Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Becoming a family of four...

The arrival of Cohen has been the most talked about and most anticipated event in our house for the past nine months. We have anxiously awaited the moment where Addison would become a big sister and we would be able to share our new son with the world.

Addison's first moments with Cohen were while we were in the hospital and it's one of the moments that I regret the most from this whole experience. I was stranded in the bathroom for the first thirty minutes of Addison's time with Cohen. Then I had to spend the next 30 minutes with three nurses and a catheter while my new little family waited in the hall. I missed Addison's first reaction and first moments with Cohen. I wasn't present when my family of three officially became a family of four and that breaks my heart. I didn't get to see the look on Addison's face when she saw her brother for the first time and I didn't get to watch as she took in his tiny features for the first time.

I really didn't get to see any interaction between my two babies until after we got home from the hospital. I've wondered all along how Addison would handle all of the change that goes along with a new sibling and despite the fact that my 'spirited' child is still just as spirited - I feel like she's handling it really well. She's constantly concerned about 'baby Cohen' and what we are doing with him. She asks where he is and what he's doing, she asks to see Cohen first thing in the morning after waking up, and wants to make sure that he is in his swing and content before we eat dinner. She wants to hold him and give him kisses and she would give ANYTHING to put him in with her babies and push him in one of her strollers. She loves showing off her baby brother to new visitors and peeking in on him when he's nursing or sleeping or being changed... or just hanging out. Addison wants to be a good big sister and she is trying so hard. We still have to work on how to handle baby - I was putting him in her lap yesterday and she grabbed him in a bear hug to hold him. She wants to give him all her toys - even the ones that are bigger than he is. She would love to feed him [crackers, juice, grapes... anything] and doesn't really understand why or how mom's boob is the one place where this baby gets his meals. Sometimes, especially when she's extra excited, she bounces around and the potential for wonking her brother on the head increases exponentially - these are the moments when we have to redirect her or help her find a way to show her energy without pouncing on anybody.

Becoming a family of four didn't go exactly how I planned it in my mind. I visualized holding Cohen and having Addison crawl up into the hospital bed with me where we quietly marveled at the tiny man who just entered our lives. We would hold him and talk about how small he was and she would get to give him a kiss for the first time. I visualized all this happening in a quiet moment which would be captured on film and memorialized forever on our fridge. Instead I was crying on the toilet and trying to listen to what was happening in the other room. Instead of a warm fuzzy family moment, Addison was wound up and getting in trouble for running/climbing/crawling/toddlering, I was in agonizing pain and couldn't focus on anything but getting relief, and most of the interactions between my children took place in the hallway of the hospital. It wasn't what I had planned and I was disappointed when the moment had passed and I realized that we didn't get a do-over. But, despite all that, we did become a family of four that day. It may not have gone the way I had planned [I don't even have a picture of us from that day] but we made it, and that is what counts in the end.

Addison holding baby Cohen's hand...
My babies <3
Addison couldn't WAIT to put Cohen in his baby swing. She helped mommy and daddy put it together last week!
My big girl <3

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