The Best Gift We Could Give Them

I never really thought much about Stone losing his only child title, until I was about a month out from my due date. I was too wrapped up with dreaming of who this new baby would be. I was so looking forward to those first couple days in the hospital, those tiny baby fingers, that sweet baby breath. 

When I thought of Stone becoming a big brother, I thought about it being a little difficult finding time to get everything done. I knew I would have a ton of diapers to change between the two of them. I knew I would be tired. But I couldn’t wait for Stone to have a sibling, “a lifelong friend!” I always thought in my head. The suspense was starting to build up and I simply could not wait! The evening that I went into labor, I quickly snapped a photo of Stone and I, as I bounced on a yoga ball. I knew it would be our last photo together just him and I, but I could not wait for that first moment that Stone would hold his baby brother and Seth and I would watch in complete awe with our little family. 

Only, Stone would not hold the baby. He wanted nothing to do with him. I was shocked! No one had told me about this. Was my child the only one who pretended his little brother simply did not exist? The first couple of weeks were hard. My two-year-old put toys in the toilet, he ran around the house screaming when the baby was asleep, and always seemed to act out when I had to sit down to breastfeed. 

One day, as I wore a shirt covered in breastmilk and holding my crying baby in one arm, I watched as he dumped my whole cup of coffee on our white comforter. I didn’t understand, I was doing everything right I thought. I was making sure to snuggle him lots, I praised him, I let him help me with daily activities. I reached out to other new moms. I breathed, I cut myself some slack, and I realized this was all normal. 

I now have a two-month-old and a toddler who says “please!” when asked if he wants to hold his brother. A toddler who runs to get a “paci” when the baby cries. My heart swells seeing Stone’s smile of pride when he throws a diaper away or helps me unload the dishwasher or bounces the baby in his bouncy seat. No one had told me about this either! Mamas, give yourself some grace during the fourth trimester. Those older siblings will come to love those babies. They will help each other through life, they will be best friends, they will be roommates, they will be each other’s sidekicks, teammates, and partners-in-crime.The best gift you could ever give them is each other. 

Thank you Taylor for sharing with us! @taylorbrummer

March 17, 2020 — Makel Gardner