Over the past month, people have regularly asked me how it went having Gen watch her little brother being born. From her perspective, it was wonderfully exciting, and she’s still talking about it! (One of the highlights was hearing “Mommy being loud”! Apparently that is hilarious to her.)
I began actively laboring in the middle of the night, so she just stayed asleep in her room. When she awoke in the morning, her grandmas took charge of her at our home.
When it finally came time to push Enoch out, the family was gathered up, and they surrounded my birthing tub. Gen was right there alongside us, reaching into the water, joyfully watching him be born.
Gen was well-prepared for being at the birth, after we repeatedly read through the book Welcome With Love, recommended by our midwives. It tells the sweet story of a simple homebirth, from the perspective of a child; a sibling watching their little brother’s birth. She attended most of my midwife appointments with me, so she was fully comfortable with our midwives, and their “tools.”
She continually asked me in the days prior to Enoch’s birth, if I could “Please start making noise to make the baby come out now!” (The book emphasizes the noises the laboring mother makes, and explains it by saying that helps the baby come out.) This explanation was what her grandmas gave to her (per our request), if she ever had questions during my labor. We also told her that “Mommy’s muscles are working hard to get the baby out, and there might be some owies; but they’ll get better.”
Gen never expressed any fear during the birthing; perhaps that is mostly due to her age of 2 1/2 (almost 3!). She isn’t squeamish about blood, etc. at this point. She was mostly excited that we had a pool inside our house, and that a baby was coming. (Plus all of her beloved friends and family were there for the day!)
Before Enoch’s birth, we began trying to prepare her for what a baby would be like. Just for fun, we read Everywhere Babies, which I purchased at a thrift store. We emphasized the seasonality of birth, and loved the book When You Were Just a Heartbeat, given to us by Nana.
Throughout my pregnancy, we told her that “the baby will come after the blueberries, around the time of the zucchinis, tomatoes, and corn” (and he did!). As she checked the garden daily with Daddy, there was a lot of hopeful expectation involved in the event.
Whenever Gen would peer into the tangle of Cosmos flower stems in the flower bed (flowers she had planted from seed), she was impatient for them to bloom. At one point, she even tried prying open a flower bud or two. I gently explained to her that they would open at just the right time, when they were ready, just like our baby would be born at just the right time. I reminded her that we just needed to be patient.
During my pregnancy (and after) as Gen has had questions about her own birth, we’ve answered her questions by explaining her birth and adoption in simple terms that she can understand. We love the book “Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born. We’ve also recently received the beautiful locally-published book “On the Night You Were Born from a dear friend as a gift for Enoch. Another favorite book has been Just in Case You Ever Wonder, which sweetly illustrates God’s sovereignty and a parent’s love for each child.
As Gen has experienced the normal range of emotions of any preschooler with a new baby brother, she has enjoyed reading books from the library that address adjusting to having a new little sibling, and wanting a parent’s attention. (We’ve had to make a conscious effort to help her adjust to sharing her parents, and give her extra attention for positive behavior.) Some special gifts just for her, such as a new Melissa & Doug Puzzle have been beneficial.
Overall, she loved the experience, and just a couple weeks after Enoch’s birth, Gen crawled into bed with me, peeked under the sheets, and asked, “Mommy make more babies come out now?” Hearing that, plus the simple joy of seeing my two little ones snuggling with each other in a loving hug makes it all worth it! We praise God everyday for these two little blessings He has given us, and are so glad they’ve shared each day from the beginning.
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