Saturday, June 7, 2014

Adjusting to Big Sisterhood

First picture of our new 4 person family!

The night Malcolm was born was the first (and only) night I’ve ever spent away from Guinevere.  I was a little nervous as to how she would do.  But then, I’ve come home after she’s gone to bed before and left the house before she’s woken up, so I guess it’s not a completely new concept to her to be put to bed or woken up by someone other than mommy.  Fortunately, she had familiar faces surrounding her during her time away from me.  My mom came up to help out and our roommate, “Aunt” Whitney, also helped enormously. 

Perhaps the evening away from each other was harder on me than it was on Guinevere!  Granted, I had plenty of other things to focus on, but there were moments when I lay awake in my hospital bed wondering how my other baby was doing and missing her.  I secretly wished I could just hit a button on the monitor and see her sleeping in her crib.

My mom brought Guinevere over to the hospital to meet Malcolm.  Because we were being discharged that day, we had the great idea that mom would bring G and then we’d all leave together as our new nuclear family of four.  Guinevere was so excited to see me when they arrived!  Her little face lit up when she saw me and she ran over and gave me a huge hug.  Then I introduced her to Malcolm.  She looked at him and said, “baby!”  Then she turned to me and said, “Mommy!” and gave me another hug.  Unfortunately, all the tests and check ups that needed to be done at the hospital caused us to be discharged significantly later than G’s bedtime, so the plan to leave together didn’t work out.  So we had to deal with the separation pains that accompany removing an almost two year old from her mother after they haven’t seen each other much in the past 24 hours (i.e. toddler screaming “Mommy!  Moooommmmmyyyy!” as she is carried out of the maternity ward).
Guinevere was almost more interested in the tumbler of water than in meeting her new brother!
The adjustment to being a big sister seems to be going relatively well.  I will admit that I was a little concerned over how Guinevere would react to having a new baby in the house.  She’s such a mommy’s girl and demands much of my attention.  So far, though, she’s taking sharing me really well.  She seems to enjoy having her little brother around.  Every time she sees Malcolm, she goes up to him and says, “Baby!  Malcolm!” When he’s sleeping, she says, “Sleeping!”  She’s even brought him blankets and tried to share her toys with him.  This morning I was nursing him on the couch and I ended up under a pile of books and toys that she brought over to share.

The main issue we have with her is explaining that the baby is fragile and trying to make sure she is gentle with him.   She likes to climb up on the couch next to me as I’m nursing him, but then will often end up almost sitting on his head because she wants to be close to me too.  We try to limit her to just touching his feet – to try to mitigate the toddler germs, but we’re not very successful.  She often ends up gently poking his belly or head.  She likes to point at his head and say, “hair.”  

Here's a video of G and Malcolm "playing" together:

Having two kids so close together is definitely going to be a challenge.  I am five years older than my sister, so by the time she came around, I could play by myself and could understand when my mom couldn’t pay 100% attention to me.  I have a feeling this baby will end up being worn in a carrier a lot more around the house than G ever was.  I’ve only had to take care of both kids by myself twice so far.  The first time, I strapped Malcolm to me using a cloth carrier (like a Moby wrap, but I can’t remember the exact brand).  That enabled me to follow G around the house and have the use of both hands.  I even attempted to nurse him in it . . . though I think carrier nursing will take a bit more practice.  If anyone has any tips on that, please feel free to share. 

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