The Life of Jennifer Dawn: Bringing Home Baby

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bringing Home Baby

I thought I had prepared myself for everything...

Well, almost everything...

We read books and talked to Lydia Grace about the new baby from the very beginning, so her adjustment would be smooth.

We had a name picked out for both a boy and a girl.

When we found out we were having a boy, I talked to my friends with boys to get the scoop since I was in girl mode with Lydia Grace.

We turned our house upside down to transition the guest room/office/craft room into L.G.'s new room, her old room into the nursery, the living room closet into my new craft closet...  
 Let's just say there was a lot of moving around going on.

I prepared the nursery--classic, storybook Pooh.

I washed all the clothes.

I washed all the bottles.

I pretty much washed the whole house.

I prepared everything at work to take a six-week maternity leave--paperwork, lesson plans made in advance, chats with my students to prep them.

I mentally prepared myself for late night feedings, no sleep, any postpartum symptoms...

I prepared our home for a new baby.

I prepared my heart to relish this precious gift from God each and every day.

The one thing I didn't prepare myself for was...

How hard she would take it...

We brought baby Eli home, and while Tim and I were thrilled, L.G.'s world as she knew it came crashing down...

In the beginning she was curious about this new little guy who had entered our lives.  Curious but resentful and angry.  In the middle of a tantrum, I asked her what was wrong.  She shouted at me that she was mad.  I, of course, asked her who she was angry at.  Her response:  "I mad at mommy!  I mad at daddy!"  
Tim joked that at least she knew who to be angry at.  
I cried because my sweet girl was suddenly bitter and distant.  She no longer wanted to snuggle me on the couch if I was holding Eli.  She no longer wanted to play or color with me if I was having to comfort a crying newborn or feed Eli.  My heart was torn in two because I love both my babies and wanted to give them both 100% of my effort, time, and attention.  However, L.G. wanted nothing to do with Eli.  This anger turned into misbehavior as she refused to listen, threw tantrums, and acted out to get all of my attention.  Lydia Grace has been accustomed to being my number one priority.  Now there are two priorities sharing that spotlight.  What an adjustment it has been for all of us!  An adjustment that no amount of preparation on my part could have gotten us ready for.  In the first couple of weeks, I would be bathing Eli and Lydia Grace would suddenly need to go potty, need juice, or just feel the need to throw a tantrum.  I would be bathing Lydia Grace and Eli would be crying.  Whew!  I began struggling with fears that Eli wasn't getting as much attention as L.G. had received as a newborn and that L.G. wasn't getting as much attention as she gotten before.  How do moms with 3+ kids do it?  They deserve huge praise!

Eli will be 4 weeks old tomorrow, and I have to say that things are getting much better.  We have all had to make adjustments.  Tim has relearned what it is like to have a newborn around, and to help out around the house more.  I've learned how to grow another set of arms.  Just kidding.  But I have learned how to juggle a newborn and toddler at the same time even making it out of the house on outings.  Its been great!  I love having both a boy and a girl!  I have also learned that I am just one person, and not to beat myself up if I can't be supermom.  Again...I am one person, and I can't be in two places at once.  And Lydia Grace--my precious girl--has learned to love and accept her new brother as a member of our family.

She has become my little helper wanting to assist with Eli's bath time, feeding him, hunting down pacifiers, giving kisses...

Tim had to work late last night, so the three of us (Lydia Grace, Eli, and myself) snuggled on the couch in our pajamas to watch an Elmo DVD.   At one point, I looked down at L.G.'s hand and saw that she was holding her brother's hand in hers.  This morning while Eli was getting a bottle, Lydia Grace gave her brother kisses on each cheek.  Eli cried later on and Lydia Grace went on a frantic search for the pacifier saying that she wanted to be the one to "feed Eli his paci".  My heart melted as I watched my oldest comfort her brother, and my baby boy stare up at his sister with wonder, awe, and love.  
Each and everyday Lydia Grace is adjusting to the changes more and more.  
Each and everyday she is growing to love her brother more and more.  
Will there still be times of jealousy on both of their parts in the future?  Of course.  But we are a family of four now.  Daddy.  Mommy.  Sister.  Brother.  Come times of joy, sorrow, rest, challenge, change...
We are in this together.


  1. Oh my. I'm so sorry that this is such a big transition for Lydia!
    At least if everyone knows then maybe your guests can make it a point to show Lydia a little extra attention when they first arrive.
    I can't fathom what it's like to have a newborn and a toddler, but the idea that Lydia is now wanting to help is precious!
    These days will pass and it'll all be a thing of the past soon enough!
    Sending prayers and hugs your way!
    Yeah for getting through the 1st month, I'm with you there! We have our 1 month appointment tomorrow :)

  2. As a mother of two I absolutely understand your troubles and I can only say: things will get better. There will always be times when one of them tells you, the other gets more of whatever. This will go away and there will be times they play together peaceful and lucky to have a brother/sister when nobody else has time for them.
    With 5 years of experience as a mother of two I would just recommend you: you always have the right to be unfair from time to time, as one of your little cuties will need you more than the other from time to time. This does not change your love for them or mean you love one more. You just sometimes have to decide according to the needs of your kids and if one needs more now, the other will get more later.
    A mother is no perfect person, she is just close... :-)
    Big Hugs

  3. Congratulations on little Eli. It is tough for children when a new sibling comes. My son was almost 4. He stared liking his little sister more when she was mobile. Now, they fight, but they have such a strong love.


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