A – Adjustment
Posted February 2, 2015on:
Read about my ABC blog series here.
Before K was born, I had this expectation that M would just immediately fall in love with her sister.
I would picture M running into the hospital recovery room and just be automatically drawn to her baby sister. She’d kiss her, hold her, and just be the best big sister in the world from that moment on..
Reality didn’t prove to be that way at all.
When M first came into the room on that first morning after K was born, it was awkward. She was awkward. She wasn’t sure what was going on and I could see the discomfort in her face.
She missed me. I know she did. She gave me a huge hug, but that was about it. She couldn’t really look at me. I’m not sure what she was thinking, but I think she just felt out of place. I was wearing a hospital gown, I was sitting on a different bed, I didn’t quite look like myself, and I was carry things other little person.
I felt like I was forcing K on her. M didn’t know this little baby and yet I was making her kiss and hold her. She obliged, but it wasn’t heartfelt. She’s three, what was I really expecting from her?
I cried a bit after M went home for the night. Part of me was disappointed that I didn’t get the reaction I wanted. Most of me was worried for M. I knew it was going to be a huge adjustment for her, but until that day, I didn’t know how huge it really was going to be..
As the days went by, it got better. She started looking at me and interacting with me more. She starting looking at her sister. She started accepting the little baby I kept taking care of.
And then we took her home.
M cried a lot more. M demanded a lot more. M’s potty training seemed to just fly out the window. It was frustrating, especially when I was sleep deprived. M also started crying in the middle of the night, like she was having a bad dream. Once, when she heard K cry in the middle of the night, M, in her half-asleep state, grabbed onto my arm and hugged it tight.
I decided not to force K on M. I never asked M to hold K after that first day. I would tell M to sing or talk to her, but that was it. I didn’t want to force the relationship until M was ready. What I did do was have M help out with taking care of K. She would grab diapers, hand me wipes, bring me blankets… she loved doing that, and it eventually helped develop the relationship I was looking for between her and her sister.
Hubby and I also made sure we made time for M. Dividing time between the two is definitely not easy, especially since I’m always so tired from the intermittent sleep, but it’s definitely worth the sacrifice knowing that M has been thriving through this adjustment period.
She absolutely LOVES her sister and constantly kisses her. The moment I knew everything was going to be ok was when M finally asked to hold K. It brought tears to my eyes knowing that everything is going ok.
(To all the parent police out there, don’t worry, the didn’t nap like this. I posed them to be next to each other for the photo. The hand thing, they did that themselves.. )
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