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.
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.