Wednesday, April 15, 2015

the day Uriah became a big brother

I was an excited, nervous to introduce Uriah to Ezra. I had done my research and was prepared with a few tips to make it an easy meeting (don't be holding the baby when he comes into the room, have the baby get him a present...) but still, how much of "mommy has a baby in her belly and she's going to come out and live with us forever" did he really understand...!? I was hoping for a movie scene but was fully prepared to accept anything short of hitting her as a win.

It was pretty dang close to a movie scene. (Though the theoretically hitting came later)

I was so happy my sister and parents were around to bring Uriah to the hospital. Not only do I think that made it all feel a little more normal to him, being surrounded by familiar faces, but it meant a lot to be able to share that day with them all. He was so happy to see Stephen and I after a night away - a little worried about mom in the hospital bed and curious about my IV, but so sweet and generous with his hugs and kisses. When we asked if he wanted to meet Ezra he immediately shook his head yes and looked around for her, slightly confused. He smiled at her in Stephen's arms and say hi, but was much more curious in the Thomas the Train wrapping paper he could see from the corner of his eye ;) Ezra got Uriah a new dinosaur book (which he still thanks her for every time he goes to read it) and Uriah brought her bunny stuffed animal that he'd been waiting to give her for months. He didn't ask to hold her on his own but was willing when I asked. Together we found her nose and her lips, her ears and her bow... His attention span was short, but he was so gentle with her, and he asked to hold her a little while later to show her his new dinosaur aunt Ashley had got him in the gift shop. He quickly realized that every time he held her or kissed her or sweetly petted her face, that he got praised and payed attention to, so that's how the next hour or so went.

He was so sweet and gentle and curious. At one point he turned and patted my belly (which was very much still a belly) and asked, "baby?" I told him that there was a baby in my belly, but that she came out and now she's here with us. He looked back and forth between Ezra and my belly a few times and then patted it again saying "baby out!" and then pointing to his sister, "Rezra!" So maybe he didn't fully understand what we'd been telling him for the last eight months, but like it or not, he was about to and it was fun to watch him connect the dots.

Before Uriah came to the hospital, I was holding Ezra, staring at her, marveling at my baby girl and I was convinced she was my favorite. I was in love. Did I really love Uriah this much? But when he walked through that door... No, he was my favorite. After just one night away - I hadn't realized how much I'd missed him! He was so handsome and so sweet - there was no way I could ever love Ezra that much... And so it keeps going. My love for both of them, while so wildly different, is so very much the same - deep and powerful and continually growing.

I never doubted that I would love my second as much as I loved my first, but it was just something I couldn't fathom. Until she was here and I knew instantly that our love does in fact grow and expand rather than divide. What I wasn't expecting was that my love for Uriah would do the same - grow and expand. Even though my time and attention (and patience) is now divided, I somehow love him more, almost because of that.

It's been a hard adjustment for us all, transitioning to a family of four. The high Uriah was on from receiving attention for being so sweet to his baby sister ran out a couple days after having her home with us. While, when he chose to pay attention to Ezra he do so gently and with such sweetness, he didn't choose to pay attention to her very often and quickly became whinny and disobedient toward Stephen and I. It was all to be expected, of course, but it was harder and more tiring than I had anticipated. I just wanted so badly for him to understand - I lost my patience far too often and found myself getting annoyed. But when I stopped to think about his reasoning for his behavior, it made me a little sad - he was lonely, missing us and our whole selves. We made sure to give him as much one on one time as week could, but still included Ezra into all our regular activities so he could adjust to the fact that she was sticking around. And, slowly, it all started to fall into place. About a week after we came home from the hospital, Uriah asked to hold Ezra (and my heart melted!) and has been including her in his prayers and goodnight kisses and talks and activities ever since. He is still no stranger to time outs, but I think they're mostly due to being two, now, and not so much due to a loss of attention.

Stephen had a two week break scheduled between rotations right around the time of her due date, so we've been spoiled with having him home. And now that he's back at work? Well, we're surviving ;) Despite bad moments (because there are enough good ones that overall, the days are more good than bad) I am feeling so blessed to have these two babes. Just this morning, I was trying to convince (begging, really) Uriah to play independently so I could get ready and clean the house and feed Ezra, stressing to get to a doctor's appointment on time, I thought to myself, "why on earth did we decide to have two kids? I can't handle this!" But a few minutes later in the car I couldn't stop the smile from spreading across my face and I started laughing. I know exactly why we decided to have two kids! I was happy! I was in love! This was fun! It is hard, but already it's been so rewarding and truthfully, so fun! When Stephen comes home and the four of us are sitting around a train track talking about our day, playing on the living room rug... it just feels so right, so good.

So while every moment is not movie scene worthy, our next adventure started out as one and I think that's a good sign.

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