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Sibling Revelry: Meeting the Newest Family Member

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

In the moments after my third baby was born, my first thoughts wereof telling my two older kids and having them meet their new sister. Itwas a Thursday night and close to their bedtime, but since we live soclose to the hospital, my parents brought them over for a brief firstencounter with their new sibling.

I had given birth about an hour prior and was still in the midstof post-birth medical care, but the moment they walked in, wide-eyed andfull of wonder, time stood still for a split second. Seeing my twoolder kids (who suddenly seemed like such big kids) and rememberingexactly when they were as little as their new baby sister was such anostalgic, bittersweet and special moment for me. Talk about waterworks.

The following day was what I consider to be our real, first familytime together. My husband surprised our older kids by picking them upfrom school at lunchtime so they could come to the hospital and spendtheir afternoon with their baby sister. In a much calmer setting,without the flurry of nurses and tests, they were able to hold her inher sleepy, bundled state and get that sibling bonding time in.

They were so proud to be a big brother and sister and amazed me somuch, showing how mature, caring and nurturing they could be to someonethey had just met.

For the whole afternoon, the five of us were together in thatlittle hospital room. The kids took turns holding the baby, played withthe mechanics of the adjustable hospital bed, delighted in the fact thatI could order "room service" from the cafeteria downstairs and helpedthe nurses take my blood pressure.

Those few hours were truly special and affirmed our decision tohave another baby. Our family of four added a new member that day, yetit felt as though she was always meant to be there.

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