their beautiful first moments together.
So very happy for you all Annie seems to be good and ready to handle things!
YOU GUYS!! This is just tooooo cute. The look of excitement on Annie’s face! I’m so happy for you all.
Congratulations to you, Heather and Annie. Never before have I been so stressed about how people I have never met are doing. So happy for James’ safe arrival!
I have never seen so much love and happiness in a few photos as I have in yours. I’m so thrilled for you all, and Annie’s face, looking at James, is just so precious, I don’t even know what to say. I think the photos say it all!
You guys are awesome, what a special day you made it for Annie and James, that is truly precious and something she will treasure when she is older. Awesome photos too. I wish I had more photos of those first special moments.
So thrilled for you all
I am so so so happy for you! So happy that James is here safe and sound, and that Annie is here to cuddle and tickle and kiss him and to boss him around when he gets older…
So very lovely, I’m really happy for you guys
…and what was the decoration on that cupcake??
I cried the whole way through! And also had questions about the cupcakes….were they nipples?? Ha!
Go breastfeeding! ???
Looked more like some sort of gumdrop or random decoration to me.
That’s too funny! No, they were nipples cupcakes (though that would make sense, I suppose). The cupcake place – Sprinkles – puts those round things atop all of their cupcakes.
That. Is . Classic.
HUGE HAPPY CONGRATS ON JAMES ARRIVAL!!!
Heather Romano says:
They did look a lot like nipples Congratulations to your family!
You guys are absolutely amazing and fantastic parents, it’s been wonderful to see you both celebrating the birth of your beautiful boy but…
…this is the post I’ve really been waiting for!
And Annie nailed it. Congratulations again, Spohrs. It may not be all smooth sailing ahead but I bet the view is still breathtaking!
These are seriously the most precious pictures (and story) EVER!!!! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as I gazed with contentment at Annabel’s enchanted little face! (So I did both!)
The looks of joy on all your faces are beyond words!!!
Thank you, once more, for sharing this special time with us. I feel so honored!
I love, love, love that Tia Leah helped you celebrate as a family with providing cupcakes for James’ birth! How very, very special.
I have the feeling that while Annie may have some earlier memories, that you are quite right in that these will probably be her clearest and dearest early memories.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this joyous & precious post!!!
Love to you all!!!!
And I do believe that James is smiling in those last 2 pictures!!!! He knows he chose the perfect family for himself!!!
Congratulations. How wonderful . I must ask, with everything so lovingly planned and thoughtful – Mike’s SF Giants championship tshirt? “Accident”? Or the start of the subtle propaganda? Just asking!!
Antonia from the UK says:
So, so beautiful! It’s brought tears to my eyes!
These pictures are awesome! It shows me how much I took those moments for granted… So happy for all of you…Heather looks radiant and Mike, you have a smile that must inevitably light up a room. Every. Time. Please tell who ever took the photos that they did a superb job!!
Wonderful pictures! Such memories!
I am just so, so happy for you.
My kids are 4 years apart. I’m an only child, so sibling rivalry is a foreign concept to me. We have been bless that they are very close. The fight and frustrate each other, but not miserably. I wish the same for your family.
Ohhhhhhhh, beautiful in every way ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Annie is adorable as ever and the family picture is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing. So glad you are able to appreciate/savor these moments.
Hoping everyone is doing well and Heather’s recovery is going as well as it can.
Satchi Nitay says:
Very happy for you all, so sweet. I hope you and Heather have gotten some rest.
Thank you for sharing these precious moments. James looks a lot like Maddie. Your family is precious. ?
I love the photos!!! They are heart warming and when I think of all you guys have been thru, it does bring tears to my eyes seeing Annie holding Sweet Baby James. You know Mike, when my son was born, my daughter was 3 and dramatic and EVERYONE warned us how terrible and jealous she would be. However, when the time cane, seeing my daughter with her brother made everyone EAT THEIR WORDS!!! She loved him and was NOT jealous of him at all -in fact, our biggest problem with her was getting her to leave him alone!!! She loved him so much she was constantly in his face, wanting to hold him, singing to him, petting his head, etc! ha ha I think you’re right just to take 1 day at a time. You guys are doing an excellent job including Annie…so good that I wouldn’t be surprise if Miss. Annie surprised everyone and also had none of “those jealousy moments”.
After all, Annie and James both have one of the best gifts a child can get….2 loving parents who are not only creative and fun but who also adore and love them as much as each other!!! How lucky can a kid….or 2 get?!?!? xoxo
To echo that, Jenn, my mother always says that the only jealousy issues she suffered from me when my brother was born was towards her! I wanted to be his mother!
So, so beautiful. I love the excitement and joy on Annie’s face. Thank you for sharing these moments.
This is the most precious set of photos that I have ever seen! I am so happy for you all! God bless you!
michele bertolini says:
Gosh, every time I visited your blog, I end up in tears, reliving these beautiful moments from when my son arrived and his big sister met him. So happy for all of you. Great ideas for the gifts too. So special. Enjoy!!
Great pix! You have a good age difference there….my boys are 3.5 years older than my DD and we never really had too much jealousy. Not to say it won’t upset the apple cart in some way, but it’s worse when they are like 2 years apart.
The pictures in this post radiate happiness, they brought tears to my eyes. Much love and happiness to your beautiful family, Congrats!
All I can say is A-MAZING!!!
Erin Christine says:
I am beyond happy for your family. Little James is here safely and I hope Heather continues to recover well. You wonderfully handled Annie meeting her baby brother. Your family photo is BEAUTIFUL!!
…I know a cupcake from Sprinkles when I see one! YUM!! xoxoxo
Is it me, or does James look happy to be held by Annie? So sweet!
Donna P says:
Too awesome for words. Tears of joy for you and your family. Annie’s face is just so brightly lit up, she must be ready to burst with happiness.
Fantastic birth day celebration for James! Love Annie’s cheesy grin….she is going to be a fab big sister! Time is going to really begin to fly for you and Heather now! Enjoy every moment….as if, right!
Heather — I have never seen you look more beautiful than in these photos. The moments captured here are both precious and heartfelt. Wishing you all many many happy days.
This is such a sweet post! I love love the cupcake and singing idea. I totally teared up at that last photo with all four of you. Congratulations!
Love those pictures! And here’s my prediction: There’s no doubt you’ll someday yell, “Don’t make me stop this car!” but Annie reminds me a lot of my oldest, and I really doubt jealousy will come into play. My girls are four years apart, and my oldest was always so….sure of herself that I swear it never occurred to her to be threatened by the baby. It was like in her little mind, she was so incredibly awesome (and she is, haha) that the baby could never steal her thunder. They’re now 12 and 8. Do they fight? Every day of their lives. And the little one sometimes gets jealous, but never the oldest.
So beautiful! Congrats and enjoy those precious kids.
Congratulations to the Spohr family! Annie is going to ace this big-sister thing–what a good start she made!
I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see a family photo, and I don’t even know you guys in real life! Annie’s wonder at seeing her baby brother is so precious.
I don’t know you, but I follow your wonderful blog… and that last photo made me so emotional! Congratulations!
Deborah Pucci says:
That is one happy big sister! Love the photos. I’m glad the meeting went so well.
Yaaaay! This is so sweet!
Congrats! What a beautiful family! I wouldn’t be surprised if Annie avoids having jealous moments (at least until he starts crawling and touching her stuff). We have a 3 1/2-year-old girl and a 4-month-old baby boy. Our daughter still adores him as much four months later as she did the first day. He is the first person she wants to see in the morning. The only problem we have had is keeping her away from him so he can sleep or eat!
We welcomed our second daughter last July. Reading this entry had me reliving those first moments together as a new family of four. I got teary seeing the photo of Annie walking down the hallway. You can just feel her excitement. Enjoy your first few weeks as a foursome.
I’m mostly glad that you guys are aware of the growing pains part. Annie may be excited now, but even seeing other kids go through the process of becoming the big brother or sister, it’s unlikely she realizes what a time commitment it will be for mom! Jealousy might crop up later on, but having the parents be realistically prepared for it goes a long way!
Know that there will be some regression, and some bad feelings (in the sense of Annie pulling a few “but I need mommy RIGHT NOW, not later!”). If you haven’t already planned it (but I bet you guys already have), trying to work in some mommy-Annie alone time in what will be a very busy schedule for Heather, it will go a long way in minimizing sibling rivalry (plus it’ll be something Heather too will come to cherish, I bet!).
Oh, these posts are making me weepy. I’m so happy for you all!
So beautiful! I have been reading your blog for a few years now and I have to say – Heather, you look absolutely incredible in all the pictures that have been posted since James’ birth. You look so happy and content and peaceful and its really cool. I hope that makes sense and doesn’t come off creepy or weird, its just so heart warming to see everyone so happy. What a little blessing!
So happy for you all, and also so happy you documented it. I can’t recall my daughter’s reaction to my son’s birth, but I’m going to use my imagination and pretend it was as awesome as Annie’s reaction to James.
How sweet and special! Those two look like they’re going to be very good friends
You guys are amazing to take the time to share all of this with us. Thank you. So sweet to read about all your thoughtful planning to make the day meaningful for Annie.
When our second son was born, he was 8 weeks premature and in the NICU for almost a month, so his then 3 year-old big brother couldn’t hold or even touch him until he was home. I treasure the video my husband took of him seeing his brother in the isolette for the first time, but even more of him getting to hold him for the first time at home.
We had been prepping him for some time that his little brother would have a lot to learn from him. Shortly after we got the baby home, he asked us to put the baby on the ground. So we put our tiny 4-pound bundle, heart monitor and all, on the ground, then watched in amazement as our three year-old bent over him and said, “OK baby, this is how you do it!”, then proceeded to march around him in a circle and all around the room to teach him to walk. After just a few seconds he stopped and said “Mom, he’s not doin’ it!” We couldn’t stop smiling as we tried to explain that some of the learning was going to take a while, but that his earnestness with his big brother duties was right on target!
Blessings to all of you!
Love this post. What a great way for Annie to meet her little brother. Thanks for sharing!!
Shannon Bradley-Colleary says:
Congratulations and I so love this sibling story, but the thing I focused on the most was the gleaming shine of Heather’s gorgeous red hair!
This is lovely.
“Upon entering the room Annie shuffled toward Heather’s bed and said, “Mama… Is that my baby brother?””
Lol. I love children. “No, honey – this one we borrowed until he is back from his bath.” Too adorable!
Beautiful story! Thanks for sharing. Hugs to you all.
Jackie F. says:
Such a beautiful post…had tears in my eyes looking at the pictures of her holding him for the first time with Heather’s arm around both of them. Love!
Jana Holdeman Frerichs says:
You’ve got me in tears again Mike! It’s amazing… I am so thrilled for you! You and your family deserve all the happiness in the world. You are amazing parents and Annie and James are two very lucky kids. Congrats to you again. I can’t wait to read some more adventures with Annie and James.
So happy for all of you!
Annie looks so happy to be a “big sister” and she will be a great one!
Congrats to you again! and can’t wait to follow the journey of Annie & James.
Ashley Hast says:
Absolutely beautiful memories!!! Congrats again!
You guys make the most precious and beautiful babies ever.
Also, your cupcake looks like a boobie cupcake. Which is oddly enough…appropriate for a newborn celebration and cracks me up. Now what is the cupcake SUPPOSED to look like?
Thanks, Rebecca. As for the cupcakes… they’re just supposed to be cupcakes! Though I totally see what you’re talking about now. The cupcake place we got these from puts those little circles on all of their cupcakes; each color represents a different flavor so you know which cupcake is which.
Okay, I’m tired of your posts making me cry! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful moment with us – such a beautiful family!!!!!!
Aww, it’s so sweet to see Annie with her baby brother. You can totally tell how excited she is. I know she’s going to be a great big sister!
Funny you should say that–one of the first nice/cute things our son did for his sister, when he was about 2.5 and she was a baby, was to sing “turnee roundee car!” over and over to her when she was crying during car trips. Sometimes it would actually calm her down, too!
Lisa Ash says:
Aw, unexpectedly teared-up! And the boobie cupcakes! Superb.
So sweet! That picture of the four of you is fantastic.
I am so happy for all of you. Annie is going to be a great big sister.
Happy, happy tears from here. Congratulations on your beautiful family. You wrote this so beautifully and this will be a complete treasure to Annie!
So wonderful! I can honestly say that meeting my little sister is one of my earliest memories, after I’d just turned 3. I bet Annie will remember it all, and what a sweet thing!
Such a beautiful family and a fantastic first photo of the 4 of you! Each story about James’ arrival has brought tears to my eyes. Annie is going to be a great big sister!
I love everything about this post, especially the beautiful photos. Congrats again, Spohr family!
So beautiful, I love it!
We had our son “get” our daughter a stuffed bunny rabbit, which she immediately began dragging everywhere. It is the sweetest thing. I’m glad Annie is such a doting big sister.
Very beautiful pictures. I should have thought of the gift idea from us, but my daughter got my son a PSP when she was born. (which good for the hours he had to sit at the hospital after she was born).
I’d say it took till Matt was about 14 and Emmy about 4 when he started to get annoyed with her. Now as long as they stay in separate rooms all is well. Any aggression is held in check till Judo on Friday night when they can go at each other.
That was by far my favourite thing my Dad said ” don’t make me turn this car around!” We’ve broke it out for the first time on a 5 hr car ride!! Lol
Amy Lee says:
This had me in tears, happy tears of course. So glad little James is finally able to join your family.
It sounds like you guys had a wonderful babymoon!
One thing you said struck me as odd — that it could be her first memory? I imagine she’ll remember the experience, but why would it be her first memory? (Though that would be cool if it was!)
My brother is 18 months younger and I remember quite a bit before he was born and while my mom was pregnant with him. Annie is well over a year older than I was, so I imagine she’ll remember quite a bit, no?
I don’t remember meeting my brother, but I remember waking up and yelling for my mum and being surprised that my grandmother came to get me out of the crib instead! And I remember looking through the glass into the nursery.
If it helps, my parents were big on taking photos and we’d always look through our albums (a few times a week — they lived in our living room). Even as an adult, I remember taking nearly each and every one of those photos. All the memories persisted. So my theory: if you encourage her to remember specific things while they’re still relatively recent, she’ll form stronger memories that will endure into adulthood.
Erin Christine says:
The way I interpreted that line, was that the way Annie met her brother for the first time would BE her first memory of him.
Ah – that would make a lot more sense! I bet you’re right; that’s probably exactly what he meant!
I’m so happy for all of you!! You can see the excitement in Annie’s face. So cute!
All of you have been through so much to get to this place. Thank you so much for sharing!
Almost 27 years down the line…I still have a crystal clear image of meeting my baby sister for the very first time, on 16 June’86.. am sure this memory will stay with Annie life long…
This post made me tear up seeing all of your happy pictures! Love the family one! When our daughter was born we forgot to get a family picture and I so regret that. What a great idea with the cupcakes and presents!
well that is just the sweetest doggone thing! i have a close friend who delivered her sweet daughter yesterday and shared photos of her son meeting her tonight. it’s just so special.
you all look amazing and HAPPY, and i love that.
So happy for you guys – he is adorable. I remember all the worry I had for my son when my daughter was born and it all just transitioned without a hitch. Now the teenage years….
Expat Mom says:
Those are such awesome photos!!! Annie’s face is so neat, so excited!
So in love with the family picture. You all look so very happy. I’m so very happy for you all. Can’t wait to see you and meet baby James!